Windows Phone News

Microsoft India has stated the timeframe for the roll out of Windows Phone 8.1... in India anyway. The company teased on Twitter that consumers residing in the region will receive the highly anticipated update in the first two weeks of July. There are no exact details as to when everyone will receive the download since it still depends on local carriers and whatnot, but at least there's a clear idea as to the timeframe.

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Every month Alan Mendelevich (@ailon) treats us to Windows Phone data from AdDuplex. As you know, AdDuplex is his cross-promotion network for Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps. The platform is a great way for developers to gain more exposure for their own apps. Today we're getting a look at the Windows Phone ecosystem for the month of June 2014. Did the release of the Lumia 630 slightly bump the Windows Phone 8.1 install base? Which new OEMs made the list? Those are just some of the questions we'll answer. Read on for all the info you could want.

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We're fairly sociable as human beings. Mobile phones paved new ways to communicate without wires, far extending the reaches of walkie-talkies and the like. Pulling up the aerial on the brick and making a call was a luxury, but in 2014 almost everyone has a mobile device, be it a smartphone or feature phone. Social networks have also evolved from the personal computer to include mobile devices.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is just around the corner as the community waits for its release, unless you reside in Finland where update magic is well under way with the the Lumia Cyan firmware already rolling out. Microsoft has recently added the major platform update to the history page on the Windows Phone website, sitting on top of the three Windows Phone 8 updates.

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As previously reported, Hisense today announced a new Windows Phone, titled the MIRA 6. The MIRA 6 is China Telecom's first Windows Phone 8.1 mobile device, featuring dual-SIM support, quad-core Qualcomm processor and other interesting specifications. Running Windows Phone 8.1, the first Windows Phone from Hisense is a surprising move since neither the manufacturer nor Microsoft mentioned any partnership.

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Microsoft has released a new teaser for the Nokia Lumia 1520, the largest Windows Phone available to date. The video runs the viewer through the troubled life of the DVD, which is being replaced by cloud-hosted digital content and streaming. Towards the closing frames, it's shown how DVDs can be recycled as opposed to dumped, which brings us onto the Lumia 1520's recycled back cover. Not only that, but it's the bright green variant.

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We're all waiting for the Lumia Cyan update with bated breath. It's going to bring a lot of cool new firmware features to the mix for those with a Lumia handset. Just an hour ago we learned of a provisional and pilot Cyan update for the Lumia 925 in Finland. Turns out they might not be the only region getting the update. Reports are coming in that users in Argentina are receiving Cyan.

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Motion Monitor is a handy app for those who wish to get in shape, using nothing more than their smartphone. Microsoft has fired out an email detailing that the app will be pulled from the Store for incompatibility with Lumia Cyan, but Bing Health + Fitness and other third-party apps will be available for download.

The SensoreCore SDK takes advantage of internal sensors on new Windows Phones to sense when you're moving and how intense said activity was. Essentially, it turns your smartphone into a smart pedometer with the Lumia Cyan firmware update installed, combined with Snapdragon 80x chipsets.

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The Nokia Lumia 930 has yet to launch and become officially available for purchase, but that hasn't halted retailers from riding the hype train and firing up pre-orders. The latest markets to be included on this ride are Vietnam and Belgium, both retailers following suit with an expected release sometime early July. Microsoft formally unveiled the Lumia 930 at a media event in Vietnam today, noting that the smartphone will cost 12,999,000 VND ($610) off contract (starting July 1), while Cool Blue in Belgium has the device listed at €499,99 ($680).

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Microsoft today confirmed that the Lumia 635 will be available in the UK on July 3. The super-affordable Windows Phone with the latest version of the OS will set consumers back £119.99 and will be available through EE, Vodafone, Three, Phones 4u, O2, Carphone Warehouse, Tesco and Amazon. To lend a hand with personalizing the device, a number of changeable shells will be launched in bright orange, green and yellow, along with matte black and white.

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Last night, T-Mobile US continued their Un-carrier promotion where they look to shake things up by introducing new consumer friendly features. One of the major announcements was in regards to streaming music on their network, which now won't count against your data usage, including no overages, no data caps and unlimited streaming. It's a pretty crazy item for a carrier to give up because as you can imagine, it's easy to go over your data allotment each month if you don't eyeball it too carefully.

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The Lumia 635 from Nokia is available for pre-order in the UK through Unlocked Mobiles. The Windows Phone is identical to the Lumia 630, but sports LTE support for extra boosts in speed. If you're looking for a more affordable choice of smartphone, the Lumia 635 can be yours for £144.98, which isn't a bad deal considering what's contained inside the case.

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While asking Cortana various questions on Windows Phone 8.1 is natural, the way in which one enables the personal voice assistant isn't quite as fluid. Users need to press down on the Search key or press the Live Tile and microphone before Cortana enables, and while it's not difficult there are better solutions available.

One of the solutions is passive-voice activation, which is something users of the Xbox One with Kinect should know. Passive-voice activation allows users to engage the AI or system simply by using their voice. Likewise, the Motorola Moto X with Android can also activated by explicitly stating 'Ok, Google Now.' The phone will then come awake, letting users make appointments, starting their music, or sending a text message without ever touching the phone.

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In an ongoing Q&A from Nokia's camera gurus, Juha Alakarhu and Eero Salmelin, who are now with Microsoft, information regarding what users should expect from the Lumia Cyan update has been revealed. The question answered dealt with photography, and specifically Nokia's latest high end Windows Phones, including the Verizon Lumia Icon, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520.

Juha Alakarhu took to the query and revealed precisely what would be improved with the forthcoming firmware refresh, bundled with the Windows Phone 8.1 update.

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