Rumors

Although the idea that Nokia – which is soon to be owned by Microsoft (transition teams are working day and night) – will release an Android phone seems farfetched, it’s clear that the Finnish company was serious about the device. Dubbed ‘Normandy’, the low-end hardware reportedly runs a forked-version of Android, meaning it can’t access core-Google services.

We’ve seen some renders and even a photo, but now a new image has appeared on the Sina Weibo site Palm Uncle (at least, that’s our Bing translation). The photo is interesting because it shows the device wrapped in its protective cover, which is often used to mask its full design. Indeed many Nokia execs carry their pre-production Lumias in such cases when traveling.

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 is the company's high-end "phablet" Windows Phone. The 16GB variant is currently available at numerous outlets within the US, as well as AT&T for direct purchasing. The mobile operator has yet to launch the 32GB version of the Windows Phone, but this could well change soon as we've learnt that January 10th is believed to be the day when AT&T opens up orders.

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Huawei and ZTE are rather hot in the news when it comes to Windows Phone. The two Chinese OEM partners are potentially looking to release new hardware, running Microsoft's Windows Phone OS and rumours pinned the former manufacturer to unveil its Ascend W3 at CES this week.

Now, WPDang reports that this may not be the case and both Huawei and ZTE may well be eyeing up Mobile World Congress for some Windows Phone action.

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While we are not expecting much Windows Phone news out of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, rumors are making the rounds that Huawei will unveil the Ascend W3 Windows Phone at this year’s show.

We have heard rumblings of a new Windows Phone in the works for Huawei with the Ascend W3 but very little specifics.  The major line of thought is that the Ascend W3 will have an aluminum body, a 780x1280 display and overall loosely resemble the Nokia Lumia 925.

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Nokia's Lumia Black update (rolling out alongside the Update 3 from Microsoft) is still being loaded on hardware in numerous markets post-Nokia World, but should you reside in China, you're more than likely still waiting for the update to hit your Windows Phone. Today, we've got some good news for you. WPDang has learnt through sources that China will see the Lumia Black update from next Wednesday.

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File this under wishful thinking, but The Information, a new tech website founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin, is reporting that Sony and Microsoft are in talks for a new Windows Phone next year. The report cites an unnamed but trusted source on the matter, though they note that nothing is yet signed between the companies.

Should such a deal come forward, it will reportedly fall under Sony’s VAIO brand, which has seen modest success in the Windows 8 world. Sony used to make reasonably successful Windows Mobile devices, and they were on board with Windows Phone 7, back when Microsoft announced the OS in Barcelona in early 2010. In fact, Sony Ericsson had the ‘Jolie’ prototype circulating before backing out at the last minute.

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File this under wishful thinking, but the venerable Lumia 920 has allegedly been jailbroken. That’s the claim from hacker poandsou and Silen Tech, who have posted a video supposedly demonstrating a Lumia 920 with the jailbreak enabled. For owners of the Lumia 920, or potentially any other Windows Phone 8 device, jailbreaking could bring a new avenue of development and customization, should this claim prove to be viable for the average user.

We should caution that none of this information has been independently verified, so at this time we are taking them at their word. Even if it is true, there are a lot of details that need to be filled in before this can mean anything.

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The Nokia-Microsoft deal is marching steadily to a conclusion as being approved by the United States, the European Union, and of course, Nokia's shareholders. However, China is still reluctant to give its word. Recently China's Ministry of Commerce has started a second round of probes into Microsoft's acquisition case. This time the government has a new emphasis: antitrust.

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Nokia’s first dual SIM Windows Phone is rumored to be codenamed “Moneypenny”. Dual-SIM phones allow mobile devices to carry and support two SIM cards. This dual SIM operation lets users use two services at once without needing to carry two different phones. Dual SIM devices are very popular in emerging markets, which is probably where we’ll find Moneypenny (aka the Lumia 630 and 635) offered. Now we’ve got a rumored screenshot of the display.

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Specifics emerge on new features for Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has successfully packaged and released Update 3 for Windows Phone 8, leaving only the 8.1 update, aka ‘Blue’, on the table for shipping. Expected to be reveled at Build 2014 in April, Windows Phone Central understands that 'M3' (Milestone 3), the escrow period and RTM dates have already been locked into place by Microsoft.

Today, The Verge has added to the story by detailing some new information to features already expected for the landmark release.

In an article published this morning, Tom Warren goes into more detail over the notification center and ‘Cortana’ the Siri-like personal assistant.

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The Twitter account @evleaks, which has proved to be a reliable source in the past, has today tweeted am alleged leaked screenshot of Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue." This screenshot shows virtual, on-screen capacitive buttons with the familiar back, Windows and search setup. Just like Android, you're looking at a black bar at the bottom of the screen with all three buttons present.

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The Chinese government recently lifted its decade-long ban on the selling of gaming consoles within the country, which has been in place since 2000. Console makers are expected to seize the opportunity and extend their war to another huge new market. According to reports, Microsoft will be the one to make the first move, bringing Xbox to China in September 2014.

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Microsoft made some radical changes to the Windows platform with the launch of Windows 8. Some consumers adapted to the new Modern user interface, while others struggled to move on from the Start menu, not effectively utilising the Start screen with Live Tiles and other functionality. According to latest reports, the company is looking to return the Start menu in a coming update.

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Nokia’s Lumia Black firmware, which will come along with Microsoft’s Update 3 OS bump, is due in "early 2014". It seems however that the Finnish company wants to make sure all is right with the firmware as they are offering customers early access to work out any bugs.

The proposal seems to be tied to using the ‘Feedback to Nokia’ app found under Settings. Users who have evidently competed the mini-survey are being contacted via email with the offer to test Lumia Black before anyone else gets it. The early-access beta program appears to be linked to Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 devices, although it’s not clear if other Lumias will have the same testing program.

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Just yesterday we reported on some forthcoming features in the popular messaging app WhatsApp. The new features, which include saving of videos to the device, were found in the private beta of the app. Soon after that article though, WhatsApp pushed out another update to version 2.11.322 and it now has the long coveted feature of attaching videos. We have verified that the new functionality is present.

The system for attaching videos is very basic. Users simply tap on the ‘Albums’ icon to browse their library of media, but instead of just photos, videos are now visible there as well. From that screen, users can just attach the video, which will then be auto-sent to the contact. It’s basic but it works and we imagine it will be refined a little over the next few betas. Limits for video size and length are currently not known.

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