Windows Phone News

Microsoft has promised that the Lumia Denim update would kick off before the end of the year. This morning, updates reportedly have started in China and our bet is more carriers and phones will begin getting this new firmware and OS update soon.

Earlier this week, Microsoft updated their Software Update page with a new video discussing the Lumia Denim update. Now, that same video has been published to YouTube, signaling a small but growing planned release.

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Sprint has today announced the US carrier has rekindled its partnership with Microsoft and Windows Phone. The company will be offering the Lumia 635 across multiple brands, including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. The device, running Windows Phone 8.1, will be available through those two brands from December 23, with Sprint postpaid customers having to wait until January 16.

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Update: The BLU Win Jr also has the same OS update available.

Those who own the affordable – and highly stylish – BLU Win HD Windows Phone will want to force-check for an OS update. BLU in conjunction with Microsoft is pushing out Windows Phone 8.1.1 build 14203, one the latest versions of the Windows Phone OS. By comparison, the Preview for Developers program is up to version 14219, so as an official update, this one is quite close to the newest edition of the OS.

BLU Win HD users will find an exciting surprise upon installation: three-column support is now the only option for layout of the Live Tiles on the Start screen. Some users may not like this, but from our experience, it looks great on the Win HD's dark black display.

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During my hands on mini-review of the Lumia 535, there was only one issue that stood out on the otherwise outstanding Windows Phone: touch screen sensitivity was lower than ideal.

Evidently, I was not the only one to experience this as a few other reviews – both professional and from consumers – have noted that it can take more than one-tap to register on the Lumia 535. Some have reported that disabling 'Screen Magnifier', found under Settings > Ease of Access, helps improve things, which we can confirm, but others are still having problems. Now, at least according to Microsoft Lumia Malaysia via Facebook, a software update is in the works.

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Today you can get a discount on Destiny or Call of Duty and a shirt from a Microsoft Store, but tomorrow? Tomorrow you can get an unlocked Nokia Lumia 635 for as low as $99. That's the door-buster deal in-person at a Microsoft Store, but if you can't make it at the start of the day or in person at all, it'll still be just $129, which is $50 off.

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It looks like Indian carrier Idea has enabled carrier billing for Windows Phone, which allows customers to purchase digital content from the Windows Phone Store with their phone balance. Several users on our forums have already confirmed that the option is now working for them, and if you're an Idea customer, head on over to the payment options on your phone to check if it is available for you.

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Earlier today Windows Central reported on the forthcoming Mixview for Live Tiles in Windows 10. In the article, the cancelled McLaren prototype Windows Phone was brought up in referencing the original Mixview design. Now, new photos of the lost McLaren prototype have come forth, appearing once again out of China.

Previously, it was thought that the photos revealed a possible Lumia 1020 successor, however, newer evidence has come forth to shoot down that assumption.

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Windows 10 for Phone to have innovative Mixview Live Tiles

When it comes to Windows 10 on PC, much is already known in terms of enterprise design and features. After all, there is a public preview of Windows 10, which is downloadable to any laptop or PC right now. Still, the consumer end of Windows 10 is mostly a mystery at this time. Microsoft reportedly will detail more on that facet early next year.

Another unclear aspect is in regards to the Windows Phone UI. Although Windows 10 spans across PC, laptop, tablet, phone and even the Xbox One, it is not clear what, if any, changes it brings to the Start screen, especially on the phone.

Windows Central has been able to confirm with multiple sources that 'flyout tiles', also known as Mixview, will return to Windows Phone. Such a feature is returning because the concept was originally designed for the 3D Touch system that was to premiere with 'McLaren'.

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Christmas is arguably one of the biggest holidays, especially in the United States. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that Microsoft has programmed Cortana to respond to some yuletide inquiries with appropriate responses.

Firing up Cortana and asking her numerous questions or proclamations will inspire the digital personal assistant to respond appropriately. Here are a few examples sent to us by one perceptive reader.

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Microsoft's Cortana is certainly one of the most exciting consumer stories for the company in 2014. Building on the legacy of the Halo franchise, Cortana is rapidly becoming a well-known piece of tech for those who follow mobile. However, Cortana still has a few bugs and quirks, including one that is rearing its head for users in New England today.

If you use Cortana and you have weather alerts set up, you probably have witnessed the flood of…well, flood alerts that arrive on your phone. Although one or two warnings are okay during a six-hour period, when you bump it to more than five (and upwards of twenty) it is downright annoying. Even more so if you use the Microsoft Band.

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Although many people are benefitting from today's Preview for Developers OS update for Windows Phone 8.1.1, not everyone is pleased. Reports from users with Samsung ATIV devices suggest that today's update is causing endless reboot loops to occur, with hard resetting the device via a key combo not helping.

At this time, it is not clear which ATIV S phones are affected, though Windows Central has had numerous complaints posted in comments.

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For those using the Preview for Developers program, update 14219 went live just over an hour ago and it brings one of the most requested little features users have been pining for on Windows Phone

Although new Cortana support for Europe is the main thrust, there is at least one new feature: a quick toggle switch for Cellular Data.

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Version 14219 of Windows Phone 8.1.1 update for Preview users is now available

Starting just a few minutes ago at 1 p.m. ET, Microsoft has begun to roll out another OS update for those utilizing the Preview for Developers program.

Heading into Settings and Phone Update, users can tap the Check for Updates button to begin downloading the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1.1. Part of this update should enable Cortana for those in Europe, which was announced this morning. As usual, we also expect some bug fixes and optimizations as well.

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It is no secret that Lumia Denim and Windows Phone 8.1.1 (or GDR1) is officially due for Lumia Windows Phones this month, overlapping into 2015. Still, for those in France who are also on SFR, there now appears to be an official schedule for said updates.

The SFR Denim program reveals which Lumias get the update first in December and which will carry over into January. In that sense, it is interesting to see which Lumias get first dibs on Denim. As it turns out, it looks like Microsoft is going for market share, as those Lumias that are newest and most popular appear to be the first to get the update.

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