According to the Verge’s unnamed sources, Microsoft is preparing to ship Windows Phone 8.1, and the update is set to bring many features Windows phone users have been clamouring for.
The first is a Notification Centre which can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen, much like iOS and Android. A short swipe will reveal quick settings, while a longer swipe will reveal the full notification history – a nice touch and differentiator from the other mobile operating systems.
The next feature is the rumoured Cortana Voice Assistant agent, which will replace the existing Bing search and will work with both voice and text input. It will be similar to Google Now, with a conversational element and the ability to learn location context and data from the phone and will be able to automatically remind you when a meeting is nearing and how long you’ll need to reach an appointment.
The update will also bring Separate Volume Controls to Windows Phone, allowing users to control ringtone volume independently of media playback.
The OS will also have Bing Smart Search similar to Windows 8.1.
Business users in the mean time will appreciate the addition of VPN functionality.
The Verge’s sources also report the Xbox Music and Xbox Video will separate into separate hubs.
Apps like Facebook and twitter will also be able to extend the People Hub even more.
The OS is currently being beta tested with plans to fully detail the update at BUILD 2014 in April.
In terms of hardware running the OS, Nokia’s rumoured Goldfinder will a “3D Touch” system that detects off-the-glass interaction while Moneypenny will take advantage of the new on-screen Windows Phone 8.1 buttons.
If the leak is accurate, do our readers think Microsoft has done enough? Let us know below.
Via The Verge.com