Thursday, August 7, 2014

Installing the Windows Phone 8.1 Developers Preview | How-To

banner-wp-devs Last week Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 (GDR1) for Windows Phone devices and mentioned that the developers preview will be coming out the following week. Well, here we are a little over a week later, the update actually started rolling out on Monday and yesterday i decided to get the new update loaded onto my Lumia 630. What i found out is that the installation process is really simple and updating the device required no physical connection with the computer, just like a OTA update. Unlike on android, you can’t just flash a ROM onto a windows phone device, it just doesn’t work that way. In this simple how-to, i’ll guide you on installing the windows phone 8.1 developers preview onto your windows phone device.

Step 1: Getting a developers account

windows-phone-dev-center-to-get-windows-phone-8.1-developers-preview The first thing you’ll need to do is to is get a developer account, there are two ways you can do this. One is to register yourself as a Windows Phone developer which costs $19 or if you want to take the alternate route of registering an App Studio account, the fee is completely free. Additionally if you are a student like me, you can actually get a waiver on the Windows Phone developer account via DreamSpark (learn more here). Either way, you’ll need to create a developers account first before you get the update even if you’re not planning to develop an application.

Step 2: Getting your device ready for installation

preview for devswindows-phone-update-developers-preview As i said earlier, the installation process is fairly simple and after creating a developers account you don’t need a computer because the update is sent straight to your device. But before that happens you’ll need to do one last thing, which is to download the Preview for developers app from the Windows Phone Store. The first time you enter the app, you’ll be prompted to sign with the developers account which you created just now. After signing in, the app will list a long list of T&C which you need to agree on. The next page after that is where you opt in to enable Microsoft to send the updates straight to your phone. All you have to do now is to check the box and click done. From my experience the update will not come immediately after you enable the feature, it’ll take a few hours. But if you are eager you can go constantly look at the ‘phone update’ menu in the settings to see if the update has arrived. One word of advice, if you read the terms and conditions they have already stated that after installing this update you will not be able to go back.

Step 3: Downloading and installing the update

windows-phone-8.1-developers-preview-updateOnce a popup saying that an update is available for download pops up, means that the update has reached your device. At this point you can start downloading the update, it’s recommended that you download it via Wi-Fi because the update package is quite big. After the download is done the installation will start and make sure that your device has sufficient power because the update will take some time. One thing which i was shocked to find out is that unlike usual phone updates (non-wp), the newer update will actually layer the older update without losing data. But with this update the system actually reinstalls the entire OS and when you use your device right after the update you’ll notice that everything is in place but the third party apps have not been uninstalled and are in the process of being downloaded and install. Anyways, i am fairly new to Windows Phone so i’m really not sure how update work on Windows Phone, do correct me if i'm wrong.
windows-phone-8.1-update-malaysiaOverall i am quite satisfied with the installation process and the fact that users with any windows phone device can achieve this makes it even better. Compare it to iOS which requires the user to download the file from on to the computer and install the update while connected to the computer (first time only). As always do follow us on the usual places (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram) so you don’t miss any of our future coverage on the Windows Phone 8.1 update as well as other tech news.