AT&T Rolls Out Windows Phone 8.1 to Nokia Lumia 1520

AT&T Rolls Out Windows Phone 8.1 to Nokia Lumia 1520

Color me amazed

Bet you never saw this one coming: Ever-late-to-the-party is now among the first wireless carriers to rollout Windows Phone 8.1 to existing customers. The firm announced today that it is now delivering the update—presumably with the Cyan firmware update and whatever updates of its own—to Lumia 1520 users. The bad news? You can't currently get it if you're on the Developer Preview.

Relax, we can fix that last bit.

"The Windows Phone 8.1 update also takes full advantage of the Lumia 1520's quad-core processor, large, bright 6-inch HD 1080p display, and Nokia Rich Recording suite – four digital microphones and 140 dB recording range provide unparalleled stereo sound for video captured by the Lumia 1520," the AT&T announcement notes.

OK, so you know all about Windows Phone 8.1. If not, check out my review.

And you know all about the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, and how you could get the RTM version of the OS early by signing-up (for free) as a developer.

And you know that Lumia Cyan will be delivered alongside Windows Phone 8.1 when your wireless carrier releases the OS update. (AT&T doesn't say this but, yes, Cyan is included with this release.)

And you know that you are supposed to be able to upgrade from the Developer Preview to the shipping version of the OS (and Cyan and whatever updates your carrier also chooses to bundle).

So what's up?

If you are on AT&T and have a 1520 and check for updates, you should be good to go: You can update over the air.

If, however, you previously upgraded with the Developer Preview, you will not (today) see any updates available on your 1520.

Microsoft will at some point patch the Developer Preview so you can upgrade (and I suspect this will be an issue with others phones and is not 1520-specific). If you simply can't wait, you can still get the Windows Phone 8.1/Cyan updates immediately. Well, semi-immediately, because you'll need to revert to 8.0 first, restore from your backup, and then upgrade to 8.1 through AT&T.

Not familiar with restoring your phone to the original OS version? I'm writing this up for Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide and in fact just this past weekend rolled back two phones in order to document the process. But since you can't wait for me to publish the book, I'll give you the short version. First, make sure your phone is being backed up in Settings, System, Backup. Then, grab the free Nokia Software Recovery Tool for Windows 7/8.x and step through the wizard-based process of restoring your 1520 to version 8.0. During the initial setup, restore from your previous backup. Then, install whatever updates you get—including, eventually Windows Phone 8.1—in Settings, System, Phone Update.

Or, just wait a bit. Microsoft will fix this. He says confidently. 


Note: I should add. If you want to wait just a little bit longer, I am updating my 1520 now by reverting to 8.0 first. So if you're iffy about this process, hang tight. I'll provide a short update.

Note 2: As someone noted in the comments, you can't restore from an 8.1-based backup in 8.0. So I restored from my last backup from the 1520 before I went to the Developer Preview in April. Then, checking for updates, I got 8.0.10532.166, which you may recall "makes it easier to to update your phone to Windows Phone 8.1." That's installing now. --Paul

Note 3: And now Windows Phone 8.1 and the "Nokia Update for Windows Phone" (aka "Cyan") is installing. Windows Phone 8.1 is listed as version number 8.1.12397.895. More soon. --Paul

Note 4: OK, 8.1 is installed. Now I'm going to hard reset and see if I can't restore from my last 8.1-based backup on this device. So far, the process has taken about 45 minutes to an hour, I guess. Not bad given what it's doing. --Paul

Note 5: Good news: With 8.1 GA fully installed, I did a hard reset and, sure enough, a July 24 backup was available for this device. It's restoring now. Success! --Paul

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