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Windows Phone has been slow to pick up some of mobile gaming’s heavy hitters – though the promise of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas coming next week is certainly a big step in the right direction. Still, many of the most unique and interesting mobile games come from smaller developers instead of the big guys. Windows Phone is making great progress with indie game makers, as evidenced by the developers we interviewed at Casual Connect who are preparing to dip their toes into Microsoft’s mobile waters.

Yesterday we reviewed BigBot Audio Drop, and today we bring news of another just-released indie game for Windows Phone 8: Aztec Antics from Bouncing Ball Limited. Not only does Aztec Antics sport some terrific retro-style pixel art, it also features MOGA controller support! That makes six MOGA-enhanced games on Windows Phone 8 and counting.

Head past the break for our Aztec Antics hands-on video and the developer’s video guide for setting up a MOGA controller with Windows Phone 8!

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Yeti on Furry, a popular tower defense game on Android, has just been released simultaneously on Windows, Windows Phone, and iOS! You tap and swipe on the screen to defend the Yeti from invaders climbing up the mountain.  These evil climbers will work their way up the mountain from either left, right or bottom of the screen in waves and with different skill sets. You have to get rid of them. We previously mentioned this game as Yeti Rising back in our August coverage.

Windows Phone users usually wait a while after an app or game launches on iOS or Android, so we’re glad the developers were able to release it on multiple platforms in the same day. Head past the break to watch our gameplay video on the Nokia Lumia 1520.

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If you’re one of brave who have committed to a life of BAP with the Nokia Lumia 1520, congratulations. You have an awesome 20 MP camera loaded with a 6-inch 1080P display that will catch everyone’s attention in public. It also means you have the latest firmware from Nokia, dubbed Lumia Black. That release allows notifications to be displayed on the Glance screen so that you can easily see what’s important in your busy life.

Here’s a quick an easy tip to get the current temperature always on that Glance screen, which is especially useful in the winter months. And if you don’t have a Lumia 1520, but instead another Lumia with Glance, bookmark this for when you get your update early next year!

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What could be better than sitting in front of your Xbox One and dismembering zombies with a variety of chainsaws and customizable weaponry? Nothing – absolutely nothing. Today, Capcom has announced a few surprises for fans of their latest masterpiece, Dead Rising 3, including a downloadable demo and the game’s first expansion pack that will be available soon.

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Whether you love an operating system or you hate it, there is always room for improvement and the grasp of perfection is always one step further ahead than you are. In a video recently posted to YouTube by Interface and Branding Architect, Jay Machalani, he proposed how he would “fix Windows 8”.

Jay stated that “Windows 8 is [his] favorite OS to date, but that [it] is filled with massive flaws”. The one word he uses to describe Microsoft’s latest operating system is “confusion”.

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Remember Amber? That was the last firmware update (along with Update 2) for Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. Although AT&T and the Lumia 920 was the last big story we covered in regards to its rollout, way back in October, there was still one carrier who was a holdout: Aio Wireless. No surprise that they are a subsidiary of AT&T.

Yes, the Lumia 620 on Aio Wireless, which runs for an amazing $99, has not had its GDR2 and Amber update. At least not until last night. Nokia and Aio have finally flipped the switch, pushing out the OS and firmware updates, which is now live.

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Update 12 PM ET: It's now official 

Someone may have had itchy trigger fingers tonight, as Microsoft has reportedly revealed that //Build/ will be happening on April 2-4 at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. That’s a favorite venue of theirs, so that’s not too surprising.  What is the shocker is the announcement, which has since been pulled, although the site Neowin  was able to grab the image before it was caught.

Build is Microsoft’s big developer conference that has also morphed into an announcement platform. Build 2013 was last held in San Francisco back in June, so seeing an April date at the same venue makes sense. Registration for the 2014 event will reportedly begin on January 14th at noon Eastern time (9 am Pacific), so you have some time to ponder your expenses before then.

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Know a friend or family member that needs an affordable smartphone on T-Mobile? You could recommend a Nokia Lumia 521. Better yet, you can buy it for them for the Holidays. Target is having Nokia’s best-selling Windows Phone 8 device in their stores next week for just $59.99. Let us remind you that’s the price without signing a two-year contract.

