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If you missed the ‘Red Stripe’ deal a few weeks ago for Runtastic Pro (it was on sale for $.99, down from its normal $4.99), well, you missed a great offer for an impressive service for fitness buffs. The app recently went full Windows Phone 8 on us, bringing a host of new features and a slight redesign. Personally, we’ve been using it with the physical heart rate monitor and have been having a blast.

Even if you don’t run, it has general fitness features too, including weights, skiing, swimming and more. If you use Fitbit and or MyFitnessPal, it can easily link up to both services, giving you a comprehensive overview of your activity level and calories expended.

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About a week ago Microsoft made your account more secure. If you use any Microsoft service or product you own a Microsoft Account. You use that account to sign into your Windows Phone to download apps and track the phone if you ever lose it. On Xbox it’s associated with your Gamertag and allows you to carry your profile from Xbox to Xbox and keep your Gamerscore and Achievements synced. On Windows 8 it allows your settings and wallpapers’ to sync across your laptop, desktop, and tablets.

If you’re in anyway shape or form using a Microsoft product you need to enable two-step verification to keep your account secure. Here’s how to set it up.

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Latest figures released by Kantar Worldpanel shows that Microsoft is actually starting to perform rather well in the US, one of the more important markets for the company. So much so that the platform is growing at a slightly faster rate than Google's Android. Microsoft still has a tough mountain to climb to tackle both Android and iOS, but it would seem as though the third position is firmly in its grasp.

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Using the Windows Phone 8X by HTC as a baby monitor

So what can one do with a pair of HTC 8X Windows Phones, a pan / tilt gimble, WiFi network and a block of wood? It's a superb question and one that HTC engineer Garrett Rysko can answer. A post over on the HTC blog walks us through how an advanced baby monitor was created for his lab partner, Derek Feri. While it's one expensive baby monitor kit, we always enjoy covering DIY projects.

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We've been informed that Liquid Daffodil has finally managed to get its Unification app listed on the Windows 8 Store, enabling consumers to download and utilise the notification centre across the Windows ecosystem. So what's Unification all about? If you're not familiar with the name, or have somehow missed our previous coverage, it's a notification centre that pulls in and stores alerts and notifications from third-party apps.

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Fhotoroom updated with a new design and filters

Fhotoroom is a very nice photo sharing and editing app for our Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. You can sign up with the Fhotoroom network to show off your photos or just use the app to edit your photos.

Fhotoroom was updated today to version 8.3 that brings a new user interface to the editor along with a handful of new filters, styles, frames and light leaks. The but that was hindering saving/loading images from your SkyDrive account was also fixed.

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GroupMe is a popular service from Microsoft, enabling consumers to connect with others using groups (hence the name). It's an app that enables consumers to transfer photos, while making use of both push and SMS for messages.

We've been notified of yet another update for GroupMe on Windows Phone. Version 4.4, which has been published to the store and should be live within the next 24 hours, introduces a number of new additions to the experience. The app was only updated to version 4.3 back in February and included numerous features consumers were crying out for. So what's new in this latest release?

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Now this could be everything, or it could be nothing at all, but Joe Belfiore has teased on Twitter that he may have something for the Windows Phone community (or rather the general public) in the next few days. The manager of the Windows Phone division at Microsoft recently celebrated his Birthday and was greeted by numerous messages on the social network.

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AT&T launches Digital Life in 15 U.S. Markets

A little while ago we mentioned the AT&T Digital Life app that allows you to control various aspects of your home from your Windows Phone. With the service you can control everything from locking/unlocking your front door to turning on the lights to monitoring your security system.  The problem back in March, when the app first appeared, was that the Digital Life service wasn't available.

Today AT&T announced that the Digital Life service has launched in fifteen U.S. Markets including Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boulder, Colo., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Riverside, Calif., San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and select areas of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. AT&T plans to introduce Digital Life in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.

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These Windows Phone games are for the birds


Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Bird Games

As The Trashmen so aptly put it, "The birds is the word" with this week's Windows Phone Game Roundup. These are games with the central character being a bird.

Most are really nice games to pass the time with and include an Xbox Live title, a sequel, and one that can easily get tangled up in knots. We picked out five games that stood out in the Windows Phone Store and there are still a large flock of "bird" games loose in the store.

If we've missed your favorite game of birds, feel free to chime in below in the comments with your recommendations.

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T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 521 on sale now at HSN.com

Yesterday we mentioned that T-Mobile had announced that the Nokia Lumia 521 would be available through HSN.com on April 27th as a part of HSN's Innovation Weekend.

Well... apparently someone over at HSN.com started the weekend a little early. The T-Mobile Lumia 521 is now available over at HSN.com for $149.95 with free shipping and bundled with a car charger and screen protector. Flex payments of $37.49 are also available.

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Gameloft’s Ice Age Village just launched for Xbox Windows Phone 8 yesterday. If you enjoy the town-building genre or the Ice Age movies, it’s a fun and addictive game. It’s also worlds better than Bug Village, so don’t let that early Windows Phone 7 misfire put you off from trying the game.

All that said, we have some good news and bad news to share with you now. This article covers the bad news. One of Ice Age Village’s advancements over Bug Village, its social integration is just about completely broken at launch. Read on to learn about the kinks in the works and whether we can expect Gameloft to take care of the situation

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Way back in November we told you guys about DVLUP, a Nokia sponsored rewards program for Windows Phone developers. It’s a cool community for developers and worth checking out if you’re in the scene. The program is ran by a bunch of Nokia Ambassadors, who are always doing crazy cool things. Lance McCarthy recently ran a hackathon that produced some cool apps. Now George Salcedo is doing something wild with another ambassador, a 1965 Rambler Ambassador to be accurate.

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Microsoft is set to release an app for Android to help consumers on Google's mobile platform to switch to Windows Phone with less hassle. "Switch to Windows Phone" will locate identical apps or valid alternatives for Windows Phone 8 to replace existing Android apps. The plan is to make switching to Microsoft's platform as painless as possible.

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DC Comics pulled from the Windows Phone Store

DC Comics was a popular comic reader for our Windows Phones. I say was because Comixology, the driving force behind the DC Comics app, has pulled the app from the Windows Phone Store and will no longer support those of us who still have the app installed on our phones.

Any purchases already made will still be accessible in your Comixology account but after May 1st, the app will no longer support purchasing new content.

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I know what you're thinking, "Oh, not more patents!" Believe me, we wish we could simply forget about the business altogether and focus on technology and innovation, but we're talking about multiple corporations here. Microsoft is battling it out against Google and are currently in a strong position. This has been reinforced with ZTE becoming the 20th company to have taken a royalty-bearing Android license. 

Today the Munich Higher Regional Court rejected Google's (Motorola) appeal against Microsoft's injunction against Motorola, which was granted back in 2012. The patent in question is EP1304891 on "communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface." The lower court's ruling has now been affirmed by the appeals court and so the injunction remains in place for the foreseeable future.

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