Windows Phone News

The newest entry-level phone is now available from the UK's Carphone Warehouse for the absurdly-low price of just £29.99.

If you've been looking for a cheap way to get in to Windows Phone, or just a cheap spare to have around or something for the kids, the Microsoft Lumia 435 from Carphone Warehouse might be just the phone you're looking for. Available for pay-as-you-go plans on Orange, Vodaphone, O2, T-Mobile, and Virgin, the phone clocks in at as low as £29.99 (or £39.99 if you need to get it with a new SIM).

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We've already seen Cortana's new Fitness Tracking support start to roll out under the new Lifestyle interest category, and now Microsoft has detailed how you can use it to stay on top of your workouts.

The fitness tracking feature allows Cortana to track when you usually head out to the gym, remind you beforehand, and even schedule make-up days if you happen to slack on your commitment.

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The Cortana team has been rolling out new Interests to Cortana's Notebook for a few weeks now. One of them is the Lifestyle category, with Fitness Tracker as the particular class. (The other new interest is Showtimes + Trailers).

Many of Cortana's characteristics and interests do not roll out to users all at once. Instead, Microsoft tends to push it out slowly, gauging feedback and usage. Lifestyle though is an interesting one: it appears that you can get the interest to show up by merely saving a favorite place as 'Gym'.

If you are unsure on how to save places as favorites, follow these steps to get the Lifestyle interest in Cortana

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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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