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UK readers: help the platform out and #getskyonwindows

Windows Phone and Windows 8 remain in the struggle to attract support from the major media broadcasters here in the UK, including the BBC and Sky (or BskyB – British Sky Broadcasting). The former has started to show signs of platform backing with the release of iPlayer, but there’s still room for improvement.

Sky on-the-other-hand has yet to produce the goods. You can help us change this by getting involved and making the company alter its view on Windows Phone.

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This morning we reported on a list of unofficial (and incomplete) changes coming in the double punch GDR3/Bittersweet shimmer update later this year. One of those new features, noted over the weekend by leakster Nawzil, were optional color choices for Nokia’s ever-evolving Glance screen.

Tonight on the Chinese social-network Sina Weibo, a low resolution (but clear as day) photo has leaked showing what Glance looks like in green. We have to admit, it certainly looks sharp. In the lower part of the display you can also see a pending notification, something which has been confirmed multiple times now.

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We might not get an official YouTube app anytime soon that isn’t more than a web player, but we’ve got some solid third-party alternatives. The two that contend for a spot on your Start screen are myTube and Metrotube. It’s hard to pick one as a clear winner since they approach YouTube on Windows Phone slightly different and therefore both rock. Let’s check what’s new in the latest myTube update in the meantime.

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We’re a few weeks away from Nokia World in Abu Dhabi. We expect to see a handful of new smartphones running Windows Phone and even a tablet running Windows RT. We’ll have a pair of boots on the ground bringing you the latest from the event, but it’s always fun to see news trickle out ahead of the event.

We suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of devices taking advantage of some Bluetooth magic, like the Nokia Treasure Tag. But the Bluetooth fun doesn’t stop there with Nokia, read on to learn about some changes coming to the platform.

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Rudy Huyn might be part machine, his apps are constantly getting new features and updates faster than we can keep track of. He’s the developer behind some of the more popular apps in the Windows Phone community like 6tag, 6sec, Wikipedia, TVShow, Fuse and more. His Instagram app, 6tag, has been especially well received and an app we see updated more than others. Let’s check out what’s new in the latest version.

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There’s not much to go on here…actually, there’s nothing to go on here, but leakster Twitter account evleaks has posted that there is a ‘Lumia 1320’ on the way and it evidently has the codename ‘Batman’.

What to make of it? The ‘1320’ designation suggests a new class of Lumia, positioned somewhere between the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020, perhaps something along the line of a not-so-big device i.e. less than 6-inches.

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The DVLUP (www.dvlup.com) team have announced two changes that are occurring at the Nokia rewards program for Windows Phone developers. If you’ve never heard of DVLUP, the program (launched back in 2012 in the US and Canada) enables those who publish content to the stores to take full advantage of some unique challenges that lead to exciting opportunities and rewards being earned.

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Version 3.0 of the Official Twitter app for Windows Phone brings a handful of new features

The official Twitter app for Windows Phone was last updated back in June and that was after its major overhaul in February of this year. Today version 3.0.0.0 has landed on the store and if that should ring a bell, it means a major version change and not just a few fixes or enhancements.

Loading up the app and heading into settings we find a surfeit of new and welcomed changes, including the much coveted “dark” theme. While the default light theme was always sharp looking, dark (along with that Twitter category bar at the top) looks especially elegant.

But besides that new theme, there are a few other changes, let’s take a look.

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News this morning has come out regarding some more changes coming to Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 and Nokia's Bittersweet shimmer. Most of these features we have been aware of for some time, in fact we re-capped them on Saturday with the Glance screen information, but there are a few new tidbits to give a clearer idea of the big picture.

The info comes by way of Nawzil, who has been posting quite a bit of information regarding Microsoft and Nokia’s plans for the upcoming OS and firmware update. We have heard that GDR3’s features have been briefed by Microsoft with various people recently, so we’re not too surprised to hear information is now coming forward—leaks are leaks.

So what’s new? Let’s take a look.

