Windows Phone News

Late last night, Verizon let it slip that the Windows Phone 8.1.1 and Lumia Denim updates are coming for the Nokia Lumia Icon. In a five-page PDF document, Verizon highlights all the major additions and fixes.

Now, that update is live for Lumia Icon users who would like to get the update over-the-air. This method is the preferred way for most users as it does not require wiping the device and doing a fresh install (like the technique we detailed this morning).

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It's finally here! If you don't mind erasing all your content, the Lumia Denim update is now available for the Lumia Icon on Verizon. The catch is that it's currently only available through the Lumia Software Recovery Tool. The update should also be available Over The Air (OTA) very soon if you don't want to erase all your content. We've just installed the update on our Lumia Icon and we're really happy that is has finally arrived.

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Nokia today announced an update for the HERE maps solution on both Windows Phone and Android, which should be hitting handsets from today. The update includes support for turn-by-turn navigation in new regions (and improvements to the feature itself in supported markets), as well as improved map coverage in others markets. But wait, there's more.

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The Windows 10 preview for phones is expected to drop sometime this week for a subset of Windows Phones. Microsoft has been quiet on exact features that will (or won't) be present in the initial build, but one thing we do know is there are some quirky bugs due to it being pre-release software.

Previously, Microsoft's Gabriel Aul has hinted that a recovery tool would be available. Earlier this morning on Twitter, he confirmed that news in a response to a question about its availability.

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For owners of the international, unlocked Lumia 830 – that's the RM_984 – in some European countries there's a happy surprise pushing out this evening, as the necessary software update to enable Lumia Camera 5 is here. The OS version should read 8.10.14226.359, and when you reboot after installing you should see an app update waiting in the Store for you. And that would be Lumia Camera 5.

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Exactly two weeks ago, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore took to Twitter to announce that a video showing features of Windows 10 for phone is forthcoming in one to two weeks. Currently, Microsoft's videos on Windows 10 have been focused on the desktop and tablet form factors, with phone only getting a sneak peek during their Redmond event. In fact, media were unable to video any hands-on with Windows 10 phones, only photos.

Now, Microsoft's Gabriel Aul, who is heading the Windows Insider program, has responded on Twitter that the Windows Phone video is due this week. Even better, when responding to some criticism about the release of the Technical Preview for phones, Aul responded with a more imminent release.

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Microsoft is increasingly fine-tuning its plans for the Technical Preview of Windows 10 for phones. Due sometime this month, the early release software is testing internally at Microsoft, having gone beyond the tightly lipped Operating Systems Group (OSG) recently.

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore tweeted yesterday on some aspects of the initial tech preview including that there is a limited batch of phone models eligible for the update, support for 512 MB devices (including the Lumia 520) and plans still for a February release. Now, some internal data has confirmed at least some of the phones that Windows 10 for mobile is currently working on.

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From the team that brought you such hits as "Beautiful Baby" and #735style comes #535ScreenStar, the latest in a series of Lumia giveaways. Microsoft UK is running a contest through which you can win a Lumia 535 along with a flip case. All you need to do is take a photo of yourself dressed up as your favorite movie character and share it on Twitter.

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Microsoft's upcoming Cortana-powered Office Work Assistant was revealed in a series of leaked images over the weekend, and now there's a video highlighting the functionality of the app. The video shows how Work Assistant can be launched via Cortana, and can then search for files stored on multiple locations, including your phone, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, PC and SharePoint.

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Office Work Assistant is part of Microsoft's plan to overhaul the mobile Office experience for Windows Phone users. One aspect of that refresh coming with Windows 10 is Work Assistant, a Cortana powered metadata search engine to help users find documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on their phone, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint using "natural phrases and language".

The Verge reported existence of the app on Friday, and Earlier this morning, WindowsBlogItalia posted a handful of images from the app, which is currently in internal beta testing at Microsoft. Now, Windows Central has even more images from the app in action, revealing a little more about the layout and capabilities.

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Attention users of the Blu Win HD and Blu Win JR: you have an update waiting for you. It's a small one, sure, but an update nonetheless. In typical Blu fashion there's nary a change log to be seen, for this update to 8.10.14226.359. At the very least, thanks to the keen eyes of Windows Central Forum member Greg Gray, it adds the ability to toggle cellular data through Notification Center.

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