Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:59 UTC

Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 to those who enrolled in the developer preview program (i.e., everyone).

Ars' Peter Bright in his review of 8.1:

The result feels a whole lot more mature and a whole lot more capable than its predecessor. The 0.1 version bump, chosen to align the phone platform with its desktop sibling, belies the true nature of this upgrade. It is substantial, and makes Windows Phone tremendously better.

We might still wish that there were a few more apps, and that developers spoke of the platform in the same breath as iOS and Android, but even in spite of this, Windows Phone 8.1 is a polished, fun, clever, and personal smartphone platform that's just about everyone can enjoy. It's a magnificent smartphone platform.

I've been using it since earlier today, and the notification centre (finally) alone is more than enough to make this a fantastic update. Sadly, my HTC 8X does not seem to be supported by Cortana - other 8X owners are reporting the same, as do 8X owners on Twitter - which makes me worry a little about Cortana, perhaps, being an exclusive feature for Nokia phones, or it having some other restrictive limitations. That, honestly, would be a shame.

Update: Here's an 8X with Cortana working just fine, so the original worries clearly aren't necessary.

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today's update
by Dano on Tue 15th Apr 2014 00:58 UTC
Member since:

Playing around with the update today on my Nokia 925. Damn the swipe keyboard alone is worth the update. It's even better than Swype right out of the gate... Notification center is cool but you have to shut off all of the email being reported as notifications. Cortana is neat for phone commands but I thought that it would be more chatty than it is. It's definitely still in beta... It often jumps to Bing searches more than processing commands but the voice recognition is totally amazing. Calendar updated and is updated like a new button to jump from mobile web to regular web site is really appreciated. Simplified call answer screen and Skype button on dial pad is nice. Still no select all button for email check boxes... Am I missing something? Took about a half of an hour and two restarts to upgrade the phone but everything went smoothly.

Edited 2014-04-15 00:59 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: today's update
by manjabes on Tue 15th Apr 2014 06:11 in reply to "today's update"
manjabes Member since:

Yeah, the swype keyboard may be cool, but it's only available on the english keyboard layout. For my native language, they haven't event managed to enable the word prediction in 1.5 years. Not holding my breath for that swype goodness neither.
And for each bug/quirk fixed or sort-of-fixed in Mobile IE, they have introduced 1.5 new ones. Not that impressive.
The picture-as-background and notification center quick shortcuts are nice, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: today's update
by Dryhte on Tue 15th Apr 2014 09:02 in reply to "RE: today's update"
Dryhte Member since:

Yep my problem exactly.
Word autocorrection in my own language (dutch) is quite bad for short words (often capitalizing them as if they were letter words, which is weird) and swiping hasn't been implemented.
examples: 'ze' (they/she) becomes ZE, 'me' (me) becomes ME... apparently the damn thing doesn't want to learn because I keep changing it back to lowercase and it keeps suggesting the uppercase.

Edited 2014-04-15 09:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: today's update
by dsmogor on Wed 16th Apr 2014 10:55 in reply to "RE: today's update"
dsmogor Member since:

For word endings rich languages like slavic languages most word prediction schemes optimized for latin / germanic languages turn out quite counter productive.
Not only they treat inflection variants as separate words leading to dictionary sizes explosion and outright gaps, their context probability engines do poor job suggesting right variant due to sheer number of combinations. Nothing is more frustrating than a dictionary stubbornly offering wrong variant (bc, it only has limited selection) despite having all the letters.

All that makes this (Samsung keyboards are definitely worst here) not worth the hassle in leading user to turning it off.
That in turn forces user to drop usage accented / acute letters (which are hindrance to use in touch keyboards) resulting in crippled, text pretending to be in the actual language.
Touch input have a long way to go to be any useful outside of informal communication realm for non-latin languages.

I'm still quite shocked nobody have yet developed prediction scheme optimized for other families of languages than latin.

(I don't what's the situation for languages of Asia / Africa though).

Reply Parent Score: 5