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Windows Phone 8 brings new features to Skype

WP Central

If you are a Skype user, you'll like some of the new features Windows Phone 8 brings to the table.

First, and maybe the most important improvement, is that Skype can keep you signed-in and reachable even when you've closed out the Skype app. Skype stays asleep in the background until an incoming call or message is received. Not only can you receive calls just like you would through your wireless carrier but staying dormant, you save battery life.

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With today's announcement of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft shed a little light on hardware availability. Windows Phone 8 devices will become available through various European providers this weekend. We will see U.S.. and global availability roll out through the month of November.

In the U.S.. Market look for look for Verizon to offer the Lumia 822, HTC 8X and a new Samsung Odyssey (December release). AT&T will offer the Lumia 920, 820, and the HTC 8X. Pricing was not made available for Verizon or AT&T and availability was described as "sometime in November".

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Internet Explorer 10 for Windows Phone

Windows Phone 8 sports the new web browser from Microsoft, Internet Explorer 10, but what's so noteworthy about this latest version from the company? It's labelled as the 'fastest version ever', and we've been fairly impressed with speed results the company has produced with IE in the past, ss what's new regarding web browsing on Windows Phone 8?

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Introducing the Windows Phone 8 Wallet

Windows Phone Wallet

One of the new features with Windows Phone 8 is the Wallet app. Microsoft has added a digital wallet that you can use to keep your debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information handy on your Windows Phone.

The Wallet app also has the ability to find other apps to link with that can provide additional information on that card or account such as balance and transaction history. Wallet can also be used to find and share local shopping deals.

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Windows Phone 8 OneNote Mobile

Windows Phone 8 OneNote has now been released from the Office hub and is now its own app. With that comes some neat advantages such a quicker, more direct access to your notebooks, bypassing the need to go into Office first to find your notes.

OneNote for Windows Phone 8 is now uses a live tile to show you which note was updated last, at a glance information to help you get things done quicker.

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Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8


Microsoft has recently given its music services a much needed overhaul and the new service is called Xbox Music. It’s already available on the new Xbox dashboard update as well as on Windows 8.

Windows 8 has built in Xbox Music too and comes with some excellent local as well as cloud based features.

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Windows Phone 8 Rooms feature

WP Central Windows Phone 8 Rooms feature

Windows Phone 8 brings with it many improvements to its social abilities, one such improvement is the inclusion of “Rooms”.

Taking some of the ideas from Windows Phone 7’s Groups feature and expanding it out, the new feature allows for powerful social interaction with a selection of your contacts. Windows Phone has always been a powerful performer with regards to its social networking prowess and Rooms is going to take that a step further.

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Pandora coming to Windows Phone 8

Microsoft has announced that an official Pandora app will be available with Windows Phone 8 devices.  The popular streaming music app will be offered for free for the first year and add free.  This is exciting news and we should see the Pandora app available early 2013.  More details as things develop.

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The Kid's Corner in Windows Phone 8

The Kid's Corner is a new feature in Windows Phone 8 where Microsoft has added controls for parents and guardians to effectively manage what functionality, apps and games children (or other people) have access to when using the mobile device. It's activated by swiping left on the lock screen.

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WP Central

Microsoft has announce a new lockscreen that incorporates live tile information.  We have mentioned live lockscreen wallpapers before, specifically when the Windows Phone 8 SDK leaked over the summertime (and we told you about them even before then). The feature is not quite as “live” as Android where things are actually moving around, wasting your battery. Instead, this is truly useful.

The image above, received by the site Nokia Innovation, shows three examples of this Live locksreen wallpaper: Bing, ESPN and USA Today. Microsoft is also partnering with Facebook to bring Facebook information to the new live lockscreen.  Bing will refresh the lockscreen every day with Bing’s latest background, ESPN can show you sports scores presumably of your favorite team and USA Today highlights news via tile images.

