Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 has the world’s fastest keyboard and loads more new features.

If you’re looking for a new phone, don’t forget to look at ones that use Windows Phone software, like Nokia Lumia smartphones. A new update was announced at the beginning of April, and it brings the fastest keyboard on any smartphone. Great news if you’re always typing!

The keyboard

If you’re always sending texts or WhatsApps, you’ll love this new, faster keyboard. On a normal keyboard you hit each letter you want to type with your finger, but the new Windows Phone one has a faster method. It lets you glide your fingers over the keys, spelling words by sliding to each letter. Guinness World Records says it’s the fastest keyboard in the world.

A personal assistant to remind you about all sorts of things

Do you often forget to pick up something from the shops, even when you leave a note? Or how about forgetting to thank someone for something even though you’ve just got off the phone to them?

The Windows Phone update has a special digital personal assistant. It’s a bit like having your own PA. She’s called Cortana, and is a bit like iPhone’s Siri. Cortana can remind you to buy some more ketchup as soon as you get to the supermarket. She’ll tell you to thank your mum as soon as you ring her. She’ll also answer questions, play music and even tell you jokes. Just tell Cortana what you want her to do, and she’ll help you out.

Find all you messages, emails and app updates in one place

When you’re in a hurry, it’s really great to be able to find all your updates in one place. You can then see what’s important and what’s not in an instant. With the Windows Phone update, just pull down from the top of the screen and you’ll see all your notifications. That’s whether your eBay item is dispatched or you’ve got a missed call from your best friend.

Making sure you never go over your data limit

If you don’t want to get a tariff with unlimited data, you’ll want a way of keeping track of your data use. Windows Phone 8.1 now gives you a way of checking exactly how much data you’ve used each month. Just open the app and the info you need is there. It even tells you which apps are using the most data so you can decide if you want to use them a little less.

If you love your apps though, just use Wi-Fi Sense. This app automatically finds Wi-Fi signals wherever you are. That way you’ll be using free Wi-Fi internet instead of your data allowance.

Make your battery last longer

Lots of phones have a special setting you can turn on to make the battery last longer. They do lots of things to the phone like slightly dim the screen and stop certain apps from using power. You won’t really notice the difference when they’re turned on. The new Battery Saver app means that 20% of battery charge will last for a whopping 24 hours!

When is it being released?

There isn’t an official date just yet, but we’re expecting the update to be available to download from late April or early May 2014.

Which phones can get the update?

All Nokia Lumia phones that currently use the Windows Phone 8 software can update. There will also be three new phones coming out in July that will come with the 8.1 software already on them. These are the Nokia Lumia 630Nokia Lumia 635 and the Nokia Lumia 930Subscribe to our YouTube channel so we can let you know when reviews for these phones are ready.