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Belgium bank KBC releases Windows Phone app

The Belgium bank KBC has released an app for Windows Phone. Joining the array of mobile banking apps already available on the Windows Phone Store, we're seeing more establishments join the train. As well as general account management, the free app for account holders also sports some unique features.

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There's no pressure from Microsoft on upgrading from Live Messenger to Skype as the company has extended the transition period to April. Originally, March 15th was the doomsday for when Messenger would be cut and Skype would become Microsoft's golden egg in the instant messenger realm of wonders. The company has fired out emails to customers detailing the close-approaching switch.

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Microsoft has again made its Surface Pro tablet running Windows 8 Pro available for purchase on its online store. The product has experienced stock issues since it was released. With the cheapest option starting at $899, Microsoft is certainly pinning the product as a premium experience with a rather expensive price tag. The original Surface tablet is already available with Windows RT, so what will consumers be getting with this new Surface Pro?

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Calculator³ for Windows Phone has been updated to take full advantage of new functionality on new hardware. The app now supports all screen resolutions, as well as featuring multiple Live Tile sizes. If you're not familiar with the app, Calculator³ is a simple calculator that sports five modes: Basic, Scientific, Programmer, Currency Converter, and Unit Converter.

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If you happen to live in the St. Louis area or just happen to be passing through on February 23rd you may want to stop by the Triumph Grill for the 2013 Windows Phone St. Louis Meetup.

It's an opportunity for Windows Phones developers and fans to come together and share ideas and experiences with like minded folk. This is the third (or is it the fourth?) meetup in St. Louis and Nokia has helped sponsor each event. This go around, Nokia is providing a Lumia 900 as a door prize.

The event will start at 12PM and run until 4PM and attendees will be responsible for their food and drinks. If you plan to attend, you can sign up here so organizers will know to reserve enough seats. There is also a discussion going on here in the Windows Phone Central Forums about the meetup in case you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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There are numerous resources available for Windows Phone developers to read through and engage with for tips and helpful tutorials on functionality for the platform. Creating the perfect app is a must for anyone looking to create content for a mobile platform, especially Windows Phone where consumers also critically review the overall presentation of content.

Daniel Vaughan, Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development has crafted a book in the depths of code and lookups, which is currently available for pre-order and will be released this coming May. Titled Windows Phone 8 Unleashed, it's resource for developers to better make use of functionality in Windows Phone 8.

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Nokia's DLNA app Play To has been demanded by Lumia Windows Phone 8 consumers since Microsoft launched its new mobile platform, but it has remained in beta testing. We last reported on the app back in December when Nokia revealed that it would see a Q1 2013 release.

Now a member of the product team has stated on the Nokia Beta Labs feedback forum that we'll be seeing Play To launched for Windows Phone 8 within 2 weeks, adding fuel to the fire on a Mobile World Congress announcement.

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The HTC Titan is a sleek, attractive Windows Phone that still remains to be a favourite among many consumers. Now that both the 8S and 8X are readily available in multiple markets, how does one spice up the Titan to prolong (or refresh) its beauty? A fresh paint job, of course. This is also perfect if you've somehow managed to accumulate a few scratches on the back plate.

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The official Rhapsody (www.rhapsody.com) app has been updated for Windows Phone 8. The music service enables consumers to access millions of music tracks within its expansive catalogue, but it's restricted to the US which leaves everyone else outside the exclusive club.

While majority of Windows Phone owners have access to both Xbox Music and Nokia Music (depending on location and device), it's always good to have more choice available. Back to Rhapsody. We're looking at a rather large update, so what's new in version 3?

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Nokia has hit smartphone innovation head on with wireless charging, PureView camera technology and more, but the company doesn't appear to wish to halt with what's already on offer. According to a report over on MonWindowsPhone, Nokia is believed to be looking to work with SunPartner Group on its What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface (Wysips) product and add solar charging to smartphones later this year.

Prototypes are rumoured to be making an appearance at this coming Mobile World Congress. Now, before we head into this rumour, do have the salt shaker at hand. 

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This week Skype has been rolling out a beta of a feature called Video Messages to users. Basically you can send video messages to contacts that are up to three minutes in length. The internet has had hints of this feature since early December, so you’re stoked to try it out on your Windows Phone right? Nope. No love from Skype for any Windows users – desktop or phone.

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Reports that Nokia is dropping component maker Samsung from future orders have started circulating today. The rumor has two aspects two it: one, that Nokia is effectively moving away from Samsung for displays, memory chips and other internals and two, the move is inspired by unofficial allegations of design theft.

