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One of the bigger changes in Windows Phone 8.1 was replacing certain core functions of the OS with an alternative app-model. The reasoning behind the move, which includes Music, Video, Podcasts and more, was to enable a more dynamic updating system without needing a full OS update.

Today, Microsoft has updated the native Podcasts app for Windows Phone 8.1. Unfortunately, a changelog was not included.

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The raffle for the Microsoft Lumia Holiday Gift Package has ended over the weekend, so it's time to announce the winner! We had over 4,000 entries, but there could be only one winner. As a reminder, this package includes: a Lumia 1520 (red, green or white), Lumia 1520 cover (red, green or white), Microsoft zip-up hoodie, Microsoft water bottle, Portable charging stick, and a $20 Microsoft Store gift card. The winner is...

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Earlier today, Microsoft had a very limited supply of Microsoft Bands up for sale on the site. However, within 10 minutes they were quickly sold out, and that was after frustrating users during the checkout process.

Luckily for current Band owners, the Microsoft Health companion app for the tracker has received its first update today. Additionally, Microsoft has provided a detailed changelog, which appears to address many of our earlier complaints.

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Update: As of 1:15 pm ET, the Microsoft site is reporting out-of-stock again. Many orders may not even have gone through due to the chaotic and unreliable ordering process.

For those of you still yearning for a Microsoft Band, which has been in short supply since its launch, starting now at 1 PM ET you can order online directly through Microsoft in small, medium or large sizes. News of the restocking came last night.

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PayPal Here (site), a credit-card scanner and app service akin to Square, is set to debut on Windows and Windows Phone sometime in early 2015.

The information comes via an email sent to a reviewer asking about the app, who is informed that a pilot program is set to begin in "January-February 2015". The PayPal Here app is releasing to Windows 8.1 first and then Windows Phone 8.1 shortly thereafter.

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A new Windows Phone with a 5-inch display is currently being developed, at least according to leaked photos from a Chinese factory and published by the site IThome.

The photos appear to show hardware test samples of new displays being developed for a forthcoming Windows Phone. During this process, companies usually experiment with different variations and test the quality of the factory producing the part.

It is not clear if the displays, which clearly reveal a Windows logo for the Start key, are destined for a Microsoft Lumia or if these are for some other manufacturer.

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Save up to 63% on PNY microSD cards today at Amazon

If you like saving money (and who doesn't?) Amazon has a one-day deal on a number of memory and mobile power products from PNY. Prices in this collection of products have been cut by between 30% and 85%, with microSD cards prices cut by as much as 63%.

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The transparent design of the Naked Tough Case gives your HTC One (M8) Windows clear protection that lets the original look of your device shine though. It includes a shock absorbing bumper that fits inside the shell for extra protection against drops while the case itself is extremely slim, making it easy to slide in and out of your pockets. Yours for just $16.95 today!

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Opera has today announced the company has signed a deal with Microsoft to see its Opera Mobile Store replace Nokia's portal as the default hub for apps and games on select hardware. Nokia feature phones, Symbian, as well as Nokia X mobile devices will be affected by the switch, which will commence in the first quarter of 2015 as Opera begins redirecting consumers through their own store portal.

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7 steps to make amazing videos with Movie Creator Beta

I've been playing with the newly released Movie Creator Beta and I'm surprised at how good it is for quick and easy editing. You can add videos, photos or Cinemagraph content files together with no length limitations. I shot some videos from Color Me Rad (colormerad.com) a few months ago, but they've just been sitting idle inside my Lumia Icon. With Movie Creator, I was able to create a movie from those clips in just few minutes.

Here are some of my tips to make an incredible video with Movie Creator.

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If you're a developer, take this 10-minute survey and you could win some really great prizes!

It's that time of year again, and our friends at Vision Mobile need 10 minutes of your time to participate in the 8th edition of their Developer Economics Survey.

If you're not familiar with the survey, Vision Mobile uses it to compile the most comprehensive report on the worldwide app economy and current developer trends. The finished (must read) report will be available in February via @VisionMobile.

This is your chance to have your say and win some really great prizes while you're at it. Complete the survey and you're automatically entered to win some great prizes including a Lumia 930, iPhone 6, Nexus 5, Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch, Fitbit Flex, Oculus Rift Dev Kit, and much more.

Take the Survey!

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If you've just picked up a copy of GTA V for Xbox One you may be encountering some issues with transferring your previously created characters for GTA Online. Some players are reporting that their online characters can't be transferred if they haven't played the multiplayer mode since 2013. Fortunately, Rockstar is aware and is investigating the issue.

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Owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection who bought the Xbox One game a week ago but are still having issues with its online matchmaking features will have to wait a bit longer before they might be fixed. 343 Industries has announced that a patch designed to deal with those problems, among other things, has been delayed from Wednesday until sometime later this week.

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Microsoft is selling the 32 GB refurbished Surface 2 on its official eBay store at a steep discount. The refurbished Windows RT slate is now going for just $199, which is one of the cheapest deals we've seen. Additionally, with the Surface 2, you also get Microsoft Office 2013 RT included in the asking price. The tablet also comes with a rated 10-hour battery life, 200 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years, and unlimited Skype minutes for a year.

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Earlier this morning, Rudy Huyn rolled out an update to 6snap, his unofficial Snapchat client for Windows Phone. However, that update was evidently built on a 'preview' compiler causing unforeseen crashing when the app was launched on people's phones. Due to the glitch, Huyn pulled the app until he could push out a second update to apply a fix.

Now, version 3.3.0.1 is live in the Store and with it comes a handful of improvements and modifications, including a fix for the earlier crashing.

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