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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Racing Games

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

This week's Windows Phone Central roundup is focused on racing games. Windows Phone games that have you racing the clock, an opponent or the bad guy.

These games are entertaining ways to pass the time with and won't fetch you a traffic citation as you peg out the speedometer. We picked four titles that caught our eye but keep in mind, these gaming only scratch the surface of the racing games available.

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As if we needed any more updates for app on Windows Phone this week, SkyDrive too has received a minor bump today to fix some bugs. Version 3.0.2.0 is now live in the Store and although your Store notification may not show it, you can go and grab the update by following the link below.

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Lomogram updated, adds new filters and tilt-shift

The popular Windows Phone photography app Lomogram was updated today taking it to version 1.7. The updated gives Lomogram a boost in special effects filters, adds a tilt shift tool, an option to preserve your image's exif metadata, and squishes a few bugs for good measure.

All totaled, Lomogram has 47 effects filters, 72 lighting effects, 49 borders, and crop, rotate and flip your photos. Edited images can be shared with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and vk.

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While Microsoft's Build 2013 conference continues to reveal more goodies about Windows 8, there has also been some talk regarding the upcoming Xbox One. Today Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism group, teased some rather large hints at how developers will be able to develop for both Windows and Xbox One in the future.

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Good news for all of those who have been waiting for an official Mint.com app, as it looks like the popular Quicken-like service is coming to both Windows Phone and Windows later this year. The announcement comes via their support forums from an “official” responder earlier today.

Mint.com is considered by many to be the foremost financial planner service and with apps on iOS and Android, Windows Phone was left holding the bag. Indeed last we checked, back in March, Mint.com was filed under “no plans yet”, despite a constant barrage of users requesting it.

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Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One earlier this year, but that hasn't stopped Redmond wanting to get the word out and reach as many potential buyers as possible. This includes those who are subscribed to Xbox Live and own a current-gen 360. The company has released two new free shirts that bear the Xbox One logo. Pretty neat, but only if you wish to either advertise the console, or display your undying loyalty.

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The NBC News app for Windows Phone 8 was updated today to version 1.0.1271 which adds voice commands to the user interface, closed caption support and your customary bug fixes and small tweaks.

With the voice commands you can jump to the headlines, search for content, view top stories and more.

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Shazam has been with us since Windows Phone 7 and is a fairly well-established msuic discovery app, come service. Today the company has pushed through an update to the Windows Phone Store, which introduces both automatic resubmission and LyricPlay, the latter being real-time lyrics for music to help consumers awkwardly sing along when in public.

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Yesterday during a Build session, Microsoft software engineer Polita Paulus held a session on what it means for developers to upgrade their apps for Windows 8.1. While current Windows 8 apps will of course run just fine on 8.1, developers interested in taking advantage of the new code base will need to recompile their app and add or modify a few lines of code.

Like all OS updates, those of you who are straight up consumers just want to know, what does it mean for me? We know already that in 8.1 the “snap view” is basically gone in the sense that predefined sizes (1/3 or 2/3 of the display) are no longer required. That means you can drag and resize multiple “snapped” windows to whatever size you want.

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Yesterday, Microsoft took the wraps off of the much discussed Windows 8.1 “preview edition” for your current Surface Pro, 32 or 64 bit system. The process was supposed to be simple, with a downloaded file and a trip to the Store. Indeed, the installation was easy, but the line for the server was getting hammered on early in the day.

Here at mobile HQ for Windows Phone Central, myself and Sam Sabri updated no less than five devices to Windows 8.1, because hey, we’re excited. From the Acer R7, to the little 8-inch Iconia to two Surface Pros we plowed through the process. (Build attendees were given USB flash drivers with the installation files onboard, making the process super simple).

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Microsoft’s Windows 8 app store has yet to be a juggernaut of variety and applications. We had previously heard that the company mentioned this holiday season as a goal date to bring a majority of popular apps to the platform. Yesterday at Build 2013 in San Francisco, Microsoft’s loveable CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Facebook, Flipboard, and NFL apps will be arriving soon.

