Microsoft is soon to release an update for Windows Phone 8.1 just weeks after that version of the platform was released, according to various sources. The update is rumoured to include support for app folders and updates to Cortana.

The software giant released the Windows Phone 8.1 code to developers back in April, but it only became available for existing handsets in June. However, according to sources including The Verge, Microsoft is now readying a Windows Phone 8.1 update that may be in the hands of developers from the start of August.

According to reports, the chief new feature of this update will be the ability to create folders or groups for apps on the phone's home screen. Users will be able to drag one app tile on top of another to create a folder in which to organise apps however they please.

Other sources claim that the update will offer other features including a native resolution of 1280x800 pixels, support for the Network Time Protocol and enhancements for the Cortana digital assistant. It is also claimed that handset vendors will be able to design custom lock screens for their devices and pre-install applications.

Meanwhile, The Verge further claims that the forthcoming update will add support for interactive smartphone cases, allowing for scenarios such as the phone waking up automatically when the case is opened.

Rumours regarding a Windows Phone 8.1 update have been circulating for some time, but official documentation to vendors has now begun referencing it, according to various sources, indicating it is close to being delivered at least as a developer preview.