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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Nutrition

Fitness Month marches on here at Windows Phone Central and this week we're concentrating on nutritional aspects of staying fit.

While you may enjoy an afternoon slice of pie, eating right is an important aspect of living a healthy life. Even if you aren't into pumping iron or running marathons, a proper diet is key (wow.. my mom was right!).  Sometimes this means eating the right foods or simply watching the calories you take in.

This week's roundup focuses on five Windows Phone apps that look at what we eat and help track our calories.

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Nokia brings up an interesting question. Do smartphones need physical buttons?

We've seen physical buttons on our Windows Phones slowly disappear from the days when they were powered by Windows Mobile. Capacitive buttons replaced physical buttons and physical keyboards are now on-screen. But should it go further?

What remains is a power, volume and camera button. You could make a case where on-screen volume controls could replace the physical volume button and we already have a screen tap feature to capture photos. The power button may be the one physical button we can't live without but BlackBerry's Z10 shows how even that is not needed (they turn on the display by swiping the screen up, no power button).

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Don’t get us wrong, we know for a fact that this is just a render of a Lumia 900 mashed with the 808 Pureview (back) with an E7 keyboard thrown in. After all, if you’re building your dream phone, why not go all out, right?

The image comes from a Chinese website (http://product.cnmo.com) and it’s actually listed in the database, including specs and everything.

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The International Data Corporation (IDC) has posted its Q4 2012 global results of smartphone trends and it nicely reflects yesterday’s report from Gartner. The data is both a mix of good news and bad news for Windows Phone, showing that year-over-year (YoY) growth has increased by 150% going from 1.5% market share to 2.6% in late 2012. That’s certainly a positive sign but in the context of the rest of the smartphone race, it’s still a drop in the bucket.

Android and iOS accounted for a massive 91.1% of all smartphone sales, which is quite astonishing. BlackBerry, while still ahead of Windows Phone (3.2% versus 2.6% for Q4) took a drastic drop from last year when it had a more comfortable 8.1% market share.  That’s a -43% fall for the Waterloo company, which of course can be ascribed to holding on to BlackBerry 7 for so long.

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Nearly one third of tech workers in the enterprise sector say they would prefer their next tablet to run on the Windows platform, according to a Forrester Research survey. The survey revealed that 32 percent of information workers surveyed prefer Microsoft Surface, while only 26 percent favour the iPad and 12 percent would choose Android hardware. 

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Getting an HTC 8S is now a breeze at WIND Mobile

Canada's WIND Mobile has added the HTC 8S to their lineup, available in blue. The 8S will run you $299 outright, or as cheap as free, depending on which WINDTab plan you choose. It joins the Nokia Lumia 710 as WIND Mobile's second Windows Phone.

The HTC 8S is a mid-range Windows Phone 8 handset, offering up a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 4” display (WVGA), Bluetooth 3.1, 512MB RAM, WiFi, non-replaceable 1700mAh battery, and Beats Audio. It also has 4GB storage, which is expandable via MicroSD slot. Check out our review for the full lowdown on the 8S.

Source: WIND Mobile; Via: MobileSyrup

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Zombie Driver HD XBLA Interview and Contest [Updated]

Seeing as how we don’t have a new Xbox Windows Phone release to talk about this week, it’s a perfect time for some Xbox 360 discussion. Zombie Driver HD - one of my personal favorite XBLA games of 2012 is on sale to Xbox Live Gold members for only 400 MS Points/$5 this week. It regularly sells for 800 Points, which is already a fair deal given the trend towards pricing XBLA titles at 1200.

To celebrate the sale, we’ve got Zombie Driver HD gameplay impressions and an interview with the game’s developer. Oh, and did I mention we’re giving away Zombie Driver avatar clothing and props as well? Find out how to win one after the break!

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As our game-playing readers have probably noticed by now, Xbox for Windows Phone isn’t truly out of drought territory just yet. There is no new Xbox release this week. We asked Microsoft whether the two free Gameloft games on Tuesday were intended to make up for the lack of release. Unfortunately, those games being offered for free resulted from a Store glitch that has since been corrected.

Microsoft couldn’t tell us whether there will be a new Xbox Windows Phone game next week, either. It’s clear that the problems facing the platform won’t go away any time soon. Let’s just hope our editorial series can inspire the powers that be to move things in a better direction… In the meantime, we've got another rumor explaining the lack of games and a hefty list of titles that Microsoft could and should be producing for Windows Phone!

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There have been a number of minor updates pushed through the Windows Phone Store for a selection of apps. We've clocked 10 notifications through the night, which certainly feels like Christmas to any smartphone owner. We'll quickly run through what's new in each app in one swoop, to provide a heads up on what you can expect to see should you own any of the apps affected.

So sit back, grab a cup of tea and join us as we traverse through the realm of Windows Phone app upgrades.

