Articles

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Is all well with Live Tiles on Windows Phone 7.8?

With the Windows Phone 7.8 update finally starting to find its way on board user’s devices, bringing with it the cosmetic upgrades of Windows Phone 8, here at Windows Phone Central our readers are noticing that not all is well for their newly-sized live tiles.

Users over in our forums have spotted that since the 7.8 update, their live tiles (those updated by background tasks at least) do not seem to be refreshing correctly.

A lot of times these issues are device specific, but in this case we’re not convinced. I recently had a conversation with Lawrence Gripper (developer of BBC News Mobile) after he got in touch to ask if we had been receiving an abnormal number of support requests since 7.8, we have. Just like the reviews you'll see for BBC News Mobile, several users have been in touch complaining that their tile seems to have ceased updating now that they have installed the new OS update.

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Finally, after what seemed like an eternity Star Wars fans (who also play Angry Birds) can finally rejoice as version 1.1.2.0 of Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars edition has gone live, bringing with it the ‘Hoth’ level update.

The Hoth update famously went live to iOS way back on November 29th, giving Windows Phone users two months and some odd days to ponder what it would be like. In between, a version for Windows Phone 7 also came out that app lacked Xbox Live features. Only the version for Windows Phone 8 received the ‘Hoth’ update today.

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The cross-platform developer advertising network AdDuplex has released data for the month of February which details some interesting findings and trends for Windows Phone. We've previously looked at data leading up and closing off 2012, but what about the start of this year? We've also recently covered Windows Phone 8 taking over Windows Phone 7 hardware in the US, but how does this reflect worldwide?

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PSA: Bill Gates is doing an AMA on Reddit right now

My homeboy, William Henry Gates III, started Microsoft back in the mid-1970s. While he stepped down from full-time work over 6 years ago, he’s still Chairman and all around badass. Right now if you mosey on over to Reddit he is doing an AMA – mostly about his current work with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, but he’s also fielding Microsoft related questions. Bill also posted a video asking a few typical questions before hand, check it out after the break.

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We’ve lamented numerous times here at Windows Phone Central on the sorry state of Xbox Music on current Windows Phone 8 devices. When it comes to management, features or in one particular case, missing album art, it can be quite frustrating to use and it's quite the downgrade from the Zune days..

We touched on this topic recently on the last podcast where ripping a CD (via Zune) and transferring to our device using the Windows Phone App (RT) caused our album art to magically disappear, leaving a hideous gray box in its place.

Luckily for us we now have a solution. Best of all it’s simple, free and called MPAtool.

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This Week: Purchase the Incipio DualPro Hard Case for Nokia Lumia 822 and save $10.99!

The DualPro Hard Case protects your Nokia Lumia 822 with a shock absorbing inner layer of silicone topped with an acrylic outer shell. Featuring custom-cut holes, you'll have full access to your camera, headphone jack, and charging port. Easy to install, extremely lightweight and comfortable to hold, the DualPro Hard Case is great option for protecting your Lumia 822. Color combinations include black/black and black/pink.

List Price: $29.99     This Week: $19.00

Learn More and Buy Now

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Weekly Deal alerts!

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Liquid Daffodil, the developer behind some popular apps for Windows Phone, including Locksider+, has released Flyby! to the Store. The free app (part of the "FREE 4 FANS" project) should be live within the next few days to download, but what's it all about? Available for Windows Phone 8 (and Windows 8 in the very near future), Flyby! is very much like "Ask me anything," where you can create questions about a random topic of choice which can then be passed on to random users.

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Mobile Nations fitness month week 2: Nutrition!

Leave a comment below telling us your Fitness Month goals and be entered to win a Withings Wireless Scale!

It's February and you know what that means? Mobile Nations Fitness Month! That's when we all get together to get in shape, share tips and tricks and recipes for success, review amazing apps and accessories, give away great prizes, and have a ton of fun! This year we're doing it a little differently, though. We're doing weekly themes, and that means every week you'll have new and exciting challenges, and new chances to win!

Week 2: Nutrition!

You know the old saying, you are what you eat? It's a cliche because it's true. Food is what gets us going and makes us run. Eating the right foods can improve the way we look and feel, how we handle stress and how we make it through the day. Food is our fuel, and we want to make sure we give our bodies and minds the best fuel possible.

As part of fitness month, we'll be reviewing a bunch of great apps and accessories that can help motivate, track, and train us to eat better and smarter.We'll also be doing THREE cool contests!

Eating Clean contest

First is our Eating Clean contest. Every day this week there'll be a thread in our health and fitness forums, and all you have to do to enter is tell us what you ate during the day. The idea is to get a little community pressure going so we all eat less junk food and more healthy, tasty meals and snacks. If you have a food tracker, a Withings scale, or any other device that helps you out, you can simply share your results each day!

This is a great way to keep us all motivated and accountable, and get a little healthy peer-pressure going! Plus, every day you enter is a chance to win a $20 gift certificate!

