Windows Phone 8.1 Update: Making Mobile More Personal

Windows Phone 8.1 update JoeBelfiore

Yesterday was a big day for Windows Phone as many updates were announced at the BUILD 2014 Developer’s Conference.  What is more interesting is that most of the updates announced were based on customer and partner feedback in making The Most Personal Smartphone better.  The list of upcoming enhancements includes:

 

Cortana – Meet Your Own Personal Assistant

Windows Phone 8.1update Cortana

Halo fans rejoiced as the unveiling of “Cortana” was made official today and will be taking over all search functionality for Windows Phone 8.1.  Cortana was the result of months of research as to what a personal assistance’s role is and how it can be digitally offered.  While still in beta, Cortana can book appointments, take notes and find you the nearest coffee shop via voice command or by entering text.  What more, Cortana learns your habits and favorites to further enable your daily activities in future.


Action Center

Windows 8.1 now includes an Action Center that is customizable to your specific needs.  Four customizable quick settings enable access to switch on operations such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth even when the phone is locked.  All notifications are also posted in the Action Center ensuring you are kept up to date on any missed items.


Word Flow

Windows Phone 8.1 is now officially the Guinness Book record holder for the fastest text entry by a smartphone thanks to the newly offered Word Flow. Supporting 16 languages, Word Flow allows you to glide your finger across your keyboard instead of typing out each letter.   Start Screen & Lock Screen Personalization Enhancements

Backgrounds can now be added to your Smart Screen alongside your tile placement, which can also be enhanced to incorporate more tiles.  Lock screen look and feel is also customizable and can be tailored to suit your individual tastes in terms of functionality.


Improved Calendar

Designed to look and feel more like Outlook on your PC, the improved Windows 8.1 calendar provides you with a more intuitive navigation between days/weeks/months; a glanceable week view which allows you to also click into each day to see appointments; a more functional and interactive month view and finally weather of your locale reported at the top.


Business Enhancements

BYOD enablers rejoice as Windows Phone 8.1 will receive a plethora of business updates.  These updates include Enterprise VPN and Wi-Fi capabilities, S/MIME for Secure Encrypted Email, further Mobile Device Management enablement and many other business specific capabilities.

 

A full recap and demo of all the above upcoming features announced for Windows 8.1 can be viewed here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/KEY01

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