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1 day ago

Microsoft announces Cortana for China, UK with 'alpha' status for India, Australia, and Canada

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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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1 day ago

Microsoft reveals Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1, due next week for Preview users

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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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2 days ago

Nokia updates HERE Maps for Windows 8.1 with new features

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2 days ago

Book radio cabs in India with the new Mega Cabs app

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Mega Cabs is an on-call taxi service available in several cities in India - Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Chandigarh - with dedicated services at the airports. Started in 2001, the company claims to be India's largest radio taxi network.

The official app for Mega Cabs has finally launched for Windows Phone devices. The app allows you to book a cab quickly and conveniently.

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2 days ago

Lumia Cyan update rolling out for Lumia 625 in Canada

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2 days ago

Strategy puzzle game HexaLines price drop with myAppFree deal for Windows Phone

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HexaLines is a well-known and popular strategy puzzle game that came from Windows Mobile over to Windows Phone and Windows 8 last year. The game works on a simple principle of trying to connect pipes using hexagons to keep the red liquid flowing. HexaLines uses a fun AI to try to block your moves, making this game similar to chess. The mechanics and gameplay are highly rated, with many people giving the game solid ratings (4.3 out of 5 stars).

HexaLines is normally a $1.49 game but for the next few days, it is completely free due to participating in the myAppFree promotion. That means there is no reason not to grab this game right now, as once you lock in that license it is free forever!

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2 days ago

Windows Phone 8.1 now on nearly 12 percent of Windows Phones

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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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2 days ago

Facebook Messenger app for Windows Phone adds video sharing in new update

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2 days ago

The Cortana team takes your questions about going international

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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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2 days ago

Catch Lollapalooza live with Red Bull TV

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2 days ago

New Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer gives us more Kevin Spacey

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2 days ago

Unlocked Nokia Lumia 1520.3 now receiving Lumia Cyan update

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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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2 days ago

Microsoft updates Video Tuner app for Windows Phone 8.1 with bug fixes

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2 days ago

EA Access for Xbox One will charge $4.99 a month to play four full games

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2 days ago

Reach for the Sky review – A fun and free ballooning game for Windows Phone

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Last year Windows Phone Central's "Gorgeous" George Ponder reviewed an indie game about hot air ballooning called Reach for the Sky. It came from Copenhagen-based indie developer Aemto and utilized a charging pixel art style. Sadly, that game is no longer available on the Windows Phone Store (per the developer's decision). From the ashes of the first Reach for the Sky comes a new Reach for the Sky sharing the same title.

Although the name has not changed, the new game is essentially a sequel. Reach for the Sky (2014) is still all about climbing the screen in a hot air balloon, but the visuals and gameplay have changed quite a bit. It still features a lyrical theme song from these guys that sounds catchy at first but becomes maddening before too long. It's completely free (with unobtrusive ads), compatible with phones with 512 MB of RAM, and only takes up 4 MB of storage. Just be sure you switch the controls to "Tap" before playing…

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