Articles

Ever wondered if Microsoft improved the performance in the Windows Phone 7.8 update? It has certainly been considered, but many have naturally assumed that since the company has failed to shout about optimisations present in the latest version of 7.x, that there's little difference between 7.5 and 7.8.

Windows tutorials and resource website 7tutorials has published an in-depth performance comparison between Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 7.8. The plan was to see if there were any signs of performance improvements in the latest software version for first generation hardware. Turns out, there's barely any difference between the two, but we weren't expecting much, right?

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If you haven’t already checked for a firmware update that's rolling out today on your AT&T Lumia 920, you should go ahead and do that now (or when you are near Wi-Fi). The update is a maintenance fix, bringing a lot of little changes and tweaks to your phone after Nokia received feedback from field testing.

The biggest addition to the 1308 firmware is the custom Storage Check tool made by Nokia that allows users to visually graph the allocation of storage space on their device. In addition, with a simple touch of a “Clear” button, users can now dump their temporary memory of the device, which for some means regaining a few gigabytes of space back.

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OneNote is a killer note taking application built right into your every single Windows Phone device on planet Earth. But if you’re coming over from other platforms like iOS or Android you might have a ton of notes and data in similar applications. Evernote is arguably one of the biggest competitors to OneNote for note taking and archiving. And today it’s getting a fresh coat of paint for Windows Phone.

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Unity 4 Beta program expands to cover Windows Phone 8

A handful of weeks ago Unity opened up early beta access for apps on the Windows store, enabling developers to try out the tools available. We were all wondering just when the company would open up the beta program and cover Windows Phone 8 development. That time has arrived, folks. It has been announced on the Unity blog that version 4 of the engine now covers Windows Phone 8.

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We told you this morning it would be a big day for Windows Phone 8 and indeed, it was bigger than we thought (we didn’t see the Nokia firmware thing happening). One of the big runner games today was Gravity Guy 2, which is now out, but a more “classic” game with a totally different perspective is Temple Run.

At the time of our writing, the app was not yet live in the Store but that has now changed. You can pick up Temple Run for $0.00 right now on Windows Phone 8. The game, like on iOS and Android, relies on in-app purchasing (optional) for revenue, hence why it can be free.

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Windows Phone 8 version of Fhotoroom hits the Store

Fhotoroom is a fantastic Windows Phone photography app that had it's Windows Phone 7.x version updated to version 3.0. When that update when live, the developers mentioned that a Windows Phone 8 version was in the works and today, that version went live.  Fhotoroom (version 8.0) hit the Windows Phone Store today which brings many of the features the Windows Phone 7.x version reccieved plus Windows Phone 8 support.

As with the 7.x version, Fhotoroom for Windows Phone 8 has recieved a significant makeover with user interface updates throughout the app.

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On top of an already busy day for Windows Phone users, those with an AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 will be pleased to know that the 1308 firmware is now available to download over-the-air. We told you it was coming last week and it’s now here.

We’ve detailed some of the changes in 1308 before, including improved photo quality, Storage tools to clear out “Other” memory and eventually a color profile tool for the display.

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Gravity Guy came out just over a year ago to Windows Phone and has become one of the more popular “runner” games around. It’s done by Miniclip, who ranks up there with Chillingo in terms of quality of their games.

Gravity Guy 2 is now ready for your trial and goes for $2.99 (Windows Phone 8 only). We’ve been playing with it for a little while, and one thing we already like: it’s not more of the same. In GG2, things like double jumps, platform raising, new tighter graphics and a new coin-collection strategy have been added. Indeed it feels like similar game play to Jetpack Joyride (also due soon on Windows Phone 8).

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History lesson: Apict was one of the first camera apps that we used on Windows Phone to greater enhance our creativity (and keep up with old-fashioned trends in digital photography). The app is one of the original Windows Phone 7 apps, having launched way back in mid-October 2010, and it has been consistently updated throughout the years. Respect.

Version 4.0 has now gone live in the Store and added some top-requested features to the release, making it a solid choice if you’re into Polaroid/retro digital photography.

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Subway Surfers doesn’t look to be coming to Windows Phone anytime soon (the teaser image was just a hoax), but worry not. Windows Phone 8 will soon have a 3D endless runner to its name. Speaking of names, that runner is none other than the original game that started the genre craze: Temple Run from Imangi Studios! We knew it was coming, but this is the first time we’ve actually played the port for ourselves.

Not only that, but in celebration of GDC week, Microsoft is releasing a number of indie games for Windows Phone 8 today. Read on for actual Windows Phone screenshots, video demo and quick impressions!

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Nokia updates its collection of HERE Windows Phone apps

Nokia has released a number of updates for the company's collection of HERE apps. HERE Drive+ Beta, Maps, Transit and City Lens have each received a minor bump. While no change log appears to be available for any of the mentioned Windows Phone apps, we can speculate that performance and minor improvements have been applied.

