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Nokia plans to unveil another Windows Phone, codenamed EOS this year, according to sources familiar with company plans. The Verge has learned that the device is set to include a similar sensor to which is found on the Nokia 808 PureView. The optics upgrade would further advance Nokia's imaging technology, as well as provide yet another high-end Lumia Windows Phone for consumers.

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Samsung hasn’t been giving Windows Phone a lot of love since the latest version dropped back in October. Here in the US, you still can’t walk into a carriers store and get an ATIV S or ATIV Odyssey. With recent remarks from Samsung about their timid feelings towards Windows RT, a lot of people started suspecting that the relationships between them and Microsoft was beginning to sour.

You can set aside some of those wild theories, analysts are painting a different picture of the situation. Who is to blame? Apparently, the carriers.  

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Even though Google Sync is nearing its end on Windows Phone due to the company dropping Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up hope with using their services. With no extension of the deadline in sight, Windows Phone users need an alternative and now we have one.

Rudy Huyn, one of the top developers on Windows Phone (Fuse, TVShow, Wikipedia, 9Gag and more) has just released a free, brand new app called GContacts that will keep your contact’s name, phone number and email up-to-date on your Windows Phone. Users can manually sync the app to check for any new changes to bring down to their phones, whenever they want.

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Soon after Microsoft today announced the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK, we wrote how this was more evidence that the highly anticipated update is right around the corner. Bets are being traded on which carriers are first (and which are last), but we have one surprise for you: AT&T.

Peeking on Nokia’s own servers, we can now see the official Windows Phone 7.8 update and corresponding firmware now waiting to be released into the wild.  Listed for all for color variants of the Lumia 900, the 7.8 update must have reached approval status very recently.

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Kantar World Panel has released a report today for the month of December, which tells an expected story for Android and iOS, with the former taking the number one spot in multiple markets. The report also covers Windows Phone, which has experienced strong growth in Britain and Italy. It shows that share levels have hit 5.9 and 13.9 percent respectively, up from just 2.2 and 2.8 percent 12 months prior. But the remaining markets could have been better.

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I regret to report that the Xbox Windows Phone game release drought continues unabated this week, making the fifth week in a row without a new release (not counting Nokia exclusives). But it’s not all bad news. For one, we have the awesome cross-platform Skulls of the Shogun coming out next week on January 30th. And this week, Microsoft will be throwing Windows Phone 8 users a bone…

Following on the heels of yesterday’s Let’s Golf 2, another game gains Windows Phone 8 compatibility tomorrow: Shuffle Party from Babaroga and Microsoft Studios. Shuffle Party will be free as always, and is probably the third best free mobile Xbox game after Wordament and AlphaJax.

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On Sunday we anticipated that Microsoft would start talking more about Windows Phone 7.8 as all signs point to January 31st as the beginning of a global rollout for current Windows Phone users.

Today, Microsoft has announced the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK update, which will allow developers to better target the 7.8 changes—specifically new Tile options—and to make sure that the apps behave as intended.

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One of our favorite "visual" apps for Windows Phone has been Roguecode's Ffffound, which pulls down the image feed from the site of the same name (ffffound.com). And much like his other apps, Ffffound does it with minimalism and flare making it one of the most eye catching creations around.
 
The app has now been updated for Windows Phone 8 and includes one of the useful functions for such a visually focused app: lockscreen support. Starting with version 1.4, users can now set the lockscreen to auto-update with either the latest Ffffound item or cycle through their Favorites. Either option is great and so far, we're really enjoying the look.
 
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Nokia is poised to launch the Lumia 920 in Jordan. It's the first Windows Phone to be released in the region due to lack of language support in the operating system. With the advent of Windows Phone 8's greater language support, including RTL abilities, Nokia (and other OEM partners) can now push hardware in the market. Nokia's reportedly a popular brand in Jordan, so how well is it expected to perform?

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Microsoft announces Surface Pro coming Feburary 9th

Microsoft has just made it official, the Surface Pro (starting at $899) will go on sale Saturday, February 9th online, in Microsoft Stores, Staples and Best Buy.

Featuring a Core i5 or Core i7 Intel processor (according to Cnet) with either 64GB or 128GB of storage, the high-end device with a 1080P display wont come with a Touch or Type Pad, requiring an extra purchase. However, users will get the pressure sensitive pen for note taking.

