First look to Apps Corner in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)

Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) is already there for Windows Phone developers as part of the “Preview for Developers” program. It brought some new features like Live Folders, Apps Corner, Multi-SMS selection and more to empower your daily needs.


In this post, sharing about “Apps Corner” in detail to give you a brief on what is coming up next in your Windows Phone 8.1 device, once Microsoft starts rolling out to consumers.




Apps Corner” is a new settings page introduced in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) to give people access to selected apps on your Windows Phone, so that, they can get a customized Start Screen when they use your phone on demand. This is much more beneficial when you are providing phones to your employees, students etc. to give them personalized experience and controlled access over applications and settings.


How to setup “Apps Corner”?

To setup or open Apps Corner settings, swipe over to the App list from Start screen and then tap Settings. There you will be able to find out a settings item listed named “apps corner” (Remember: This will be only available if you have the Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 update). Tap it to open the associated apps corner settings page.


Here the “Apps” link will allow you to select apps that you want to available when apps corner is activated. Select the apps that you want and deselect to remove the apps from it.


1. Device Settings - Apps Corner     2. Apps Corner in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)     3. Select applications to be part of Apps Corner in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)


Apart from application selection, you will also have control over various settings. In the “Apps Corner” settings page you can decide whether to give permission to Action Center and/or Settings page to the user. You can also navigate to “advanced settings” page and active/deactivate advanced options like Camera button, Search button, Start button, Back button, Modify Tiles functionalities as shown below:


4. Selected applications in Apps Corner     5. Apps Corner Settings in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)     6. Apps Corner Advanced Settings in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)


By tuning these settings, you can also control the user to directly boot to a single application in your Windows Phone device. If you are providing phones to your employees (suppose a marketing team member), you can make sure that, they uses your phone only to demonstrate and/or use a specific application.


What else? If your phone does not already have a lock screen password, you can also do so from this settings page to ensure that people can not go to your original Start Screen from apps corner.


Windows Phone 8.1 has Cortana support. If you want to disable this feature when Apps Corner is running, disable the “Search button” in the advanced settings page of apps corner. Disable the Start button and Back button functionalities to make sure that the user can not navigate away from the app.


How to navigate away from “Apps Corner” to original Start Screen?

When your phone is running in “Apps Corner” mode, you can anytime come out from it to your original Start Screen. To do so, press and hold the “Power” button for few seconds, the “slide down to power off” screen will come up with an additional option “swipe right to exit Apps Corner”. Now just swipe over to right to close the apps corner and navigate back to your original Start Screen.


To protect your phone from your users, make sure that you turned ON the lock screen password. This will make sure that the user will not be able to come out from the apps corner mode without your permission.


End Note

After using “Apps Corner”, I personally felt that, it is better than “Kids Corner” that we still have in Windows Phone 8.x. If you used both of them let me know, which one you felt good. Read out my other blog posts to find out more about Windows Phone. If you are a Silverlight or Windows Phone app developer, make sure to follow my blog for development related articles and tips.


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