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Reports are in that the popular Windows Phone enthusiast software Navifirm can no longer access Nokia servers to display stored firmware. The Finnish handset maker previously revealed in January that access would be restricted by the end of that month. Three months later and we're now at the point where error boxes plague the user experience, reporting unauthorised faults.

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Just yesterday on the podcast we were asked about a timetable for the new Nokia firmware for their Lumia line. As we detailed earlier, the 1308 firmware brings a host of new features and fixes for users—much like a good tidying up. Some of those changes include camera improvements, Storage fix option and the ability to change the color intensity of the display.

Now, that 1308 firmware has been spotted by us on the Navifirm system for the AT&T Lumia 920, meaning the release should be within a few weeks, at most, pending a nod from the carrier. Peeking on Nokia’s servers, we can see firmware for “RM-820 NDT America ATT” with the five color options available (white, black, red, cyan, and yellow). The firmware is marked as 1232.5957.1308.1.

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It appears that a very few Lumia 620’s have already come off of the line with the latest firmware on board. That’s perhaps to be expected, but it also looks like it’s this firmware that will bring advanced Storage management, including the ability to clear temporary cache files in “other” storage.

Currently, most Lumia 620’s are on the 1250 firmware. A few days ago, 1304 began to populate Navifirm and sure enough within the last day or so, 1307 has appeared for one device/region. It is that 1307 firmware that brings this new ability (we know only because we’re on 1304 ourselves). The OS though is the same Portico 10211 as found on current Windows Phones.

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With Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 devices, including the Lumia 620, Lumia 810, 820, 822 and of course 920, one feature that was previously available on earlier Lumias went missing: Flip to Silence. Part of that reason may be due to the curve screen on the Lumia 920, but it doesn’t explain the 8xx series or 620 as those are flat.

New firmware found on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 620 hint that this feature is on its way back. The firmware (1030.6402) looks to be still experimental and it is difficult to download but one of our readers did manage to grab the files and flash his Lumia 620 (we tried but received some errors).

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Although “all will be revealed” at Mobile World Congress in just a few short weeks, it doesn’t mean the speculation cannot begin. A new device, RM-860, has shown up in two places to validate its existence.

The first spot is on Elbert Perez’s Occasional Gamer site. Perez makes numerous high quality Windows Phone games and he happens to record which devices use his wares. That info is then shared publicly on his website.

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Soon after Microsoft today announced the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK, we wrote how this was more evidence that the highly anticipated update is right around the corner. Bets are being traded on which carriers are first (and which are last), but we have one surprise for you: AT&T.

Peeking on Nokia’s own servers, we can now see the official Windows Phone 7.8 update and corresponding firmware now waiting to be released into the wild.  Listed for all for color variants of the Lumia 900, the 7.8 update must have reached approval status very recently.

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Want to update your Lumia 920 early? Read below on getting started, including the risks.

Although folks on Rogers and AT&T have successfully received the Windows Phone “Portico” and firmware updates for their Nokia Lumia 920s, there’s a good chunk of the rest of the world who has not. In fact, the plan is not roll out that update for another month or so, which is a bummer for those looking to improve their camera or get new features.

What follows down below is a very detailed and well written guide on how to manually update your Lumia 920. The information is actually well known and many of us have used the same “system” for updating our previous Lumias, but this one is clearly written and regularly updated. Started in our forums by Nabkawe5, it’s one of our hottest threads.

But first, we need to explain a few things…

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Looks like AT&T is also getting in on the game for updating their Lumia 920 flagship phone. A new update has just popped up on Nokia's servers, viewable by the third party Navifirm software.

The update is simply labeled PR1_1_V3, which to us sounds a lot like the update detailed yesterday by Engadget that fixes the soft-focus on the Lumia 920. But there is reason to believe that this is more than just an update for the camera as it will presumably address other minor issues with the phone and tweak some settings.

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Nokia is getting ready for a mass Lumia 900 upgrade

Just yesterday it was discovered that Nokia had been seeding some OS updates for the Lumia 800 and 510 devices on their servers, specifically WIndows Phone 7.8. The evidence came via the third-party software Navifirm, which shows the updates waiting for distribution.

