Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 can power mini-tablets, more screen sizes and resolutions
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, already available for Developers, brought some improvements and new settings options to the platform. Probably the most interesting part for hardware makers and consumers is the platform’s new hardware support. Leaked documents give us an idea about new functionalities and new types of Windows Phone devices which will be seeing the light of day soon
Windows Phone can now power not only smartphones, but also devices without cellular network connectivity. Wi-Fi only devices like small tablets can run Windows Phone 8.1 thanks to the new hardware requirements and Wi-Fi Feature Pack. That gives manufacturers the possibility of removing the cellular functionality (settings, tiles, icons, ect.) from the system and launching Wi-Fi –only devices. Microsoft has also added support for 7-inch screens, which would allow OEMs to make small tablets running Windows Phone.
Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 supports more screen sizes and resolutions. For devices with screens between 6.01 and 7 inches the supported resolution is 1280 x 720, while 1080p resolution can be used only with 6-inch or smaller screens. Additional resolutions have been added for smartphones with screens up to 6 inches – 1280 x 800 pixels and 960 x 540 which is called qHD.
Windows Phone now supports interactive covers and high-voltage charging, while the Dual-SIM support has been improved.
Microsoft is constantly improving the platform and we will see two more updates before the next major version – Window Phone 9. GDR2 Update will be released around the end of the year, while Update 3 is expected in Q1/Q2 2015.