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Galactic Reign, Skype usage and most wanted apps? It has got to be another From the Forums, right? Definitely! Bringing you random, popular and elusive threads that you may have overlooked. The Windows Phone Central community is a vibrant forum with thousands of posts published on a daily basis. So what's been happening the past few days?

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Although the “Smoked by Windows Phone” shenanigans are mostly over and Microsoft is not routinely engaging in phone challenges anymore, it’s still great to finally see the gist of it coming to TV. Such is the case with this new ad featuring Microsoftie Ben Rudolph and a couple who were using a Samsung Galaxy S3.

The concept is the same: do a challenge between two phones, in this case take a photo at night, and see which device wins. Of course, the GS3 is up against the Nokia Lumia 920, a phone designed for low-light shooting, so it should be little surprise to see it win here. For their trouble, the couple gets a Windows Phone.

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Microsoft offering developers $100 for new apps

Windows Phone has slowly been picking up apps, whether brand new to the platform or older apps get big updates. It’s a nice sign that the platform is picking up steam, but apparently not fast enough for Microsoft. The Redmond company has a new cash incentive to get developers cranking out apps for both Windows Phone and Windows 8.

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Stay up-to-date with Australian sport on Windows Phone

Want to keep on top of sport in Australia? There are three new Windows Phone apps that are now available on the store and are 2013 versions of the top selling sports apps for both Australia and New Zealand in both 2011 and 2012 - ranking high in the paid sports genre throughout both years. AU Footy 2013, AU League 2013 and Sup-Rugby 2013. 

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Timelapse Pro is a Windows Phone 7.x and 8 photography app that allow you to capture time lapse images that can be converted to animated image files. The app was recently updated to version 4 and adds the ability to upload your images to the cloud to have a Mp4 video file generated.

The catch, you'll need to upgrade the free version of Timelapse Pro to unlock this feature (as well as the ability to save the photos on your Windows Phone) at a cost of $2.99 (up from the original $.99) which isn't too bad if you need an easy way to generate Mp4 videos.

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The popular Windows Phone photography app Photosynth was updated today to version 1.6, mainly to deal with stability and performance issues.

The update addresses the camera viewfinder turning green after using Photosynth, updated the camera calibration logic to properly preserve the field of view information and improvements to auto-cropping of a flat panorama for sharing or saving images to your Pictures Hub.

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Following on from our mostly successful launch of v3.8/9 of the Windows Phone Central app, there are a few loose ends to tie up in the code, thus we present the next update, v3.10 for Windows Phone 7 and v3.11 for Windows Phone 8. After a few problems with the store, everything looks to be resolved.

Whilst we're afraid we can't promise any exciting new features, we have resolved several problems, some of which we know were frustrating our community a little! You can pick up the update here in the store (either the free version or paid) or see below for the full changelist, and please consider voting for the app in Microsoft's next app star competition.

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We could well be looking too much into something, but it's fun nonetheless. Nokia has published the above photo onto its Facebook account, which appears to be teasing solar charging for smartphones. The caption reads "Sun, sun, sun, here we come!" and we're not the first to question what exactly Nokia is teasing here.

Summer's well on the way (unless you live in England) and this would be a perfect opportunity to reveal solar technology on Windows Phones. Could Nokia simply be looking forward to picnics and the beach? Possibly, but then we already know the good weather will come.

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Nokia Lumia 520 passes certification in Brazil

Nokia has managed to get the Lumia 520 Windows Phone through certification in Brazil. The smartphone was unveiled at Mobile World Congress and has impressed many with its unique design and incredible price tag. We're looking at 139 euros for the Windows Phone, but vNext expects the local price in Brazil to be more like R$ 599 ($300).

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MusicQubed, the company behind O2 Tracks on iOS, Android and BlackBerry has released an app for Windows Phone. Should you not be aware of what O2 Tracks is all about, the service enables consumers to check out the Top 40 and 20 music charts on a smartphone while on the go. Tracks are downloaded for offline playback, perfect for those who don't wish to rely on a data connection for music enjoyment. 

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There's nothing worse for developers than updating their Windows Phone apps to address bugs and for the release to get lost wondering around the vast plains of the Microsoft Dev Center. Our own Jay Bennett has experienced an issue with the latest version of the Windows Phone Central app finding itself stuck in limbo (or rather "Certification Passed" and "Not Submitted" stages of approval).

Microsoft has since acknowledged the issue and has stated engineers are looking into reports.

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Now that Nokia seems to have kicked into high gear their movement to get Instagram onto Windows Phone (or they’re just building hype for its eventual release, if you’re into conspiracy) it makes sense that they tidy up their main app for it.

