Windows Phone 8.1 is made available to developers to test and build applications in a real-life environment ahead of consumer release
Microsoft has made a preview build of Windows Phone 8.1 available so developers can build and test applications for the mobile operating system on an actual device before the update is made available to consumers.
To download the update, users must be a registered developer with the Windows Developer Center or Windows App Studio or have a developer unlocked Windows Phone device.
Registered developers should be able to check for an update in their phone’s settings, while new users will have to download the ‘Preview for Developers’ application and opt their phone in.
Windows Phone 8.1
Microsoft says there are a number of advantages to downloading the preview compared to simply testing out apps on an emulator, which cannot mimic capabilities such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC) or a camera, nor does it allow for app-to-app interaction.
The company is also encouraging developers to download and register for Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC, which would allow them to build and test universal Windows applications, and offer them to their beta users.
Announced earlier this month, Windows Phone 8.1 adds a number of visual enhancements, such as more live tiles, alongside new security and management features and a Siri-like personal assistant known as Cortana.
To help developers get used to the contextual voice capabilities of the update, Microsoft has released a free reference app called MSDN Voice Search App, which aims to provide a guide on how to use the new features.
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