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A few days ago we ran our review on the Microsoft Surface and found the tablet to be an impressive, feature rich device.  The review generated a healthy number of comments, many of which had questions from our readers.  Questions ranged from customization curiosities to how well the Surface handled games.

In this follow up post, we hope to shed some more light on the Surface and answer many of our reader's questions.

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We've previously seen retailers and carrier stores get things wrong. Whether it be labelling Windows Phones as Android handsets, or by listing incorrect specifications - mistakes can happen. But what about publishing incorrect pricing for the latest Nokia flagship? Australian retailer Harvey Norman made that very mistake when revealing the price for the Lumia 920.

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Good news for those who enjoyed the functionality of Parcel Tracker on Windows Phone. The developer has decided to support the app on the Store once again. This is after announcing their departure from the platform earlier last month. We've previously reviewed Parcel Tracker, as well as providing the developer with coverage for each major update applied, so it's good to see the well received app back on the Store. But that's not all that has arrived.

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Folks on AT&T are getting a bit antsy and rightly so as the carrier has so far not been very stable with their WP8 lineup. Specifically when it comes to a release dates. So far we've heard October 21st (Best Buy pre-sale), November 2nd, November 4th, November 11th and yesterday was November 9th. Clearly AT&T is moving the date around for whatever reason but we think they're getting ready to announce things very soon, as last minute meetings are finalizing plans.

One of our AT&T insiders has confirmed the following information:

  • Friday, November 9th - Nokia Lumia 820 ($49) and Nokia Lumia 920 ($149)
  • The 920 will come with the wireless charge pad (free)

The 9th is the date that eBay/Best Buy was advertising yesterday as "expected availability" and it was there for a reason. Of course that same site evidently pulled the trigger early as within an hour of our post their site went down. When it returned, the Lumia 920 was all but scrubbed, only leaving the HTC 8X. Some of us, however, were able to get in our order with a 25% off coupon, locking in the Lumia 920 for $449 off-contract (but locked to AT&T).

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HTC 8X advertised in the Metro UK newspaper

HTC has kicked off its advertising campaign for the Windows Phone 8X, the company's flagship Windows Phone 8 handset, with an advertisement spotted in today's Metro newspaper. Running the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, the 8X packs a punch with the latest specifications and included Beats Audio.

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Nokia Drive+ Beta now available for Windows Phone 8

Yesterday we did an extensive run through of Nokia Maps 3.0 on Windows Phone 8, and now the underlying maps platform has been enhanced it has picked up some nice new features. Today we see the arrival of the Beta version of Nokia Drive+

Drive+ picks up some nice additions that we’re sure many existing Nokia Drive users will really appreciate, chief amongst them is the ability to fine tune how you want your journey to be planned and improved multitasking. We take a good look at what's new.

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Windows Phone App Roundup: Shopping Apps

In this week's Windows Phone Roundup, we focus on apps that could come in handy with your shopping needs.

From taking care of purchases from your Windows Phone to monitoring auctions to even buying/selling an automobile or just trying to find the best deal the Windows Phone Store has a healthy selection of shopping oriented apps.

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It's always frustrating to buy a fancy piece of gadget, only to find it's about to phase into a forgotten generation soon enough. That's the case with people who have bought Lumia 800 and 900 recently. Technically the best Lumia phones today, but are to be rendered primitive by the Lumia 920 within a few weeks. Many have complained about this and the lack of a full Windows Phone 8 update for existing Lumia devices. Apparently Nokia has listened to feedback provided and is about to something to ease the pain. As least in China.

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Perhaps it shouldn't be "odd" to see Verizon promoting Windows Phone, after all, the powerhouse US carrier is planning on selling not one, but three Windows Phones this year: Lumia 822, HTC 8X and the unspecified Samsung Odyssey (expected to have a 4" S-AMOLED display, WVGA resolution, and a 5MP camera)

Still, you know things are changing when you see a nice ad right on Verizon Wireless's front page with the line "Introducing The new Windows Phone. So advanced, it's actually simple."

We dig that tag line. And we're glad to see Verizon onboard with Windows Phone. Thanks, Andrew K., for the tip!

