According to a new report, Microsoft is currently testing a beta version of Windows Phone 8.1, which features two big changes – the addition of a highly-requested notification center and a Siri-like personal assistant. Microsoft is rumored to unveil Windows Phone 8.1 during the Build 2014 developer conference in April.
The highly-requested notification center can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen, similar to the notification center on Android and iOS. So for those wishing for a more unique notification center, you may be disappointed. A short swipe from the top exposes quick settings while a longer swipe from the top displays the entire notification history.
Microsoft is also working on a Siri-like personal assistant for Windows Phone, which we have learned in the past to be Cortana. Microsoft has apparently been testing Cortana for months now and may replace the existing Bing search on Windows Phone – allowing users to interact using voice or text input. This feature is reportedly just like Google Now or Apple’s Siri.
“We’re told it’s 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 nearing and how long you’ll need to reach an appointment,” The Verge stated.
Windows Phone 8.1 is also coming with other new features and tweaks, including the ability to control the ringtone volume separately from the media playback volume. Windows Phone 8.1 is also rumored to add Bing Smart Search results, similar to Windows 8.1, along with VPN support for enterprise users.
The Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps are also rumored to be shipped as separate apps for Windows Phone 8.1, along with apps like Twitter and Facebook to have the ability to extend the People Hub.
These details come from The Verge, who cite source close to the matter. As the Build 2014 developer conference approaches, expect to hear more about Windows Phone 8.1.