Windows Phone 8.1 finally includes Notification Center, Cortana voice assistant, and volume control

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This is the big one, folks. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have told The Verge about a slew of upcoming features in Windows Phone 8.1. These features include a Notification Center, Cortana, quick settings, volume control, and much more. This is the big update that Windows Phone so desperately needs.

The most important feature is the Notification Center, which has been an often requested feature from users. The Verge says it will be enabled with a swipe down from the top of the screen, like in Android and iOS. A short swipe will expose quick settings while a longer swipe will display the full notifications. This is currently being used in beta versions of Windows Phone 8.1.

Cortana is the next big feature. The Verge says it will replace the existing Bing Search app. Cortana will use voice and text input for conversation interaction, like Google Now and Siri. One of the similar features to Google Now includes reminders for upcoming meetings and how long it will take to get somewhere. Speaking of search, Bing Smart Search from Windows 8.1 will be added to phones too.

The last, but most certainly not least, feature is independent volume control. This is a basic feature that other platforms have enjoyed for years. it simply allows you to control the volume for media, ringtones, alarms, etc. independently from one another. No more blasting the volume from a video because your ringer is turned up all the way.

Nokia will have two phones ready to launch with Windows Phone 8.1. The previously leaked Goldfinger will have 3D touchless gestures, and Moneypenny will have the new on-screen buttons. All of this is expected to come in April 2014.

 


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