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We're fans of numbers and quantifiable data here at Mobile Nations, and so following after the second week of Talk Mobile 2013, we're turning to our good friend the survey to help compile some data. Week two was focused on apps, apps, apps and developers, developers, developers. If you missed any of the content, be sure to click over to our Talk Mobile hub and check it out.

The mobile apps survey will only take a minute or two to complete, and as an extra incentive (not that you guys and gals need it, but we like to give things away), by completing the survey you'll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card. Hit the link below to take the survey!

Click here to take the Talk Mobile State of Mobile Apps Survey!

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The popular messaging service Voxer has now graduated from private beta to full on public release for Windows Phone 8 devices. The service is similar to a few other push-to-talk apps available on mobile devices in that it allows you to send voice clips, in addition to photos and regular messaging.

What makes the Voxer app for Windows Phone unique though is how fast it is. We’ve been playing around with the app for a little bit here in San Francisco and messages are virtually instant (and we’re talking about those push notifications). If you leave a chat windows open with a contact, voice clips come in nearly at real-time and auto-play for you, which we have to admit is quite compelling.

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Keek has released an app for Windows Phone. If you're not familiar with the name, Keek (www.keek.com) is essentially a social video sharing service, already available on other platforms. It's an easy way to meet people, stay up to date with friends and show followers what you're up to. The feature that will please consumers is the ability to capture, record and share a video update in seconds.

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What do Bruce Willis and my Lumia 920 have in common?

Those busted corners on the Nokia Lumia 920 in the pictures above look nasty, eh? Those gashes, along with some slight scratches on the front of the phone’s screen are the result of my Lumia 920 falling off my bike when a brand new handlebar mount that I bought broke apart when I hit some rough pavement at about 15 miles per hour.

As heart-breaking as that was, let me tell you why those banged up corners are so amazing.

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With no new Xbox game release yesterday, it’s up to the Xbox Red Stripe Deal of the Week to keep players busy. Luckily it’s a good one, though it did go on sale for the same price back in April. I speak of Gerbil Physics, the cutest physics game in creation, from indie developer Pencel Games. Gamers who missed it the first time around have another chance to blow up gerbils on the cheap, which I believe is something we can all get behind.

Following on Gerbil Physics’ heels are the regular Red Stripe Deals. LunarX from InProcessout is a unique indie sci-fi game on sale for $1.49. For the same price, HD Scanner from Code Nomads lets you make high resolution document scans with your phone’s camera.

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EE today announced the mobile operator has switched on 4G connectivity in 11 more towns across the UK. The new areas include Aldershot, Basildon, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Hitchin, Horsham, Leatherhead, Letchworth, Stevenage, Warrington and Weston-super-Mare. This latest expansion brings the total number of supported towns and cities to 85.

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When it rains it pours. While we’re in San Francisco enjoying that warm, California sunshine, official apps are raining down between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Yesterday we saw the Discovery Networks and ABC News app release their official wares. But believe it or not, sometime within the past 5 days Songza came to the Windows Store and we all missed it. Songza is now available for Windows 8, details after the break.

Songza is a free music streaming and recommendation service. It launched way back in 2007, since then it’s had a few different iterations and updates as it slowly found its own angle on the streaming music scene. Because you can’t just build another Pandora, you need to do something different. And that’s just what they did last March in 2012 when they launched their Music Concierge feature.

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Rich and the rest of the world have been busy enjoying the Nokia Lumia 925 for over two weeks. You can check out his unboxing and first impressions here. We’ve seen the device floating around at parties the past day at //Build/ as well and we really love it. Everything about the Lumia 920 has been refined and distilled into a thinner and lighter package, with a slightly better camera.

Winning combo right? So when does folks in the United States get it on T-Mobile? The signs are all pointing to July 17.

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Another update for the official WPCentral app live today

Last week we pushed out an update to our app with a few new features, bug fixes and speed improvements, whilst also promising that a second part of that update would be coming this week. Well, that time is now and you can pick up the second release of v4.3 for both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 from the marketplace right now.

This release contains an important fix for Windows Phone 8 users where using the lock screen wallpaper functionality was causing the app to use up more of your storage than it needed to. That problem is solved now and we've even included a new button in the settings that will clear out all files held by the app in temporary storage for those of you who like control over your gigabytes. See below for what else has changed.

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