I have been researching this. I have talked with Microsoft support and they seem to think that Verizon will offer the update to Icon buyers. They are very careful to never say that they know what Verizon will do or that they can in any way influence Verizon. They noted that that Cyan was in testing, and they did not think that in testing would be stated if, in fact, it were not in testing. So I am being patient.
Verizon would be foolish to not develop an alternative to Apple and Google, or eventually face great pressure to follow the dictates of these corporations at the expense of the Verizon network.
November 7th I will be switching to AT&T for the Lumia 830 (WITH DENIM) as long as they pay the ETF. If they don't pay I may go ahead anyways, just to get out of the Verizon Contract. I need a company that will put "customer" & "service" back into Customer Service.
Verizon, you now have a deadline for my business!
I have an icon and I never looked at the firmware version... All I know is that when I bought it off of ebay, it had 8.1, cortana, transparent, tiles, and live folders. Since then, I had to ship my phone off to Nokia for a physical motor issue with the vibration function and they replaced my phone with an 8.0 Icon. Tried to update and I got 8.1 back, but it does not have live folders anymore and the battery life seems less than prime. Is there any explanation to this? Are Icon's running Black supposed to be able to have live folders?
I also have problems with my pinned web links disappearing.
I reason it's because whoever sold me that phone had an awesome update up on and when Nokia saw it, they swiped it up. IDK. I should have taken some screen shots.
Your Icon will continue to have "Black" even if you get 8.1 and 8.1.1 through the developer program. Cyan will only come down once Verizon approves it.
I don't believe there is any "awesome update" that you can do other than the Developer Preview program. i.e. it's not like Android where you can load custom ROMs. So if you can get it to update with 8.1.1 (which should happen automatically if you're enrolled in the DP) you should have all the functionality that's currently available -- minus firmware improvements from Cyan, and eventually, Denim.
All the things you mentioned are part of WP 8.1 + Update 1. The official Cyan update doesn't include the live folders option and you can only get GDDR 1 (Update 1) with developer preview. Looks like whoever sold you the phone had installed that for you.