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A forum page over on O2 Ireland's site indicates that they are currently testing the Samsung ATIV S on their network. The post says that testing began on December 4 for both the ATIV S and the HTC 8S. It isn't clear just how long the testing process will take, but it may be an indicator that both phones are very close to being released.

The Samsung ATIV S was the first Windows Phone 8 device announced and the last to show at the party. For reasons still unexplained, it has been delayed, with rumored release dates ranging from the end of December to sometime in February 2013. Windows Phone Central received a communication from Samsung saying that the ATIV S was still on track for the "end of the year."

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Fire up Photoshop or Illustrator because design magazine Core77 is running another design competition for Windows Phone. The contest is similar to one a year ago that Core77 did in partnership with the Windows Phone Team, this one is also a joint effort. Back then the contest was called "Fast Track to the Mobile App" and this year is going under the name "App to the Future". Winning submissions will have some nice prizes to look forward too! What's also unique about this contest is that it isn't restricted to North American residents, it's open to every abled designer on the planet.

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Earlier today we ran a story about AT&T discounting the Nokia Monster Purity HD headphones from $199 to $99. While many of you will still balk at such a price, we’re sure a few of you have a cocked eyebrow and are considering the purchase.

Being the tech geeks we are, we figured we would help you out by springing to our local AT&T outlet and pick up a pair. While we won’t full on review them now, you can watch our video below to see what’s in the box and after the break, I’ll share my initial thoughts...

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HTC has rolled out an update for both its Photo Enhancer and Hearing Aids apps. The former has been with us since the platform launched back in 2010, enabling HTC Windows Phone owners to easily edit (or enhance) photos saved on the device with minimal user input. It's a handy tool that's utilised by those who take regular shots and enjoy 'correcting' them before uploading to social networks.

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This Mobile Nations Survey comes to you via our accessories team. We're always putting new smartphone accessories to the test, and are often getting into debates over which are the best.

One topic where the team is 100% in agreement though is car mount docks. We think that car mounts are the absolute best way to take your smartphone with you on the road.

We're curious to know if you agree, if you own a car mount or not, if you like them or not and why. Thanks for sharing!

Take the Survey

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There’s some good news, bad news brewing in the Windows Phone Store as some app fragmentation is now becoming a little more evident. Such is the case with the updated official Vimeo app, which was bumped to version 1.3 this morning, joining the list of updated Windows Phone 8 apps. The bad news is it’s no longer available for Windows Phone 7.

We’re unsure if this is yet-another-Store error, meaning in the next few days Phone 7 owners will be able to download the app again, but for right now, it’s exclusive for those with the latest and greatest handsets on the market...

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Popular Windows Phone RSS reader Wonder Reader has been updated to support Windows Phone 8. The latest release includes improvements to support wide Live Tiles, WXGA and 720p resolutions, as well as voice commands. Not only that, but the app is currently on offer at $1.29 to celebrate the launch of Windows Phone 8 and Wonder Reader's second birthday.

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Windows Phone 8S by HTC available at Three UK

The HTC 8S is now available from Three UK on contracted plans as well as Pay As You Go. Pricing starts at £17 a month with no upfront cost for the smartphone, or £179.99 SIM-free (locked to the carrier). The device joins the HTC 8X and is the company's low-end Windows Phone 8 offering, but isn't a slouch by any means.

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The ability to keep Wi-Fi on while the display is off is a Windows Phone OS update not limited to HTC.

With China just launching the Nokia Lumia 920T, information is slowly leaking out about some of the differences between it and the current versions of the flagship phone already on the market.

In images posted on the site WPXAP, we can confirm the existence of two added features that greatly enhance the user experience. The first one is the “Keep Wi-Fi Alive” ability, which we documented yesterday on the just released HTC 8S. At the time, we were uncertain if that feature was an HTC customization or part of an updated build to Windows Phone 8 (10211). As it turns out, it appears to be the latter as the 920T is sporting the same Wi-Fi settings screen.