The deal is available from Sunday, December 15th until Saturday, December 21st. It is advertised in Target’s printed weekly ad, but we are not sure if this applies to the online store as well.

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UK mobile operator EE has announced today that the company will be investing £275 million in mobile calls next year. The plan is to drive new benchmarks for quality and reliability when using your mobile phone to make a call. In total, 11,000 2G sites are being upgraded on the network, while capacity will be doubled on 7,000 3G sites. Experiencing some slowdowns? Hopefully those will soon be a thing of the past.

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Shopping Apps

While the Holiday Shopping Season is in full swing our Windows Phone can help you survive the malls, crowds and cross-town treks.  The Windows Phone Store has plenty of apps to help you shop online and locally as well as save you a little money.

This week’s Windows Phone Central roundup focuses on a handful of the more highly rated shopping apps available in the Store.  We touch on popular apps for retailers, online merchants and deal finders.  We also throw in a rather simple shopping list app to help you keep track of who’s been naughty or nice.

As with any of our roundups, if we have overlooked your favorite shopping app let us know in the comments below.

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There isn't a shortage of Windows tablets out there, but specifications and designs have been rather similar, if not identical. Looking to differentiate themselves from the OEM pack, Fujitsu has begun taking orders for its STYLISTIC Q584 Windows 8.1 tablet. What makes this device different from other offerings already available? Good question, head on past the break to find out.

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Update: Yeah, Mollenkopf instead became CEO Of Qualcomm the next morning. 

The hunt for Microsoft’s next CEO has just taken another slight twist. Sources have revealed to Bloomberg that Steve Mollenkopf is now among the candidates being considered to replace Steve Ballmer. Who? Mollenkopf is the COO of Qualcomm and the latest individual to join the CEO dance at Microsoft.

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They might not always achieve release date parity with other platforms, but Disney Interactive is still a major supporter of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. This year we’ve seen new releases like Where’s My Water? 2 and Where’s My Mickey arrive in fairly timely fashion, and even a few slightly older games like Wreck-it-Ralph make the trip to mobile Windows platforms.

Today Disney’s latest mobile game Frozen Free Fall has popped up on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, just a few weeks after the iOS version’s November 21 release. Free Fall is a free-to-play match-3 puzzle game, not unlike that Candy Crush Saga game that everyone raves about. Head past the break for impressions and Store links!

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Want a premier Gmail experience on Windows Phone? Don’t use the native email client. Instead, look to the Windows Phone Store for an app called MetroMail. It’s beautiful, native app for Gmail users on Windows Phone. Forget for a moment that this is a Google product. There are still a ton of users on Windows Phone who rely on or might need to access Gmail. For them, there’s MetroMail. The app is about to update to go to version 1.2, so let’s check out what’s new in it.

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The Delhi High Court in India has finally allowed Nokia India to sell its Chennai manufacturing unit to Microsoft. If the court had ruled otherwise, Nokia may have had to exclude Indian assets from the acquisition deal, forcing the closure of the factory.

Set up in 2006, the Chennai factory is one of their largest manufacturing units employing 5800 people and producing 200 million phones a year.

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This morning, the Windows Phone Central inbox was flooded with tips about one Eldar Murtazin, who has taken to Twitter to make some comments about the future of Windows Phone and its UI design. Specifically, he claims that Microsoft will have “another UI” with the Live Tile system going away, replaced instead with a UI inspired by Android.

The future design of Windows Phone is certainly of concern, especially to our readers. Microsoft has bet a lot of the design language of Modern UI, making it the corner piece in Windows 8 and the Xbox One. Could they really be re-thinking everything?

Furthermore, who is Murtazin and why should you care? We take a look at the latest rumors and show why they are baseless.

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This week, HP announced their new refresh of machines for the business/enterprise user. The company’s current EliteBook Folio has been upgraded, a new version of their EliteBook Revolve has been shown off, and a new mini laptop for schools dubbed the Classmate 10 is the next generation of affordable technology for schools.

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