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We’re two weeks away from Microsoft launching the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. While the Pro variant is the same as last generation save for updated internals, it’s the Surface 2 that is really exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I want a Surface Pro 2 ASAP, but the Surface 2 is pretty enticing. Here’s a video that highlights what Microsoft did to produce the next generation Surface

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Nearly a year ago, at Microsoft’s 2012 Build conference Nokia had their own little announcement for developers. It was there that Nokia announced their Premium Developer Program and the Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX). Today, one of those is still around, while the other has faded into history. Nokia has transitioned from directly managing NAX and developers will now work directly with Inneractive to monetize their games and apps. Details below.

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O Waze, Waze where art thou?

Waze came out for Windows Mobile way back in 2009. The popular GPS navigation app and service has been highly anticipated on Windows Phone. There was an unofficial Waze app for the homebrew scene in the early days of Windows Phone, but nothing official until the announcement in April. The announcement stated that Waze would be coming to Windows Phone in June of this year, but as you know that didn’t happen.

So what is the latest on Waze and Windows Phone?

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Fox News, the top-rated cable news channel here in the US, has recently embraced the future through their re-worked News Deck headed by Shepard Smith. The studio re-launch took a month to complete and with it, brought some massive new changes. Literally.

Found throughout the studio are BATS (big area touchscreens), which in reality are 55-inch computers running Windows 8.  It’s so audacious that when Sam shared a picture of it this morning, I seriously thought it was a Photoshop job. But nope, they are real and they are being used by staff to monitor news, Twitter and various feeds for the latest information.

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No, it’s not April Fools’ Day, but we appreciate a good prank when we see one. Microsoft recently announced its intentions to buy Nokia for a whopping 7.2 billion dollars. The tech world had reactions all over the spectrum. Many were worried that this signaled the death of the Nokia they’ve come to love over the years. Some took it harder than others, while others are able to sit back and have a bit of fun at the situation. Like this prankster in Nokia, Finland.

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Windows Phone users have returned to square one with the 'updated' YouTube app today

A few months ago, Microsoft and Google had a brouhaha over YouTube and Windows Phone. Microsoft appeared to play by Google’s rules in making an app for their customers, but Google said it wasn’t good enough. Despite the differences, Microsoft famously released the app anyway to see what would happen. As it turns out, Google was none too happy and remotely killed the app through its access key.

Fast forward to today, October 7th and the app has finally been updated to version 3.2. Unfortunately, the app has reverted back to its old web-player days, meaning if you click a YouTube link in email, MMS messages, etc. it will open YouTube in the browser. In fact, tapping the installed YouTube icon on your phone will simply redirect you to m.youtube.com for that not so premier experience.

No more downloads, no more account management (without logging in), no notifications—just the barebones experience.

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Lync has been on Windows Phone since around late 2011. As you may or may not know, Microsoft Lync is an instant messaging client that comes with Lync Server and Office 365. It’s used primarily in corporate environments and is therefore considered enterprise software. But we’re sure a handful of you reading this have jobs that rely on Lync from time-to-time, so you’re going to be happy to find out Lync 2013 has just been updated on Windows Phone. Let’s check out what’s new.

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File this one under mildly interesting, but if you head to Nokia’s website and type in ‘2520’ the results reveal a new FAQ section entitled ‘What is a tablet?’. Clicking the link though doesn’t reveal much except a generic placeholder quote stating “The tablet lets you access internet, see movies and listen to music.”

Of course, Nokia has had a tablet-like device in the past, namely the Nokia N800. As a result, typing in just ‘tablet’ will bring up numerous links referencing that device. But it is interesting that something as specific as ‘2520’ will return a result with ‘tablet’, meaning this isn’t a coincidence i.e. typing in a random four-digit combo doesn't bring back the same result.

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Microsoft launched a program for hackers and tech gurus to tune in and earn some big bucks by helping out the Internet Explorer team with hunting down security vulnerabilities. The reward was stated to be up to $11,000 per bug. Today, Katie Moussouris, Senior Security Strategist at Microsoft, has announced on TechNet that over $28,000 has been given away to community members who have worked with the company. 

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