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We recently took a look at the Dell Venue 8 Pro, an admirable 8-inch tablet running the full version of Windows 8.1 (32-bit). Well-built with a Quad-Core Atom processor and priced at just $299, the Venue 8 Pro has a lot going for it besides just speed.

One optional accessory with the Venue 8 Pro is a stylus, allowing users to take notes or write out emails using a battery-operated pen. While not as fast as physical keyboard, it’s often quicker than using the on-screen, virtual one, which is more common.

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Windows Reading List is an application that comes preinstalled with all Windows 8.1 machines; it allows users to browse the web and easy save content for later viewing. The software is very similar to other services such as Pocket and Instapaper, but falls short when paired amongst comparable services (no mobile applications, less features, etc.). If you are a fan of Windows Reading list though, you will be excited to hear that the app has received a new feature in its recent update.

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Let’s put aside a moment the disdain many here have for Google and their products. The fact is, a lot of businesses, companies, organizations and even individuals rely on Gmail for their email service and while Windows Phone supports Google Mail directly, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Gmail has on the web.

This morning, MetroMail has become available for Windows Phone 8 users. Mind you, this is no web-wrapper, but a native client. We’ve been beta testing it for a few weeks now and indeed, it’s quite a robust app for those who need all the power of Gmail on their Windows Phone.

MetroMail comes from the developer behind MetroTalk, one of the best Google Voice clients for Windows Phone. He’s spent considerable time on the app, making sure it meets all the needs of those who need archiving, labels or stars on their messages.

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Xbox Kinect – some people love it and other loath it. Whether or not you believe that the Xbox’s Kinect accessory is the future of human interaction and gaming or not, it is hard to argue away the amazing technology that is contained within the unit. This technology was actually designed by an Israeli company called PrimeSense – a company that Apple has just bought.

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As expected, Verizon Wireless has just pulled the wraps off the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet, the first Nokia tablet running Windows RT 8.1. The tablet will run at the retail price of $499 but for a “limited time”, users can sign a two-year contract and receive $100 off. We reported on that sale price two weeks ago and sure enough, Verizon is coming through with the deal. 

The device will drop on Thursday, November 21—one day before AT&T.

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Microsoft Research has just released an app for Windows Phone called Office Remote. Its function is entirely in the name of the app. Office Remote gives you power over desktop applications in the Office suite when you’re doing something like a presentation. It’s an app that we should have had from day one on Windows Phone 7, but it’s now here. Let’s check it out.

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Sling Media (www.sling.com) has refreshed its apps for iOS, as well as launching a brand spanking new channel for Roku players, but the company has its sights set on Windows 8.1. Should you not be familiar with the service, they have a streaming device available for your TV. The device allows you to stream your TV/Cable, DVD and more over the Internet, allowing you watch TV remotely.

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Kingdoms & Lords In-App Purchase Guide

Gameloft’s previous Xbox Windows Phone 8 release Six-Guns had so many different in-app purchases that we published a lengthy guide just to cover them all. Seriously, virtually every aspect of that game had an IAP component, with some feeling less optional than others. The purchase model diminished what would otherwise be one of the best action games on the platform (though I still enjoyed it).

Kingdoms & Lords takes a much different approach, as only one thing costs real money: diamonds. Players can earn the sparkly gems by leveling up and completing story battles against bosses, but that’s about it. Run out and you might be inclined to buy more. Just what should you spend them on, anyway? Read our latest In-App Purchase guide to find out!

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WhatsApp, the popular cross-platform messenger, will soon sport the ability for you to easily clear messages in conversations. The beta version of the app (2.11.309) has been bumped with this functionality, showing off exactly what's on the way to the live release.

If you've been holding out for a way to effectively clear messages older than a certain date, without removing the entire conversation then this will be for you.

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Vserv.mobi, the mobile advertising company focused on emerging markets, has announced its Windows Phone 8 SDK to enable advertising based monetization for Windows Phone developers.

The service includes a downloadable SDK that allows developers and multi-app publishers to integrate over 10 mobile ad formats. It also enables premium full screen launch, exit ads, global hybrid mediation, and analytics.

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We’re entering the second half of the month now, which means it’s time for a new free game for Xbox Live Gold subscribers as part of the Games with Gold program. The first November game, A World of Keflings (from the makers of Fusion: Sentient) was a relaxing little city-building game. It was also an XBLA game. So how does Microsoft follow it up?

With a more challenging XBLA game. Iron Brigade (formerly known as Trenched) from Double Fine Productions is now free for all Xbox Live Gold members. Iron Brigade may not be a big retail release, but it’s a surprisingly deep and creative game with great cooperative multiplayer. Head past the break for more details and a download link!

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Fhotoroom, one of our favorite photo-editing apps for Windows Phone, just got an update to version 9.5. In addition to bug fixes, Fhotoroom adds 2 editing options. You can now play with Invert Tilt Shift and Straighten with your photos. Not sure what they’re for? We have a video to show you how they look, so watch it after the break.

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Nothing beats some Goblin, Orc and Ogre bashing on your Windows Phone, especially when you don't have to pay for it. Dark Lands is an interesting game from the AppCampus program, the venture backed by Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University. If you've not heard of the title prior this article, think of Dark Lands as an infinite runner with some RPG elements to it

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Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac just got an update, adding support for DNG file transfer. This comes just before the release of the Nokia Lumia 1520, which is the first smartphone to offer raw file output. The photos in lossless DNG (Digital Negative) file format allow you to adjust several things like white balance, contrast, or shadow and highlight levels on your computer without damaging it too much. People who are passionate about photography will have more flexibility editing the DNG files compared to JPEG files.

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If you're considering the purchase of either the Lumia 925 or Lumia 1020 in Poland before the year is out, you'll be able to take advantage of a free app gift card worth 80 Polish Zlotys (about $25). The bonus credit will enable new platform adopters to download a wide variety of apps from the Windows Phone Store. It's a perfect way to get started when unboxing your new smartphone.

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AT&T announced the Nokia Lumia 1520 pre-order a little over a week ago. Its set to arrive next Friday, the 22nd, and cost you $199 on-contract. You can also pre-order from the Microsoft Store for $199 and get $70 worth of app vouchers and a free copy of Halo: Spartan Assault. AT&T on the other hand is giving out a $20 app voucher, Spartan Assault, and 50GB of cloud storage on AT&T Locker. But that was then. Now it looks like you can get the Lumia 1520 for just $99 on AT&T’s website.

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Everyone wishes they had a 3D printer. It’s a relatively new field that’s beginning to see mainstream appeal. To help push 3D printing, Microsoft has released an app for Windows 8 that will let you manage your prints. Makerbot also pushed out some driver updates for Windows 8.1. One way or another, today’s a good day if you’re into 3D printing on Windows 8.

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