Windows Phone News

Should you still be rocking the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview and are looking to downgrade the operating system to get the full public release and Lumia Cyan, you won't have to carry out this task if you're able to hold on for another week. According to Joe Belfiore on Twitter, Microsoft will be upgrading those on the Developer Preview program to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 next week.

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Yesterday, we reported that the unlocked Lumia 1520.3 variant started to receive the Lumia Cyan update. That phone works on AT&T and T-Mobile with LTE and is considered a prized win for consumers willing to spend the extra money. As it turns out, many country variants (CV) of the Lumia 1520 are now getting the Lumia Cyan update with Windows Phone 8.1. Unfortunately, many carriers are still listed as 'under testing.'

As usual, we have gone through and accumulated all the countries and regions that are now eligible for the Lumia Cyan update, in addition to updating our tracker page.

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A few days ago, it was widely reported that HTC is repositioning their flagship One M8 as a new Windows Phone dubbed "One (W8) for Windows." The phone may be the same as the hot selling Android phone, but with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 on board and destined for Verizon.

Windows Phone Central reported the phone could go on sale as early as August 21 and coincidentally enough, HTC has sent out limited press invites for August 19 right in New York City. No clues or themes were present on the invite, though the timing is suspect.

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Microsoft is firing all cylinders in the engine that drives Cortana. It was just announced that China and the United Kingdom would be getting Cortana shortly. Cortana also just entered alpha status for India, Australia (hello mates) and Canada. Now we're seeing some other changes with Cortana. Users are now seeing more answers returned à la Google Now.

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Cortana heads to UK, China in beta, while India, Canada and Australia get opt-in alpha program

Tonight in Beijing, China, corporate vice president at Microsoft Joe Belfiore announced new Cortana rollout plans for Windows Phone 8.1 users, including a new 'alpha' program to speed up the deployment process. Furthermore, full details about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 were also released, including early access starting next week.

As expected, China and the UK are now getting access to Cortana on a beta status, with substantial customization done for both countries, especially in China where some significant changes to the UI of Cortana have taken place. Additionally, India, Australia, and Canada are now part of an "early adopter program" where users can "opt-in and…try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK."

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Microsoft unveils Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Here are all the details.

As expected, Microsoft is finally revealing all there is about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Known internally as GDR1 for 'general distribution release,' this update is one of two for the 8.1 operating system in 2014. The news comes out of Beijing, China where Microsoft's Joe Belfiore announced the release during his keynote, in addition to the expansion of Cortana to the UK and China.

Update 1 is relatively minor in comparison to what 8.1 delivered this spring, but it still contains numerous new features for consumers, and hardware manufacturers. Leaks of these features in Update 1 came over the weekend and were accurate.

Additionally, starting next week, those enrolled in the free Preview for Developers program are slated to get an update to their phones to take advantage of the new OS refresh.

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It's hard to believe it's nearly August. As another month goes by I'll take a look at the Windows Phone landscape thanks to data from cross-promotion network AdDuplex. Every month AdDuplex CEO Alan Mendelevich ( @ailon) gathers data that gives us insight into the Windows Phone ecosystem around the globe. During the month of July, we're looking at an even bigger jump in the percentage of handsets running Windows Phone 8.1. Read on for more details.

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Microsoft's Cortana is one of the hottest topics that we cover these days for Windows Phone. Between the constant updates, improvements and its long-term potential, Microsoft's digital personal assistant is making waves across the globe. This response is even more impressive considering that Cortana is still technically US-based, though talk of imminent launches in China and the UK are heating up, in addition to other countries.

Speaking of expanding Cortana, Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, recently commented that in expanding Cortana to other regions they "…learned a lot about scaling" and that it has been a "tough project." Ash's responses pose some interesting questions about the process involved, and we are itching to find out.

Marcus Ash and Sandeep Paruchuri, Program Manager at Microsoft, have volunteered their time to try an answer some of your questions about the process of expanding Cortana. Therefore, here is your chance to ask them in comments.

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If there is one Lumia 1520 that is the king of all 1520s it is an unlocked 1520.3 variant, which for those in the US comes with LTE support for AT&T and T-Mobile, in addition to 32 GB of internal memory and Qi wireless charging. Yes, it has everything.

Luckily, if you own that phone, you can now get the Lumia Cyan update, assuming you are not of the Preview for Developers edition of 8.1.

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Earlier this morning we reported on receiving tips – especially from India – that the Lumia Cyan update is deploying for the Nokia Lumia 1320. As it turns out, this is another mass rollout and as usual, we have compiled this list of regions, countries, and carriers for your convenience.

If you see yours listed below, head to Settings > Phone Update and force check the process to get started. However, if you do not see your country or carrier listed, it means yours is still under testing, so sit tight!

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Microsoft has today concluded the Nokia Device Hub and Storage Check beta programs, which allowed Lumia Windows Phones to connect to a variety of wireless accessories and anlayze on-board internal storage.

The apps are now part of the Lumia Cyan update and can be found on any up-to-date Lumia Windows Phone. If you're rocking Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan, you'll be able to easily manage all your wireless devices in one place using the commercial release of Device Hub and check what space you have remaining with Storage Sense.

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In case you missed it, Fitbit launched their long awaited tracker app for Windows Phone 8.1 today. The app is already earning a 4.5 (out of 5) rating on the Store, with many customers pleased with the release.

In case you are new to Fitbit, and you need a new Windows Phone, the Microsoft Store is running a stellar deal. Starting at $149, you can grab both the Lumia 635 (AT&T black or T-Mobile white) and a brand new Fitbit Flex (black or slate). Those are no-contract prices too, although the T-Mobile package is priced slightly higher at $178.95.

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