Windows Phone News

For some time now, users outside of the US using Cortana could get the weather but it was always in Fahrenheit. To get around this US-based temperature system, users had to use the voice assistant to request the temperature in Celsius specifically each time. It worked, but it was also cumbersome.

This morning, Windows Central began receiving numerous reports that their weather is now showing up in their Cortana stream in their regional preference aka Celsius.

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At the end of February, we reported that Cortana had picked up a few more Interests for users to select optionally. One of those was Showtimes + Trailers, which as the name implies has to do with movies playing nearby.

When we wrote that article, the feature itself was not live, but today we noticed that information had finally started to percolate into our Cortana feed.

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If you're rocking a Lumia device from Telstra and are yet to make the switch to Denim, chances are you will be able to do so by the end of the month. The Australian carrier has mentioned that the update is currently in testing for handsets such as the Lumia 520, Lumia 625, Lumia 920 and Lumia 1320, with these devices scheduled to receive the update starting March 30. Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020 are slated to get the Denim update a week earlier, with Telstra planning to commence rollout on March 23.

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Kantar WorldPanel has released its latest numbers for smartphone sales for the last three months ending back in January. The numbers contrast nicely with the last report that showed near universal declines in sales of Windows Phone.

The numbers, as usual, are a mixed bag of good news and not so good news for Windows Phones. Sales, in general, are up slightly as a whole across of big five European markets including Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. However, in individual countries, the story varies.

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The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL have been announced this week at MWC 2015, and they come with a newer version of Windows Phone 8.1. Other Windows Phone users are probably going to see the new features in an update called Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2. The changes are subtle, but make life a little easier. We've noticed the settings page received some changes, including the ability to pin individual settings to the Start screen. Watch our hands-on video to see it in action.

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Here's something we didn't expect to see at Mobile World Congress, a Windows Phone running the Windows 10 Technical Preview from Alcatel OneTouch. The phone is the Pixi 3, one of its range of low cost devices that can be had in a variety of screen sizes and running either Android, Firefox OS or Windows Phone. Only this version of the Windows Phone has the Technical Preview on it.

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Update is NOW available as of 1 pm ET!

Verizon is, ironically, ahead of many US carriers when it comes to pushing out Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. The Samsung ATIV SE, an admittedly beautiful and well-crafted Windows Phone is now on the stage to get the update too.

The Samsung ATIV SE launched with little fanfare in April of 2014 for Verizon Wireless. Featuring a 5-inch 1080p display the phone look built for Windows Phone 8.1. However, Samsung never delivered a proper 8.1 update, so instead the phone still rocks Windows Phone 8.0 Build 10532 (Update 3) making it feel quite antiquated.

Verizon has officially approved the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 today, March 2, 2015. The carrier has posted a PDF detailing the massive OS upgrade, and it looks to breathe new life into what is otherwise fantastic hardware. (The ATIV SE, like other Samsung phones, experienced some issues running the 8.1 Preview for Developers updates without accompanying firmware).

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For those of you who own the Nokia Lumia 1520.3 RM-938 variant, aka the SIM unlocked one that can run on AT&T or T-Mobile LTE bands, you will be excited to hear that your phone is finally eligible for the Lumia Denim update.

Numerous tips have surfaced within the last hour about an update coming in over-the-air, and our forum users are reporting the same.

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At Mobile World Congress, Microsoft launched its latest offerings in the budget segment, the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL. For those holding out for a flagship device, the Redmond giant announced back in January that a Windows Phone flagship running Windows 10 for phones will arrive sometime in 2015, with no mention of a date. In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft's director of phone marketing Neil Broadley said that a flagship will be available following the launch of Windows 10.

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Qualcomm has a host of new technologies in store, including an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, cognitive machine learning for your smartphone and tablet, and, of course, a new processor: the Snapdragon 820.

Qualcomm today at MWC 2015 announced their newest device security measure: an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. Dubbed Qualcomm Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology, the tech uses ultrasonic waves to penetrate through the outer layers of your finger to build a three-dimensional map of your fingerprint that's much harder to duplicate than a mere capacitive scanner as you'd find on the Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6. Additionally, Qualcomm also announced their new "machine learning" platform Zeroth, which aims to go for a device that learns and adapts to how you use it.

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Barcelona, Spain – This morning, Microsoft has announced a second new Windows Phone for their budget range of devices. Following on the heels of the 5-inch Lumia 640 is its bigger brother the 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL, which also includes a 13 MP rear and 5 MP front-facing cameras.

Launching this month in various markets worldwide, the $245 (219 euros) dual-SIM LTE Lumia 640 XL from Microsoft looks to bring robust hardware at an affordable price to those who want a smartphone with a large display. Coming in a variety of colors, Glance screen, and 1 GB of RAM, the Lumia 640 XL appears to be a substantial replacement for the aging Lumia 1320.

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Barcelona, Spain – This morning, Microsoft has unveiled the Lumia 640, the latest budget-friendly Windows Phone in the Lumia lineup.

The Lumia 640 builds off of the strengths of the Lumia 635 but brings none of the drawbacks. With improved hardware and a larger, 720P display, the Lumia 640's dual-SIM LTE design should open Windows Phone to a whole new market.

Additionally, Microsoft is tossing in a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote on the Lumia as well as on one PC or Mac and one tablet. The subscription comes with 1TB of OneDrive storage and 60 free minutes of Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling per month.

Pricing of the dual-SIM LTE version of the Lumia 640 is expected to be around $180 (159 euros) while the dual-SIM 3G should retail for $155 (139 euros) both starting in April.

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In the ongoing race to win over support for Windows Phone, Snapchat is the top of the pack when it comes to companies snubbing the Microsoft platform.

Joining the likes of Pebble, Snapchat is evidently getting tired of pesky Windows Phone users requesting an app. As if it were not enough to get app stores to remove third-party apps and turn down developers willing to make an official Snapchat client, the company has now removed their feedback system for requesting device support.

The feature was found under the Snapchat website's 'feedback' section that includes numerous areas like feature requests or just sending them praise for being so original (sarcasm level: high).

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Although app and OS updates are great, what is even better is when companies post the entire changelog of what exactly is new. Luckily for us, AT&T agrees with this idea.

Earlier today, AT&T released the Lumia Denim software update for their Lumia 1520 and now the company has posted a very detailed listing of what has changed.

Most of the features in the update are already known, but things like the 578MB file size or Femtocell closed subscriber group (CSG) access being enabled are certainly unique.

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