Microsoft recently outlined new features that it added to the Windows Phone 8.1 version of Internet Explorer 11. The company had first announced IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 at its Build 2014 conference in April, alongside the introduction of Windows Phone 8.1 itself.
Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1
Everyone always wants a faster browser, which is a fun challenge to work on – and our team breaks this down into two pieces. First, you need to tell the browser where you want to go, and second, the browser needs to get there as fast as possible. The second piece usually gets most of the attention, with browser performance benchmarks (like SunSpider, Acid3, Octane, and other muscular names) driving the discussion. While we have made progress on the benchmarks, a big focus this time was making serious progress on the first piece, telling the browser where you want to go, said Microsoft.
The company has resorted to 2 pronged approach to improve the performance and usability of the browser:
- User to let the browser know where he intends to go
- Get there as ASAP
For this, IE11 features a new address-bar URL predictions capability. It remembers user’s favourite URLs and shows a possible URL with highlighted part. In short, it has the property of memory. For the second part i.e. browsing, the company maintains it has made progress on the benchmarks (like SunSpider, Acid3, Octane, and others).
Apart from this, there are some significant improvements that become readily visible when you try the rejuvenated browser. Firstly, the IE11 now gets support for unlimited multi-tabbed browsing. Earlier, if you recall, it was limited to just six tabs support. Moreover, the ease of accessing both tab button and refresh button has been taken care of in the update. The button adjacent to the address bar accesses your tabs by default.
One much needed feature that users had anticipated in the IE 11 of Windows 8.1 and has been materialized subsequently is the ability to sync browsing data across phone and other portable devices such as tablet, and PC. This includes passwords, favourites, history, passwords and more.
One of the important characteristics of IE 11 on Windows Phone 8.1 is High Savings Mode, which adroitly downloads only the relevant part of the Web site and heavily compresses images. Users can choose to always enable High Savings Mode or set it to automatic.
Apart from all above, Microsoft claims IE11 has scope for better privacy with SmartScreen Filter and DoNotTrack signal for a protected browsing experience. Internet Explorer’s implementation of file downloads offered little control over the process. Only files which apps can open were supported by the download manager, and surprisingly it lacked option to actually save downloaded files. This has changed with the new update.
Also, for the readers a new Reading View icon can be accessed from the address bar. This helps to clear the clutter and stitch all pages of the article together. Other features that have got a final touch are contrast mode support, Narrator, and an override switch to allow zooming into all Web pages.