Articles

Feed Me for Windows Phone

Feed Me is a popular RSS Reader for your Windows Phone that was recently updated to version 2.0. Feed Me can be used as a stand alone reader or as a Google Reader client.

Asides from some bug fixes, the version 2.0 update for Feed Me brings a decent set of new features to the table.

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This morning we alerted to you this week's Xbox game for Windows Phone, Chillingo's Contre Jour. The popular physics puzzler landed at $2.99 in the Store and we approve, even if these types of games are getting a little played out.

Contre Jour features some great artwork, a nice slow paced feel and a huge assortment of levels, making it a great game for a long time. There's even a bonus level on board exclusive to Windows Phone.

We took it for a quick spin in the video above and we think you'll like it too. So read Paul's more in-depth write up on the game or pick it up here in the Store with a free trial.

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LG has LG CEO:

Shed a tear for LG?

Back in April, we heard that LG was going to focus their efforts on making Android phones, prompting us to wonder if we would see any Windows Phone 8 devices from the Korean manufacturer at all. Today at their official Optimus G launch, CEO Park Jong Seok seemed to lean toward the negative, saying that LG has "no specific plans for other mobile platforms." While that doesn't completely rule out Windows Phone 8 all together, it sure doesn't sound promising.

LG made a couple of popular WP7 devices, the Quantum, which was one of only three QWERTY sliders to use Windows Phone, and the Optimus 7. Other LG models include the Jil Sander E906, the so-called "fashion phone" and the E740 prototype, which never saw the light of day.

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HTC

What are they hiding? 

HTC will have a big day tomorrow here in New York as they unveil their new Windows Phone 8 devices to the media, so it behooves them to tease us just a tad by showing us the corner of one of their new phones via their Facebook page.

The line "When beautiful hardware meets stunning software."  is given along with the image and dare we say, we know what they're talking about.

HTC will impress people tomorrow, we're confident in that. While they may not get as many accolades as Nokia, we think what they have to show will outshine Samsung with ease . That only means one thing: Greater choice for customers within a few weeks for new WP8 handsets.

In fact, we're genuinely excited to show you what HTC has to offer.

Edit: Don't read anything into the time in the picture above guys, every press shot you'll ever find of a HTC phone has the time set to 10:08. It comes from market research that says analog clock faces look like they're smiling when set to 10:08, HTC even blogged about it here.

Stay tuned tomorrow at 11am ET for the big reveal, as Windows Phone Central will be covering the event live and on location.

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Microsoft Surface

Rum: 7

Microsoft is expected to unveil its Surface range of Windows 8 tablets, both an RT (ARM) and a Pro (Intel / AMD x86) version to cater for most mobile PC needs. With the plan to set a high standard for OEM partners to follow, Microsoft has taken a bold move to start offering its own hardware to marry released software.

WPDownUnder has been able to uncover details surrounding availability for Australian consumers. According to a trusted source, Microsoft has been in talks with major retailers to launch the Surface instead of erecting Microsoft Stores. On top of this the source reveals this deal will be exclusive for initial availability.

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WP Central

The basic version. Paper dummy, Lumia 920 in yellow.

The Lumia 920 is everyone's favorite. The latest Nokia flagship has gathered considerable heat in China (like everywhere else?) already, before it's estimated late December availability. To kill the boredom in the waiting period, some have decided to build some Lumia 920 dummies.

Yes, we said build.

Therefore we have these...

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Rumored Specs on the HTC 8x
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My next Windows Phone - Jay Bennett

So the question that has been put to me by our Chief Editor is; which Windows Phone 8 will be my next? It's a very tough one to answer right now, even being privileged as I am to have seen a glimpse at the full offering I can expect at launch. However I don't want to just focus on the potential of devices in the future, Windows Phone offerings have been around for 2 years now, and we can learn a lot by assessing the previous generations.

Almost every person I know has owned an HTC device at one time or another, and it saddens me to say I can't share that. I very nearly bought the HD7 as my launch device until the Omnia 7 reviewed so well that it became the clear choice (personal opinion, sorry HD7 owners). Every HTC windows phone offering has also seemed very reliable, my father's HD7 serves him perfectly to this day, whilst my Omnia 7 had an annoying audio stutter bug for the first year of it's life. 

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Contre Jour

Update: Game is now available. See link below.

