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How to download Windows Phone 8.1 early

Windows Phone 8.1 sports a ton of cool new features, the only problem is, it isn’t due to arrive for a few more months. Here’s how to get it now.

On the whole it’s a pretty simple affair, just understand that it voids your warranty, so, sometime it can pay to be patient.

Step 1: Become a developer

So first things first, become a developer. Now don’t worry, this is just a formality and you don’t need to learn how to make apps, just head to appstudio.windowsphone.com and sign in with your Windows ID to register.

For the fastest turnaround, we also suggest doing this all from the Windows Phone you want to update.

Step 2: Download the Preview for Developers app

Once you’re registered, download the permissions from the link in the email you’ll receive and then search for Preview for Developers in the Windows Phone app store.

Download the app, make sure to tap the tick box and then hit done. Now all you have to do is update your phone.

Step 3: Update your phone

It might require a couple of restarts and it’s wise to backup your device beforehand just in case. When you’re happy, search for updates as you normally would, download, install and repeat until your phone lets you know that Windows Phone 8.1 is installed.

If you’re happy playing with the Word Flow Keyboard and the new Action Centre, you can stop here, but if you want the full experience and like us you’re stuck in the UK, you’ll also notice Cortana is absent.

Thankfully we’ve already got a full guide on how to get Cortana working in the current Windows Phone 8.1 update. It’s right here, enjoy!

Update 15/7/14: The Lumia Cyan update has just been announced, coming to Windows Phone 8 devices and upgrading them to Windows Phone 8.1. Cortana still hasn’t made it to the UK yet, but once it becomes available, users will have access to ehr search talents along with all the other new WP8.1 features.

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