Windows Phone 8.1 icons hint at Cortana capabilities, new OS features

The recent leak of an early version of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK (software development kit) has revealed an enormous amount about the upcoming update for Microsoft’s mobile OS. Among the most significant revelations have been the inclusion of greater customisation support for the Start screen, support for non-‘traditional’ keyboards, and a look at the new notification centre on video.

As information continues to drip forth from the SDK, has uncovered a set of icons buried within it, which hint at some of the capabilities we can come to expect from the update.

Perhaps the most significant icon set relates to Cortana, the new voice interaction assistant that will be baked into the OS. The first three icons – a star, a square and a circle – are listed as Start tile icons; the remainder appear to be icons that will be displayed within the Cortana environment as needed. The Cortana icon set signposts the kind of features you would expect from a digital assistant, hinting at voice control support for a wide range of tasks, from changing settings and making appointments, to getting directions and traffic reports.

Under Maps, the Start tile icon is unchanged in its design, but two new map icons are introduced to the App Bar, signifying a perspective view and a regular overhead view. Eighteen ‘map category’ icons are also introduced; curiously, these icons are drawn as outlines rather than in solid colour, and many of them appear more intricate than the rest of Windows Phone’s iconography.

The Wallet icons hint at broader Apple Passbook-style support, including the addition of event tickets. On the camera side of things, as WMPowerUser notes, new icons point to the addition of native support for HDR and continuous shooting mode.

The Action Center – the small drop-down tray that offers universal access to quick settings – sees its own share of icons revealed too. Icons for settings such as VPN, NFC, WiFi, hotspot and Bluetooth, among others, are all listed here. A range of new system tray icons – including alerts, language and caps lock indicator – are also shown here, along with a rather ambiguous ‘HD’ icon.

Finally, on the Start screen, there are new icons to incorporate dual-SIM support for Windows Phone, a feature which is expected to début on the upcoming Lumia 630. There are also Start tile icons for Podcasts, Radio and the new Battery Sense feature coming in Windows Phone 8.1. 

Source: via WMPowerUser | images via

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