Windows Phone 8.1 Available Through App Studio Program, Developer Preview Version Update Also Available
The times have come and Microsoft has released Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to the general population. The Update 1 can be grabbed by those who signed up earlier for the Developer Preview version of the operating system, through an update of that version. If you, however, did not sign up for the Developer Preview version, you can still get the new Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 through Microsoft’s App Studio Program, so either way, the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is available for everyone.
There seem to be two versions of the software available: One identified as 8.10.12400.899, and a GDR1 version of the update, identified as 8.10.14147.180. For those of you who aren’t savvy enough to usually care for these details, GDR mean General Distribution Release, and it includes many fixes and support plus enhancements for hardware. You can think of it as what a Service Pack is for the desktop version of the Windows operating system. The Windows Phone 8 Update 3 which arrived in December 2013 is the last GDR released until now.
In the latest update, Microsoft brought Live Folders, which basically means that now you can drag and stack up tiles in your Start screen, so that they will create a folder. Another feature worth mentioning from this new update, is the US version of Cortana, the digital assistant brought to life by Microsoft. Users from Canada, Australia and India for example only have access to a a beta version. The beta version of Cortana for China and the UK is expected to come in a short time.
The new update also lets you merge several text messages and forward them to a group, or delete the group. Other updated areas such as the ability to customize your alarm snooze function, VPN support, interactive phone covers, and, not to mention, better functioning Xbox Music.If you can wait until September, you can get this update directly to your phone through the OTA (Over The Air) system. That is, of course, for those that doesn’t feel like signing up for the Developer Preview version or using the App Studio.