How will WP8.1 change the way we use phones?

There has been a lot of reporting and leaking on WP8.1 recently, so I thought it would be interesting to think about and get a realistic (and slightly speculative) picture of what will change about how we use our phones in everyday life. Of course these are just assumptions, and only apply to certain types of users.

  • Users will probably use the action center to see what's new instead of having wide tiles on their start screens, especially if they use a lot of social apps and media apps. So to some users the live tile feature may become less relevant.
  • On the other hand, the option to scale down the tiles on the start screen means that wide tiles don't fill up the screen as much.
  • With live tiles becoming less relevant, and the apps list becoming more useful (with new sorting options), people will use the apps list more frequently and not feel they need to pin all the apps they regularly use.
  • A lot of users never use the search button, but instead open IE or Google to search the web. With Bing smart search and Cortana, the search button may become a more important part of your phone.
  • Less splash screens and less navigating through apps thanks to the way WP8.1 handles app suspension.
  • Currently, the multitasking menu is used mostly to switch to an app without restarting it. With the new way the OS handles app suspension, people will use the multitasking menu for switching IE tabs and closing apps more than for switching apps.
  • Some users will prefer to use the double tap gesture instead of the power button to unlock and power off the device.
  • Users will sleep better thanks to quiet hours ;)
  • Some users always type with two hands, because it's faster. With the new swype feature, they may switch to single handed typing.
  • People will use their phones to stream videos to their TVs.
  • Depending on availability and usefulness of Cortana, people may use speech interaction for a great variety of tasks.