#2InstaWithLove has been bumped for all Windows Phones to version 2.1 today, though there is no changelog present and a quick perusal does not reveal any new features.

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Just as many gamers have shouted over the headset in excitement, "BOOM! HEAD SHOT!" Nokia has won a patent injunction against HTC in Germany. Yes, we're aware that many of you have grown tired of such news being covered, but it's a Windows Phone OEM being attacked by another, so it's certainly worth noting exactly what's going on.

It's reported HTC has since disabled the patented power-saving technique in question on affected hardware. This change will lead to poorer battery life, further hurting the Taiwanese product line which incorporates Qualcomm baseband chips. The company is fighting back and it's believed a deal will be struck between the two parties at some point.

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Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 were slim pickings until Gameloft’s highly anticipated Asphalt 7 rolled out a few weeks ago. That rad racer became the first of the publisher’s 12 announced games to actually see release, followed shortly thereafter by The Amazing Spider-Man and Real Soccer 2013. That still leaves 9 more games to go, including the hotly anticipated FPS titles N.O.V.A. 3 and Modern Combat 4.

We won’t be shooting enemies this week, at least not with bullets. Batarangs, however are a different story. This Wednesday, Gameloft will release The Dark Knight Rises and Shark Dash for Windows Phone 8.

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Nokia has announced that the Lumia 620 will be launching in Sweden and available from stores starting March 21st. The cheap and cheerful Windows Phone will be stocked in black, yellow and lime green (availability will vary between retailers and operators). The Lumia 620 is expected to be priced at 2500 SEK ($390).

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The developer of MetroSpec, a ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, has released an update for both the free and premium versions of the app. What's in version 1.5? It's a fairly important refresh since we're talking about large Live Tile support for Windows Phone 7.8 and 8, as well as a bunch of improvements.

If you're not familiar with MetroSpec, it's an emulator for those who still enjoy playing ZX Spectrum titles while on the move, with the ability to synchronise save states across multiple devices.

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Microsoft bought Skype back in May of 2011, so you’d think we’d have the premier mobile Skype experience on Windows Phone right? Well, it’s been somewhat of a rough start. The first app on Windows Phone couldn’t run in the background and more recent versions have been missing features found on iOS and Android. Well, Skype just got another update for Windows Phone, let’s see what it brings.

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Al Jazeera English is a sister channel of the popular Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera English launched in 2006 and was aimed at broadening the portfolio and audience. So far it’s been met with fairly good reviews from critics and viewers, picking up various awards since its inception a few years back. Here’s an award from Al Jazeera English to its viewers and readers on Windows Phone, an official app.

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myAppFree, helping you find Windows Phone app deals

myAppFree is an interesting deal finder for your Windows Phone 7.x and 8 device in that it finds deals on apps and games. The developers of myAppFree work with other developers to provide discounted prices and score the Store for other deals.

myAppFree has a page highlighting the App of Today, a page listing the current deals, and a contact page to easily reach out to the developers.

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We may be picking a bit here on Android, but as many Windows Phone users know we are not familiar with getting games first or second. That’s why when we see Brotherhood of Violence and now Puzzle Craft go to Windows Phone 8 (and Windows 8) ahead of Android, we get a little excited.

Puzzle Craft is made by popular game makers Chillingo (though ported by SYZYGY Deutschland GmbH for WP8/Windows RT) and has been described as “…if The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Bejeweled had a baby”. If you’ve ever engaged in Farmville-like online games and happen to like the easier aspects of Bejeweled, this game is for you.

It’s also completely free with no ads. Yowza.

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We've just been informed that Cellular Live Tile, WiFi Live Tile and HD EPG Pro will be made available for 72 hours for consumers, starting right this very second (depending on region). All three apps are developed by Formentera Sunset S.L. and are well rated on the Windows Phone Store. So what are the apps all about and should you be interested?

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We last talked about MeTweets back in December when the app hit version 1.2 with some Windows Phone 8 support. Now, version 2.0 is near, and we have a sneak preview of what’s changed. For those who aren’t familiar, MeTweets is one of our top Twitter apps for the platform: it’s fast, smooth, minimalist and loaded with features.

Version 2.0, due out within the next week or so, looks to raise the bar even higher with some redesign changes in layout and lots of new options, including a few “firsts” for a Windows Phone Twitter client.

Interestingly, today is that app’s five month anniversary, so why not watch our hands on video to see some of the new additions and learn why MeTweets deserves your attention?

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Right now, H.264/AVC is generally regarded as the king of codecs. It’s been on the hill since around 2003, but Nokia has collaborated on a new codec that promises higher quality video at half the bit rate. H.265/HEVC is that codec that could be the next king of the hill.

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