Windows 8.1 OS update
For the last year, analysts have anticipated updates to Windows 8.1, with several leaks along the way, with the most significant update being better interaction with traditional inputs. Called “Update 1,” the update makes the OS available to less expensive devices, and uses under 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage.
For devices running Windows 8.1, if they’re not touch-focused, they boot to the desktop, which is a welcome change. Also changing is the interface and how pinning apps to the desktop taskbar works, and the way apps close is also changing.
Microsoft has not yet announced when developers and consumers will have access to the code, and be able to begin developing apps around the updates.
Windows Phone 8.1 also updated
Windows Phone Central has the most comprehensive list of the new Windows Phone 8.1 features, finalized by today’s announcements. Windows Phone 8.1 will come pre-installed on new phones starting at the end of the month.
Included in the updates is a new Action Center which offers an immediate glance of a phone’s SIM data, app use, battery information, and more. The lockscreen will now let you “take over” your start screen, offering more interactivity. The calendar will be updated with new features, and Skype will now be better integrated into the device.
Users will be happy about the improved keyboard, which the company calls “way better,” allowing swiping around the keyboard.
Most importantly is the announcement of Cortana, which is Microsoft’s version of Siri, and will be powered by Bing, and learns from the user – it can text, search, schedule, and more, and what sets it apart from Siri is that it can be used by other applications, giving developers new ways to use the OS.