Now, one of our eagle-eyed readers caught the Lumia 900 getting in on the action. The OS update is for RM-823, which is the international, non-AT&T version and has an OS version number of 8858 with the 12480 firmware. Windows Phone 7.8 is finalized at 8858 making this a bonafide official update.

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A non-working, magenta Lumia 900 for Italian Nokia stores

For a few months now we've been teasing the Magenta variant of the Nokia Lumia 900. We first reported that it was scheduled for a Mother's Day release, which would have seen appropriate but alas that never came to be. Since then we've seen the Magenta device show up worldwide a few times including Nokia's own Facebook page but it has yet to be released anywhere.

Now, if you load up NaviFirm Plus and check Nokia's servers, you'll see a Magenta ROM for the Lumia 900 looking pretty. The listed file name is RM-808 VAR ATT MAGENTA (059N3B9) and it corresponds with the same ROM and firmware available for the current cyan, matte black and glossy white versions already available on AT&T.

A snapshot from Navifirm clearly showing a Magenta Lumia 900 ROM for AT&T

While there is no word on availability we're going to take this as a major sign that AT&T is gearing up for its release and it is rather close too. 

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Windows Phone "Tango" aka CR3 is the OS update everyone wants though very few know why. Indeed it brings only a handful of updates, mostly revolving around MMS options and geolocation icon. The OS update is mostly aimed at the low-end 256MB devices that are now hitting the market though it does give companies a chance to tie in precious firmware updates with the OS.

While the AT&T Lumia 900 sells with 8112 (CR2), everyone is anxiously anticipating 8773 (CR3). That OS update won't actually do much but the accompanying firmware presumably will (read: bug fixes).

Having said all of that the Finish Tango ROM (8773 with firmware 12140) popped up on Navifirm this morning and yes, can be downloaded. Does that mean it can be flashed to your AT&T Lumia 900? We wouldn't recommend it as down-grading the ROM to the proper one is not guaranteed. Still, we know many of you are anxious on this end so we'll see what the more ambitious folks have to say if someone dares to flash.

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Okay, in a way we really don't recommend you do this, on the other hand we just did so who are we to judge. In short, with a few tools and about 20 minutes of your time, you can flash the latest build of Windows Phone (8107 with the keyboard fix) and the latest firmware (12070) onto your T-Mobile branded Nokia Lumia 710.

The latest firmware fixes the end-call bug in addition to giving other "performance enhancements" e.g. powering on from standby seems faster to us now, whereas before there was delay. We haven't run it long enough to see if battery life has improved, though we presume since this matches the Lumia 800's new firmware that it has some of the same tricks (we're idling at about 135mAh, for what it's worth).

How is this done? The files come from Nokia's servers where you can download various ROM packages. In this case, Nokia has available three variants (by color) of their latest 710 ROMs for India available. That's right, you'll be installing a ROM for India on your US phone. No worries though as it's unbranded and heck, it even has two pics of the Taj Mahal as a bonus.

Downside? Evidently in India you can't give an option to disable the camera shutter sound, so you'll literally lose that option in Settings. This is also a full-on flash, meaning you'll wipe your device and backups won't work (new firmware). Finally, we lost our "4G" icon which makes us wonder if we lost our HSPA+ speeds. Our browser download tests (compared to a T-Mo Radar 4G) show that no loss in speed has occurred and from normal use, it feels just as fast as ever for data.

In order to do this you'll need two pieces of free software: Navifirm and Nokia Care Suite 5.0. The former downloads the ROMs from the server, the latter via the Product Support Tool For Store 5.0, allows you to flash your phone. (Honestly, it's really easy once you read some instructions).

Unfortunately we're not going to give a step-by-step because this is a little risky (although you can just flash back the T-Mobile release ROM). Still, if you want to know more about how this works, just head over to ye'old XDA where you can read the similar instructions on flashing the Lumia 800 (yes, it works on that too). Or you could just wait for the T-Mobile version, which we imagine will be here in a few weeks.

Thanks, Robert, for the heads up

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