If you’re like me, you’re still plugging away on last week’s Xbox Windows Phone release, the awesome Crimson Dragon Side Story. But shooters aren’t for everybody, and some people might crave a more casual or thoughtful experience. This week’s release should catch their attention then: Contre Jour from Chillingo.

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RIM

Microsoft today announced the company has finalised an agreement with RIM that provides broad access to Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for BlackBerry devices. The modern file system from Microsoft enables a straightforward interchange between desktop PCs and electronic devices using the format.

exFAT is a vast improvement cover its predecessor, FAT. It expands both the size of files that flash memory devices can handle, as well as speed at which these files can be accessed. These are improvements RIM will likely be looking to take full advantage of in its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS.

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Tiki Towers Lead

At Windows Phone Central we usually get the Xbox Live release information a bit early, but this week we’re pleased to announce the Xbox Live Deal of the Week ahead of schedule as well. Following up on last week’s strong bargain of Monster Island for a dollar, this week’s discount is no less impressive. Starting this Wednesday, Game House’s Tiki Towers will go on sale for 99 cents, down from $2.99.

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AT&T lights up 4G LTE in Birmingham and Memphis

AT&T 4G LTE

If you are in the Birmingham or Memphis AT&T Markets, you may notice something new on your Windows Phone. You should be seeing the "LTE" display out besides your signal bars.

AT&T is slowly rolling out its 4G LTE network nationwide with Birmingham, Al and Memphis, TN being the latest markets to go live. AT&T has a large number of cities and markets slated to get 4G LTE by the end of 2012.

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Is this the HTC 8x?

With HTC's Windows Phone event only a day away, we are seeing a blurry image surface that is reported the HTC 8x Windows Phone. Rumors are still going strong that we will see two, maybe three new Windows Phones from HTC tomorrow. Could this be the 8x?

Rum: 8

The other shoe to drop with this leaked image is speculation that the 8x is headed to Verizon Wireless. According to the tipster who sent the photo, the 8x was branded for Verizon and has support for the carriers 4G LTE network.  

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ZTE WP8

Rum: 6

Today marks the start of the 2012 China International Exhibition, and ZTE has arrived guns blazing with the company's mobile phone market strategy director Dennis Lui sharing a very interesting photo with the world. Analysing the capture above, we can see what appears to be one or two ZTE Windows Phone 8 handsets. The device on the right looks almost identical to the ZTE Tania, which runs Windows Phone 7.5.

Unfortunately due to the blur effect added into the mix, it's near impossible to tell what's what within. As well as the similarities to a legacy handset, we can only spot a USB port in the centre on the device in the middle, which appears to be the standard for Windows Phone 8 hardware. If that wasn't enough, we could well be looking at Windows Phone 7.8 here on the Tania. As for the two devices to the left, we're not entirely sure but they almost look HTC - though we could be (and probably are) mistaken.

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WP Central Asus WinRT tablet prices leak leading to wild assumptions on success

Asus seems to have leaked it’s pricing for its coming Windows 8 tablets and convertibles prompting some to leap to their word processors and get on the fear, uncertainty and doubt bandwagon.

We all know that pricing for tablets is an extremely sensitive subject, just yesterday we looked at Steve Ballmer’s interview to see what he had said about Surface pricing. Even though some sites announced there were new details surrounding pricing, we found it was the same message we already knew. Headlines such as “pricing comes in high, demand likely low” and “Windows 8 Tablets: Born to fail” seem wildly premature. We take a look as these leaked prices and what they could mean.

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Office 2013

The new version of Office was unveiled to the world on July16th, and has proven to be quite the upgrade when comparing it to the current version. With its slick “modern UI,” aka “Metro styling,” the price for Office has changed as well.

There are two ways you can purchase Office - buy the software at full price or with an annual subscription. With so many services being subscription based, Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, Adobe Creative Cloud and Zune pass to name but a few examples, why wouldn’t Microsoft adapt as well? These are modern times and consumers have learned that it is cheaper to pay annually for what they want.

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E*Trade for Windows Phone

E*Trade Mobile for Windows Phone is now available over in the Windows Phone Store to help you manage all your stock accounts while you are on the go. The official app for E*Trade offers real-time streaming quotes, the ability to place stock trades and manage your E*Trade account all from your Windows Phone.

Even if you don't have an E*Trade account, the app doesn't look too shabby of an option to keep up with the financial markets.

