Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Update brings new features

After Windows Phone 8.1 was released last month, Microsoft rushed to include its first update. As the Windows Phone has been behind iOS and Android in terms of common features since… forever, the updated finally tries to catch up and provide a smoother user experience. The most highlighted of all features is the now common action of merging apps into folders. Dragging and dropping one Live Tile over another will create a live folder that expands when tapped. This can go a long way into organizing a crowded metro interface.

Messages, calls and contacts now support multiple selection and can be deleted quicker. Apps Corner is a new feature that restricts access to all but specified applications, a feature seen before in some mobile security software apps. It is essentially useful for company phones or phones given to kids. Because employees and kids are somewhat similar. Accessory Apps allows you to convey notifications to your smartwatch, if the smartwatch supports Windows Phone of course. Other features include Internet Sharing which is essentially Bluetooth tethering and an improved Narrator that can be customized to omit reading specific buttons or to unlock your phone a little bit easier.

8.1 Update will also hear Cortana talking in a different language. As Microsoft makes her available in Canada, Australia and the UK as an alpha version, China will also experience an animated talking face. No, it won’t be what fans of Halo imagine, but a yellow blob with black eyes. This is tailored especially for the Chinese market and will not be available in other regions although a lot of localization work has been put into each version. Performance wise, Windows Phone 8.1 Update also comes with Quick Charge technology from Qualcomm and  7 inch displays will have access to the 1280 x 800 resolution.

Although Windows Mobile 8.1 Update is not a huge overhaul, it is probably the first of a series of updates that might just help Microsoft get on par with the rest of the crowd on the mobile market.