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Lumia 920

A few days ago we saw the Nokia Lumia 920 being used in Washington presumably by some lucky Microsofty. Now, we have an image sent to us of the matte grey Lumia 920 being used in public in the UK.

No other info was gleaned e.g. release dates or pricing, unfortunately. So users will just have to hold out until "November". Either way, it's good to know it's out and testing, getting ready for that launch. Thanks, Donavan M., for the great spy photo!

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Extraction for Windows Phone

This week’s Xbox Windows Phone release is a title we didn’t know was coming, but it comes from fan favorite publisher Chillingo and sells for a low price, so let’s call it a good surprise. Extraction (also known as Extraction: Project Outbreak) is now available for just 99 cents – less than the iOS version!

As the game’s title sort of hints, Extraction is a military-themed game about fighting zombies. But unlike Zombies on the Phone or Gun Bros, it’s not a twin-stick shooter. In fact, you could almost call it a strategy game due to the unique control method. Don’t skip the tutorial like I did or you’ll be totally lost.

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concept

(Concept Surface phone by YrOnimuS)

Rum: 9

Yesterday we wrote a fairly lengthy article about a new rumor of a Microsoft Windows Phone. The source came via China Times and we were hesitant to believe the claim—after all, no evidence or sources were mentioned.

Still, we pointed out that Microsoft is a large company with a ton of resources. If they wanted to do a phone, they most certainly could pull it off and the Surface Tablets only reinforce the notion that they can do this in secret.

So what has changed? Information has come forward to Windows Phone Central that demonstrates Microsoft does have their own Windows Phone hardware in the works; in fact, we’ve heard it already exists and is in testing. The source(s) are known to us and not anonymous, though for obvious reasons we must keep them off the record.

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WP Central Nokia reveal more about Dolby sound enhancements going into the Lumia

Nokia are still telling the compelling story of all they have packed into their upcoming Lumia 820 and 920 devices. We have compiled charts and graphs that include these speeds and feeds but so far, we haven’t touched on their sound capabilities.

Our smartphones increasingly act as our only music source so it’s good to see that Nokia haven’t left sound out in the cold for their new devices.

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HTC 8X

AT&T made the HTC 8X official today

Although HTC themselves mentioned that their new Windows Phone 8X was coming to Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T just a few weeks ago, AT&T this morning has gone ahead and made it official.

The HTC 8X features a 4.3” Super LCD2 display with Gorilla Glass, 16GB storage and a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU. To top it off it has an 8MP F2.0 rear camera and a 2.1MP front-facing camera, both using HTC’s ImageChip technology for speedy shots.

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Exclusive Xbox Windows 8 Preview: Rocket Riot 3D

Rocket Riot 3D Logo

A short while ago, Microsoft announced 40 Xbox games that will release within the Windows 8 launch window. A few are titles that have never been released within Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem, but many will be familiar to Windows Phone and Xbox 360 gamers. One such game we’re excited about is Rocket Riot 3D, developed in-house by series creator Codeglue and published by Microsoft Studios.

Head past the break for our full preview with lots of exclusive details.

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HTC Windows Phone Media Device

Bluetooth accessory for HTC Windows Phone owners?

HTC could be building a portfolio of official accessories for its Windows Phone 8 family of smartphones if a recently published video is anything to go by. Nokia has unveiled a number of extras that future customers can purchase to further enrich the Lumia Windows Phone experience. Through the inclusion of wireless charging and NFC, the company can offer a collection of products that stand out.

It looks as though the Taiwanese manufacturer is deciding to go down a similar route in attempt to increase profit margins on the platform. With the Beats Audio for marketing, HTC can make use of the popular brand to push forward media accessories, including Bluetooth devices and headphones.

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New Visual Studio Website

New, crisp, clean website designs are just a start

Microsoft has been busy launching new services, designs for established properties, and keeping a number of secrets under wraps in the run up to the eventful weeks ahead. We've been looking forward to this part of 2012 as it'll be when Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Surface tablets, Office, new Xbox update, and - of course - Halo 4. 

