The Verge reports that Microsoft is gearing up to ship Windows Phone 8.1. The new OS, which will apparently be detailed at the company's BUILD conference in April, will finally (FINALLY) add a notification center as well as a Siri-like personal assistant.
According, to the Verge's Tom Warren, the new notification center will have two views. A "short swipe" from the top will reveal settings and a "long swipe" will reveal a full notification history. The addition of a notification center is long overdue, if not exactly surprising. Last year it came out that what seemed like a huge product oversight in WinPho 8 was in fact intentionally left out because Microsoft "ran out of time." Very embarrassing.
In addition, Warren claims that current betas of Windows 8.1 have a built-in personal assistant. Previous rumors suggest that this voice assistant will sound like Cortana, the AI character from Halo. What else? More missing features like the ability to separately control the volume of media playback and your ringtone.
Assuming the report is true, the new additions to Windows Phone 8 amount to some significant catch up with the much better Android and iOS alternatives. Unfortunately, they're pretty late fixes for the glaring absences in the existing Windows Phone product. It seems like we'll have to wait until BUILD to find out if Microsoft has any get ahead features in waiting. [The Verge]