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Luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu recently unveiled the Ti, a $10,000+ Android phone that dazzles the eyes with its sapphire crystal, titanium, and leather frippery. Before Android, the former Nokia subsidiary was working on a luxury Windows Phone 8 device, but found “the complexity of building for Windows Phone” was just too much to handle. The company failed to explain just what they meant by that, so we leave you to ponder that for yourself.

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Talk about odd timing. Today Qualcomm gave information about their Quick Charge 1.0 system, a method by which modern smartphones can re-charge up to 40% faster than predecessors.

Qualcomm also provided a list of 70 supported devices and yes, the HTC 8S, 8X, Samsung ATIV S and Nokia Lumia 820, 822, 920 and 920T (China) are all also on board. It’s a neat and subtle feature that’s all part of the new Snapdragon chipset, requiring no new hardware—basically if you own one of these phones, you already have it and have been using it.

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O2 bringing Huawei Ascend W1 aboard in late March

British carrier O2 announced back in January that they planned to carry the Huawei Ascend W1 later this year. O2's "coming soon" has revealed that the W1 will be arriving sooner rather than later, in late March. O2 will offer the W1 in Electric Blue and Electric Pink at an unspecified price. There's no exact release date yet, but at least we have a good idea of when to expect it.

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Just in case you've overlooked the banner at the top of the screen, we've got a Valentine's Day Sale going on in the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.

Just enter the Coupon Code vday13 when you check out and you'll receive 14% off your order. The sale ends today at midnight PST and if you've been on the fence about ordering a case, Bluetooth headset, car charger, screen protector, stereo headset or any other Windows Phone accessory now's your chance to save a little.

Oh... and don't forget, shipping is on us with orders over fifty dollars.

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ZEN and TECH 50: Fitness month nutrition special!

Georgia and Rene are joined by Android Central's Phil Nickinson to talk Mobile Nations Fitness Month and the benefits of good nutrition. From crazy schedules to family and work stresses to modern technology, we break down the habits, challenges, and importance of eating right and feeling great!

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Unlike iOS, Windows Phone doesn’t have any native HDR abilities baked into the camera application. Instead Microsoft left it up for developers to develop ‘lenses’ for your device – basically camera applications. So right now we’ve got two fairly solid HDR apps in the Store, HDR Photo Camera and HDR Camera. We compared the two back in mid-January, but it looks like HDR Photo received a nice update that could widen the feature gap.

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It has been a long, long time since the Microsoft crowd heard from Fring – a relatively popular VOIP/IM app for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile back in the day. It was back in October of 2012 that we got word they had no plans to support Windows Phone 7 due to the lack of camera access. Since then the access developers have to the camera with Windows Phone 8 has changed dramatically and Fring is coming back!

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We haven’t been following the Mozilla Foundation’s progress too much on a Windows 8 browser—we just know that they were working on one.

So either we missed it or this is hot off the presses but they have released a “nightly build” of their Windows 8 App (Modern Style) Firefox browser for x86 devices. That means you Surface RT (ARM CPU) folk will have to wait a bit, but if you’re on full-fledged Windows 8, you may want to take a look.

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Trapster updated to version 1.2, goes International

Trapster is a Windows Phone app designed to help you avoid speed traps, avoid traffic jams, and generally have a safer time on the road. The app was recently updated to version 1.2 to bring a handful of performance improvements as well as a new map and more language support.

For those not familiar Trapster is a social network app where users post alerts to speed traps, red light and speed cameras as well as accidents and other roadway hazards. These dangers are mapped out to allow you to worry less about getting a ticket and better concentrate on driving.

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Confession: I personally started “February Fitness Month” back in mid-January and have been regularly exercising for the last few years, including a more aggressive cardio routine starting last summer. Because of this, I’ve been using the Nike FuelBand ($150) and Fitbit One ($99) for quite some time and I can definitely tell you which one I think is the best.

While I won’t do a complete teardown I will give you the pros and cons of each and as you will see, the decision between the two is very easy.

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So you're thinking about developing an app for Windows Phone, but how does one create an awesome app for consumers to download and enjoy? Much like our own Windows Phone app - which is highly rated by our readers - there are a number of apps available on the store that are effectively designed for the platform. Microsoft has detailed some pointers on how to make a quality app.

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It was less than 24 hours ago we clued you guys in about an app called Molome potentially coming to Windows Phone. Molome is basically like Instagram, but some could argue a bit better because of the gamification for collecting badges for certain tasks. Anyways, we spoke with the founder of Molome and are pleased to let you guys know the app is indeed coming to Windows Phone.

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Nokia loves to run promotions that highlight features on their phones vs. other OEMs. Right now they’re running a contest called Nokia Lumia Challenge that highlights photography features on their Windows Phones. The first part of the contest back in mid-January was to photograph color match your Lumia to its surroundings and photograph it. The second part starts today and is all about making creative cinemegraphs.

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