Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update; developers to get preview next week


Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update; developers to get preview next week

Microsoft has announced the first update for Windows Phone 8.1 (yes, another update), and it’s due next week for developers in the preview program (for others: 'in the coming months').

Expectedly, Update 1 is a smaller update compared to Windows Phone 8.1. Still, there are enough new features to get Windows Phone users excited. Here’s a quick summary:

Cortana - Cortana will be available in China and the U.K. as a 'beta', and in Canada, India, and Australia as an 'alpha' with this update.

Live folders - You can now put apps into folders on the Start screen. The folders are ‘live’ because the apps' Live Tiles appear in the tile of the folders; in other words, you won’t miss any updates.

Improved Xbox Music - The Xbox Music app is updated to deliver better performance in areas like app load and list scrolling. Background sync and swipe to advance are already added, and Microsoft says a ‘quickplay’ feature for recent playback activities and support for a Live Tile and a Kids Corner will be added as well soon.

Store Live Tile - If you’ve the Store pinned to your Start screen, you’ll get updates on the newest titles refreshed every 6 hours via the Live Tile.

SMS merging and forwarding - You can now select multiple SMS messages for deletion and forwarding.

Apps Corner - Designed for businesses to access select apps, Apps Corner lets you define which apps to run in a ‘sandboxed’ mode. You can also boot straight into an app.

Enhanced privacy and security - You can now send and receive data through a virtual private network (VPN) even on Wi-Fi hotspots.

Now, the aforementioned are just the headline features in Windows Phone 8.1 Update. According to Windows Phone Central, support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard, smart covers (perhaps for the Windows Phone version of the HTC One (M8)?), and the aptX codec, among others, are coming as well.

Source: Windows Phone Blog, Windows Phone Central.

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