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Sneak peek of MetroTube for Windows Phone 8

MetroTube for many Windows Phone users is the be-all, end-all for your mobile YouTube experience. With a slick design and excellent performance there’s little wonder.

Here at BUILD we were able to catch up with the developers behind MetroTube (and the new Windows 8 Twitter app Tweetro) for quick look at the upcoming update that will bring some new Windows Phone 8 features, including doublewide tiles and a new preloading feature (basically downloading for offline viewing).

In addition, we got a preliminary look at MetroTube for Windows 8 RT, which we can confirm is now officially in the works for your Surface.

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(Concept Surface phone by YrOnimuS)

Back in October, China Times reported that Microsoft was working on a self-branded Windows Phone for release sometime in 2013. Shortly after, tech site BGR also reported that they had heard similar information. Likewise, we went on record with our own source stating that indeed, Microsoft has a device in the works.

Now, the venerable Wall Street Journal is going on record with a source of their own stating that Microsoft “…is working with component suppliers in Asia to test its own smartphone design” although they are unsure if they are going to go into production with it. The device is reportedly between 4 and 5 inches, which as far as phones go is quite vague. No other details were provided and of course, Microsoft had no comment.

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The official Foursquare app for Windows Phone just got bumped to version 2.12 and includes “bug fixes, Thai and Indonesian languages added and application compatibility with Windows Phone 8”. All of that sounds good and people may be wondering what “compatibility with Windows Phone 8” actually means. Turns out, not much.

What we mean by that is there are no new functions here—no fast app resume, no doublewide tile, nothing for the Lockscreen, etc. It just means it should work properly on Windows Phone 8 and indeed, it does. We’re not knocking Foursquare as we’re sure they’ll release a WP8 version in the near future, but as of right now, this is quite minor.

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One of the big new features for Windows Phone 8 is the ability to finally do over-the-air (OTA) updates to the OS—either for big things or little fixes. Previously, we could check for updates but if one were found, you had to head home to your PC and plug in the phone to install (including performing a full backup). Now, things are more streamlined.

In an article over at Mobility Minded, details of the update process were posted, giving a look at what users can expect with these updates.  The updates are listed as manual or automatic, with the latter being downloaded behind the scenes and the former involving tapping in Settings to see if there is an update.

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Details of features included in Windows Phone 7.8 have been revealed on Facebook, according to a post by Microsoft Italy. While Microsoft has released Windows Phone 8, the company's next update for customers with legacy hardware is still on the horizon, and we're unsure what's included. So what has been mentioned by Microsoft Italy?

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Nokia publishes Windows Phone 8 developer resource

Windows Phone 8 was released last Friday, along with the Windows Phone 8 SDK for developers. We've previously looked at the SDK leak to see what's included in the package, and Nokia has now published an in-depth developer resource for Windows Phone developers to read up on. So what's new in Windows Phone 8?

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Good news for those on AT&T eagerly awaiting the Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC 8X as eBay/Best Buy have the devices listed with pricing and “expected availability” date. And yes, you can now order them too.

The new date is November 9th, which fits in the idea that AT&T is really scrambling to get these phones out the door. Originally we heard early November and then later November 4th. News came forward recently that it had been pushed back and seeing as AT&T did not reveal any information at Monday’s event, it made sense that this was in “motion”.

Of course since AT&T has still not officially announced pricing and availability, all of this is subject to change.

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Preview of Nokia Maps 3.0 on Windows Phone 8

It’s no secret that we’re fans of mapping applications and with Windows Phone 7 we had a very capable built in mapping app created by Microsoft themselves that used the Bing mapping at the backend. Since then Microsoft have switched Bing to use Nokia's mapping platform on the web and now with the latest version of Windows Phone.

With Windows Phone 8 we see a marked upgrade to the baked-in capabilities of maps, as Nokia have embedded their “where” platform right into the heart of the OS. Nokia have just updated their Nokia Maps app to 3.0 and with it we start to see some of the big improvements that these underlying changes to the OS will bring. We think you're going to like it.

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