January 7th, 2016
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First smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 available late April
Microsoft has officially revealed the new version of its mobile operation system Windows Phone 8.1 at the Microsoft Build conference, version 8.1 will include many new features, improved UI and most importantly Cortana, Microsoft’s own voice assistant. Lets take a look at some of the new features:
Action Center: Is the long awaited Notification center where you can find all of your notifications, access some basic functions like Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode and Driving mode. The notification center is also optimized for those using dual SIM Cards.
VPN and S/MIME: 8.1 now also lets you encrypt your emails and connect to a Virtual Private Network, a much demanded feature for users which have Windows Phone as a business phone.
Wi-Fi Sense: Makes connecting to Wifi and hotspots easier as it will now automatically connect to any network it can, It has also made connecting your friends to your personal wifi at home easier as you can now give permission to your friends coming over at your house to access your network without having to give them the password to your wifi.
Cortana: Windows Phone 8.1 is all about Cortana, which is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Samsung’s S voice. The voice assistant can make calls, appointments, stop and play music, make web searches, answer simple questions and even add a show to your Hulu Plus favorite list. The service is currently only available in the US but will soon roll out to the UK and Europe.
Microsoft hasn’t given us a specific release date for the new OS but it has confirmed that the first devices running it will become available late April or early March.