|By Shelly Palmer||
|December 23, 2013 03:01 AM EST||
Windows Phone 8.1, launching sometime early next year, will finally feature a notification center and a Siri-like personal assistant app, helping the OS catch up a bit to the rest of the market. The notification center is nice, but the big addition is Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant app. Microsoft has been testing Cortana for several months now, and it’s set to replace the existing Bing search on Windows Phone to let you interact with your device through either voice or text input. These aren’t the only new features, though. Separate volume controls are finally being added into the OS, letting you to control ringtone volume separately from media playback volume. Social media will be more of a focus than ever before, too, with apps like Twitter and Facebook extending the People Hub even further in Windows Phone 8.1. Windows Phone still has a lot of work to do to be mentioned alongside iOS and Android, but these upcoming additions should make using the OS a much better experience.