Update to Windows Phone introduces Live Folders, improved Xbox Music app
Microsoft has made the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 available to download for developers. The software update, which introduces a number of changes to the mobile operating system, can be downloaded by developers enrolled in the Windows App Studio program today, ahead of a rollout to all compatible Windows Phone smartphones in the future.
Cortana available in beta for UK, Chinese markets, alpha in Canada, India, Australia
Microsoft has formally announced its upcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1, one it will be releasing to developers next week. The GDR1 update, leaked earlier this week, introduces a number of new features and other improvements to the mobile operating system, as well as expanding the beta program for the Cortana virtual assistant to five new countries after its initial United States launch.
Dev Center notes on GDR1 outlines technical changes, options to enable smart covers
It appears that a list of technical and some minor consumer changes are coming for the GDR1 update of Windows Phone 8.1. While the information is currently only available to those with an account to Microsoft's Dev Center, data was obtained showing that some important changes are coming - including new resolution support, options to allow smart cases, and a few ease-of-use options.
Lumia Cyan adds Windows Phone 8.1, updates Nokia apps
Microsoft has started to roll out the Cyan software update for Lumia smartphones, bringing Windows Phone 8.1 to the smartphone range. At the same time, a report claims that some new Lumia devices being sold no longer give the option to set Google as the default search engine, restricting users to instead primarily search using Microsoft's own search engine, Bing.
Microsoft India tweet points to imminent Windows Phone 8.1 update release
Windows Phone 8.1 could be shipping to smartphones next month. A posting on Twitter by Microsoft India states the Windows Phone 8.1 update will "roll out to existing Windows Phone 8 users during the first two weeks of July," suggesting that features such as the long-awaited Cortana virtual assistant may reach consumers in the near future.
Windows 8.1 is the most competitive version of the world's number 3 mobile OS
Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 is currently available to users in a preview form ahead of a rumored late June launch. Electronista has been spending some quality time with the world's third most used mobile operating system over the past few weeks and can report that it delivers a much improved overall user experience. Headlining features like Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri, Word Flow and the new Action Center help to put Microsoft on a much more competitive footing with Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
Several improvements issued in update including bug fixes and battery improvements
Developers on the Windows Phone platform can look forward to the first update to the preview program. Build number 8.10.12382.878 has been made available for those enlisted in the Windows Phone 8.1 preview for developers. The program has given developers and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to investigate new features in the platform including Cortana and Action Center.
Google Now for Android updated to keep cards loaded when service lost
Google has updated Google Search for Android in respects to its Google Now function. When an internet connection is lost, Google Now will now note when content was last updated, alongside the user's cards. Google Now can be downloaded from Google Play.
Windows Phone update to 8.1 adds Cortana, may void warranties
Windows Phone 8.1 is now available to download as a developer preview, allowing users to try out the Cortana virtual assistant on their own devices. The latest version of the mobile operating system, which Microsoft officially debuted on April 2nd at its Build conference, can be installed on smartphones owned by developers enrolled in Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer program.
New Lumias will ship with Windows Phone 8.1 onboard
The former CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop, has taken to the stage at Microsoft's Build developer conference to reveal three Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 8.1. The Lumia 930 has a five-inch ClearBlack full HD display with PureView camera capabilities, while the budget-aimed Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are smaller devices with a 4.5-inch ClearBlack display and more restrained specifications.
New video believed to show Lumia 630, Windows Phone 8.1 features
A Nokia smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 has reportedly appeared in a new leaked hands-on video. The surfaced clip allegedly shows the Lumia 630, thought to be codenamed Moneypenny, using the Microsoft mobile operating system, showing the Action Center, apps for podcasts and radio, the new store app, and the layout of the camera app in the upcoming release.
Developer Preview of next Windows Phone version delayed by a week
The Windows Phone Store will be overhauled in Windows Phone 8.1, according to some new screenshots. At the same time, as the store changes have surfaced, there is also news the Windows Phone 8.1 core has been finalized, meaning that most of the main development of the mobile operating system has completed, but it is apparently still a long way off from reaching consumers.
Nokia event scheduled for first day of Microsoft developer conference
Nokia has started to send out invitations for an event promising "more Lumia" on April 2nd, the first day of the Microsoft Build developer conference. Considering the timing of the event, as well as the large amount of blue used on the invitation, it is likely that Nokia will not only be revealing its Windows Phone 8.1 plans, but also unveiling one or more Lumia smartphones.
Virtual assistant from Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1 demonstrated
Video of what is claimed to be a virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 has surfaced, showing the initial setup process. Cortana, named after the Halo character but could change before release, is shown to introduce itself to the user, asking for the user to set up their Microsoft account, naming the user, and asking a number of questions to set up initial notification preferences.
Virtual assistant settings menu shows Notebook, name options
Images of what could be the final form of Microsoft's Siri and Google Now competitor have surfaced. Cortana, named after the AI character from the Halo video game series but could still be rebranded for launch, has been previously said to have a similar personality to Siri, though in a nod to Google Now, the basic interface for the virtual assistant appears to offer a text-based entry option to go alongside the voice recognition system.
Virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1 to offer aspects of Siri, Google Now
The virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 will be a mix between Apple's Siri and Google Now, according to a report. The assistant, thought to be called "Cortana" after the AI character in the Halo video game series, will apparently replace the Bing search functionality in Windows Phone, and will use data from services such as Foursquare and Bing to give it Google Now-style contextual awareness.
Changes to multitasking, signs of merge with Windows RT spotted
Microsoft has started to provide developers with an SDK for the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to reports. At the same time, a developer has allegedly started to list the updates found in the SDK itself, with the update apparently including signs that Microsoft is working towards merging Windows Phone and Windows RT into a single platform.