Windows Phone 8.1 — the latest version of Microsoft's smartphone operating system — already packs tons of new productivity-boosting features. Now, the first update for Windows Phone 8.1 is nearly ready to launch, with extra functionality that makes it even better for work. That includes more control over how employees use deployed Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones, plus VPN (virtual private network) functionality and a new way to keep your home screen organized. Those features come on top of additions that already arrived with the initial release of Windows Phone 8.1, such as Cortana, a voice-activated virtual assistant.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 was released to developers this month, and will roll to consumers in the coming months. Read on for three of the best business features you'll find in the update.
The new Apps Corner gives you better control over how employees use company-owned smartphones. You can manage which apps are installed on a phone, and even save and export your app settings to other devices to quickly configure company phones. That way, employees can't accidentally install applications that could compromise company data.
A VPN is a secure, private network that lets employees wirelessly access company resources while on the go, including files, apps and printers. Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 adds VPN support to the mobile OS for the first time. Users will be able to toggle the VPN on or off easily, or set a device to automatically connect to a VPN when a particular Web domain is accessed. You can also turn on encryption to secure all traffic between your smartphone and the work network.
Staying organized is one way to boost your productivity. Now, Windows Phone 8.1 gives you better control over your smartphone's home screen with the addition of folders. Just drag one app over the top of another to group them into a folder, then tap a folder to see which apps it includes.