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Custom audio alerts in Windows Phone have evolved! Since the release of the 8.1 Developer Preview How To Upgrade To Windows Phone 8.1 Now How To Upgrade To Windows Phone 8.1 Now If you want to speak to Cortana and get access to other cool new features, you will have to wait until June at least. Unless you'd update early. Like now. Read More , it is now possible to configure custom alerts for apps as well as contacts.

Customizing Windows Phone 8.1 With Audio Alerts

Windows Phone isn’t the most customizable mobile platform. Thankfully the 8.1 update will bring a collection of new options, among them the ability to add stunning Start screen tile backgrounds Get A Striking New Look In Windows Phone 8.1 With Customized Start Screen Tiles Get A Striking New Look In Windows Phone 8.1 With Customized Start Screen Tiles You can now add a background image to Start Screen Tiles, one of many great new features in Windows 8.1. Read More .

Another new customization that you can play around with is audio alerts for apps. This means that when a notification is generated and displayed on your phone, you have control over the sound that plays alongside it, just as you would for contacts.

By default, the audio alert will be one set by the device manufacturer or the retailer/mobile network you purchased it from. Switching to a new alert is quick and can help you to easily spot when a key app alert needs immediate action.

Adding Ringtones To Windows Phone Contacts

Setting up a new ringtone on your Windows Phone 8 device, which can then be assigned to a particular contact, was addressed in our previous article on adding ringtones to Windows Phone 8 Everything You Need to Know About Adding Ringtones on Windows Phone 8 Everything You Need to Know About Adding Ringtones on Windows Phone 8 Over the 15 or so years of owning a mobile phone, I've always been interested in pushing the device as far as it can possibly go. In the early days, this would often involve finding... Read More .

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The principle is the same for setting up alerts for apps, however.

Audio alerts and ringtones that ship with the phone can be used, as can those that are included with apps and some games. The Windows Phone Store, meanwhile, offers ringtones that can be installed in bulk, giving you a huge selection of audio options, and if you still can’t find what you want, you can make your own and import it from your PC into the Ringtones folder.

All you need to do is open your contact, begin editing a contact and tapping the +ringtone option to select a new audio alert.

Configure Audio Alerts For Apps On Windows Phone 8.1

Before you start, make sure you have an idea of the audio alerts you want to use for you apps. This might mean grabbing some new MP3 files or simply reviewing what is available in Settings > ringtones+sounds, where ringtones and reminders can be previewed.

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When you’re happy, scroll down to manage app sounds, and in the notifications+action center screen find the app you want to set a sound for and open it.

Check that the app will be displayed in the action center and decide whether or not you want a notification banner to appear when the app alert plays. Next, tap Notification sound to display the list of ringtones and alerts.

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In this menu, tap the audio clip you want to use. You’ll then be returned to the action center settings screen, where you can also toggle the Vibrate function.

This will set the alert, and you can repeat the procedure for all other native and third party apps that are listed in the notifications+action center view.

Alerts & The Notification Center

With your alerts now set up, you’ll be able to quickly identify the app that is alerting you to an update; perhaps you’ve been tagged in a Facebook photo, or Cortana has found some interesting information How To Activate & Use Cortana On Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview How To Activate & Use Cortana On Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview Are you missing Cortana, the Google Now and Siri speech control rival, on your Windows Phone 8.1? Get it now! Read More for you based on a previous search.

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Viewing the notifications+action center screen will display the full list of apps that you can set audio alerts for. Spend a few moments reviewing the list, which will display what alerts are active on each. You can use this as a quick reference to discover where the audio alerts are enabled and disabled and make changes as necessary.

If you’re using a particular background image for your Start screen tiles, it might be fun to select audio alerts to complement this. Have a Batman-themed background? Use some Batman sound clips and music for your contact and app alerts!

Customization Options Keep On Coming In Windows Phone 8.1

Although it is still some way from being rolled out to all compatible devices, Windows Phone 8.1 is showing that Microsoft does know how to give customization options to its mobile users.

The ability to set custom audio alerts for contacts and apps is useful, and should you be so inclined it can be embraced as part of a more general customization of your phone’s look and feel. Better still, if you’re using a device with removable covers such as the Nokia Lumia 625, you might also include one of these in your customization – or go the whole hog and purchase some decals.

What do you think of this new Windows Phone 8.1 feature? Have you upgraded to the developer preview yet or are you opting to “wait and see”? Comment below!

Image Credits: K?rlis Dambr?ns Via Flickr

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