Skip to main content

Cortana voice control tipped for Windows Phone 8.1

With Windows 8.1 out the door, Microsoft's next big software release will likely be Windows Phone 8.1, and we're now hearing some rumblings about what the updated mobile OS will include.

According to The Verge, Windows Phone 8.1 will fall in line with iOS 7 and Android with the introduction of a notification centre that users can access by swiping down from the top of the screen.

The blog also tipped a Siri-like digital assistant named Cortana, details of which first emerged in September. When it's finally released, Cortana will reportedly replace Bing search on Windows Phone and function much like Google Now, The Verge said.

Cortana has been featured in a number of versions of the Xbox game, Halo.

Meanwhile, the @evleaks Twitter account is back with more rumours. A 14 December post tipped the demise of a physical home button on Windows Phone, which would be replaced by touch-screen buttons. As Gotta Be Mobile noted, this would make it easy for Android phone makers to use the same phone design for Android and Windows Phone devices.

As for when we might see Windows Phone 8.1, The Verge says full details will be revealed at Microsoft's BUILD conference in April. We might get a sneak peek at February's Mobile World Congress, however, so stay tuned.

The rumours, meanwhile, come shortly after Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone Store now has more than 200,000 apps and is processing more than 12 million transactions per day.