We all knows about Windows Phone 8.1 and it’s upcoming features from several sources like @evleaks, The Verge, GsmArena etc. I also published about this update earlier. Those are just rumour now Windows officially unveiled the details about the upcoming update. Here below are the full list of upcoming features…
Cortana – Windows Phone’s personal virtual assistant
Windows Phone 8.1 brings its own virtual personal assistant called Cortana. With Android having Google Now and Apple boasting Siri, it was about time Microsoft also joined the native personal assistant to Windows Phone. The Bing-powered Cortana plays an important role in WP 8.1 letting you set reminders, calendar events, call people, give you information about places you have or plan to visit. She also knows sports, gives weather info and basically everything you would expect from a virtual assistant. She’s going to be accessible through the Search key and features advanced voice recognition. This allows you to ask Cortana to search the web as well. Cortana is also able to feed you custom notifications based on your personal information and usage data, should you allow it, much like Google Now. At launch, Bing and Foursquare are going to be feeding Cortana with information for places and events, but more online services will follow soon.
Windows Phone 8.1 finally gets a dedicated notification center called Action Center. It holds customizable quick setting toggles, which include brightness adjustment, location settings, rotation locks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off among others. Below that you get a notification drawer with a full list of ongoing notifications such as email, text messages, missed calls and even notifications from Cortana.
Updated lockscreen and custom tile backgrounds.
Thanks to open APIs, Windows Phone 8.1 allows applications to take control over the lockscreen and change the theme or alter its functionality altogether. Joe Belfiore demonstrated a bunch of cool lockscreens, which displayed custom calendar entries with nice designs. The other great customization feature is the option to set up custom backgrounds for the Start screen tiles. Small, but totally needed feature to make Windows Phone truly personal. Another UI change means that you will now be able to select whether to have a third live tile column on the Start screen. Previously, this was set only by the phone manufacturer, so it’s cool Microsoft lets the user make this decision in WP 8.1.
Internet Explorer 11
Windows Phone 8.1 ships with the latest version of Internet Explorer. IE 11 brings reading view, which grabs websites and extracts their text for easier reading. It also comes with a tuned up password manager, which will sync your passwords across multiple devices.
There’s also an InPrivate mode enabling incognito browsing. It doesn’t make you invisible on the web, but rather disable history storing and cookie information is deleted once an incognito tab is closed.
Just as a couple of screenshots leaked by evleakes revealed earlier, Windows Phone 8.1 now features on-screen software keys – Search, Start and Back.
Low-end CPU support
Windows Phone 8.1 adds support for not so powerful processors such as the Snapdragon 200 and 400. This will enable Microsoft partners to build much more affordable low-end smartphones that would run okay the latest version of WP.
Now in Windows Phone 8.1 you can set any period of the day when you want only a certain group of people to be able to reach you. This feature is called Quiet hours and is accessible from the Settings.