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Update 1PM ET: Seems like Nokia is on the ball as Verizon has thrown the switch for the Lumia 822. Go check for your update now: Settings > Phone Update > Check for update. We can also confirm FM Radio and Group text is included.

If you’re on Verizon and waiting for the Amber firmware and GDR2 OS updates for your Nokia Lumia 822, fear not as it should be headed to your device real soon.

Yesterday, Nokia updated their site from "waiting for approval" to "coming soon" and a tipster named WP8addict in our forums noted that indeed, it has been cleared by Verizon yesterday.

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It hasn't been long since the ESPN Fantasy Football app lost it's Nokia exclusivity and became available for all Windows Phones and now we are already seeing an update push out for the fantasy football app.

The version 1.2.0.1 update adds the feature to allow ESPN Insiders to manage push notifications. While the change log is brief, very brief, we are also hearing that more team controls may have been added (don't hold us to that).

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It looks like Rovio is getting on the ball with delivering Angry Birds updates as the original version for Windows Phone 8 got bumped to version 3.2 today and this isn’t just bug fixes, folks, it’s new stuff.

The fresh update adds the Red’s Mighty Feathers episode, which ought to bring 15 new levels to Windows Phone 8 (assuming it’s getting feature parity with other platforms).

So what is Red’s Mighty Feathers episode? Glad you asked.

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We're in the process of cooking up another sweet Talk Mobile infographic (this one based on our social and communications week) and in doing so we need to reach out to the community with one more big question.

Specifically, we're looking at how many times per day you use your phone to do the basics... send a message or email, check what time it is, add an appointment to your calendar, etc. Easy stuff.

The survey will take you only a minute, so hit the link below and getter done and we'll love you long time.

Take the Survey!

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Although we’ve covered a few cases and shells for the Nokia Lumia 1020, some of you high rollers are holding out for something a bit more premium.  In that case, the Noreve leather case is probably up your alley as it runs for $66 (49.99€).

The “hand crafted” leather cases certainly look high quality enough and feature a flip cover to protect the 1020’s display while also giving the case a hint of elegance. You can order the case “naked” or with belt clip fasteners to keep the 1020 by your side at all times.

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Microsoft has unveiled its digital self-publishing indie developer program for the Xbox One, essentially enabling developers to self-publish their work for consumers to enjoy on their consoles. The program is titled Independent Developers @ Xbox (ID@Xbox - www.xbox.com/id) and the company promises a smooth experience regarding actual development, distribution and discovery of titles on the Xbox One digital store. Registration has opened today.

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Nokia has published the above advertisement to attract those party animals who simply cannot remember the night before and require photos to trace back steps to figure out exactly what occurred. Unfortunately, if your smartphone camera isn't great with night shots you're going to be literally left in the dark when trying to see view the device captured.

This isn't the case with OIS (optical image stabilisation) in high-end Lumia Windows Phones like the Lumia 925. Just like we saw with the previous advertisement, Nokia is going aggressive against competitor products after the sun sets.

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The Nokia Lumia 925 has been featured in the latest music video from Enrique Iglesias, "Turn The Night Up." The Windows Phone first appears at the 00:18 marker and can be spotted throughout the rather interesting video, including use of the default camera app.

Nokia has been aggressive when it comes to product placement and Lumia marketing in the media. The Man of Steel movie is a perfect example of this. It's positive to see the manufacturer getting its latest flagships included.

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The public relations strategy (or lack thereof) that Microsoft has been using since announcing the Xbox One has been questionable at best. The Xbox team has taken a staggered, slow rollout of news surrounding the Xbox One with details coming out slowly piece-by-piece at different events. They’ve back pedaled on a few issues and just can’t seem to catch a break. But they’ve slowly been turning around their slow start with the Xbox One. Their latest push is putting the emphasis back on games.

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Although Rudy Huyn’s upcoming Instagram app 6tagram will most likely make it to the Windows Phone Store intact, it won’t with that name. As we covered earlier, Instagram asked for final approval of the app to make sure it wasn’t violating their trademark (though they are evidently looking the other way on the API issue) and tonight they have exercised that privilege.

As a result, 6tagram will be renamed to 6tag for final release and it has been submitted under that new moniker.

The news comes from Huyn, who noted that Instagram requested the change before final submission to the Store. As a result, Huyn came up with six potential name replacements including 6pix, 6pics, 6frames, 6degrees, 6shot, 6social but later reduced the choice to 6tag and 6tamatic. The options were put to a poll and while 6tamatic clearly won (66% versus 33%), it looks like 6tag was the preferred choice by the developer.

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While Microsoft and Google fight it out over an official YouTube app on Windows Phone we’ll keep enjoying myTube and Metrotube. When you ask someone in the community which YouTube app they like the best you’ll constantly see Metrotube and myTube vying for the top spot.

Which is the best? That’s hard to say since they both set the bar and it ultimately comes down to your own personal preferences. However, the latest update for myTube continues to tip the scale in its favor. Let’s check it out.

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Nearly two weeks ago Microsoft released App Studio for Windows Phone enthusiasts and potential developers. The web tool allows users to create fairly basic apps for Windows Phone without much prior development knowledge. Today the team announced that App Studio has over 50,000 active projects alongside new features. Let’s check them out.

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Yesterday we brought you a look at Advanced Mobile Applications’ Hills of Glory 3D and the upcoming Windows Phone 8 version of Babel Rising 3D. AMA, you’ll remember is a sister studio of Ubisoft. They’ve worked with a number of gaming franchises, including the Android version of Townsmen (coming to Windows Phone from Handy Games).

Today we conclude our Casual Connect USA coverage for the year with first looks at two more upcoming games from AMA: Animal Park Tycoon and Yeti on Furry (formerly called Yeti Rising). Both games are due out on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 later this year.