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HDFC Bank releases Windows Phone app

HDFC Bank in India has joined the number of banks who have released a Windows Phone app. The bank has just published its official mobile solution for Windows Phone consumers, enabling users to access and manage accounts while on the move. It's convenient with multiple features available. 

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Lumia 720T for China Mobile sports CMMB mobile TV module

Yesterday Nokia announced Lumia 520 and 720 for the Chinese market in a theme park in Beijing. We have reported the estimated date of availability as well as the retail price, so there's nothing really new here. One little thing about the announcement caught our attention: Lumia 720, the Lumia 720T customized for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network, will come with a CMMB mobile TV module.

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) is a mobile television standard, mostly supported by China Mobile as a "killer feature" that defines the cellular carrier from its competitors. A phone with built-in CMMB reception module could snatch broadcasted TV programs over the air, without generating any data fee. Nokia has done various kinds of localization to adap to local markets. But adding a new hardware module to an existing phone model just for one carrier? I reckon that's something never happened before.

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We’ve got quite the variety when you look at the sea of tablets, slates, ultrabooks, and convertibles we have now in the Windows 8 landscape. Crazy designs like the ThinkPad Yoga and Dell XPS 12 spring to mind when thinking of the different ways manufactures have differentiated themselves.

Microsoft threw a wrench into the traditional PC world last June when it announced the Surface family of devices. The Surface is also unique in its design and has recently been awarded a design patent for it's Touch keyboard cover and magnetic coupling.

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Nokia updates two system apps for Lumia line

Nothing too huge to report here but since we have a lot of Lumia readers, we figured we’d mention it. Nokia updated two of their systems apps today for Windows Phone 8, including Access Point (for setting your SIM card and carrier settings) and Nokia Feedback (which allows you to answer occasional poll questions directly to Nokia about your phone).

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Find your hotspot with Boingo for Windows 8

Boingo is a Wi-Fi service that has over 600,000 commercial hotspots around the globe. If you are a Boingo subscriber, the company has recently released a hotspot finder for your Windows 8 device. From Windows 8 laptops to tablets, the Boingo Wi-Finder app will help you find the closest Boingo hotspot in your area.

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Spring break is in full swing for most folks in the US and Canada. The perfect time to get some sun, travel, and just relax. And there just so happens to be a sale on EA game titles for when you’re pool side and need to zone out with some Zombie or something. The sale will go on for one week and games are either at a 33% or 40% discount from their regular prices. Full list after the break.

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The Windows Phone next app star competition is in full swing, today kick started round 3 of voting and we're thrilled to say that the official WPCentral app is still in the running!

Microsoft are offering the chance to win a free Lumia 920 everytime you vote and you can vote once each round so if you've not won yet then try voting again today! Each round an app wins nets new prizes for the developers as well, with the ultimate prize being a prime time TV commercial featuring the winning app.

As part of this promotion there is also a new marketplace collection showing all 64 finalists of the 9000+ original entrants. We've borrowed Microsoft's listing which you can see below, or even swipe right in our app and tap the "download app" button to see the full list. Please note that this is the most apps we've ever listed in one post so you might want to give the app a few seconds before tapping so it can retrieve all the names from Microsoft!

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Nokia has launched its Music+ premium service in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, further expanding the coverage available to Windows Phone consumers. Available for just €3.99 a month, those who own Lumia Windows Phones will be able to unlock more advanced features when tuning into playlists in the Nokia Music app.

The manufacturer is clearly looking to provide an alternative service for those who can't access (or don't wish to use) Xbox Music. Numerous markets have been added to the pool (most recent being the United Arab Emirates and Singapore) of support and we can only imagine that more will be included as the year progresses. 

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We sympathize with you Windows Phone fans on Sprint. Here we are, it’s almost April 2013 and you’ve only had one device available since Windows Phone debuted back in October 2010. The HTC 7 Pro (Arrive) was a nice phone to start you out, but it’s time for something new. You already know that HTC and Samsung will be the OEMs making your devices when you get them early summer. But now we have a better idea about those devices – The HTC ‘Tiara’ and Samsung Ativ S.

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This is GDC week, so you can count on some cool developer interviews and hands-on stories as the conference progresses. But it’s also just an exciting week for Windows Phone releases. First we had the release of Sims Medieval for Nokia devices, and now general users can look forward to two regular Xbox releases on Wednesday. We’re looking at one Windows Phone 7 game and one for Windows Phone 8. The former will also be the most expensive mobile Xbox game to date, but at least it’s a good one: Chaos Rings from Square-Enix!

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10tons continues to roll out new gaming titles for our Windows Phone 8 devices. This week it's the puzzle game Azkend 2.

Azkend 2 is a feature rich puzzle game that has three gaming modes, two challenges and the main adventure/story line mode which has over sixty levels of play. It is a matching game where you have to find connecting matches of three or more of the same symbols.

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