Windows Phone 8.1 introduces cool new features

Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1 at its BUILD 2014 keynote event. The company also revealed that the update would be arriving on new Windows smartphones as early as late-April and early May, and rolling out to compatible phones ‘in the coming months’.

Windows Phone YouTube app

Joe Belfiore, VP Windows Phone program management and design, said 2 new hardware partners would be joining Windows Phone Mobile OS system – Micromax an Indian manufacturer and Prestigo. The VP briefly showcased the handsets from the manufacturers at the event. The partnership signals opening up the mobile OS to new markets around the world.

Windows Phone 8.1 Features

New Action Center

The Phone mobile OS finally gets a dedicated Action Center for notifications. It will be made  accessible from any part of the OS simply by swiping from the top of the screen. The center will serve notifications for new emails, new Facebook posts and others.

Updated Lock Screen

A new lock screen feature will offer users put up their own photos and use them as Start screen backgrounds.

New App Store Experience

The app store experience has been improved. It now accommodates a new calendar view too.

Wi-Fi Connections

The Redmond giant also revealed Wi-Fi Sense, a better way to connect a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone to a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Apart from these, Microsoft has rolled out the Windows Phone 8.1 Development Tools RC for developers. The Windows Phone development tools cover every information you need to develop apps and games for Windows Phone. The Windows Phone 8.1 development tools are included with Visual Studio 2013 (Update 2 or later).

It is also likely that, Microsoft will add a number of features made for business users in Windows Phone 8.1, including a way for IT workers to disable games in a device so they can be used just for work.

The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in technology and has an immense interest in following Microsoft and other technology developments around the world. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.

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