Windows Phone News

With Windows Phone 8.1 only five weeks out, there’s not too much left to revealed, except one big feature: Cortana.

The digital voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now service is expected to premier with Windows Phone 8.1, and while a few facts have leaked out so far, the Verge has now gone into more detail about Cortana, including its Notebook core.

According to the Verge's Tom Warren, Cortana will have a ‘Notebook feature’ that stores “location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information”, but only as the user allows. This is to ensure that privacy takes priority over efficiency of the assistant, meaning Cortana won’t collect, store or use information about you without your consent. Indeed, information can reportedly be edited or even deleted later by the user.

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The Lumia 520 (and T-Mobile’s lesser known variant, the Lumia 521, in the US), was the sleeper hit of 2013 for Windows Phone 8. Announced nearly one year ago at Mobile World Congress, it seems apropos to see what it’s accomplished in that 12 months.

As it turns out, we don’t think anyone predicted just how strong the Lumia 520 would have become. Due to its low cost, where it’s often found well below $90 off-contract, great build quality and all around solid user experience, the Lumia 520 has become representative of the Windows Phone ecosystem.

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The Nokia Lumia Icon is Verizon's latest flagship Windows Phone, which is being aggressively pushed by all three parties involved. Not only is the Nokia Windows Phone now available through Verizon stores, but also Microsoft too.

Starting today, you'll be able to pick up your own unit and enjoy 4G LTE speeds in an attractive and compact package. Prices for the Lumia Icon itself start from $199 with on contract.

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Still waiting for the Lumia Black firmware update for your Nokia Lumia 925 on T-Mobile? You’re not alone. I’ve recently switched back to the Lumia 925 as my daily and only bust out the Lumia 1020 for when I know I’ll be taking a ton of pictures. The Lumia 925 isn’t just one of the most elegant Windows Phone devices, it’s one of the most elegant smartphones period. Thankfully you and I won’t have to wait too much longer for the Lumia Black update. It should be out pretty soon.

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New Jawbone job listing confirms official Windows Phone app is in the works

There's still a lack of support for Windows Phone when it comes to fitness accessories and wearable technology in general. We've previously touched on multiple vendors who have no official apps available on the store for consumers, but Jawbone currently has a job opening for a Windows Phone Senior Software Engineer. This means we'll be seeing official platform support for the company's accessories in the future.

Just like Fitbit did in the past, Jawbone is looking for talent to help develop a companion solution to match competitors. This is fantastic news for those who either already have a Jawbone product or are looking to invest. 

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Windows Phone 8.1. While features like Action Center get a lot of the attention, we’ve repeatedly mentioned that there will be lots of small changes throughout the OS. Those changes are the real nitty-gritty that will make your everyday experience much more fulfilling.

Today, we have some new Wi-Fi Settings that are part of the beta SDK, but are actually hidden. Developer David S. sent us in these screenshots after unlocking the feature in that SDK. Windows Phone Central has since independently verified their authenticity as a forthcoming feature in 8.1.

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Another day, another leak. Yesterday, the new swipe keyboard for Windows Phone 8.1 was shown on video and today it’s the more interesting Action Center. Users swipe down from the top to reveal the center, which gives 4 selectable quick actions. In addition, the Action Center also houses the Notification Center, where users can see all the missed incoming Toast notifications, as well as silent ones too.

The video matches up with an earlier, initial leak of the Action Center.

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Popular file sharing website 4shared.com (www.4shared.com) is currently developing an official app for the Windows Phone platform, according to a response from the support team. When contacted about a possible app in the works, a member of the 4shared.com support team confirmed that an app is indeed in development. Unfortunately, no further details were shared.

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The Nokia Lumia Icon is coming to Verizon very soon. In fact it lands on Verizon in two days on the 20th of this month. There’s already a handful of you out there looking forward to getting the handset when it’s officially available. You could buy the smartphone yourself. Or you could enter to win one from Nokia US and a trip to an iconic location. Details below.

