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HTC 8X gets first Windows Phone 8 over-the-air update

HTC's 8X smartphone has received Microsoft's first over-the-air update for the Windows Phone 8 mobile platform, the company's attempt to fight off Google's Android and Apple's iOS in the smartphone market.

Launching first on the HTC 8X handset, the new update is the first that doesn't require the smartphone to be connected to a PC running Microsoft's Zune software in order for the software to be downloaded. Instead, users are prompted directly on the handset to install the update, which can be downloaded over mobile broadband or a Wi-Fi connection with no need to dig out the phone's USB cable.

The update, currently exclusive to the HTC 8X handset, ups the device's build number from 9905 to 10211, delivering a range of bug fixes designed to fix reported instances of Windows Phone 8 handsets spontaneously rebooting - a serious flaw that could harm Microsoft's chances of breaking into the smartphone market, despite Google's latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system having a few similar issues of its own.

In addition to software tweaks designed to make the handset more reliable, the HTC 8X's update also brings support for a new setting that forces the phone's wireless connectivity to remain active at all times - even with the handset's screen is off. With the setting active, users may find battery life increased in areas where mobile signal is weak but Wi-Fi signal is strong, and will reduce their data usage on metered contracts.

The update is available now for SIM-free and unlocked handsets, with those who purchased their HTC 8X smartphones through a network on contract having to wait a little bit longer as carries validate the software for use with their networks.

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