Alpha was the first development phase of Pocket Edition, developed for over 5 years, from August 16, 2011, to November 18, 2016. Alpha was succeeded by the full release of Pocket Edition 1.0.0 on December 19, 2016.
- Water color can be changed in cauldrons by adding dyes. This dyed water can be used to dye items such as leather armor.
- Cauldrons can store potions, and will make an explosion sound (not a real explosion) if potions are mixed, making the potions disappear. Potions in cauldrons can be used to make a tipped arrow.
- Chests are directional; adjacent chests will not connect to form a large chest if they are facing different directions. Chests can be placed next to a large chest horizontally.
- Glowing obsidian, which replaced the nether reactor structure, except for the Nether Reactor Core block.
- Invisible bedrock which generates at the edges of the world.
- Nether reactor core, which was used to generate Nether reactors before the addition of the Nether.
- Stonecutters, used to craft stone-related items as there was not enough space in the crafting system.
- Update game block, which appears when a world with blocks added in a newer version is loaded in an older version.
- Leather armor can be dyed in cauldrons, instead of in the crafting grid.
- Leather horse armor can be dyed using a cauldron, and can be crafted using 7 leather in the shape of an "H".
- World generation
- Biomes that would exceed the 128-block height are shrunk to fit in, although the maximum tall block is 256 block height limit.
- Far lands in infinite worlds generate Far Lands since X/Z: ±12,550,821, like prior to Java Beta 1.8.
- Old world type
- Generates as a finite world 256 blocks in length and width, while 128 blocks in height.
- Nether and end portals cannot be activated.
- Nether reactor, which was used before the addition of the Nether: generates a large spire made of netherrack.
- Fallen trees, which are composed of a trunk lying on its side, sometimes with vines and mushrooms, and a stump one to two blocks away in the direction the rings are facing.
- Flat world type
- The HUD and other elements are adapted to mobile standards of gameplay. Interactions are made via touchscreen (both the iOS and Android versions of Pocket Edition have the same gameplay).
- Multiplayer allows for four ways of player connection:
- Add-ons, used to change the way things the game look and behave.
- Behavior packs, which are used to change the behavior of entities.
- World templates, which can be used to import the world from outside.
- To comply with the disadvantages of touchscreen gameplay, several features of crafting were revised. For instance, crafting uses the MATTIS system, and items are disposed of by long-tapping their icon on the toolbar. For better visibility on mobile screens, blocks being aimed at are highlighted rather than outlined. Unlike mobile's crafting menu, Windows 10 Edition's crafting menu is similar to Java's and Console's crafting menus.
- The game was released with graphics akin to that of Java Alpha, such as bright green grass blocks. Later on in development, the graphics were updated to be more like Java's.
- Skins have extra pixels on the skin model, and multiple skin packs are available.