Windows Phone 8.1 Latest News: Updates and Features, Loving the new Cortana?
Windows Phone 8.1 release date for general availability was on July 15, 2014. It will have two planned updates within the year. Update 1 went live on August 4, 2014 for users participating in the Windows Phone Developer Preview program. The general roll-out of Update 1 to phones running on Microsoft's mobile OS should begin by September according to WP Central.
Notable Windows Phone 8.1 features include a personal virtual assistant called Cortana which is similar to the Android's Google Now and Apple's Siri. Cortana's abilities include being able to set reminders, recognize natural voice without having to input a predefined series of commands, and it can provide answers to questions involving current weather and traffic conditions, sports scores, and biographies using information from Microsoft's own search engine Bing. It also has a "Notebook", where it can automatically gather information about the user based on usage as well as allow the user to input additional personal information.
Other Windows Phone 8.1 features include a mobile version of the Internet Explorer 11 web browser and such new built-in apps as a Battery Saver which can track battery usage and determine profiles that will lower power consumption, a Storage Sense which can allow users to move files and apps between their phone's hard drive and a microSD card, a Wi-Fi Sense which can automatically sign in to trusted available Wi-Fi hotspots, a Calendar with a week view with current weather which can be synced with Google Calendars, an overhauled Maps with support for aerial-view, 3D mapping and a dynamic compass, an improved Dialer, Xbox Music and Xbox Video, an updated Camera, Live Tiles which can allow users to drag app tiles on top of each other to create folders of apps on the Start Screen, a Lockscreen, a Word Flow keyboard, among many more.
Windows Phone 8.1 now is used as mobile OS in devices manufactured by Nokia, Gionee, HTC, Huawei, JSR, Karbonn, LG, Lenovo, Longcheer, Micromax, Samsung, Lava, and ZTE. Phone currently running on Windows Phone 8.0 can be upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1 by downloading the software from the Windows Phone website.
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