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Oni (www.oni.io) is an interesting company, which is developing an app for Windows Phone for those of us who happen to have Philips Hue bulbs installed throughout the home. The rather expensive lighting equipment supports a variety of colours and is wireless enabled, making it easy to control the output using an iOS device.

We were pleased to see a solution for Windows Phone be made available to help expand functionality and use beyond the Apple ecosystem. Now we've learned that Oni has released an update for its Light Control app. So what's new in version 1.2? NFC support and new languages (German is highlighted) to name but a few.

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If you’re a fan of ‘addictive’ electronic music, odds are you use or have used the Digitally Imported website at one point or another. Digitally Imported (di.fm) started out in 1999 and has been a big source of electronic music for over a decade – amassing a loyal set of users and fans. While there isn’t an official app for Windows Phone, we’ve had two killer ones: Beem and Beem Plus, both from developer wunderkind Den Delimarsky.

Beem is being put out to pasture, but the good news is that Beem Plus (which just got an update) is free for the entire month of February. Why the change though?

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Winter is in full effect right now, just ask the Northeast which was just slammed with a blizzard and the storm about to hit the Midwest. While the majority of the population doesn’t enjoy these freezing months, there are a few of us who gear up and hit the slopes with smiles as wide as Chad’s gap in Utah. Before you hit the slopes, try out this Nokia Collection exclusive Windows Phone 8 app called Winter Ski and Ride.

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The popular mobile communication and social networking app WeChat has been updated to version 4.0. The Windows Phone client has been bumped to include further support for Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's latest mobile platform. Already available for Windows Phone 7.5, WeChat can now be utilised by those running new or legacy hardware.

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With sales of the HTC 8X evidently doing fairly well, it would seem obvious that the company would experiment with other colors—after all, California Blue, that fire engine red, Limelight yellow and black are all quite popping. Heck, we’ve even seen a grey/yellow “employee edition” of the 8X previously.

HTC have posted on their official Twitter account a simple photo with the headline “Sometimes you just need to tune it all out. Let us help.” With an accompanying image of a boy “tuning out” the people around him while he listens to what appears to be a red HTC 8X. The two females meanwhile are passing what appears to be a white HTC 8X—a colors scheme heretofore unseen to the public.

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The new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet hasn't been on the shelves long and we are already getting tips that the tablet is sold out everywhere. Even for customers who pre-ordered the Surface Pro from local retailers.

One reader pre-ordered his at the local Best Buy only to learn that the store only received three units. Similar experiences were reported at other retail locations such as Staples with very limited supplies of the new Windows 8 tablet being delivered for launch day. Some stores are getting plenty of the 64GB models but no 128GB models which appears to have the greater demand.

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ING Bank Windows Phone app in the works

While we have a decent number of banking apps available for our Windows Phone.  You have Chase Mobile, Bank of America, the National Australian Bank, Rabobank and the more the merrier. I would appear that ING Bank is about to join the crowd with their own Windows Phone app this Spring.

In an email correspondence shared by one of our readers, ING has confirmed that a Windows Phone mobile banking app is in development. While details weren't shared on the features of such app, it is expected to be available mid-April.

Good news for ING customers and hopefully more financial institutions will follow suit (hint, hint Regions!). There's a Windows Phone Central Forums discussion going on here if you care to talk it up about the pending ING banking app.

Thanks, Prophecy, for the tip!

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We've been hit by a number of reports this morning that the Windows Phone Store is playing up and not allowing consumers to download apps and games. We're able to confirm that the issue is indeed present, with the error 805a0193 displaying when attempting to grab an app for our handset. This isn't the first (and probably not the last) time the store has fallen unwell.

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As well as reporting on all the news relating to the Windows Phone platform, we also take pride in maintaining the top Windows Phone community on the web. Our forum accumulates thousands of posts each month, but how does one keep track of everything being published? This is where the From the Forums column comes into play. We take a handful of interesting threads and highlight them for readers to check out.

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The implementation of Xbox games on Windows Phone is riddled with problems. While these range from “Darn it” minor to “Holy crap!” major, as a whole they threaten the viability of Xbox games on the platform. We believe Microsoft can still turn things around and make Xbox Windows Phone a mobile gaming force to be reckoned with, hence this series of editorials.

Part One of this series focused on the problematic Xbox Live certification process, and Part Two looked at both the importance of Xbox games to Windows Phone and the platform’s need for popular game engine support. In this installment we’ll tackle the simple need for proper volume control, the ability to redownload purchased games, and the weak advertising presence of Xbox Windows Phone games so far.

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Microsoft has long had a vision to unite its stores for both Windows and Windows Phone, as well as content that's populated in both catalogues. This hasn't quite been the case yet, even though it's well known that the company is driving forward in pulling its platforms closer together. The launch of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 definitely reflects this.

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