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Over the last couple of months, Windows Phone Central has been highly skeptical and/or critical of Microsoft’s dedication towards Xbox games for Windows Phone. As the weeks without a new Xbox release (excluding Nokia exclusives) have grown, so has our certainty in an underlying problem. This culminated with a game developer stepping forward to explain Microsoft’s reticence towards approving new Xbox projects, not to mention the conspicuous snubbing of Windows Phone in the announcement of the multiplatform WSOP: Full House Pro.

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EE today announced a handful of new 4G plans that share the goal in offering customers with greater choice when it comes to 4G plans. Currently the UK mobile network operator is still the only provider of 4G in the UK, which is set to continue until spring 2013 when remaining UK operators will be able to launch respective upgrades. So what are the new plans at EE like?

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Mugen Power is reported to be working on external casing for Windows Phones. Said cases would wrap around the handset to provide extra battery juice in emergencies when a power outlet is nowhere to be found. A jacket is to be produced for the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X, while a different solution is planned for the Lumia 820 (since it sports interchangeable covers).

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Need to renew your Xbox Live membership? Looking to start an Xbox Live membership? Just want to save some bucks on an Xbox Live membership? Buy.com is offering a 12 month Gold Membership subscription to Xbox Live for $34.99.

The twelve month subscription normally runs about $60 and even if you still have months left on your existing membership, this deal will save you money down the road.

Just make sure you choose "budget shipping" when you check out. This will save you the $3.99 shipping cost for the card. We aren't sure how long this deal will last but you can find all the fine print on the Xbox Live Gold Membership deal here at Buy.com.

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Royal Bank of Scotland developing Windows Phone app

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has stated on Twitter that a Windows Phone app is currently in development and should be available soon. The establishment is a popular choice for consumers in the UK and an app for the platform will surely be welcomed by those who enjoy mobile banking while on the go.

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Igneous Software, the developer behind the collection of BBC Radio apps and Podcast Lounge is going through some rough times with the BBC. We've previously touched on how complications have arisen with the British corporation surrounding business licensing. This has led the developer to rename and alter apps available for Windows Phone to prevent the requirement for said solutions to be pulled.

We've now received further information detailing changes Igneous Software is required to make to its BBC Radio apps.

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Growing up, ‘X’ always marked the spot, problem was my lack of treasure maps. Fast forward to 2013 and anyone with a GPS device can find buried treasure. Ladies and gentlemen, geocaching can make anyone of you a pirate for a day and we now have a great app for Windows Phone to live out those swashbuckling fantasies. But before you get your Captain Jack cosplay on, how about you read into Geocaching Live for Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone developer, Ronny Gydar, is normally busy working on his various Windows Phone apps that includes Trine's Hangman and People Search. But this past weekend he and a few friends spent some time on the slopes.

Skiing on Sled Dogs snow skates, Ronny captured the footage using his Nokia Lumia 920 and not only is it impressive watching these guys fly downhill on such small skates but the 920's performance isn't too shabby either.  Ronny said the biggest challenge may have been simply holding on to his Lumia 920 while skiing.  He's using a silicone skin case that required both hands to maintain a firm grip on the Windows Phone.  He's since vowed to find a more rugged case so he concentrate more on the skiing and get away with holding his Lumia 920 with one hand.

While the audio isn't the best (racing down hill does generate a little wind noise), you can barely notice any bounce with the Lumia 920's image stabilization. I'm guessing the flashes of light in the footage is snow reflecting off the Lumia 920's light as it impacts the lens.

All in all, the footage is yet more testimony to the benefit image stabilization gives the Lumia 920.

Thanks, Ronny, for sharing the video!

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There's only just over a week left until Google flips the switch to drop Exchange ActiveSync support. Should you be an avid Google user and utilise Gmail (among other services) on your Windows Phone, you'll be left in the dark to an extent.

What the changes mean for consumers is from February onwards we'll no longer be able to synchronise calendars and contacts through a Gmail account (though email will still function normally) set up new Google accounts to take advantage of calendars and contacts using EAS (only email will function using IMAP). Those who already have accounts configured will be fine, according to Google.

Not all is lost, however. While you can take this as a golden opportunity to change over to Outlook, Microsoft is planning to support CardDAV and CalDAV in Windows Phone, according to sources familiar with company plans. The two protocols are actually Google's preferred route to synchronise content. Microsoft is attempting to work against Google's decisions of late to prevent consumers from being left out.

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