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Microsoft starts rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to developers

The Nokia Lumia 1520 was one of the first devices to receive the new Windows Phone 8.1 update.
Karlis Dammbrans - Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft have been hitting the ball out of the park lately when it comes to their Windows Phone platform, and they are going big again today. After announcing late last week that they would begin rolling out the GDR1 update for Windows Phone 8.1, the Redmond, Washington-based giant started rolling out the update to WP8.1 developers on August 4.

The update is the first of two planned updates to compliment the huge Windows Phone 8.1 update that has only just started rolling out to devices around the globe. The 8.1 update brought many new features to the platform including Cortana (Windows Phone’s answer to Siri), Action Center, and the WordFlow keyboard to name a few, and the GDR1 update brings even more goodies to the table.

The GDR1 update will continue to build on the success of the last update to the platform by adding features such as Live Folders, which is a feature that will allow users to create dynamic folders of apps on the start screen. Other features include an updated Xbox Music app, Windows Phone Store live tiles, improvements to SMS messaging, a new App Corner that will allow users to determine which apps can be seen by other users when they use the phone, and major improvements that will enhance both the privacy and security features of the platform.

The latest update will not just be about additions to software though, as the GDR1 update will open some new doors for device manufacturers. Update 1 will enable Windows Phone to run on devices with 7-inch screens, it adds support for VoLTE (Voice over LTE), support for qHD displays, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, which allows rapid battery charging for devices using the Snapdragon 800 processor and up. The update will also include support for the aptX codec (high definition audio support for Bluetooth), Bluetooth personal area networks, and interactive case covers like the HTC One M8 Dot View Case.

While this update is nowhere near as big as the Windows Phone 8.1 update, GDR1 still packs quite a punch. The Windows Phone platform seems to be evolving very quickly these days, and after spending the last few years languishing in the shadows of both the iPhone and Android devices, Windows is taking the fight to the competition.

If you are a Windows Phone developer you can download Update 1 to your device right now. Microsoft has not announced a release date for general distribution just yet, but with Update 2 already being talked about, one can only imagine that it will not be long before Update 1 hits all current Windows Phone devices.

Source: WPCentral, PhoneArena