firmware

As Nokia is wont to do, when Windows Phone 8.1 starts hitting their devices it will come with a host of Nokia enhancements — in this case it's being branded as Nokia Cyan. And it's coming to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. Yes, all of them. And, in typical Nokia style, the improvements will be focused around imaging.

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The next firmware update from Nokia, which will be bundled with the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release, has had its internal codename – Lumia Cherry Blossom Pink – leaked thanks to screenshots published on a Chinese website. Just like Bittersweet Shimmer, which later became known as Lumia Black once released to the public, we expect Nokia to drop 'Lumia Cherry Blossom Pink' for a catchier phrase. Other screenshots were included to tease some of the features in the upcoming operating system update.

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In the next few months, Nokia is expected to release a forthcoming firmware update for their Lumia line. That should be no secret as we’re also expecting an OS update called Windows Phone 8.1. Firmware helps make your phone’s hardware better, and it’s very specific to your device. The OS though is general. That’s why the Developer Preview Program only gives the OS update, but requires additional firmware updates later on to complete the experience.

OS updates and firmware are like Sith, there are always two.

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Last week Microsoft pulled their latest firmware update for their Surface Pro 2 tablet. The update itself had caused issues on the devices of users who initially grabbed the update and Microsoft promised that a new update would be posted “after the holidays”. To our surprise (and delight), the update will actually be right around the corner instead of early 2014.

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If you recently picked up one of Microsoft’s latest devices, the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, you might be experiencing a slight issue with the screen dimming its brightness level when working on CPU intensive activities.

Not to worry though, Microsoft is in the processes of creating and releasing a firmware updates to the units.

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We recently took a look at the Dell Venue 8 Pro, an admirable 8-inch tablet running the full version of Windows 8.1 (32-bit). Well-built with a Quad-Core Atom processor and priced at just $299, the Venue 8 Pro has a lot going for it besides just speed.

One optional accessory with the Venue 8 Pro is a stylus, allowing users to take notes or write out emails using a battery-operated pen. While not as fast as physical keyboard, it’s often quicker than using the on-screen, virtual one, which is more common.

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Although AT&T users are finally having their day, T-Mobile is swooping in with another firmware update for their flagship (and Windows Phone Central favorite) Nokia Lumia 925.

By heading into Settings > Phone Update > Check for updates, users should now be greeted with a message about a new one being available. The update is strictly related to firmware and it will bump it from 1330 to 1336.

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Update 2:30 AM ET: We have secondary confirmation that these images and features are authentic. More information at the end of the article.

Later this year, towards the November time frame, Microsoft is rumored to be releasing Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 (GDR3) along with alleged new firmware from Nokia named “Bittersweet shimmer” (originally reported by the site Nokiapoweruser). The OS update will once again enable new hardware features like advanced Qualcomm processors and 1080P display resolution, but it will also have numerous enhancements for current devices. The release will coincide with the availability of Nokia’s Lumia 1520 with a 6-inch display.

Tonight, a poster in the Windows Phone Central Forums with the handle xs2k has posted alleged screenshots running Windows Phone 8 OS Build 10484, supposedly taken from a Lumia 920 developer device picked up on Craig’s List.

Windows Phone Central has not been able to verify the authenticity of the screenshots but it does match what our inside sources have revealed to us off the record.

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Nokia is slowly rolling out its Amber firmware bundled with Microsoft's GDR2 update, but it's no fun having to keep checking your phone every few hours, seeing whether or not you've got a notification to update. Nokia has decided to whip up a solution and has released a page for consumers residing in Europe to receive a hint as to when their Lumia Windows Phones will be bumped to the latest version.

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Yesterday, Microsoft announced that new updates for their Surface tablet devices were being pushed. The updates being pushed include Wi-Fi connectivity improvements, a new Surface USB to Ethernet adapter driver, a collection of improvements for both the Touch and Type Covers, an updated LifeCam driver, and new device firmware.

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Samsung is preparing to support Windows Phone consumers with an update for the ATIV S flagship device, according to a report over on WindowsPhoneItaly. This firmware update will take each non-branded ATIV S from 2424.12.12.3 (which is Portico) to 2424.13.13.1. Major improvements? The report states that all owners will finally be able to take advantage of Wi-Fi tethering (or "Internet sharing").

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We’re getting a few reports in today that Verizon has begun rolling out some tiny firmware updates for their HTC 8x and Lumia 822 smartphones.  Indeed we fired up an 822 to be greeted with a small update that took less than 5 minutes to install.

So what’s news? Well, this appears to be a very, very small update meant to be a quick fix for some nagging issues. We say that only because your radio, firmware and OS versions will not change with these updates. That tells us that this is basically a firmware patch of some sorts, meant more for tweaks than new features.

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We brought you the video last week of a forthcoming “major” firmware release for the Lumia 920 (and presumably other Windows Phone 8 Lumias) where the new “double tap to awake” and an on-screen clock were revealed.

That update is called PR2.0 with the PR standing for “press release” and it corresponds with the version number. For instance, firmwares that started with 1232.1249.XXXX.XXXX were PR1.0, the ones that started with 1232.5951.XXXX.XXXX were PR1.1 and the new 1308 firmware is PR1.1.5. The forthcoming PR2.0 is obviously a big jump and represents numerous changes and enhancements, of which we’ve only been privy to a few.

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