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Microsoft is making it cheaper and more convenient for consumers to personalise hardware. To join the deal that has been featured in Europe, Microsoft has unleashed a free Touch (including limited editions) and Type cover offer for consumers when Surface RT Windows 8 tablets are purchased. It's a limited time offer and has only just kicked off, but we're pleased to see such a bundle arise to help push more units.

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UK mobile phone retailer Phones 4u is offering the Lumia 620 from Nokia for just £103.96 as a pre-paid upgrade. For those who are looking to kick off a new start with the Windows Phone, the device is also priced at £127.96 with a £10 top-up. That's not a bad price tag and the deal will last through this weekend. 

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Enjoying a good book on your Windows Phone


Windows Phone Central App Roundup: eReaders

We have a mixed bag of Windows Phone reader apps for this weeks Windows Phone Central App Roundup. We have one of the cornerstones in electronic reading, an audio book centerpiece, one that doubles down, and one that is more genre specific.

These apps not only come in handy for those who like books but also for those looking for something to pass the time with other than games. There's a healthy selection of readers in the Windows Phone Store and we tapped four that stood out by name, reputation and ratings.

If we've overlooked your favorite Windows Phone reader app, feel free to spill the beans below in the comments.

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We know your favorite Windows Phone related podcast comes from us.  Daniel and Jay are a dynamic duo that help keep you up to date on the latest things with Windows Phone and more. But we approach it more for the general consumer and don’t focus too much on development. For that we highly recommend the Windows Developer Show from brothers Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk. There’s a new app in the Store that you should check out to get their podcast.

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Mobile Nations podcast 21: Announcing Talk Mobile 2013!

Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry, Phil Nickinson of Android Central, Daniel Rubino of Windows Phone Central, and Rene Ritchie of iMore come together to talk about… Talk Mobile 2013! What is it, how will it work, and just how awesome will it be? Find out!

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Nokia is running an exciting contest in the US. Those who participate could win the golden prize and be flown to New York City for the world premiere of Man of Steel (June 10th), the new Superman movie. So what's the contest all about? Every two weeks, Nokia has been prompting fans and followers to submit photos based on certain themes. This time round it's "Heroes", based on Memorial Day and -- of course -- the Man of Steel movie.

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Sometimes the most addicting games are the ones with simple gameplay that you can just pick up and play. HarshQuad is a new game on Windows Phone that could become highly addictive for quick, short gaming bursts.

Let’s check it out.

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Earlier this week we held a community contest to rename Itsdagram, the unofficial but fully featured Instagram app for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft had contacted the developer, Daniel Gary, about changing some of the likeness of the app to keep Instagram off their backs (and no, this does not mean an official app is around the corner).

In true underdog fashion, instead of just declaring the name we asked you folks what it should be called. After taking proposals, developer Daniel Gary and ourselves agreed on five candidates, of which one was selected in a late night user poll.

Thus Itsdagram died to be reborn as….Instance.

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Drag Racing is a outstanding Windows Phone 8 game where you can race over fifty different cars down a 1/4 or 1/2 mile strip. You can race against the computer or other Drag Racing players (randomly chosen) in various racing modes.

The game was update the other day to version 1.0.0.7 and adds a Friends option to the race menu where you can go head to head against specific members.

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While Windows Phone does have an official TripIt app (www.tripit.com), the popular travel organizer service yields some harsh reviews from users. Indeed, the app has always been “meh” in our opinion meaning when it worked, it was just an okay experience.

But we’re champions of the indie dev here at Windows Phone Central and My Trips has always filled the TripIt-gap on our platform. The app runs for $1.99 (with a free trial) but if you use TripIt and travel more than twice a year, then it’s a no-brainer to purchase.

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If you're after a credit card reader for Windows Phone, you'll already be aware that Square currently does not support the platform. There are no plans for the company to begin to do so in the near future either. But fear not as Innerface has come to the rescue. The Innerfence Credit Card Reader works exactly as expected. Simply plug it into the headphone jack and get swiping.

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Windows 8.1 (codenamed "Blue") is the upcoming update for Microsoft's desktop operating system, Windows 8. The company has been pushing out its latest major release of Windows since late last year with bumps in the road and goals ahead to smash. Details as to what consumers can expect to see in Windows 8.1 have been rather vague, but today Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President, Windows Program Management revealed some of the changes.

