Windows Phone News

Last week, we reported how Samsung was slowly trickling out the Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR1) for ATIV S users. However, the rollout at the time was limited to just phones with Austrian region branding. Users in our forums detailed how you could do it yourself, however the method was complicated by the sheer amount of ATIV S versions out on the market.

Today, our unbranded UK ATIV S (I8750), without the 8.1 Preview, is finally receiving numerous OS updates and new firmware. Users in our forums are confirming the same for what looks like a wider swath of ATIV S users and more regions.

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Lots of news happening today regarding Microsoft and their new fitness smart Band and one of the big questions people have: Do you need Lumia Cyan? The thinking here is Lumia Cyan disabled Bluetooth Smart aka Bluetooth LE, ergo it cannot work with a device like the Verizon Lumia Icon. Right?

Luckily, for you we just successfully paired up our Lumia Icon running Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, not even the latest version, and we had zero issues synchronizing and pairing.

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Back in September we reported that Microsoft brought back the free UK bundle for Lumia 930 and Lumia 830 owners who purchase their handset between 1st August 2014 to 31st December. This offer is still valid until the end of 2014, and we'd just like to remind everyone that if you get one of the two Windows Phones you'll be able to grab some free goodies.

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New stats from Kantar WorldPanel reveal that Windows Phone sales have seen a slight decline for the three months to September 2014.

The Kantar numbers, while not dramatic, reflect two aspects of the current Windows Phone ecosystem: lack of new phones and a substantial portfolio from the competition, including new iPhones.

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Update 3: The 8.1 update is live as our T-Mobile Lumia 925 now has Lumia Cyan (and it is also enrolled in the Preview for Developers program)

It looks like T-Mobile US is getting ready to unveil finally the Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan update for its venerable Lumia 925.

Evidence comes from T-Mobile's support forums, which detailed the over-the-air update. However, that page has since reverted and despite an earlier claim, we have not had an update for our Lumia 925s. It looks like T-Mobile may have jumped the gun a bit early, although we have all the details.

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Late last night, a rather significant update went out for the OneDrive app for Windows Phone. With the app refresh came some highly requested features like support for OneDrive for Business. However, there was also a rather large UI change too, stirring some controversy amongst loyal Windows Phone fans.

Changes in app design are always a mixed bag. UI design is an art and like art, there are champions and critics for choices and layout. Some are rational others are pragmatic, and many are just subjective opinions.

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Starting about ten days ago, reports that Samsung was pushing out Windows Phone 8.1 Update for ATIV S users began circulating the 'nets. We have our own ATIV S here in the house, which is an unbranded UK release, and were not able to get any such update. Instead, we are stuck on Windows Phone 8.0 GDR3 (Build 10517; Firmware 2424.13.10.1).

As it turns out, a very select few ATIV S users are getting Windows Phone 8.1 Update (Build 14157; Firmware 2424.14.9.3), which is splendid news. The bad news is it is isolated to specific regions like Austria and maybe Hong Kong.

Samsung ATIV S devices released through carriers and most other areas are not seeing the update yet, although obviously this can change. Let me try and explain and give you the full story.

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It is no secret at this point that the Nokia name was going to be eventually supplanted by something else. Nokia lives on as a separate company, while Microsoft takes ownership of the Lumia brand and brings the new employees into the fold.

Speculation about the name change has been going for months but on October 21, Microsoft made it official by stating the new name will go from Nokia Lumia to Microsoft Lumia.

Tonight, the Conversations blog has more on the name change, including what it all means.

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There's a new update out for those enrolled in the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers program. Go to your settings and check for an update, and you'll find 8.10.14192.280 available. The download and installation of the update should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Microsoft is listing this as a 'critical update'. Don't skip out.

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Microsoft has its work cut out for them in the United States where perception of the tech giant is seen as less hip than Apple. Besides the near ubiquitous adoption by celebrities of the iPhone, the US Congress is also evidently a big fan of Cupertino's hardware.

Popular DC rag The Hill conducted a survey back at the beginning of the month asking members of Congress which phones they used. As it turns out, more than 71 percent of our lawmakers use iPhones, with 28 percent still using BlackBerry. Android does not fair too well either, with only 9 percent favoring the somewhat convoluted mobile OS. Many in Congress also carry multiple phones.

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Update: It appears that the Windows Phone Store is back in business. Download on.

Having trouble accessing the Windows Phone Store? You're not alone. About 3:10 PM PST is when we first started getting errors connecting to the Windows Phone Store. Since then tips are coming in from others that they're unable to access or update apps in the Windows Phone Store.

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