Microsoft announced some major updates to Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the developer conference - Build 2014 held at Moscone Center, San Francisco.
Cortana - Personal digital assistant
Microsoft announced personal digital assistant for Windows Phone - Cortana. The name is inspired by the artificial intelligence character from the Halo video game series.
Similar to Google Now, Cortana learns from the web searches you perform and the locations you frequent to try and provide contextually sensitive and timely information. You can ask Cortana through a voice search or by typing. Overtime, Cortana learns about you and stores the data in a 'Notebook' which users can edit if they want to.
New features in Windows Phone 8.1
Action Center - New centralized place for all the notifications and quick settings. You'll be able to customize which apps can send notifications to Action Center and whether they're allowed to vibrate the phone.
Camera - Improved camera with Burst mode (To capture multiple photos with one press of the camera button), stable shots and improved collections of photos.
Battery Saver - Battery saving mode to save the battery when its low.
Storage Sense - To see storage and easily transfer apps from your phone to SD card, to maximize space.
Data Sense - To see the overall as well as per-app data consumption.
Wi-Fi Sense - Automatically connects to free Wi-Fi hotspots and let you share your Wi-Fi network with friends without giving the password.
Windows 8.1 update
After many rumors and leaks, Microsoft announced major updates to Windows 8.1.
Title bar on Windows Store apps - There is now title bar on every Windows Store app (Metro app) with minimise & close buttons.
Taskbar back in control - Windows store apps (Metro apps) can now be pinned to the taskbar. The metro apps can also be opened in a window on the Desktop.
Start menu is back - A new customisable Start menu is introduced in the update. You can pin the apps in the start menu and can launch directly from it.
The update will roll out on April 8th via Windows Store.