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Windows Phone 8 Live Blog

We're here, live in San Francisco for Microsoft's full unveiling of Windows Phone 8. The live event kicks off at 10am PT / 1pm ET, but we're getting the live chat going early. Join in on the live blog and chat action below! You can also visit our enhanced full-width live blog at live.mobilenations.com and a live video stream is also available (requires silverlight).

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Only just unleashed last week, Microsoft’s Surface tablet is the talk of the town. If you were curious to know what it’s like on the inside, then now’s your chance to do so without wiping out your warranty.

The guys over at ifixit have taken to their torx screw drivers, guitar picks and hairdryer to get to those tasty innards. Let’s check out their findings.

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Lumia 822 official on Verizon

Nokia (and Verizon) this morning announced the Lumia 822 for the largest carrier in the United States.

The 822, in addition to having 4G LTE data, also sports an 8MP rear camera and 1.2MP shooter up front. Plus, there's wireless charging.

Odd is that Nokia hasn't yet moved an official picture of the 822, and Verizon's completely mum on its in. There's also no word on pricing or availability. But we've got the full presser after the break, and we'll update with the rest when we get it. Nokia has revealed a price tag of just $99 when taken on contract.

More: Nokia Lumia 822

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Welcome to the newly updated Windows Phone Central

As Microsoft gets set to officially launch Windows Phone 8, we're happy to unveil some site updates of our own on Windows Phone Central.

More updates are coming soon to our forums, store and already-awesome app, but if you're reading this on the full desktop site you're now witnessing the new look and feel of WPCentral.com. We've upgraded to the latest version of VISOR, our Mobile Nations content management system, and we've given the site a fresh look. We've even mixed in a little inspiration from the Metro UI.

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Microsoft releases Windows Phone tool for Windows 8

Microsoft has published the Windows Phone synchronisation tool to the Windows 8 Store. This app enables consumers to plug in their Windows Phone 8 handsets and add / remove media to and from the device.

Music, video and photos can be imported from the connected Windows Phone to the windows 8 machine (and vice versa). One can find quick links to Windows Phone content (including apps and games), as well as quick-glance information representing how much storage is currently being used.

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WP Central

* Update: OK, We're back online! We're still working through some of the final upgrade steps, so don't mind the mess. We'll do a follow up blog post here soon going through the details as soon as we're done. Thanks for the patience! *

With so much changing in the world of Windows Phone, it only makes sense we make some changes around Windows Phone Central too. 

We have lots of exciting upgrades planned for WPCentral.com, including enhancements to the blogs, forums, store and app. We'll be rolling out a full set of changes over the next week, and we're getting started tonight with some major updates to the blog.

We'll be taking the homepage offline at approximately 9pm ET for roughly two hours, as we push out an update to the our blog CMS along with a fresh new look for the site. We'll fill you in on the details once we're back up. During the upgrade the forums should still be accessible (if you're currently logged in) as will be the store

Thanks for the patience. And we'll be welcoming you back soon with a better than ever site!

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Lumia 920 Camera Comparison

Test Mobile.fr have got their hands on a Lumia 920 and took it for a ride around Helsinki, Finland. As well as trying out the stabilisation in PureView to compare the camera against the iPhone 5 when recording, the team also looked more closely at the photography aspect of the Windows Phone. Namely, low-light capturing.

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WP Central

Just a quick reminder that today Microsoft will officially launch Windows Phone 8.  The launch event is being held in San Francisco and is slated to start at 10AM PST / 1PM EST.  Microsoft will show off to the world their new mobile OS originally code named ‘Apollo’.

Along with all the Windows Phone goodness, maybe availability and pricing will come into better focus from the various carriers slated to carry these new devices.

Whatever may develop, Windows Phone Central will of course be there in sunny San Francisco to cover the event and bring you all the news as it happens. Afterwards, we're off to BUILD 12 the very next day to continue our Windows Phone 8 coverage.

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