Articles

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Notifications for Windows Phone 7 hits the Store

For those looking for a notifications center, you might be in luck. Notifications is now available in the Windows Phone Store that should do the trick.

The downside to Notifications is that it's only available for Windows Phone 7.x devices (not sure about 7.8 devices though). The developer is trying to rectify that but it'll take some time.

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Bookqueue updated, more features well on the way

Bookqueue was only recently bumped to support Windows Phone 8, but now the app has been updated again with some minor improvements. For those who are unaware of the app's functionality, it enables Windows Phone owners to quickly jot down books that are of interest. Synchronising with SkyDrive, Bookqueue keeps the user updated even if multiple devices are used, and supports the purchasing of titles.

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We’ve seen quite a few of the “big players” in Twitter apps for Windows Phone get their respective Windows Phone 8 bump in the last few weeks, so it’s great to see reader favorite Mehdoh get its due.

Mehdoh for Windows Phone 8 get quite a few new additions with the latest update, which is of course, free if you previously purchased the app (or locked it in when it was free). From lockscreen notifications to fast-resume, the Twitter app certainly gets the performance boost from Windows Phone 8’s new APIs and beefier hardware.

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Our favorite app for keeping tabs on our UPS, FedEx and USPS deliveries has received a much wanted feature in its latest update: lockscreen notifications.

That’s right, Package Tracker is up to version 5.1, which we previewed a few weeks ago and it now has the ability to show you when new update notifications are present including detailed information right on your Windows Phone 8 lockscreen. Likewise, you can view the information on the doublewide Tile, should you opt for a more indirect approach.

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For those of you who have been around Windows Phone for a long time, you should know of Weave news reader as it’s been one of the hallmark apps on our platform since the beginning. Always fast and fluid, the app was an exceptional RSS reader and we always recommended it.

Starting with the last update and now version 8.0 just released today, Weave is now more than just RSS as it’s a professionally run service that goes beyond just ripping feeds from sites. That’s the reason for its seemingly high $9.99 price tag (don’t worry, there’s a free ad-supported version too). No doubt that is a lot of bread but the reason may be worth it if you’re a news feed junkie.

Weave doesn’t just pull RSS feeds but rather articles go through their servers first which reformat it, remove excess HTML coding, prep YouTube videos for viewing and make the article format universal and flawless. End result? You get low-bandwidth usage, fast loading articles with superb formatting for mobile use. You see a video image? Just tap and play. As far as we know, no other app on Windows Phone does all of that and its those server costs that result in a higher app price tag.

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New themes added to Lock Themes for Windows Phone 8

Lock Themes is a Windows Phone 8 app that rotates your lockscreen wallpaper with a passle of themes to choose your wallpapers from or rotate images from your Pictures Hub.

Themes range from Astronomy to Video games to Angelina Jolie. The developer updates the themes periodically and the most notable themes joining the mix in the first update include NFL.com and ESPN.com.

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Ah, Words with Friends. We’ve waited so long for you to get to Windows Phone and since you arrived, you’ve been a disappointment. The good news is for all the harsh critiques we throw at Zynga, they are at least trying to get this game right for our devices and that gets some respect from us.

The latest version, 1.1, just hit the Windows Phone Store and is now available seemingly just for Windows Phone 8 devices. Yes, version 1.1. is a native WP8 game meaning we’re not sure what will happen with those who bought it and are on Windows Phone 7.

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Since we’re days from kicking off the New Year, we figured we would roll out our new URL shortening service this week and start on a clean slate. You see, when we write our articles and a URL is generated, it could be super long resulting in gangly hyperlinks. When dealing with social networks like Twitter where characters are limited to just 140, a shortener is a must.

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Although the stock market as a whole is down due to America’s ongoing blowhard budget bickering, we think investors have yet another good reason to buy Nokia (which is down today 3%). RIM will reportedly make an initial payment of $65 million to Nokia for their WLAN patent settlement from a few weeks back.

The settlement came after Nokia brought a complaint against RIM in U.S., United Kingdom and Canada claiming RIM was in violation of WLAN patents. The case went to arbitration and was found to be in favor of Nokia, resulting in an undisclosed settlement. Now information of the initial lump sum came forward via RIM's 6-K filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in addition “ongoing payments” for the right to use Nokia’s tech will also be provided.

Say what you will about Nokia but the company does have one of the strongest patent portfolios around and since money is tight right now, they are seeking to collect where they can. While $65 million won’t save the company, that’s not a bad “bonus” to add to the books at the end of the year.

Source: All Things D; via CrackBerry

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Testing the limits of Nokia's wireless charging pad

Ever wonder what all the Nokia wireless charging pad can work through? The obvious question would be "Can the wireless charger operate through a protective case?" but Windows Phone Central reader Nisse Tuta took things a bit further.

