I installed the Windows Phone 8.1 update on my Nokia Lumia 720 last night (instructions here, including how to get Cortana in non US locations). The whole process took around 2 hours including the download. I like the new features quite a bit, especially the action centre (the notification panel) & the swipe keyboard that I’m using to compose this post.
The animations also seem to have been speeded up a la iOS 7.1, and this makes the phone feel snappier than before. The Windows Store seems to be acting up at times though. Hopefully it’s just a temporary glitch given the extensive overhaul of the store.
The online reviews seem to be positively glowing this time around and there are no real gaps in the core OS functionality compared to Android or iOS. Windows Phone now offers the smooth and polished experience of iOS with many of the useful features of Android in an affordable package. Here’s hoping to a strong year for Windows Phone. Hope to post a more detailed look at the changes after some extended use.