1_windowsphoneupdate_mediumFor those of you out there who have a Windows Phone, now might be a good time to lookup the Preview For Developers program. If you’re an Android user, you might be frustrated with waiting around for your mobile carrier to push out Android updates to your phone. iPhone users don’t have this issue since all updates are handled by Apple. Windows Phone can offer a little of both. By default, updates are officially released and it is up to the carrier to push them to your phone. Microsoft offers an alternative for “enthusiasts” who want the latest and greatest. Basically, you can unlock your phone for free and install an app that will push the preview updates to your phone as soon as Microsoft releases them.

Why is now a good time to do it if you haven’t yet? Well, Microsoft just announced Windows Phone 8.1 at their Build 2014 conference. Next week (probably Monday, April 14th), Microsoft will be releasing their Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview to the masses. There could be some glitches still since it is a preview, but with all of the new features coming to Windows Phone 8.1, it might be worth it to update and deal with some bugs.

A few of the key features I’m looking forward to are Cortana and a notification center. Cortana is basically Microsoft’s version of iPhone’s Siri. It is a digital personal assistant that will take voice commands and do things you ask it to do. The notification center looks pretty nice and will allow you to pin shortcuts to a quick menu along with showing you notifications from apps you might not have a tile pinned. Another feature I’m looking forward to is the change in social network integration. Facebook will still be integrated, but the integration will be linked more with the app instead of being built into the operating system. This makes it easier for Microsoft to push updates to add features. There will be a programming hook so other social media can offer similar integration.

This update will bring a lot to the table for Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and hopefully it’ll draw in more users to attract more developers. The biggest downfall of Windows Phone is still the lack of mainstream apps. I left Windows Phone for over a year and I just came back and there are quite a few more mainstream apps now than there was when I left.

My phone will be hitting Microsoft’s servers hard on Monday, checking for the update!

Here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure…

And finally, a funny parody!