Update 1 will arrive later this year with features like folders on the Start screen and support for using Cortana in more countries.
Microsoft started rolling out the Windows Phone 8.1 update to devices very recently, and the company is now following up with details on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1.
Update 1 will be considerably minor compared to what Windows Phone 8.1 brought to the platform, but will still include welcome functionality. The update will introduce Live Folders on the OS, allowing users to group tiles into a single folder. Unlike home screen folders on Android or iOS, folders on Windows Phone will be dynamic and the tiles inside with continue to update with info, like they usually do when put on the Start screen.
Update 1 will also break Cortana’s US-only availability – Microsoft has confirmed that Cortana will be available in beta in China and the UK, and in alpha form for those opting in to use it in Canada, India, and Australia. Cortana will be renamed to Xiao Na on Chinese devices and have some abilities not available in other countries, including a different visual look, animations and sounds, specialized suggestions for people living in China, and the ability to “track local TV shows and celebrities.”
Other features in Update 1 will include Apps Corner, which will create a sandbox mode wherein only selected apps will be available for access to a particular user, improved performance in the Xbox Music app and background sync of content, support for OEM cases, ability to select multiple messages for forwarding and deletion, and VPN enhancements for Wi-Fi users with the option to send and receive data when connected to public hotspots.
With the Windows Phone 8.1 update still rolling out to various devices, Update 1 will take a few months to arrive. However, starting next month Microsoft will make a developer preview available for advanced users – it shouldn’t be long before a final release happens, with the HTC One (W8) for Windows possibly among the first devices to run Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 out of the box.