Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update And Cortana Beta.
Microsoft has finally decided to officially announce the new Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed “Blue.” The new feature were demonstrated during Microsoft April 2 Build 2014 keynote mirror, with unveiling of features that had previously been leaked during the past couple of months.
One leaked information was Cortana, Microsoft’s new personal assistant that will compete against Google now and Apple Siri, will now be part of the new operating system. Cortana is currently designated as beta once it has arrived on the Windows Phone 8.1 update. It will be powered by Bind and replace the current Bing search engine that was built into Windows Phone.
Cortana, which has been named after the video game character of the famous “Halo” franchise, looks like an orb or halo. The voice for Cortana has been provided by Jen Taylor, who also voiced the character in the “Halo” series. Users will be able to interact with Cortana by either speaking or typing to it.
Cortana will also be integrated with Skype and other Microsoft applications, allowing users to see prompts such as “ask so and so about an item” when interacting with Skyp audio and video conversation with her, Microsoft will also be opening up Cortana so that third-part developers can integrate with it.
Microsoft officials have not commented on when Cortana will become available for Windows and Xbox One systems.
A notification center will also become a part of Windows Phone 8.1 update. The lock screen will also be able to be modified by user selectable background images that can be used on the phone start screen, so that the image shows through the live tiles in the Background.
A third column of tiles for the dives has also been added, and not just with a 5-inch and larger screen, but for every screen available. Data sense and Wi-Fi sense will also be updated as well.
Internet Explorer 11 and VPN support will be built into the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Other specific features for enterprises, like S/MIME mail support, mobile-device management customization and certificate management will also be supported on this platform.
The calendar application, Windows Phone Store, Xbox Music and Skype application will all be included in the update as well once the release date comes around.
A new Microsoft blog post lists many of the “hundreds” of new features in the Windows Phone 8.1 release.
Microsoft has planned to make Windows Phone 8.1 available to all of its developing community with the coming months. The new OS will also being to roll out to existing Windows Phone users starting sometime this summer.