Windows 8.1 rolls out to Windows Phone starting today

Nate Swanner - Jul 15, 2014, 1:15pm CDT
Windows 8.1 rolls out to Windows Phone starting today

Microsoft is announcing their Lumia Cyan software update is coming soon. Starting today, those Windows Phones running Windows 8 will start seeing the update. The Windows 8.1 update has a lot of bells and whistles, with Cortana leading the charge.

Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and does a more than adequate job of acting the part. Less personal assistant than Siri, but more personable than Google Now’s rigid search interface, Cortana bridges two polarizing services nicely. For a better idea of what Cortana brings to the table, check out our hands-on experience.

In addition to Cortana, users will also get a third column of tiles on the start screen. Three columns of tiles should have users navigating through Windows a bit easier than normal, and a custom background will really add to the personalization.

A single swipe now gets you to the notification center, and is your quick way to access settings. Business support is also incoming, with Microsoft touting “new enterprise features” that make work safer and easier. Of course, there is also Office, which Microsoft is working hard to implement everywhere.

The Lumia lineup will get enhanced camera features, and some google-y features like Storyteller and a refreshed camera roll. You can also install apps directly to an SD card, and get better recording with surround sound.

Your device will update automatically, so there’s not much you need to do. If you’re the anxious sort, you can check manually by visiting Settings >Phone update.

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