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Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 has taken the platform to new heights thanks to a range of improvements over previous versions, but the software giant isn’t ready to call it a day just yet. Already working on the next update to Windows Phone, dubbed as GDR1, and expected to release it soon, here are the upcoming features that consumers and phone makers can expect to begin shipping on new devices.

One new feature is actually simply aimed at giving Windows Phone more parity with the competition of Android and iOS. Those with lots of apps will be pleased to hear that folders will soon be natively part of the Windows Phone experience, meaning users will be able to drag one Tile on top of another in a similar way to how folders are created on the aforementioned market leaders. It’s not going to make anyone ecstatic, but it’s a welcome feature nonetheless.

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Much more interesting to us is the news that Windows Phone will apparently gain support for interactive cases. The likes of HTC, LG and Samsung already offer such cases for their select flagship Android devices, and we have to say we really like the idea of having a case that automatically turns on a smartphone when it’s opened.

Interactive accessories offer more than that though, with some cases having windows on them that allow the phone to display content such as notifications even when the case is closed. If Microsoft is looking to implement something similar with Windows Phone, then we’re all for it.

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The HTC One M8 Dot View case.

Other features included in GDR1 update:

  • Voice over LTE.
  • Support for extra resolutions and more devices.
  • A medium Live Tile for the native Microsoft Store app.
  • Support for NTP (Network Time Protocol).
  • Cortana can be added as phonebook entry to enable integration with car’s navigation system.
  • Dual-SIM capability for both GSM+CDMA networks.
  • “Auto scan for updates” entry can be hidden by OEMs.
  • SD-card support no longer required for OEMs.
  • OEMs can change the Start screen layout.

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 could be in the hands of developers as soon as next week.

(source: NokiaPowerUser)

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