After a long period as a developer preview, the official release of Windows Phone 8.1 is now rolling out to Nokia Lumia Windows Phones. Windows Phone 8.1 brings many long needed improvements to the platform, some of the most significant being features like the new Action Center which combines notifications and access to settings and shortcuts in a menu that can be pulled down from the top of the device, and improvements to performance and compatibility in Internet Explorer 11. For a full overview of the improvements made in Windows 8.1 you can read Anand's review of the April developer preview here 

In addition to the improvements made in Windows 8.1, the update rolling out to Nokia devices also includes Nokia specific improvements in what is being called the Lumia Cyan update. The Lumia Cyan update includes a handful of audio equalizer features like enabling equalizer settings for audio played over the phone's speaker and a "dialog enhancer" to boost the volume of human speech in videos played on the device. On some of the higher end Lumia devices the update enables the option to record Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio in the camera app which does audio processing to emulate multi-channel audio recording.

The Lumia Cyan update also brings a couple of improvements to the display settings. The first is support for brightness profiles which was originally introduced on the Lumia 630. This introduces a slider in the brightness section of the settings application for finer control over the desired brightness than the default fixed settings of low, medium, and high. The other new display related feature is what Nokia calls color profiles. In essence these are just settings that allow the user to shift the display toward a brighter more saturated image or toward a cooler less saturated image. Along with the three presets of standard, vivid, and cool, there is also an advanced mode which allows the user to manually change settings labelled color temperature, tint, and color saturation using three sliders.

While Windows 8.1 is an update that will roll out to the entire range of Windows Phone 8 devices with all features included, the Lumia Cyan update may have certain features tailored only to specific devices. More information about other features included in the Lumia Cyan update can be found in Nokia's announcement post below. Both updates are beginning their rollout today and Nokia has updated their update status page to reflect the beginning of the Lumia Cyan and Windows 8.1 rollout. The update will be rolling out to Nokia Lumia phones as well as Windows Phone devices from other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC in the coming weeks.

Source: Nokia Blog, Nokia Update Status

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  • kyuu - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    The problem was that Brian Klug was supposed to handle WP covereage/reviews, but he abruptly stopped writing articles for it (after receiving a Lumia 920 for review and stating that the article was a WIP at one point) and started openly mocking WP. No one else at Anandtech ever picked up Brian's slack.

    Now Brian is gone, I believe, and as far as I know there still isn't anyone at Anandtech that has committed to covering/reviewing WP and its hardware. We get the occasional pipeline article, but that's it.
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    Keep an eye out in the near future c:
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    Good to hear!
  • althaz - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    Coolness. Although I already bought a windows phone :)
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - link

    You don't want coverage of upcoming devices? o.O

    Brandon, I want those reviews of the 1525 and 1820 on my desk by Monday! Not sure which Monday, of course, but one of them.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, July 18, 2014 - link

    Good news Brandon, looking forward to more WP analyses. :)
  • psnewman - Friday, July 18, 2014 - link

    I put the developers 8.1 on my ATT (I unlocked it to use on TMO) Nokia 1520. It now runs slower, gets warm and battery life is terrible. I have the latest version of 8.1 which supposedly solved the battery life issue. I hope the actual rollout of this product is better than the developers edition. In short, I made the mistake of jumping on this too soon.
  • Farru - Friday, July 18, 2014 - link

    The equalizer does not work half the Lumia devices.
  • Farru - Friday, July 18, 2014 - link

    The equalizer does not work half the Lumia devices, does not allow software installation.
  • Farru - Friday, July 18, 2014 - link

    All devices with other operating systems have it in their basic models.

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