Microsoft(s msft) isn’t expected to release the next major Windows Phone update for at least a few months. Before it does, however, it has to provide developers with early access to the software so they can update their apps accordingly. The company recently did just that, and by using the Windows Phone 8.1 emulator, you can see what’s different in the software.
WinBeta.org took a look at the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK and filmed a video of some of the more visual changes. Granted, between now and the time Microsoft officially releases Windows Phone 8.1, things can and likely will change. Still, this offers a general idea of what to expect.
Among some of the changes is a new way to close applications that’s reminiscent of Windows 8.1: You can pull apps down off the screen to close them. Users will also have the option of displaying a navigation bar at the bottom of the display. That could indicate future Windows Phone hardware without physical buttons for the Windows key, search and back options. A new Battery Power Sense feature should help with detailed power management information. And there’s support for Universal Apps that can exist in both the Windows and Windows Phone stores, further signaling a unification between Microsoft’s desktop and mobile platforms.