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Ciel is a Windows Phone 8 photography app that lets you place a template over your pictures that details your location and current weather. It's a nifty way to show off how nice (or miserable) the weather is where ever you may be.  Additionally, Ciel has direct sharing support for Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr to let you share the good (or bad) weather with your friends without having to leave the app.

An update was pushed out this morning for Ciel, lifting it to version 2.7. The most notable change with the update is the addition of Lens integration.

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Now that EA Sports has released Tiger Woods 12 for Nokia phones, golf fans have two Xbox golf titles to choose from. Tiger Woods’ predecessor, Let’s Golf 2 is by comparison a much more cartoony title. But realism isn’t always that important in sports games – just see our NBA Jam review. Besides, it’s not like HTC and Samsung owners can get Tiger Woods anyway. Oh, and Let’s Golf 2 is on sale for a lower price right now.

That’s right, Gameloft’s Let’s Golf 2 for Windows Phone 7 and 8 is the Xbox Windows Phone Red Stripe Deal of the Week. You can get it for $1.99, down from the too-high price of $4.99. This marks the game’s second outing as Deal of the Week – it last went on sale in September 2012 for the same price.

Rounding out the Red Stripe deals this week are Cradle to the Grave Premium from indie developer Coltran Studios and an air traffic utility app called Flightradar24, both on sale for 99 cents. Read on for descriptions, pictures, and store links!

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UK mobile operator O2 has published its product listing for the Nokia Lumia 925. The new flagship Windows Phone is available on a variety of plans, providing consumers with ample choice between plan allowances, up-front handset fees and monthly contract costs. The company is also shipping out Lumia 925 units on launch day to those who pre-order by June 12th. If you want the new Windows Phone as soon as possible, be sure to get in quickly.

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Evleaks, who is fairly accurate when it comes to leaked renders of upcoming Windows Phone hardware, has published the above render on Twitter. It's believed to be the Huawei Ascend W2, a more advanced successor to the Ascend W1. We've previously looked at the Ascend W2 and how previous reports suggested it was going to be the thinnest Windows Phone yet, but this is the first we've seen of this design.

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Flight Factory is an interesting and invaluable app for Windows Phone. It enables consumers to check the status of flights while on the move. Utilising data obtained from FlightStats, the app will help make trips a little bit more convenient with up-to-date information for individual flights. Flight Factory has been bumped to version 1.3, which includes numerous improvements.

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We’re actually pretty big fans of Shazam, the popular music ID service, as it tends to do a slightly more accurate job than the Bing music service. Throw in the ability to pin the scanner to your Start screen for 1-touch access and we’re happy campers.

Today, Shazam is announcing an updated Windows Phone 8 version of their popular app and it looks quite polished. Probably the biggest improvement comes from the tie in to Nokia Music, which is becoming an ever more popular service on Lumia Windows Phones.

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Back at the end of March, a new color variant of the Lumia 920 was spotted on Nokia Jordan’s Facebook page. The green Lumia 920 was adorned with mint leaves near the bottom and it was unclear if it was an April fool’s joke or a tease (it was actually posted on March 28th, making an April 1st joke a bit untimely).

Now, E-Store Australia is listing a Lumia 920 in green, including the IDs--Part No: NOK0120 MPN: 060585--on their site with an asking price of $792 (or about $763 in USD). The device is of course out of stock with no ETA either.

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Windows Phone is a platform where you can do a lot out of the box without needing a lot of apps. Compared to iOS and Android it could be argued the basic experience is better in many aspects. It’s jam packed with features and you don’t need to open the Store to get apps to do get things done. Sometimes a built in feature is good, but can easily be improved. I’m Here is an app that helps to make sharing your location easier and packs a little more feature wise compared to the SMS method in Windows Phone. Let’s check it out.

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Facebook Beta for Windows Phone 8 updated

The Facebook app for Windows Phone hasn’t been the most exciting app since it first wobbled onto the platform. It became slightly better after each new update, but was still a dog to run. A month ago Microsoft announced a new beta version of Facebook they’ve been working on that brings the app closer to its iOS and Android counterparts. That beta version has been well received in the community and gets a small update today.

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Windows Phone desktop sync app for Windows 7 and 8 updated

When Windows Phone 8 launched we lost the ability to use Zune as our desktop syncing solution. A move that angered a lot of users. The replacement apps on Windows 8 and the desktop weren’t a step backwards, they were a stumble. Slowly but surely, Microsoft has been improving that app. After 3 beta releases, the desktop app has finally hit RTM according to Microsoft. Let’s see what all the hubbub is about.

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