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Lumia Denim update for Windows Phone brings Cortana and more to Australia

Microsoft Devices confirms that the staged rollout of the Lumia Denim update for a wide range of Lumia handsets has begun.

James Martin/CNET

Announced back in September 2014, Lumia Denim is an update to the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. While a few devices, such as the Lumia 830, the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 730, have been running Denim for a while now, the update has been slow to trickle down to other Lumia products.

Microsoft Devices has just announced that an over-the-air update of Denim will be available from today. The rollout is being staged, however, with all 17 eligible handsets upgraded by the end of March. A Microsoft Devices spokesperson said that they were unable to clarify which phones would be updated in what order.

The update is seen by Microsoft Devices as an important stepping stone for its recently announced Windows 10 for Phones, with the majority of phones running Windows 8.1 capable of updating to Windows 10.

Denim will add a number of key features to Lumia phones including:

  • Folders: Users can add folders to their start screen to organise Live Tiles and apps
  • Custom Start screen: The Apps Corner addition lets users create a custom Start screen for other people who use their phone
  • Browsing Speed: Mobile websites will load quicker in Internet Explorer
  • Cortana Alpha and Voice Activation: The Alpha version of the digital voice assistant will now be available on all Lumia devices. If you use the Lumia 930 and 1520 you get Cortana Voice Activation. Saying "Hey Cortana" will start up the service
  • VPN: You'll now have the option to use a VPN while on Wi-Fi for additional security

For the Lumia 930, Lumia 830 and Lumia 1520 the update also includes Lumia Camera, which brings functions such as instant 4K video recording when you hold the camera button within the app, plus faster camera start-up speeds and better low light images.

The full list of phones that will receive the Denim update in Australia is: Lumia 930, Lumia 1520, Lumia 635, Lumia 636, Lumia 630, Lumia 830, Lumia 735, Lumia 530, Lumia 1020, Lumia 925, Lumia 820, Lumia 920, Lumia 625, Lumia 1320, Lumia 520, Lumia 720 and Lumia 620.