We've already seen Microsoft go big with the launch Outlook.com to replace the aging Live / Hotmail email service, but the software giant has revealed plans to apply changes across the board. Yesterday we covered a detailed blog post that walked readers through the new design that'll be applied to the MSN portal later this month - changes have been applied to Microsoft web properties, including the official website as well as the home of Visual Studio (see above).

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WP Central

Concept Surface phone (Image via Jonas-Daehnert)

RUM: 3

It has been a few months since we last heard anything about Microsoft making its own Windows Phone again, so it looks like we’re about due.

A new “report” from the not so trusty China Times straightforwardly states that Microsoft will have its own Windows Phone launch sometime in early 2013 and that they’ve been working on it with a hardware partner for the last four months.

Evidence? Sources? Who needs those things on the internet!

However, some of our readers have asked to weigh in on the matter so instead of just ignoring this story (what we would prefer to do) we’ll give our thoughts on it. Obviously, with our snarky “who needs sources” banter above, you can get a feel for what side we come down on this topic.

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AMD and BluStacks are bringing 500K Android apps to Win8

One of the biggest knocks that critics like to sling against Windows Phone is that there aren't enough apps available when compared to Apple and Android. Well, a new deal between chip maker AMD and software developer BlueStacks will ensure that the same cannot be said for Windows 8. The two companies have agreed to work together on bringing around 500,000 Android apps to Microsoft's upcoming operating system for PCs and tablets using AMD's AppZone Player.

By updating code in their processors and graphics chips, AMD has made it possible for apps designed for mobiles devices to look good on the larger displays of PCs and tablets. They hope that this will lure consumers to AMD-powered devices, rather than those running Intel chips.

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Lumia 920

Playing Angry Birds with a banana. (Image via @nokia)

A little faux controversy was brought up over the weekend about the Super Sensitive Touch display of the Lumia 920 with PureMotion HD+ (and 820). The concern was that with the phone in your pocket (or bag) jostling around, it might turn on and then start a vicious cycle of staying on since objects are making contact with the screen. Result? Battery drain.

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Say hello to the new MSN for Windows 8 and IE 10

Windows 8 MSN

MSN is set to receive a visual overhaul this October to coincide with the release of Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. Microsoft plans to roll-out the upgrade on October 26th, which will see the portal that receives over 480 million visitors per month sporting a new design and integration possibilities with other Microsoft products. The team have also looked at how the service can be made more user friendly when viewed on tablets running Windows 8.

MSN will be the portal that will fire up once Internet Explorer is launched in Windows 8, so what will consumers be greeted with?

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Wireless Charging

Nokia has published an in-depth article over on its Conversations blog detailing how wireless charging works in its latest Lumia Windows Phones. Both the Lumia 820 (with compatible back plates) and Lumia 920 support wireless charging by simply resting on a compatible charging plate, Fatboy Pillow, or even a speaker such as the JBL PowerUp entertainment system.

Using Qi standards, Nokia is able to allow consumers make use of accessories to achieve impressive results. Gone will be the days of hunting through the mess of cables for the USB adapter, for then to locate a free socket and to then fiddle with the device to connect it to a mains or PC. But just how does wireless charging work?

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Windows Phone 7.8 Share

A new menu option in Windows Phone 7.8 for sharing apps

When we covered the Windows Phone 7.8 custom ROM last week in our hands on video, one thing we missed that has been brought to our attention involves the Program list.

Evidently, when you press-n-hold any third party app within the jump list, you now have a new option besides the current Pin to Start, Rate and Review and Uninstall and that’s Share.

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Orange UK 4G

We're almost at 4G - Lumia 920 promoted for EE

Orange UK has issued the September edition of its Orange Exchange email newsletter, which includes information on upcoming 4G hardware that will be launching on parent network EE (previously known as Everything Everywhere). We were at the EE launch event in London last month where the new network announced an array of 4G hardware including the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.

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This Week: Buy the Amzer Skin Case for Nokia Lumia 900 and save $15.04!

