Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 reaches RTM, may arrive next week for developers

Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 reaches RTM, may arrive next week for developers

Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 update is now rolling out to Windows Phone 8 users. But Microsoft has been hard at work developing the next update to their mobile platform, which is dubbed GDR1. This update has reportedly already reached RTM, which means it has been released to manufacturers in order to be installed in a new generation of devices.

The GDR1 update could eventually be released as Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to existing Windows Phones and is expected to being many enhancements for OEMs along with a few new features for end users. Before it reaches the general public, Microsoft could push out the update for those using Preview for Developers as early as next week.

The Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is expected to bring the following new features and improvements:
  • Expansion of Cortana to more regions - With Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Cortana will be rolled out beyond the US, and will be made available to users in UK and China. Meanwhile Microsoft's digital voice assistant will also be released in alpha form to users in Canada, India and Australia.
  • Folders on the Start Screen will allow users to grouple multiple Live tiles into a particular category (folder) for better organization of your tiles. You will be able to label and arrange the folders any way you choose. They are created by simply dragging one app on top of another and then naming the folder. This feature is already available on Windows 8/RT so it makes sense that Windows Phone users get to experience it too.
  • Support for Interactive Cases will allow manufacturers like HTC to bring their Dot View case to Windows Phones. While the company has still not announced their rumored HTC One W8, the addition of this feature on Windows Phones could indicate a Windows Phone running HTC One M8 could be in our futures.
  • Updates to Xbox Music will offer better performance while launching the app along with some returning features like background synchronization, swipe to advance and "quickplay".
  • Ability to select multiple SMS messages for deleting or forwarding.
  • Voice over LTE support.
  • Support for extra resolutions and more devices.
  • A medium Live Tile for the native Microsoft Store app which will refresh every 6 hours with the latest updates on content.
  • An apps corner for business users, which will allow them to better control how apps can be accessed in certain environments
  • Support for NTP (Network Time Protocol).
  • Cortana can be added as phonebook entry to enable integration with car’s navigation system.
  • Dual-SIM capability for both GSM+CDMA networks.
  • “Auto scan for updates” entry can be hidden by OEMs.
  • SD-card support no longer required for OEMs.
  • OEMs can change the Start screen layout.

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