A third update is expected soon for Windows Phone 8 but, as it did with the desktop version of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is also planning a 8.1 bump for its mobile software. WinSuperSite is out with the first details of Windows Phone 8.1, noting it will bring several enhancements to the platform. There's no word on a release date or even an estimate, but it's interesting to hear what Microsoft has in store.
Most notably, Microsoft is said to be adding support for 7 to 10-inch tablets in the Windows Phone 8.1 update. We know the WP8 update expected in the next few weeks will add 5 to 6-inch support, but upping to the tablet level in Windows Phone 8.1 leaves us questioning where Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets will fall in line with Windows Phone 8.1 tablets.
From the sound of it Windows RT machines won't be phased out, however. WinSuperSite reports Microsoft will be going for a single app experience that can run both on Windows RT and Windows Phone, indicating there will be some convergence between the two platforms. It is said to be opt-in for developers at first because of different sizes of devices, but "could eventually become a requirement".
Another feature that might excite users is that Microsoft will drop support for the back button within Windows Phone. Most users are said to not be using the back button and instead pressing the Start button to open a new app, so Microsoft will reportedly drop the requirement. Lastly, Windows Phone 8.1 is said to add several fixes to Windows Phone multitasking, including inefficient notifications.
Windows Phone 8.1 still sounds in its early stages, but nonetheless, shows Microsoft isn't giving up on its goal of unity between its platforms. Before Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft will release the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update, expected on 22 October at Nokia's event.