The story comes via Apple Insider who note that Apple is considering doing the same, especially since those two companies have been battling it out in court. During one of the trials, evidence that Samsung’s component manufacturing business (which is separate from the smartphone arm) was copying Apple’s designs came forth, shinning more bad light on the massive Korean manufacture. It’s with that same background that Nokia is evidently considering a similar move.

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Keeping track of where public transport (mainly buses) currently are on routes can prove to be a troublesome task, especially if you're in an unknown location and aren't fully aware of local transport. This is where Windows Phone and travel apps come into play. We've covered a number of solutions previously, most catering for TFL (Transport for London), but we're now taking another look at Next Bus UK Live!

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Nutrition

Fitness Month marches on here at Windows Phone Central and this week we're concentrating on nutritional aspects of staying fit.

While you may enjoy an afternoon slice of pie, eating right is an important aspect of living a healthy life. Even if you aren't into pumping iron or running marathons, a proper diet is key (wow.. my mom was right!).  Sometimes this means eating the right foods or simply watching the calories you take in.

This week's roundup focuses on five Windows Phone apps that look at what we eat and help track our calories.

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Nokia brings up an interesting question. Do smartphones need physical buttons?

We've seen physical buttons on our Windows Phones slowly disappear from the days when they were powered by Windows Mobile. Capacitive buttons replaced physical buttons and physical keyboards are now on-screen. But should it go further?

What remains is a power, volume and camera button. You could make a case where on-screen volume controls could replace the physical volume button and we already have a screen tap feature to capture photos. The power button may be the one physical button we can't live without but BlackBerry's Z10 shows how even that is not needed (they turn on the display by swiping the screen up, no power button).

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Don’t get us wrong, we know for a fact that this is just a render of a Lumia 900 mashed with the 808 Pureview (back) with an E7 keyboard thrown in. After all, if you’re building your dream phone, why not go all out, right?

The image comes from a Chinese website (http://product.cnmo.com) and it’s actually listed in the database, including specs and everything.

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The International Data Corporation (IDC) has posted its Q4 2012 global results of smartphone trends and it nicely reflects yesterday’s report from Gartner. The data is both a mix of good news and bad news for Windows Phone, showing that year-over-year (YoY) growth has increased by 150% going from 1.5% market share to 2.6% in late 2012. That’s certainly a positive sign but in the context of the rest of the smartphone race, it’s still a drop in the bucket.

Android and iOS accounted for a massive 91.1% of all smartphone sales, which is quite astonishing. BlackBerry, while still ahead of Windows Phone (3.2% versus 2.6% for Q4) took a drastic drop from last year when it had a more comfortable 8.1% market share.  That’s a -43% fall for the Waterloo company, which of course can be ascribed to holding on to BlackBerry 7 for so long.

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Nearly one third of tech workers in the enterprise sector say they would prefer their next tablet to run on the Windows platform, according to a Forrester Research survey. The survey revealed that 32 percent of information workers surveyed prefer Microsoft Surface, while only 26 percent favour the iPad and 12 percent would choose Android hardware. 

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Getting an HTC 8S is now a breeze at WIND Mobile

Canada's WIND Mobile has added the HTC 8S to their lineup, available in blue. The 8S will run you $299 outright, or as cheap as free, depending on which WINDTab plan you choose. It joins the Nokia Lumia 710 as WIND Mobile's second Windows Phone.

The HTC 8S is a mid-range Windows Phone 8 handset, offering up a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 4” display (WVGA), Bluetooth 3.1, 512MB RAM, WiFi, non-replaceable 1700mAh battery, and Beats Audio. It also has 4GB storage, which is expandable via MicroSD slot. Check out our review for the full lowdown on the 8S.

Source: WIND Mobile; Via: MobileSyrup

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Zombie Driver HD XBLA Interview and Contest [Updated]

Seeing as how we don’t have a new Xbox Windows Phone release to talk about this week, it’s a perfect time for some Xbox 360 discussion. Zombie Driver HD - one of my personal favorite XBLA games of 2012 is on sale to Xbox Live Gold members for only 400 MS Points/$5 this week. It regularly sells for 800 Points, which is already a fair deal given the trend towards pricing XBLA titles at 1200.

To celebrate the sale, we’ve got Zombie Driver HD gameplay impressions and an interview with the game’s developer. Oh, and did I mention we’re giving away Zombie Driver avatar clothing and props as well? Find out how to win one after the break!

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