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The SDK leak for Windows Phone 8.1 keeps churning up little tidbits. Earlier today, the big news was the swipe-keyboard function, shown in a hands on video. This afternoon, a new morsel has shed some light onto the new Battery Power Sense.

Currently in Windows Phone 8, consumers have a Battery Saver section under settings. That looks to be renamed to Battery Power Sense, with Battery Saver falling under it in 8.1. It will offer deeper level functionality, including seeing specifically which apps draw the most juice from your battery.

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Attention Canada: Nokia Lumia 920 owners on Rogers can expect to see the Lumia Black firmware update made available today. The Lumia Black update incorporates Windows Phone 8 Update 3 started rolling out across the globe two months ago, so Canada's largest carrier has been a bit slow on the uptake. But according to an update roadmap post in the Rogers Community Forums, 920 owners on Rogers are scheduled to start seeing Lumia Black today (three days after Samsung Ativ S users on Rogers saw GDR3)

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It’s just after 1PM ET, so the flood gates are open for the Lumia Black firmware and Update 3 OS update. We just confirmed that the Nokia Lumia 822, a Verizon exclusive, is now getting that update.

To check, head into your phone’s Settings and select Phone Update > Check for Updates. Users should be on Wi-Fi to do the update, as it contains an OS and firmware update.

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The Nokia Lumia 925 is a unique Windows Phone in that the chassis design differs from the usual Lumia polycarbonate cases. Sporting an aluminium side, the Lumia 925 is a premium Windows Phone 8, which will be updated with the 8.1 (aka 'Blue') update when released. This makes it both future proof and a superb catch when a special offer is published.

Cue Newegg where consumers can pick up the Lumia 925 for just $289.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is shaping up to be a major OS update. Though there are a few big ticket new items, there are also a lot of under the hood fixes too. One of those in-between additions will be a new swipe-based keyboard. We mentioned this addition in our 8.1 features list and other articles not as a third-party replacement, or Swype from Android, but rather Microsoft’s own addition to the stock keyboard.

This morning, Unleash The Phones have posted a video purporting to be that very keyboard. Indeed, we can confirm its authenticity at this time.

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The two Nokia Lumia 'phablet' Windows Phones are making their way to multiple markets and regions. The Finnish company continues to make official announcements of availability and pricing and Brazil in next in line to have said details revealed. Consumers in the region will have to wait until next month to get their hands on either Windows Phone.

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Information on Windows Phone 8.1 keep coming out. We can really thank the leak of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK for most of the new stuff.

Today we’re highlighting a singular feature that might not really be groundbreaking, but it’s beyond useful. In Windows Phone 8.1 you’ll be able to mute conversations in the messaging app. Is your mom texting you too much or did you get looped into a group SMS that just won’t end? Mute them all.

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Over the last week, there’s been a flurry of information about Windows Phone 8.1, due to be announced in only five weeks at Build. It's been overwhelming, so we’d like to direct your attention to our continually updated ‘feature list’ page for 8.1

It’s hard navigating through all the noise, so this is a one-stop, bullet point list, organized by category. Hopefully you’ll be able to get the bigger picture of what may be included in the final, release-to-manufacture (RTM) version, expected at the beginning of April.

If you're in our app, swipe right and choose View Links! Did we miss anything? We probably did, so add them to our forum’s thread, and we’ll attempt to verify and add it to the master list!

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Even though Microsoft has stated numerous times that all current Windows Phone 8 handsets should be eligible for ‘future OS upgrades’, referring presumably to Windows Phone 8.1, the question if OEMs are as committed is a concern. Specifically if HTC (or even Samsung) are still willing to support 8.1, expected to be announced in April.

Today, HTC took to Reddit for an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, where questions were fielded from the audience about Android. However, a member of the audience asked HTC directly if they were “done” with Windows Phone.

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