Windows Phone 8.1, set for a public reveal at Microsoft’s Build conference in April, brings two iOS and Android standards to Windows Phone, including a Notification Center and a smart personal assistant.
Sources familiar with the unreleased update for Microsoft’s mobile operating system have said that the 8.1 update will see a Siri-style personal assistant introduced, codenamed “Cortana,” and also a notification center that collects all your notices in one place. It’ said to be similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri technology, with conversational interaction and the ability to learn location context and data from the phone. Like Google Now, it will automatically remind you when a meeting is approaching and how long you’ll need to reach an appointment.
Microsoft is also building other new features into Windows Phone 8.1, including separate volume controls allowing users to control ringtone volume independently of media playback. Microsoft is also adding Bing Smart Search results that are similar to Windows 8.1, and VPN support for enterprise users. In keeping with plans to update the video and music parts of Windows Phone more regularly, Microsoft is also separating out the built-in music hub in Windows Phone 8.1. Xbox Music and Xbox Video will ship as separate apps for 8.1.
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