Microsoft Preparing Windows Phone 8.1 Update for Developers
Microsoft plans to deliver a Windows Phone 8.1 update to developers next week with new Apps Corner, VPN features and other developer goodness.Microsoft is preparing to deliver a new version of Windows Phone 8.1 that will be available in preview to developers as of next week. Company sources said the update will feature enhancements to the Cortana virtual assistant as well as a new feature called Apps Corner, new VPN capabilities, Live Folders and Xbox music improvements, among other things. The new version, expected to be called Windows Phone 8.1 Update, includes Apps Corner, which enables users to select which apps are displayed in a special “sandboxed” mode--like a protected Start screen--that restricts which apps are used. This feature is for businesses so they can allow access to select apps. Apps Corner can also be used to boot straight to an app. Moreover, from an analytics perspective, developers can get data on usage from inside Apps Corner, too. Another feature that will excite businesses is the new VPN capability in Windows Phone 8.1 Update. Microsoft has made some improvements in the new version to keep users' data and identity more protected on public networks. The company has added the ability for users to send and receive data through a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, providing another layer of protection. And for users on their own home wireless, creating a VPN provides anonymity to help shield them from being identified by other devices on the network.
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that Cortana will be available in China–where it is known as “Xiao Na”–and the UK as a beta and in Canada, India and Australia as an “alpha” release.