The next version of Windows Phone is shaping up to be the biggest evolution of Microsoft’s mobile operating system yet. We already know that Cortana, the Windows Phone voice-controlled digital assistant, will have advanced privacy settings for users that want to be in complete control of how much data they share, and we think the official reveal of Cortana will take place at Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference next month, but we still don’t have a clear picture of what Cortana will look like. Until now. More →
Microsoft is finally bringing a notification center to Windows Phone in the next major update. Action Center, as it has been dubbed, works almost identically to the notification centers that appear on Android and iOS devices. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal a log of messages, emails and updates you haven’t checked yet. A bar at the top of the Action Center will feature a set of four customizable buttons for quick access. If you find yourself in the airport on a weekly basis, put Airplane Mode in the shortcut bar; if you’re constantly fiddling with the brightness settings, you can slide that to the top as well. Check out the video below and breathe a sigh of relief that Windows Phone 8.1 is finally catching up with the competition. More →
Now that the Nokia acquisition is all but finalized, Microsoft is back at work improving Windows Phone. The latest leaked image from @evleaks shows off just a sliver of the Windows Phone 8.1 UI, but it appears to indicate that the next major update for Microsoft’s mobile OS will include on-screen buttons. The update will make it easier for manufacturers to develop a wider range of hardware for the Windows Phone platform. As The Verge points out, Android phone makers might even have the opportunity to recycle or recreate hardware to suit the buttonless Windows Phone. The leaked image of the virtual buttons follows below. More →
For a long time, many analysts and observers have wondered, “What’s the point of Windows RT?” And if the latest rumors from Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows are to be believed, Microsoft engineers may be wondering the same thing as well. According to one of Thurrott’s sources, Microsoft is designing its upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release to support larger displays of between 7 to 10 inches. This would obviously mean that Microsoft had made Windows Phone into a legitimate tablet platform, just as iOS and Android are designed to work on both tablets and smartphones. Thurrott says that “this obviously infringes on Windows RT/8.x tablets, so it’s not clear what the thinking is there,” although he also emphasizes that this rumor comes from only one source.