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Air Travel Apps

This week's Windows Phone Central Roundup focuses on travel apps, more specifically air travel. With the Holiday Season in full swing, many will be taking to the friendly skies to travel to visit friends, family or just to get away from things.

These apps help you track flights, find your way around airport terminals and even help you remember where you parked your car. We've plucked five apps from the top rated Travel Apps listings in the Windows Phone Store for this week's roundup. It just so happens the five apps that jumped out at us are free so you can try them all without cost and decide which suits your needs and tastes the best. If we've missed your favorite, feel free to sound off in the comments.

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Microsoft is getting feisty again with their Bing service as they’re taking the fight to Google with quite a snarky holiday ad released on YouTube.

With its "A Visit from St. Nicholas" style narration, the ad takes on Google’s practice of listing shopping results not so much based on lowest price or other reasonable metrics but rather who paid the most. As it turns out, some of the top results in Google are there because a company paid to have them there, as opposed to being what is best for the shopper. Or so that is what Microsoft alleges.

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Ask Ziggy makes the move to Windows Phone 8

The popular Siri-like app Ask Ziggy has been updated to version 2.8.1 and is now compatible with Windows Phone 8. Along with Windows Phone 8 compatibility, the update gives Ask Ziggy a new icon, a few bug fixes, a new speech to text provider. Additionally, the list of languages available for translation has been reduced to the most popular languages.

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In addition to the developer programme announced today, Microsoft has also revealed secrets behind the keyboard in Windows Phone 8. The keyboard in Windows Phone has been praised by consumers and critics alike since the platform launched back in 2010, and it has gone through heavy usage and development to further improve the user experience.

So what's the secret to Microsoft's success?

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If you like straight up Twitter clients with a ton of features, you can’t go wrong with the newcomer MeTweets (hopefully you picked it up for free recently). The app has quickly become one of our favorites for its no-nonsense, Metro UI take on Twitter for Windows Phone.

Version 1.2 just came on to the Store and it has numerous fixes and new features for Windows Phone 7 users and if you’re on Windows Phone 8, you get quite a few too.

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The Windows Phone team has published all twenty modules from its Windows Phone 8 Jump Start training course hosted last week. It was a fast-paced learning experience that focused on showing developers how to create "responsive, appealing and effective apps" in a timely fashion.

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HTC's November financial report shows signs of growth

Hold your breath everybody, we're publishing positive news about HTC and the company's finances. After a number of reports released by the manufacturer have each displayed signs of continued negativity, the November unaudited financial documentation is a different story. 

According to company numbers, there are possible signs of improvements with revenues of NT$21.2 billion ($729 million), up from NT$17.2 billion ($529) million reported in October. This boost can be attributed to the release of new hardware on the Android and Windows Phone platforms.

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While some Windows Phone photography apps have a sharing feature native to the application some, such as Cinemagraph (here's our review), don't. In these cases you rely on your Windows Phone Pictures Hub options to share these images.

You've just created a fantastic animated GIF through Cinemagraph and are eager to share it with friends or family. Once the image is saved to your Windows Phone, head over to your Pictures Hub and go into the Camera Roll gallery. Find the Cinemagraph image you want to share, pull it up to full view and tap the three dot menu.

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Just two months after Microsoft bought up PhoneFactor to help bolster their enterprise security features, the company has released an official Windows Phone app that is on the Store now.

Simply called PhoneFactor, the app is rather modest in features but that’s a good thing as its job is rather to the point: to receive and manage authentication notifications sent to your phone...

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Near Field Communications or NFC is relatively new to our Windows Phones with the technology having enormous potential. With NFC Launchit, you can program NFC tags with a variety of actions to make life a little easier. All from your Windows Phone.

You'll need a supply of unprogrammed NFC tags and with NFC Launchit you can program two types of actions based on System Apps and Popular Apps. If you only use your Bluetooth when in your car, program a NFC Tag to launch your Bluetooth and stick it to your car visor.

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