Windows Phone 8.1 Update Preview Starts Rolling Out to Developers
August 4, 2014 11:07 AM
comment(s) - last by
Update brings Live Folders, new localized test builds of Cortana, Xbox Music perks, mass SMS actions, and more
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (Developer) Preview
. And you can get it for free, if you so desire.
Normally, Windows Phone maker Microsoft Corp. (
) charges developers a relatively low fee -- $19 USD. But to get access to this and other Preview builds of upcoming Windows Phone updates on your device, you don't even need to pay that -- you just need to sign up for Microsoft's
App Studio program
, which is designed to court new developers. App Studio participants get access to Preview builds just like full-fledged developers -- except they get it for free (you have to pay once you sign up to sell your apps in the Windows Phone Store.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 continues Microsoft's
plodding, yet ambitious pace of upgrades
to its maturing mobile effort. It adds localized builds of the Cortana voice assistant in beta form for China (where it's called "Xiao Na", a common female name) and the UK. It also adds alpha builds of Cortana for India, Canada, and Australia.
Live Folders (
, "Photography" folder) and China-regionalized Cortaina (
, "Xiao Na")
Another key addition is the new Live Folders -- expandable bins for your Live Tile widgets that act similarly to app/widget bins in Android and iOS. Other features include updates to the Store tile (clickable links to new featured apps), updates to the Xbox Music hub, mass text message actions (check mark boxes for mass forwarding or deletion), additional customization for alarms, and more.
Microsoft tends to operate on a similar upgrade release cycle to Google Inc.'s (
) Android, first rolling out pending updates to developers (and power users). It then launches them the next month on new devices, before finally rolling out the update to existing devices via carriers.
Windows Phone 8.1
was announced in April. It
launched for developers that month
launched for new devices in May
. In July, two months later, it
finally began rolling out
to the masses with older Windows Phone 8 devices.
We can expect some new Lumia phones from Nokia Devices to be announced
(Sept. 5-10th) mobile electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany. Those devices can be expected to launch with the new Update onboard. For those with existing devices who wish to wait for their carrier, you can probably expect an update sometime in the October timeframe (again, similar to Android).
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/4/2014 1:21:53 PM
Is there ANY good reason (beyond the fact that MS apparently wants to continue to project an aura of lack of taste, lack of unity, lack of company direction) for this thing's name?
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1???? WTF?
Call the damn thing WP 8.2. Call it WP 8.1.1. Call it WP 8.5.
Any of these would indicate that something has changed within MS. But this ridiculous naming scheme --- is the bug fix version going to be Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Modification 1? --- tells us that regardless of what the PR may claim, internally MS is operating the same it has for the past 10 years (being run by committees that cannot decide on a single direction, so everything is a tasteless compromise), even as it fades into irrelevance.
8/4/2014 2:22:39 PM
Update X - New features, some bug fixes.
New builds are released on occasion that are just bug fixes.
Not really that difficult.
8/5/2014 7:09:09 PM
In addition to that it is to show unity with the other platform. WP8.1 more or less went with Win8.1, Update 1 more or less goes with Update 1 for the desktop. As the platforms continue to merge the updates will come closer together and it will make more sense. With Threshold/9/One we will supposedly see updates come at the same time or within a few weeks of each other rather than months apart.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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