Windows Phone News

With as much as we've learned about Windows Phone 8.1 in the past two days, there were still some things left up in the air. Like how close was Microsoft to being done? And when would users get to see it on their devices? We're closer to those answers today, with a letter leaked to Neowin indicating that it could very well be very soon.

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Last night we went to visit Nokia at their #moreLumia event here in San Francisco. There wasn’t anything new learned there, it served more as a recap with Stephen Elop over the announcement made earlier of the Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930. We did get hands-on time with the devices and even some others that didn’t get too much time in the limelight. Lime...Green…Green Lumia 1520. It’s awesome.

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This isn’t so much news as just something to chew on while you wait for the Windows Phone 8.1 bits to rollout in the coming weeks. Cortana, the recently announced personal voice-assistant app, is being programmed to have quite the personality. Much like Apple’s Siri, Cortana will not only answer your legitimate real-life questions, but she will respond with wit and humor when asked non-serious inquires too.

We spent a few minutes playing around with a recent build of Cortana, and the video above speaks for itself. We’re sure Microsoft will be adding even more amusing responses to her repertoire over the coming weeks. Likewise, we’re sure you’ll post your curious findings in our Cortana forums for others to enjoy.

Want to see more? Make sure you watch our exclusive Cortana video tour.

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The Windows Phone native calendar. Let’s not mince words, it was quite…basic. Limited views, restricted features – Microsoft practically forced third-party developers to make alternatives, such as Simple Calendar or Cal. But even those had OS limitations due to constrained APIs.

With Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft certainly gave the native calendar a much needed overhaul. We managed to miss it in our earlier coverage – not a shocker when you consider all the new changes – so we figured we would revisit this core OS feature and show you what’s new. Head past the break to catch our video!

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Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. We gave you numerous videos featuring the OS in action, including Cortana, the Notification center and more. However, that was on a Lumia 630 prototype, one that we weren’t supposed to have in the first place – the risks we take for you, folks!

But how does Windows Phone 8.1 roll on the 2.2 GHz quad-core Lumia 1520? We ventured to find out.

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The Nokia MD-12 is a brand new wireless speaker system just announced at the #moreLumia event, part of the ongoing Build 2014 conference. Weighing roughly as much as an apple — har! — Nokia calls the MD-12 a "funky" new portable Bluetooth mini-speaker. It's got a built-in vibrating actuator for heavy base, and offers 15-hours of battery life so you can power your party, and your after party, and your after after party with ease.

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DVLUP, Nokia's developer outreach program, has announced a new system to better incentivize and reward their most loyal, most successful app makers. Called DVLUP Status, it introduces three new, "highly coveted" badges — Specialist (bronze), Expert (silver), and Legend (gold). Earn them and you'll be rewarded with elite privileges galore.

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Today’s a very busy day for Windows Phone users and developers all over the world. A host of exciting new features in Windows Phone 8.1 have been announced today by Microsoft at Build 2014. Nokia also announced two new phones – the Lumia 630/635 and the Lumia 930. Chris Weber, Nokia’s executive vice president of global sales and marketing, is going on Twitter to answer your questions. Details below on how you can participate.

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One of the bigger announcements to come out of Build 2014 is that Microsoft is dropping the manufacturer royalty fee on Windows and Windows Phone for devices under 9 inches in size. This is a big deal for partners, and ultimately good news for consumers since costs won’t have to be passed down. This will also be applied to devices that tie into the internet of things, like wearables or home automation devices.

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It's finally here, folks. Well, almost anyway. Windows Phone 8.1 has officially been announced by Microsoft, further improving on the experience offered to consumers since 2010. You've got a notification & action center, Internet Explorer 11, more sound and volume options, as well as other exciting new features.

We're interested to hear your thoughts on the presentation.

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Following tightly on the heels of Windows Phone 8.1 and new hardware from Nokia, T-Mobile and AT&T have both announced they will carry the Lumia 635. T-Mobile is trumpeting the availability of the Lumia 635 on its network as a solid step from the Lumia 521, which it saw massive success with, while AT&T sees this as one more device in a long line of Windows Phones it carries.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is being shown off by Microsoft here at Build 2014 in San Francisco. There are plenty of changes coming to the new version of Windows Phone. Microsoft has just announced a new camera app for Windows Phone users. This is the default camera app that all OEMs and users will have access to on Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Let’s check it out.

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Windows Phone has always had podcast support integrated into the OS. But now it’s getting decoupled from the core OS and will live on as a separate app. The benefit is that Microsoft can now create a richer podcast experience on Windows Phone without needing to update the operating system. All that’s needed now is an update to an app.

Let’s check out podcasts on Windows Phone 8.1.

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Microsoft has just announced the next browser you’ll be using in Windows Phone 8.1. Building off the foundation of Internet Explorer 10 comes Internet Explorer 11. At first glance you might not notice too many new changes to IE 11, but there are plenty of tweaks to give you a better browsing experience. You’ll find InPrivate browsing, improvements in Data Sense, a new reader mode, tabs from IE on other devices and much more. Let’s check out IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1.

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Microsoft has just announced Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 at Build 2014. Cortana is the upcoming voice assistant that will compete against Siri and Google Now. We’ve heard rumors and seen leaks over the previous months, but now it’s all official. Cortana will be available soon to users on Windows Phone 8.1.

In the meantime, check out our hands on video of Cortana.

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