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Windows Phone 8.1: Everything we know so far

Jared Newman | Feb. 12, 2014
Microsoft isn't likely to reveal Windows Phone 8.1 for another few months, but the details are already starting to slip, thanks to a handful of developer leaks.

Windows 8/RT convergence
While Microsoft hasn't really kept secret its plans to combine its app ecosystems for Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT, leaks from Reddit suggest that a full-blown merger isn't happening just yet. Still, Microsoft will reportedly add Javascript support to Windows Phone 8.1, so developers can target both app stores at once. A template in Visual Studio for universal apps could make this even easier.

Other changes
The other rumored changes in Windows Phone 8.1 are minor, but they help add up to a substantial update overall. Here's a sampling:

  • Possible file picker or manager
  • VPN support
  • Separate volume controls for various functions
  • Auto app updates
  • Improved YouTube Player with option for non-fullscreen playback
  • Location-based reminder capabilities for apps
  • Possible to change default messaging app
  • Improved camera app with burst mode

Microsoft is likely to announce Windows Phone 8.1 at its BUILD developer conference, which kicks off on April 2. A smaller update to Windows 8.1, dubbed Update 1, may also debut at the conference.

 

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