Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Available for Developer Preview Users; Rest Can Avail the Update via Microsoft's App Studio Program Now

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A shadow of a man using his mobile phone is cast near Microsoft logo at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei June 4, 2014. Computex, the world's second largest computer show, runs from June 3 to 7. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Microsoft has rolled out the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to Windows Phone users. The users who have the "Developer Preview" version of Windows Phone 8.1 installed already can now check the update on their handsets. However, the users who did not sign up for the "Developer Preview" program can also avail the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 by installing it via Microsoft's App Studio program.

Apparently, two different software update versions are available. This includes 8.10.12400.899 and a GDR1 update with number 8.10.14147.180, according to Phone Arena. For those unfamiliar, usually GDR1 or general distribution release 1 comes with many OS fixes, enhancements and support for new hardware, says WPCentral.

GDR software update is the service pack equivalent of the Windows desktop OS. Therefore they are rolled out in between significant OS version releases. Notably, the last GDR update was rolled out on Dec. 2013 dubbed as Windows Phone 8 Update 3. During spring 2014, Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 to device manufacturers and Developer Preview program users.

The new feature that comes along with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 includes "Live or Native Folders" for the Start screen. "Live Folders" lets the users to slide and stack-up the tiles in order to create a folder in the main screen. Interestingly, this software update also brings in the U.S. version of Microsoft's much-adored digital personal assistant Cortana. However, Windows Phone users from India, Australia and Canada can only avail this alpha version.

In addition, the beta version of Cortana will be rolled out to China and the UK very soon. Apart from these new features, the new software update allows users to merge multiple text messages and forward or delete the group. Furthermore, Windows Phone users will now be allowed to customize the snooze settings of the device's alarm. The update also comes with many minor tweaks, VPN support, improved Xbox music and interactive phone covers.

In case, Windows Phone users do not want to sign up for the Developer Preview or have no inclination to install via App Studio program, the update will be sent to the phone by default. Specifically, the general OTA (over-the-air) rollout would commence from September.

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