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The official launch of Windows 8.1 might not be till the 18th of October, but Microsoft is continually updating their own apps in preparation for the big day. One of those apps that’s been reimagined from the ground up is Xbox Music. When we first played with Xbox Music on Windows 8 last year it completely broke our experience and hearts as to the direction Microsoft was headed. But when we tried out Xbox Music for Windows 8.1 the spark was back. The latest update is minor, but does help round out the experience. Let’s check it out.

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We’ve covered the Tile Me! application quite a bit in the past. The free (and paid) app allows you to create profile pictures based off of the Windows Phone Me Tile for use on other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. It’s a simple concept but wildly popular, especially with our audience. If you ever wondered how everyone was doing this in our forums or on Twitter, here you go.

An update for both versions of the app just went out today and it builds in Twitter support. That means you can now create your new profile pic and directly change it on Twitter with a few simple clicks. Booya.

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Microsoft has been known for distributing free software to business startups and college students through their BizSpark and DreamSpark campaigns. The programs offer a variety of software including the latest version of Windows, a fresh copy of Office 2013, and even access to development tools such as Visual Studio. Now, Microsoft wants to give even more free software away; this time, to nonprofits.

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Apple today unveiled the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the latter being a more affordable option for consumers. Known for rather expensive price tags, Apple is attempting to tackle the low-end of the smartphone market with the new iPhone 5C. As well as being cheaper than the high-end iPhone, consumers will also have numerous colours to choose from.

Unfortunately, these choices appeared to be vaguely familiar. Nokia UK took to Twitter today to unleash the above image, poking fun at Apple for not only injecting some colour into the iPhone product line, but utilising the similiar colours. As the Finish manufacturer rightfully pointed out: "Imitation is the best form of flattery."

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Disney and Microsoft seem to be hitting it off well as every week we’re seeing more and more games arrive on Windows Phone and Windows 8 from the famous studio. Just last week Wreck it Ralph arrived for Windows Phone and Temple Run: Oz before that. This week it’s the more timely Monsters University.

Based off of the hit summer movie and weighing in at 82 MB, the 99 cent game looks to be quite a blast on Windows Phone. Featuring HD cut scenes right from the film, Monsters University features two “exciting mini games”, like “Catch Archie” (think Temple Run but at an angle and you ride a pig) and “Toxicity Challenge”.  Each game has a tutorial, but if you played Temple Run before, you’ll pick it right up.

Check out what the game is all about after the break in our hands on video.

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When it comes to reviews or opinion pieces, especially for gadgets, there’s some "science" involved but a lot of it comes down to the critic's biases. The notion that a journalist is impartial is derisory, though many still feign the notion that it exists. Just like how history can’t be objective since what the historian deems important (and not important) drives the narrative, the same applies to tech articles explaining devices and giving opinions.

At Windows Phone Central, we write from the perspective of people who are already on board with the Microsoft’s mobile OS—it’s more about the hardware and how it compares to other Windows Phones. That’s our audience. Are we biased? Of course, but at least you know where we’re coming from—we’re not pretending otherwise.  

That’s what makes CNET’s latest video so frustrating. We don’t have a problem with people finding faults with the Lumia 1020, or even not preferring it. This is the predisposition thing rearing its head and if you like Android or iOS more than Windows Phone, then it will drive your opinion. But distorting facts or just getting things plain wrong is inexcusable.

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Video game maker Ubisoft has announced that they will be releasing a follow up to their hit game Rayman Jungle Run this Fall on Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android. Rayman Fiesta Run will consist of 75 levels of running and jumping through a foody, fruity party-filled world. Along with the fast-paced running and jumping that we have come to expect, Rayman will also add the ability to swim, shrink and punch.

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The Nokia Lumia 625, featuring a nicely sized 4.7-inch display and a 1.2GHz dual core CPU is certainly an interesting phone. Its budget priced and lacks a lot of the high end features of its Lumia brethren and yet it’s still in a category all its own due to that screen size, large battery, microSD expansion and premium Nokia feel.

Telstra began selling the Nokia Lumia 625 at the end of August, while some third-party retailers had it a few weeks earlier.

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Reuters reports that at least three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft desire a quick turnaround with the departure of current CEO Steve Ballmer and his replacement - whoever that may be. The investors have urged the company to look at Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie for the role, placing both on the shortlist.

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Good news for those with the awesome Nokia Lumia 720, as the 1334 Amber firmware and 10328 OS update (GDR2) is now sitting on Nokia’s servers.

If you're adventurous and use Nokia Care Suite or Navifirm+, you can download the ROM and manually flash your device (losing all information in the process); alternatively, you can wait until your carrier begins to roll it out over-the-air, which is what we recommend.

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If we we’re clinical psychologists (we’re not) we might suggest that Microsoft is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, something also known as multiple personality disorder. The company has been doing 180s on products and announcements more frequently than anyone one company should. Take for example some of the backtracking Microsoft did with the Xbox One and features announced back in May at the unveiling compared to what will now be available on launch on November 22nd

And today, the most recent example – developers can now download Windows 8.1 RTM via TechNet or MSDN.

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Liquid Daffodil started a project earlier this year to help unify notifications across a variety of products you use and love. Their Unification service was a cross-device notification platform that allowed developers to unite apps spanning Windows Phone 7.x and 8, Windows desktop, and Windows 8. It was an attempt to fill the lack of notifications available to customers using Microsoft’s products. Unfortunately, the Unification Notification Services will be retired at the end of October.

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Update 5 PM ET: As it turns out the IM+ update is much, much larger than anticipated. See below for the full changelog.

For those of you who use the all-in-one messenger app IM+, both the Pro and Free versions were updated today to 2.9.1.0. The update doesn’t appear to bring any new features but is instead a rapid bug fix for some connectivity issues to Skype and VK that was reported by users.

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Some development teams just made solid product after solid product. One of those development teams is game studio 10tons. They’ve given us great (sometimes weird) games like King Oddball, Sparkle, and more. Seriously, if you haven’t played a game from 10tons you need to go to the Windows Phone Store, pick one up and at least play the trial. You’ll probably get hooked. Well 10tons has just recently released another game for Windows Phone called Joining Hands 2, a follow up to their previous puzzle game of the same title. Let’s check it out.

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Update: Hey international readers, as noted in comments, within the app if you click the middle icon "rubriken" and then scroll down to "englisch", you get the International edition

Spiegel Online (www.spiegel.de) is a fairly serious news source on the internets, so it’s exciting to see them launch an official Windows Phone app today. Available in most regions (including the US), the app should give readers of the site a quick and easy way to access it on the go.

Unfortunately it’s only the German-language version and not the International edition, so unless you know the German language well, you’ll have to pass.

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