Articles

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Microsoft adds Google Talk support to Outlook.com

We've previously touched on Microsoft's new email service, Outlook.com. The service has replaced Hotmail and offers advanced functionality along with a refreshed user interface to better match Windows 8 and other products. As well as checking through email, users can also chat with Facebook and Skype contacts in the sidebar. Microsoft has now implemented support for Google Talk. 

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Gift cards are coming to Windows Phone later this year

Like a lot of you, we’ve been yearning for Microsoft to come up with a gift card solution for Windows Phone. Sunny skies ahead. Looks like Microsoft is finally gearing up to drop the Points system on Xbox and replace it with gift cards and cash.

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It’s been awhile in the making but Instagraph, the first Instagram uploader for Windows Phone, has just received a pretty hefty update, which also brings support for Windows Phone 7.x users.

Version 1.4.3 is now live in the Store for all devices and has been dropped in price to just $0.99. We should also mention that there are no longer any limits on uploads anymore, making this a good option for many users who want a “legal” way to upload pics to Instagram.

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Angry Birds Rio now partying on Windows Phone 7 and 8

It’s time for another new Xbox Windows Phone game this week. Sadly, Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 didn’t make it out yet, but we still expect it at the end of May or early June. Instead, this week’s release is the not too surprising but still appreciated Angry Birds Rio from Rovio.

I say not surprising because two weeks ago Microsoft and Nokia both announced that Rio would be coming very soon. They weren’t lying! Meanwhile, Angry Birds Rio has also flown in on Windows Phone 7 without Xbox Live features, just as we predicted. Now then, what makes this Rio game different from the 1500 other official Angry Birds titles already available on Windows Phone? Read on to find out.

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Developers have a hard time getting word out about their work, especially since the platform is still relatively young. Here in the UK we have the Windows Phone User Group, headed up by Matt Lacey (@mrlacey). The monthly meetings enable developers to showcase their apps and / or work in all areas of Windows Phone. We tag along each time to offer more support for developers and to see what's new in the community.

It's a perfect opportunity to get involved and also to meet ourselves for some coverage on this very website. This coming Monday (May 20th), the group is heading to Nokia's new offices in Paddington, London. We encourage all developers to register, come along and demonstrate their work to the audience. As an incentive, there's a special prize on offer too for the best app. Who doesn't want free promotion these days?

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Star Trek Almanac, giving it all she's got Captain!

The latest Star Trek movie, Into Darkness,  is about to hit theaters and while we have the official Star Trek app, we also have the Star Trek Almanac. The Star Trek Almanac is from the same developers of the Star Wars Almanac and contains enough Star Trek knowledge to satisfy a horde of tribbles in heat.

The Star Trek Almanac is spread out just like it's Star Wars counterpart. You have pages covering a featured subject, videos, a sections page with links to people, vehicles, races and planets, as well as pages highlighting updated, popular and seldom seen Star Trek subjects.

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Vox plans to bring mobile VoIP service to Windows Phone

Vox Communications is planning to support Windows Phone with its mobile VoIP service. The company currently supports Android, but it has since revealed that plans are set to launch versions on other platforms in the future. The first platform to receive such blessing will be iOS, but we are likely to see BlackBerry and Windows Phone on the horizon thereafter.

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The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its catch-up service on Windows Phone with the iPlayer now available for Windows Phone 8 consumers. The app enables users to check out shows they may have missed the past seven days across the BBC channels. As we've covered previously, the BBC hasn't developed a native client as such, but has opted to start with a mobile web wrapper of its website.

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Deal Alert: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet now $299

If you've been on the fence looking for a deal on a Windows 8 tablet, Dell may have just what you're looking for. The price for the Dell XPS 10 Windows 8 RT tablet has been slashed from $449.99 to $299.99.

The 10.1" tablet comes with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB of memory storage, 2MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear facing camera. You can upgrade the memory to 64GB (add $50) and add a keyboard dock (now only $100) when you customize your purchase. However, Dell is offering the XPS 10 bundled with the keyboard dock for $349. Bump the memory on the bundle to 64GB and you're at $399 which is still a heck of a deal.

We aren't sure how long this deal will last but you can find all the details on the Dell XPS 10 here at the Dell website.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

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Camera360 passes the 100 million user mark

We knew that Camera360 was a popular Windows Phone photography app but apparently it has become the first mobile photography app to pass 100 million global users.

Granted Windows Phone can't take claim to all these users with Camera360 being available over on iOS and Android devices. But still, 100 million is impressive.  

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Check out Microsoft YouthSpark Summer Camps for 2013

Microsoft is offering classes for the younger generations to get started with technology. The YouthSpark Summer Camps will take place at Microsoft Stores in the US and will begin in June. If you head on over to the main hub, one can manipulate the calendar search on the store results page to view availability and more.

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With Nokia’s announcement today of the new Lumia 925, many questions have been asked by you regarding design choices, hardware specifications and the future of Nokia’s Lumia efforts.

During the day, we spoke with Kevin Shields (Management Overhead, Nokia) and Stefan Pannenbecker (SVP Product Design, at Nokia) who were kind enough to take some of inquiries about today’s product reveal.

Want some answers to your most asked questions? Then head past the break...

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Gartner has published an interesting report, which details numerous points. The first is Nokia falling to position 10 in the first quarter of 2013. This is out of all mobile phone manufacturers (Samsung remains first). While Windows Phone is increasing its share and sales, Nokia has still yet to experience a surge that will replace the sheer volume of units the company used to ship.

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Microsoft has taken the opportunity to discuss its future update plans with the Lumia 925 running a yet-to-be-released version of Windows Phone 8.While probably not the final build, the release is set to be rolled out to consumers later this summer, which will introduce a number of features and improvements. So what can you look forward to?

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Now Available: Windows Phone Central app v4

Over the weekend we gave you a sneak peak at version 4 of our official app for Windows Phone, and we're pleased to say it has now passed certification and is available on the marketplace right here.

So as always please download at your own leisure and enjoy the new features (which we've listed again below). Please note though that voice commands is a paid only feature and is currently only available in US and UK english, something which we're working to improve!

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Creative Studio is a very nice photo editing app exclusive to the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. Creative Studio was updated today to version 5.0 and adds four new editing tools to the mix.

You have two new features to blur images, Focus Object and Radial/Tilt Shift. These features allow you to select areas of your photos to keep in focus and the areas you want to blur.

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Nokia Lumia 925 comes together in new advertisement

Nokia has hit the ground running releasing a new ad for their latest Windows Phone, the Lumia 925, that was officially introduced to the world this morning in London.

The forty second spot offers an inside look at the Lumia 925, highlighting the 8MP Pureview camera and aluminum body. The spot is rather generic but is just enough to catch your attention.

Source: Nokia (Youtube)

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It was announced today that Nokia will be bringing “Amber”, a software update package that will coincide with Microsoft’s GDR2 update later this summer. We got a quick look at some of the new camera functions, which will launch on the Lumia 925 and then come to all Windows Phone 8 Lumias via an over-the-air update.

So what can we expect? FM Radio, up to 3200 ISO support, less noise, enhanced color profile, image quality improvements and more. One of those new features is of course the Smart Camera app that you see demoed here in our video. Indeed, we’re quite excited for this feature to come.

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We're still on the floor here at Nokia's event in London and we're preparing for an imminent interview with SVP Product Design, Stefan Pannenbecker. While we have some questions we'll put forward, we'd like to know what you guys want to have answered. What continues to influence design? How will Nokia innovate on what's currently available? We'd like to hear all your queries.

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