Bluetooth Filing Narrows Release Window for Windows Phone 8.1
Microsoft hasn’t fully detailed the features users can expect from the Windows Phone 8.1 update, but the update’s arrival at the Bluetooth SIG indicates that it won’t be too long before Microsoft reveals the update’s official feature set.
To be clear, Microsoft hasn’t even acknowledged the existence of a forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. However, that hasn’t stopped the company from working on the software internally or getting it ready for a public release. The BSIG or Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s website now includes an entry for a mobile operating system made by Microsoft named Windows Phone 8.1.
As the BSIG is only concerned with the performance of Bluetooth features in handsets and other equipment, this entry doesn’t contain a lot of information about features coming to Windows Phone 8.1 itself. That being said, the entry does confirm that Windows Phone 8.1 will support Bluetooth SMART or what is more commonly just called support for Bluetooth Low Energy. This means that Windows Phone 8.1 will allow app developers to communicate directly with smartwatches and other technology that use the Bluetooth Low Energy standard to share data and not drain the user’s battery as quickly as it may have in the past.
Some Windows Phone devices already have hardware and software support for Bluetooth Low Energy, however app makers have no way of accessing it. Today, manufacturers like Nokia can access the technology through Windows Phone exclusively.
The listing also confirmed what many Windows Phone owners had already feared. Whereas early reports pegged the Windows Phone 8.1 update for an announcement and arrival soon, Microsoft’s decision to move up its BUILD 2014 developer conference to April indicated an announcement around that time.
Microsoft’s filling with the BSIG cites April 1st as the day Windows Phone 8.1 will first become available to users. That’s still early in the year, but it also lends credence to estimates that point to Windows Phone 8.1 not arriving on existing Windows Phone devices before the start of the summer.
As Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be the first major update to Windows Phone 8 since its launch back in 2012, Windows Phone owners are excited to see what new comforts and features the update brings to their devices. So far, rumors have included a new notification system and separate volume controls for ringers and music.