It comes with Live Folders, brings Cortana to more markets
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, appears to have already started rolling out to the owners of handsets running under the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview platform release.Last week, Microsoft officially announced plans to make the update available for users starting this week, but it did not provide a specific date for when it would begin rolling out.
As it turns out, that day appears to be today, as some of those who currently own a handset running under the Developer Preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 have already received the update, and have already managed to install it.
Microsoft hasn’t made an official announcement on the matter as of now, but the number of reports claiming that the deployment is underway suggests that the rollout is indeed ramping up.
Unfortunately, only Developer Preview devices are seeing the new update as available for them, and they will be the only ones to receive it for now.
Handsets running under the commercial version of Windows Phone 8.1 are expected to get a taste of the update in the coming months, after Microsoft adds the final touches to the new platform iteration.
According to WPCentral, two updates will be pushed to Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview devices, one of them featuring version 8.10.12400.899, while the other set to land as build number 8.10.14147.180 (in line with the previously spotted 8.10.14147.0 version).
For those out of the loop, we should note that Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 arrives on smartphones with a nice range of new features and enhancements, while also bringing Cortana, the digital personal assistant, to more countries out there, including the UK, China, Canada, India, and Australia.
Cortana will feature a series of localized customizations in the UK and China, including a new visual appearance, animations, and sounds for the latter, and a brand new voice (spellings and pronunciations) for the former.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 also offers users new features such as Live Folders, so that they can group applications together on the Start Screen, and an updated Xbox Music experience.
Additionally, it will provide users with a Store Live Tile, SMS merge & forwarding, and with Apps Corner, a brand new feature aimed at enterprises (it allows IT managers to specify applications that will run in a sandboxed mode).
Users will also be able to send and receive data through a virtual private network (VPN), which will increase the privacy and security of handsets.
Those of you who own a smartphone running under the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview should receive a notification on the availability of this update very soon. You can also head over to Settings > Phone update to manually check on its availability.
However, we assume that the rollout will be phased, which means that some of you will have to wait for a few days before the update is available for them.