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Outlook

Sorting through a number of emails can easily become a tricky business, especially if there is a large collection waiting for you to synchronise your email client - we're sure you've experienced the post-holiday email craze, right?

Microsoft has designed Outlook.com to be extraordinarily easy to use, and to get common tasks done quickly. We took a look yesterday at how to automate inbox clean-ups to either delete or move emails and keep the inbox clutter free.

Today we'll be looking at how we can utilise Instant Actions to make email management easier. So just what are 'Instant Actions' on Outlook.com? They're quick tools that enable users to quickly manage individual emails. On hovering over a message in a folder, you'll see three icons appear under the received date (see below).

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WP Security

Windows Phone currently suffers from a security vulnerability when synchronising email to and from POP3 / IMAP / SMTP servers using SSL, according to a recent filing over at the US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) website. The issue is pinpointed to Microsoft's mobile OS not verifying CN (Common Name) of server certificates when connecting to servers using SSL.

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It’s always nice to see when official apps or even games arrive for Windows Phone and such is the case for Sony’s full Wheel of Fortune game. The game just landed on the Store today and we take it for a…spin. (Yes, bad puns are free folks, stay for the drinks).

The game is actually well done—snazzy graphics, smooth gameplay, some wicked guitar riffs but it’s the price that has us reeling: $4.99. Yup and mind you, this is not an Xbox for Windows Phone game, so no achievements. But hey, we took the bullet for you guys so you can watch our video review above.

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Shazam

You'll be able to tag TV shows with Shazam soon enough

The popular music tagging service Shazam has reached 250 million users and has unleashed the ability to tag TV shows as well. The added functionality will enable users to find out what music is playing, who's acting on-screen, and more. The service is available in app form for Windows Phone, but it's often overshadowed by Microsoft's own Bing Audio music tagging integration on the mobile platform, which offers identical functionality.

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WP Central Steve Ballmer talks on Microsoft’s epic year whilst sporting two Lumi

The Seattle Times interviewed CEO Steve Ballmer recently and the man behind Microsoft is sounding quite confident about this year’s upcoming launches.

During the interview, Ballmer gave his impression of how momentous this year’s launch line-up will be for Microsoft and he even pulled out two Lumia 920 phones from his pockets. Many have speculated wildly on this interview in relation to Surface pricing, so we thought it was time we looked at what exactly was said…

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Elation?

The HTC Elation is most likely faked

Rum: 1

Our inbox has been inundated for the last five hours or so with ‘tips’ on the alleged HTC Elation. The device was reported on Ubuntu Life early this morning and the image and details reportedly came from HTC’s own site—in essence, a URL popped up that revealed the device in all its glory.

In just under 72 hours, HTC will be showing off numerous new devices featuring Windows Phone 8, so seeing things “leak” early is to be expected, not to mention the ‘Elation’ somewhat matches the specs of the alleged ‘Zenith’ WP8 device that HTC has reportedly been working on.

Good to go, right? Not so fast…

There are some red flags that have caused us to consider this not real...

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WP Central Huawei set to announce Windows Phone 8 device 25th September

Rum: 5

Out of the four key partners announced by Microsoft, Huawei looks to be last to announce its Windows Phone 8 devices. The rumour is they are looking at September 25th to let us know what they have in store.  Granted, we haven't heard anything official from Huawei so we'll use a pencil to mark the date just in case things change.

Most of the conversation and media focus has been on the more well-known partners, Nokia, Samsung and HTC so it’s of great interest to us to see what the newcomer will bring to the Windows Phone 8 party.

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HTC TITAN
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My next Windows Phone - Rich Edmonds

I'll be after the successor to the HTC TITAN

It’s a difficult question to answer, “Which Windows Phone would you buy next?” It's especially difficult when we only have three announced Windows Phones for Apollo. We’ve seen what both Samsung and Nokia have to offer in terms of hardware for the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, but there’s one major partner that has still to take the floor. Yes, I’m talking about HTC. I would very much like to purchase the upcoming HTC 8X.

I hear the shouts and screams. "Why?!" Well, the Taiwanese manufacturer has supported Windows Phone since the beginning (as well as Windows Mobile) with a number of devices. I've always liked their first generation Windows Phones. I’ve made my opinions clear in the past how the company could have taken the platform by storm through actively promoting their hardware. HTC then brought us the Radar and my favourite Windows Phone – the massive TITAN. Sporting a thin design, comfortable body and being fairly light-weight made it a no brainer for me.

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