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Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan on a Nokia Lumia 1520
The Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview launched in April and I loaded it up on my Nokia Lumia 1020. My awesome Nokia Lumia 1520 just received the official Windows Phone 8.1 and Nokia Cyan updates yesterday morning and it looks like the Lumia 1520 is my daily driver again.
Windows Phone 8.1 improvements
The major new feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana and I have come to find it much better than Siri or Google Now over the past couple of months. I especially love the location-based reminders that let me make shopping lists appear when I arrive at the specific store applicable to that shopping list.
In addition to Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1 brings:
- Quiet hours and Inner Circle in Cortana
- Action Center
- Word Flow keyboard
- Start screen backgrounds
- Backup and sync options
- Internet Explorer 11
- Updated Calendar application
- Wi-Fi Sense, Data Sense, Storage Sense, and Battery Saver
- Installed and updated apps show New in app list
- Speed Dial under Phone utility
- Live lock screen beta
There are many more improvements in Windows Phone 8.1; check out the Microsoft announcement with all the details. After using the Developer Preview, I just couldn't even use my Lumia 1520 again when I took it back to 8.0 as I waited for the 8.1 update to hit my device. Check out my screenshot gallery to see how some of these improvements look on a Nokia Lumia 1520.
Nokia Lumia Cyan improvements
Most Windows Phone devices are Nokia Lumia devices so most of you will also see the Lumia Cyan update. Windows Phone 8.1 provides backend support for some of these improvements, while others are related to Nokia's work to make their devices even better.
Lumia Cyan improvements include:
- Bluetooth Low Energy
- Motion data
- Living Images
- Dolby sound improvements
- Miracast support
- Improved camera performance
I am particularly interested in checking out the improved camera software and Bluetooth LE support that will finally allow me to use my Fitbit, and hopefully Pebble, with my Windows Phone devices. WPCentral has more details on the Lumia Cyan update.
More ZDNet Windows Phone 8 coverage
- Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview screenshot gallery
- Cortana: I want Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 developer bits
- There's a Nokia Lumia 1520 that is the best, it's just not from AT&T
- Why Windows Phone 8.1 became my daily driver again
- Windows Phone 8.1 Action Center provides a balanced alert system
- Microsoft's new Word Flow keyboard is the best smartphone text entry system
Cortana beats Siri and Google Now
You can use Cortana as a voice control assistant, as well as a personal assistant showing you what matters to you each day.