Head past the break for the full hands on video and more details!

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If there is one controversial area in regards to the stellar Nokia Lumia 1020, it would be its price. In the face of deals elsewhere like on Amazon.com, the $299 contract price is traditionally higher than most flagship devices in 2013. At least that’s the perception, even if erroneous. It’s a bit dishonest when tech sites focus on that subject since the AT&T 32GB iPhone 5 sells for the same $299 (and the 32GB Galaxy S4 runs for $249).

Last we checked, neither come with a groundbreaking 41MP camera.

Some could argue that the Lumia 1020 has no right to command the same price as the iPhone 5, but that seems a little pretentious for our tastes. Still, there’s a feeling in the air that the Lumia 1020 is not selling well or making much of an impact.

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You can now make Skype calls in Outlook.com

Outlook.com recently celebrated its one year anniversary. They did so by giving away free SkyDrive storage and Skype credit to early adopters of the platform. The team at Outlook.com hasn’t slowed down since launching over a year ago. Continual updates to the platform have made it a favorite among many users. The latest feature is also news worthy and worth highlighting – Skype is now inside Outlook.com for a select number of markets.

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We've wrapped up cloud week of Talk Mobile, and it's time to get the kind of stuff that the cloud lives for: numbers. As with previous weeks of Talk Mobile, we're running a survey so we can put together some of that data that we and the cloud simply adore. Week six of Talk Mobile 2013 was all about the cloud, how we use it, how it's scary, and our forecasts for the future of the cloud.

Here's the survey. It's a few dozen questions and shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time. And because we know your time is just as if not more valuable than ours, here's an incentive: completing the survey enters you for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card. Incentive? Bribery? A chance for $100 to spend on new gadgets? Your call, your answers. Hit the link below to take the survey!

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

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Have a car? Ever wanted a remote start system for it? If so, we may have just found the missing link to get you to buy one as the official Viper SmartStart app for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 has become available in the Store.

The Viper SmartStart is a two part system that relies on hardware (the remote start equipment in your car) and the software (an app on your smartphone), creating a powerful combination to make your car “smart” for 2013 (or make it possessed like Christine, whichever). The hardware isn’t cheap, starting at $399 for the basic system plus installation, with optional addon modules like GPS, Bluetooth and security to further enhancement.

In short, with the basic system you can push a virtual button on your smartphone to start your car, lock the doors or pop the trunk. For some of us up north, this is a nice feature for the winter. Down south, it's a great way to cool down your car before you get in. Throw in the alarm system and you can enable/disable that, use the panic button and more. Have more money to spend? Toss on the GPS system to enable social-media checkins (seriously), lockdown alert (tells you if your car moved), vehicle location, speed and more.

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Lenovo Yoga trumps iPad in latest ad from Microsoft

Microsoft has been firing all cylinders lately when it comes to advertisements. The past six months we’ve seen the ads steadily getting better and better. Who can forget the wedding video with iPhone users pitted against Android folks? Lately they’ve had a series of videos that directly compare the iPad head-to-head against a variety of machines running Windows. Here’s one with the Lenovo Yoga.

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Update: Only a few days after we posted this and it looks like Twitter plugged the hole...so if you have an animated GIF, keep it. If you wanted one for Twitter, you're out of luck!

Yesterday we reported on the new update for Tile Me! that now allows you to create an animated GIF in addition to a static Me Tile image. The purpose of the app is so that you can use the generated image for your social network profiles, spreading the Windows Phone love.

While the animated GIF addition was the second most requested feature from users, quite a few of you were asking where could you actually use it? As it turns out, you can use it on Twitter, though there’s a unique trick to it.

For one, the generating GIF must be less than 700kb. The other caveat is you need to use a special Twitter link to change your profile photo. So without further ado, here are the steps on how you can get a bouncing Me Tile for your Twitter profile.

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Nokia is slowly rolling out its Amber firmware bundled with Microsoft's GDR2 update, but it's no fun having to keep checking your phone every few hours, seeing whether or not you've got a notification to update. Nokia has decided to whip up a solution and has released a page for consumers residing in Europe to receive a hint as to when their Lumia Windows Phones will be bumped to the latest version.

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A few days ago, BGR reported that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 1020 has had a temporary reduction in price to $199 (from $299) in few, select markets. The price drop is certainly significant but the vagueness of the report, which did not name any of markets specifically, was of little help. Plus, there’s no indication that this is going national at the moment, though we suppose at some point the Lumia 1020’s price has to drop.

Now, a reader has sent us an image from an AT&T in Huntsville, Alabama that gives visual proof of the price reduction for the first time. We’ve also learned that Gainesville, Florida is another market where this offer is evidently available. It should be noted that the free camera grip is only after a mail-in-rebate, which is slightly less enticing if you’re less inclined to hit the post office.

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As the Windows Phone ecosystem grows, manufacturers will continually look for ways to expand and differentiate amongst themselves. One easy way for them to do so is with custom OEM Stores like the Nokia Collection or Samsung Zone.

The problem is with Windows Phone, you can’t force check for app updates, even for “system apps” like Samsung’s call blocker or Nokia’s Display + Touch. Sure you can wait the 24 hours for the Store tile to display an update, and that’s fine for most users, but let’s face it: if you’re reading this site, you want the latest and greatest now. This is especially true for Lumia owners since Nokia’s updates are known for enabling new, unannounced features making their occasional updates more like little birthday presents.

That's why SysApp Pusher is our must-have app this week.

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Nokia's HERE Transit, the app that helps you get from here to there via public transportation in hundreds of cities around the world, got updated to version 4.0.2085.0 today. The update's change log simply states that it includes bug fixes and stability updates.

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