6 New Features in Windows 8.1 Update 1 That are Worth Checking

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a major update to Windows 8.1 with a bunch of new features that seem to be useful for both touch users and desktop users. Here are a few of them that are worth knowing.

1. The power button on Start Screen

On Start Screen, next to the user profile tile, you will see a new power button that provides the same menu of power management choices, Sleep, Shut down, & Restart.

Start menu - 2014-04-07 10_23_31

2. The Search Button on Start Screen

Next to the new Power Button, you will see a new search button that makes the search feature more obvious. You don’t need to swipe out the charm bar to do the search.

3. Pin Modern Windows 8 App to Taskbar

With this new update, you can not only pin desktop apps to Start Screen, but also pin Windows 8 apps onto desktop’s taskbar as well. Simply right-click apps on Start Screen and choose Pin to taskbar option.

inconsistem

4. Display Apps Status on Taskbar

Now all running Windows 8 Apps will have their icons displaying on Taskbar. Hovering your cursor over will display a thumbnail of what’s running in that app.

app status on taskbar

5. Title bar and windows controls in Modern Windows 8 Apps

If you’re using Windows 8.1 with Update 1 on a PC that has a mouse, you will see a new title bar at the top of the app when the app launches. You can minimize, close the app just like closing down a desktop app.

Weather - 2014-04-08 15_44_44

Then, when you click on the app icon on this new windows control box, you get access to the options related to snap, now renamed to split. I prefer the name of “snap” over “split”, and do hope this is a mistake that will be corrected in the later update.

Weather - context menu

Note that this feature is not available on devices that don’t have a mouse installed.

6. 3 noticeable PC Settings Tweaks

  • A control panel link at the bottom of the screen
  • Disk space under PC and devices that displays the info how much space is used on your computer.
  • PC info under PC and devices

Final thoughts

Windows 8.1 gets a positive polish after this update. But to be honest, none of these improvements make much of a big deal. I can totally comfortably live without them.

What I am really looking forward to are 2 things that have been missing since day 1, the start menu and modern app running in desktop environment. The good news is that they are coming in the future update late of this year.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: Windows 8
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