The Amzer Skin Case is made out of 100% premium silicone and is a great lightweight option for protecting your Nokia Lumia 900. The durable silicone absorbs any shock your Nokia Lumia 900 may receive from accidental drops or bumps, keeping it just like new. The smooth silicone gives you a sure and lasting grip on your device and minimizes sliding on flat surfaces. Comes in black, blue, red, purple, pink, grey and white.

List Price: $19.99     This Week: $4.95

Learn More and Buy Now

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Weekly Deal alerts!

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Cross Platform Dev Chart

 

Cross-platform development is considered a safe guard when building and launching mobile apps and games. The ability to pump out content for more than one platform provides enough ground to fall back on should one eco-system not accumulate enough sales for a good ROI (Return On Investment).

Last week we covered the results from a survey held over at Windows Phone Geek, a popular destination for Windows Phone developers. Part one of the survey, which saw a total of 1853 developers take part, revealed a high interest in developing apps for Windows 8. The website has now published the remainder of the results.

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Music Player Controls

We know that Microsoft is listening to users, as feature after feature consumers want eventually do show up in the OS. We think we have found another one focused on the Music player controls.

The complaint: once you start playing a tune in Windows Phone, the Player controls permanently stay on the Lock screen, even if the music is not playing any more.

Yes, some of you may be thinking ‘who cares?’ but we can assure you, many people find it annoying. In fact, there are third party apps in the Windows Phone Store to address this very issue with the most prominent being ‘Stop the Music!’. And we agree, there should be something more elegant than the current method.

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HTC Windows Phone 8

Kantar Worldpanel has published its report based on latest smartphone sales data, which reveals Windows Phone seriously challenging RIM for third place in Europe with low-end devices such as the Lumia 610 driving sales in key markets.

Low-end Windows Phone growth rates representing multiple markets within Europe have been provided by Kantar. Italy tops the charts with an increase in market share of 6.6%, while France comes in second at 3.5% and Great Britan is third with 2.3%. What's more is Microsoft now sports 10.4% marketshare in Italy with Windows Phone.

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A video of what appears to be HTC 8X marketing material has been leaked on YouTube, and it reveals an interesting feature of the Windows Phone - LTE support. Earlier last month we took a look at the HTC 8X sporting the Verizon 4G logo, which further confirmed -- alongside the leaked roadmap -- that the US carrier would indeed be taking the handset under its wing, and that it would be compatible with greater network speeds.

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Oracle will use Nokia Maps as its default mapping application

A Nokia spokesperson confirmed today that the Finnish company has reached a deal with software powerhouse Oracle to provide mapping capabilities for Oracle's variety of applications. The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow at the OracleWorld conference in San Francisco. This is a big score for Nokia, but not too shocking, considering that Oracle has been locked in a legal battle with Nokia's chief location services rival, Google.

This deal is not the biggest one that Nokia has struck from a financial perspective, but because Oracle sells on the enterprise level, as opposed to single customers, it could open up plenty of opportunities for them. Nokia purchased digital map maker Navteq back in 2007 for $8.1 billion and has been heavily focused on expanding its foothold in the world of mapping and commerce.

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WP Central Updated Comparison Guide for Windows Phone 8 devices

We had already created a comparison guide for the higher end Windows 8 devices but many requested a complete guide that included the HTC 8S and Lumia 820.

The specs guide is not designed to be exhaustive but should cover the key differentiators between models. We have the visual guide for comparing the devices by size included below as well should make the decision of what to go for even easier. 

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WP Central

The other day we saw the Nokia Lumia 920 out and about in Washington, presumably being tested one way or another. Now it's the HTC Windows Phone 8X's turn.

Reader Rodrigo L. spied this interesting setup in downtown San Francisco this past Thursday morning.  From the photo we can see three HTC 8Xs and what appears to be an older Samsung make (kudos to the first of you who figure it out).

If we had to guess, this looks to be carrier testing with perhaps different variations on radio software for signal strength testing. We suppose it could also be for static photo taking but we're leaning on the first idea instead. 

Any carrier testers out there want to lend a hand on telling us what's going? Sound off in comments. Either way, only 4-5 more weeks before we're rumored to be able to grab this phone on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. 

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