From a sock to a cooking pot, the wireless charger was put through the ringer of sorts. The Nokia Lumia 920 successfully made contact through every object except the metal cooking pot. The charging connection was even successful while holding the Lumia 920 a few inches above the charging pad.

I just wonder if Nisse had have put the Lumia 920 in the pot then placed the pot on the charger would it have worked. You can catch the full discussion on Nisse's wireless charging experiments here in the Windows Phone Central Forums.

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Although none of us here at Windows Phone Central are in school anymore, we do still suffer flashback nightmares of Calculus I, II and beyond. And yet we have fond memories of our TI -81 graphing calculator, which is why we have an affinity for Grapher.

Grapher Calculator is not only one of the top paid apps for Windows Phone, it’s also well worth the price of a $1.49. It has all the advance functions you want, customizations options and it was even recently updated to support Windows Phone 8’s higher resolutions for super sharp graphics.

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Deal Alert: Verizon offering the HTC 8X for $99.99

Verizon Wireless is now offering the HTC 8X Windows Phone for $99.99 after contractual discounts and for $549.99 off-contract.

The online listing shows that the 8X is available in red, black and blue and that this is for the 16GB version of the 8X. Which makes this a very nice deal when compared to AT&T and T-Mobile who are asking $199.99 for the 16GB version of the 8X.

You can find all the details on the Verizon 8X here at Verizon Wireless.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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Rdio Updated for Windows Phone 8

The popular cross-platform streaming service Rdio has just released an update to their app to make it Windows Phone 8 friendly. Microsoft has done an excellent job with their home grown Xbox Music service but at present it is still not cross platform and that can be a sticking point for many users.

Rdio will allow streaming playback through the web, a range of mobile devices and also though music appliances like Sonos. Read on to check out some of the changes.

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The Windows Phone 8 app, HDR Photo Camera was updated to version 2.0.0.15 today. Along with performance tweaks to address stability issues, the HDR camera app now has a settings menu and the ability to review the source photos used to create the HDR image.

The settings gives users more control over the capture parameters and a high resolution processing option (overall image resolution remains at 7.1MP at the 16:9 aspect resolution). HDR photos are basically the result of merging a bracketed image (same picture taken at different exposures) that creates an image with more vibrant colors and greater dynamic range between the lighter and darker areas.

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Get help with the Windows Phone 8 app Tap for HELP!

Tap for HELP! is a Windows Phone 8 app designed to help you through non-emergency situations while on the road. Tap for HELP! uses your Windows Phone location services and Bing Search to find emergency services that are close to your current location.

Tap for HELP! categorizes everything across three pages, Emergency, On the Road and General.

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In 2012, Samsung became the largest phone manufacturer in world, selling over 420 million handsets. According to an article in the Korean Times, they plan on increasing that number by over 20 percent, to a whopping 510 million phones, in 2013. The Korean electronics giant says that 2013 will be the year that they stand out from their biggest competitor, Apple.

Samsung saw huge success with their Galaxy line of phones, powered by Android. And while they will surely continue down that road, it appears that they will also be adding some more Windows Phone 8 handsets to the mix.

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Here in New England, we’re getting hit with some nasty winter weather: snow, rain, sleet, freezing rain and all the variants of wintry precipitation. And if you’re planning your day—especially if you golf, ride a motorcycle or were looking to schedule something outside, knowing when that rain is going to happen is important.

Enter in SkyMotion, which just does just that—it pulls down your location and in various, user-selected time increments, tells you the chance of rain in your exact area. Sure, other weather apps tell you that info in a general sense, but this is about granularity, specificity and SkyMotion kicks it up a notch.

The app was previously on Android and iOS but is now available for our Windows Phones...

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Alright folks, it's time to announce the 6 lucky people that will be joining NVIDIA and Mobile Nations at CES 2013!

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the members that submitted an entry. We really appreciate all of the time and effort everyone put in, and the response was quite overwhelming.

So, getting down to business... after much debate and discussion, we have selected 6 stand out entries. These folks will join the Mobile Nations and NVIDIA crews in Las Vegas for CES 2013!

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Windows Phone team underline highlights from 2012

Todd Brix has published a new entry on the Windows Phone Developer Blog detailing highlights of 2012 for Windows Phone. The goal for the team was to establish a new, scalable platform on the mobile phone as well as the cloud. Providing a unique experience for consumers to enjoy when downloading and using apps from a catalogue of apps.

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Anyone who makes use of GPS functionality on a smartphone understands the impact such connectivity has on the limited battery supply that's packed inside the device. Unfortunately, we're not quite at the stage where 10,000mAh batteries are utilised, so Microsoft Research has been working on a cloud-powered GPS chip that will reportedly slash battery consumption on smartphones.

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