Will Verduzco · Dec 16, 2013 at 03:00 pm

Windows Phone 8.1 to Receive Major Facelift Including Notification Center, “Cortana” Voice Assistant, Virtual Buttons

Just one week ago, we talked about how Microsoft was contemplating axing licensing fees on its Windows Phone and Windows RT OSes in order to help spur adoption and exposure to Microsoft services and advertising. As it turns out, that’s not the only big shakeup Microsoft has in mind with regards to its mobile OSes. While no details have yet been officially released, sources have revealed to The Verge that the next version of the OS will pack some major (and much needed) additions.

The most long overdue feature addition that is likely to appear in Windows Phone 8.1″Blue” is a notification center. Unlike Android and iOS, Windows Phone currently has no centralized place for notifications to be read, acted on, and dismissed. But in internal Windows Phone 8.1 betas, a new notification system is present. This notification system is two part: a short swipe from the top exposes quick device settings, whereas a longer swipe from the top displays your full notification history.

In addition to the notification center, WP8.1 is also rumored to feature the “Cortana” digital assistant. Allegedly, this has already been in testing for months, and it is set to replace the current system-wide Bing search. It will also likely feature location-aware automatic reminder capabilities such as what’s already present in Google Now.

Finally a few other small tweaks are set to appear in WP 8.1 such as on-screen navigation buttons (seen in the mockup image courtesy of Evleaks and TheVerge), smart search results similar to what is already present in Windows 8.1, VPN support, independent volume controls for media playback and ringtone volume, and the separation of Xbox Music and Xbox Video. The company is also reportedly planning on allowing social media apps to interface with its People hub to an even greater degree.

Microsoft certainly has some rather large tweaks in store for Windows Phone. Regardless of what happens with the licensing fees, Windows Phone looks like it is about to catch its second wind. Do all these new tweaks make the prospect of owning a Windows Phone more appealing to you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

[Source: TheVerge]


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
Emil Kako · Apr 24, 2015 at 03:11 pm · 4 comments

What Are the Best Looking Apps on Android?

As more developers are updating their apps with Material Design elements, we're starting to see a plethora of beautiful new apps on the Play Store. But which ones are the best? Let us know what you think the best looking apps on Android are and why.

DISCUSS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Apr 24, 2015 at 01:24 pm · 3 comments

Cyngn Explained: Who’s Cyanogen, What’s Cyanogen OS?

While Cyanogen, Inc has been the source of many headlines lately, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the differences between Cyanogen, Inc and CyanogenMod developers, as well as Cyanogen OS and the CyanogenMod ROM that so many XDA users love. The entities surrounding each of these are sometimes different and sometimes intertwined. We’ve gotten messages and comments requesting for a clearer distinction between these for future reference, which is why we are writing this feature. Let’s start...

XDA NEWS
Jimmy McGee · Apr 24, 2015 at 06:30 am · 3 comments

Android 5.1.1 Released, Google Cell Service – XDA TV

Android Lollipop 5.1.1 has been released. That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week's news is the announcement of the new Google Cell Service and what we know about it and be sure to check out the article talking about the release of the Sony Xperia Z4. That's not all that's covered in today's video! Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on...

XDA NEWS
Share This