Windows Phone 8.1 is currently being beta tested internally and should be unveiled to developers at the Build Developer Conference in April. The Notification Center is enabled by swiping down from the top of the display, similar to iOS and Android. New quick settings are shown by a short swipe down and the full notification history is shown by a longer swipe.
Another key feature in the upcoming 8.1 update is the inclusion of "Cortana," a personal digital assistant. Microsoft has been testing Cortana for a number of months, and we understand it will replace the existing Bing search on Windows Phone to allow users to interact using voice or text input. We’re told it’s similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri technology, with conversational interaction and the ability to learn location context and data from the phone. Like Google Now, it will automatically remind you when a meeting is approaching and how long you’ll need to reach an appointment.
Other improvements including separate volume controls for ringer and media, VPN support for enterprise, separate Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps, and more.
Nokia is also said to be readying two handsets for the update. One, codenamed "Goldfinger" is said to include a "3D Touch" system that detects gestures off-the-glass. Another dubbed "Moneypenny" will take advantage of new on-screen Windows Phone 8.1 buttons that are available to device makers.