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Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana

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SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Microsoft has officially launched Windows Phone 8.1 at BUILD 2014. The software update brings a new voice assistant called Cortana.

Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana

The main features include an Action Center, faster typing with Word Flow, greater Start screen personalization with Live Tiles, volume settings for individual settings, refresh image gallery, a sports app, and compatibility with Miracast.

The Action Center is a one-stop destination that notifies users mentioned in a Tweet, or of received a SMS or a missed call. Apart from regular notifications, Action Center has also introduced four quick customizable settings that will help users to toggle their phone between different modes, and connectivity – even when the phone is locked.

The introduction of Word Flow makes keyboard typing experience more intuitive and swift. Typing long words in no longer clumsy: users can simply glide their fingers over the screen and Word Flow will predict the desired word accurately. Over the period of time, Word Flow will easily predict the frequent expressions uses use on their Windows Phone 8.1 device, with compatibility of 16 different languages.

Windows Phone 8.1 now brings an extra column for Live Tiles. This means users will now get an added space to pin more apps on their home screen with easy to reach facility. Moreover, Live Tiles will now stand out from background pictures rather than just black and white.

Microsoft calls it the world’s first truly personal digital assistant: Cortana is an on-the-go guide with voice assistance and gets more acquainted to its users over a period of time based on the behavior of questions being asked. There are two ways to get access to Cortana: one is from the home screen Live Tiles, or by pressing the search button on the device. Users can interact with either voice command or by typing text, and Cortana will respond in the same manner.

The various tasks users perform every day each require different volume settings. Rather than having one volume level to control everything, users can now set levels independently, for ringtones or music playback, for example.

The Camera Roll has been improved so that it now gives quick access to images, sharing options and image editing tools. Cinemagraphs, Refocus photos and Smart Shots have been made alive directly in the Camera Roll. Users can also get quick access to the Creative Studio that hosts five new filters.

Windows Phone 8.1 comes with an integrated SensorCore SDK for Nokia Lumia phones. The SensorCore SDK basically keeps a track of users’ daily activities, such as how fast the user runs and where they spend their time.

Dolby Surround Sound was introduced particularly for Windows-Phone-based Nokia Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520, and  comes embedded with the new Nokia Lumia 930. This feature is joined with Nokia Rich Recording, meaning that recorded videos will exactly document sounds that users hear. The surround sound can be played in 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus format.

The three above-named Windows Phones are also facilitated to have wireless projection of content on Miracast-enabled screen, projectors and TV.

Windows Phone 8.1 will begin roll-out this summer with OTA updates.

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By , International Correspondent - Vadodara (India) office on Apr 3rd, 2014 GMT +2


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