Microsoft Announced their Windows Phone 8.1 update at their Build conference in San Francisco. The Windows phone 8.1 update is a significant update for the Windows Phone Ecosystem which hopes to compete with the lights of Android and iOS. Microsoft announced several new features which aims to boost the overall user experience but most of which were expected as there have been several leaks over the past few months.
The most significant of the new features are Cortana and Action center.
Action center which we have been expecting with the windows phone update for a few months is a pull down notification and settings pane that is very similar to what android has and can be accessed from anywhere in the os
Cortana of course was the most talked about update in the conference. Cortana is Microsoft’s personal digital assistant and she’s powered by Bing. She can perform what all modern digital assistants are expected to perform and even more for example you can make a basic search make a call set reminders etc you can also define your interests in a “notebook” so she can keep tabs on them but during the time of release she will still be in beta and Microsoft will constantly update her in the back-end.
Windows phone 8.1 has some IT features too. There’s support for enterprise VPNs, along with signed and encrypted emails to keep corporate secrets.
There are a few updates for Windows Store which now has a better layout and they also announced WiFi Sense which lets you do some cool customization to you WiFi settings. Apart from these there are some minor UI changes like new backgrounds for tiles and new lock screens which give greater customization to the user.
Windows 8.1 Update 1
Apart from Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft also announced an update for the desktop machines running Windows 8 or 8.1. The new updates aims to boost the experience for people using mouse and keyboard only without sacrificing the experience of the touch users. This update includes Store apps pinned to the taskbar. Booting and resuming straight to the desktop and little tweaks to make Windows more keyboard and mouse friendly again
Universal Windows Apps
The biggest announcement for developers though was Universal Windows Apps which allows developers to use a common code for all Windows devices and makes their apps adaptable for any form factor.
Will be covering each of these topics in detail in the coming posts, so come back later for more.