Thursday, April 3, 2014
Windows Phone 8.1
Cortana Voice Assistant
Microsoft has finally got its own voice assistant to compete with Apple's SIRI and Google Now , The system , named Cortana after a Halo character is still in beta . At first , Microsoft was not very concerned about a mobile assistant , but as time went on ,Microsoft realized the importance of having one because wearable technologies like smartwatches and
smart glass systems will mostly rely on voice commands . and so , aiming at the future , Microsoft launched their own version with similar and more added functionality to rival that of Apple and Google . Cortana will accept natural voice commands (natural voice commands are non specific instructions ex- "will i need a umbrella today" instead of weather for xxxx or "Weather") , these commands will be very similar in function to that of Apple's SIRI and it will answer your most of your questions . Unlike siri and Google Now , Cortana aims to be more of a overly attached voice assistant because it will track places you visit , go through your friends , net usage and your interests in order to be more close to you when you ask questions or suggestions and read emails and notify you of any scheduled events .of course being beta , the service will only be available in a few countries (US ,UK and China) at launch with the hopes of adding more later.
Live Tiles get a makeover
One of the biggest complains about windows phone was its lack of customization ,the live tiles were fun at launch , but it became boring as time went on , but now with Windows 8.1 , you an finally set custom wallpapers to your home screen* . As with every "conditions apply" star , the window phone approach to homescreen wallpapers is a bit different from the rest because the wallpaper sits behind the live tiles , the background is still black or white , but the wallpaper sits with the tiles making something that looks like a nice collage , speaking of tiles , the 8.1 update will let your device have a 3 column live tile layout even if your device is not a phablet like the Lumia 1520
Finally ...a notification center
After many years of protests , WindowsPhone has finally scored in on the notification bar with their own version called action center . Inspired from the Nokia X and Android pull down bars , Windows Phone Action center shows your usual phone toggles such as bluetooth , airplane mode etc , the bar also shows notifications , now playing music and other information .
Internet Explorer ......11
With IE the default choice of Windows Phone , the latest version of the mobile browser brings some new improvements such as a password manager , a new browser addition where text is saved to a mobile friendly reading view .IE 11 now supports WebGL uploading files to the internet ,HTML5 video players from websites like youtube and there is also a new InPrivate mode with incognito browsing where cookies and browsing history gets automatically deleted once the tab is closed which is good news for some (if you know what i mean ).
On screen keys are now available for handset manufacturers to use on their upcoming devices
Windows Phone 8.1 will support low end chipsets like the Snapdragon 200 ( found on the Nokia X) and the Snapdragon 400 (already found on the Lumia 525 and the upcoming 630)
Wordflow Keyboard brings Swype/swiftkey like features to WindowsPhone handsets
Ouiet hours mode shuts down unwanted notifications from people that are not included into a specific list for a certain time period (works similar to the do-not disturb feature from Apple)
Encryption for Emails are supported thanks to S/MIME support in Windows Phone 8.1
VPN's can now be added manually
Sense apps - sense apps can now regulate battery usage and show its consumption