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Microsoft rolls out Windows Phone 8.1 to Lumia, alters search options

updated 01:57 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2014

Lumia Cyan adds Windows Phone 8.1, updates Nokia apps

Microsoft has started to roll out the Cyan software update for Lumia smartphones, bringing Windows Phone 8.1 to the smartphone range. At the same time, a report claims that some new Lumia devices being sold no longer give the option to set Google as the default search engine, restricting users to instead primarily search using Microsoft's own search engine, Bing.

The Cyan update adds Windows Phone 8.1 to the rest of the supported Lumia fleet of devices, as well as a few changes just for Lumia. Wi-Fi Sense, Word Flow, Device Search, an updated Internet Explorer 11, and Action Center are all included, with users in the United States also able to use Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana. Miracast and Bluetooth 4.0 LE support are also included.

Lumia-specific app changes include alterations to Creative Studio and Storyteller, with the Nokia Camera app adding a simpler user interface with one-tap editing and sharing options, full-resolution zooming, and reframing. The Nokia Device Hub will help users keep track of accessories by detailing where it was last used.

The update is being rolled out around the world today, though it could take a few weeks for it to arrive on devices, depending on location, carrier, and model.

The Verge reports that US versions of unlocked Lumia 930 and Lumia 630 smartphones do not have the option to change the default search engine to Google. European models of the same devices still give the option, as do existing Lumia devices updated to Windows Phone 8.1. The timing of the change is apt, considering the sale of Nokia's Devices and Services arm to Microsoft in April, and could be considered an attempt by the company to force users into adopting Bing for search.

Windows Phone's competition, iOS and Android, all offer users the choice of multiple search engines to use, making Microsoft's decision to restrict the choice odd in comparison. Microsoft has yet to comment on the matter.

by MacNN Staff



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