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WP Central

Nokia's big day has the tech-world aflutter. (Yes, we said aflutter!)

Yes folks, we’re just over half-a-day away from finally putting all of the puzzle pieces together and getting to see what Nokia has planned for the initial release of Windows Phone 8.

In turn, we figured we do a little wrap up those rumors, leaks and images to better prepare yourself for tomorrow.

Speaking of, tomorrow we will have a Live Blog during the event starting at 9:45am ET. Nokia will also be streaming the announcement, which we will have running in conjunction with our coverage (seeing as video has delays, we’ll be slightly ahead with our photos).

Afterwards, we expect some hands on time with whatever is revealed and we have an interview lined up for later in the day with Nokia. Then it’s on to the party in the evening. So grab some coffee and a seat, because it’s going to be a wild ride...

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Photo by Max. K

Microsoft Windows Phone Monthly Photo Contest - Pet Photos

Microsoft held its first Windows Phone Monthly Photo Contest last month. The first contest them was pet photos and Microsoft received hundreds of photo entries.

After sifting through them all the Windows Team Blog staff picked a handful of entries that stood out for their creativity and execution.  These photos are  highlighted the Blog's website and include the above photo by Max. K which was taken with a HTC Mozart.

There is no word on what the contest theme will be for this month but once we catch wind of it, we'll pass it on. In the meantime, if you're sharing photos via Twitter, use the hashtag #WPPhoto and Microsoft may highlight them on their official handle.

You can find the full selection of pet photos here at the Windows Team Blog website and some of our favorites after the break.

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Nokia Lauta

How would you like one of these running Apollo?

My Nokia Blog have received a photo collection of an N9 successor, codenamed 'Lauta'. If it were released, it's reported to have been the immediate successor to the N9 and would have been launched soon after, but was subsequently scrapped due to Nokia's decision to support Windows Phone and drop MeeGo.

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Windows Phone

Windows Phone has remained on a steady climb, according to data published by Kantar WorldPanel, and sits comfortably at 5% of the EU smartphone sales (for the last 12 weeks). We've previously covered Kantar data where Windows Phone was shown to be climbing in the US earlier this year. With Windows Phone 8 just around the corner, and the announcements of Windows Phone 7.8, we assumed sales would have stumped the past few months.

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WP Central

Although Nokia is getting all the headlines today for their big announcement tomorrow morning and Samsung had last week, let us not forget the other 800 LB gorilla: HTC. 

They just sent out invites for Wednesday, September 19th at 10:30 am EST here in New York City and assured, it is Windows Phone 8 that they will be talking about and we'll be there to cover it.

The big question is, can they follow up Nokia and Samsung's announcements?

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Lumia 820 and 920

rum: 8

Although we’re less than 24 hours from Nokia doing the big unveiling of their new Lumia range expected for AT&T and other carriers, the leaks are still happening (which may be planned, for all we know).

The latest shows the back of the Lumia 820 in purple—that device is expected to have removable backplates for different colors akin to the Lumia 710.

The other shows the familiar stance of the Lumia 920 and its colors, including Yellow, Red, White, Black and evidently Silver/Grey.

Besides the removal of the chrome bezel for a presumably more scratch-resistant gunmetal grey bezel and matching buttons, there isn’t too much else to be gleaned. But that’s okay, as all will be shown tomorrow morning and we’ll be there live to cover it.

Source: Evleaks 1, 2

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For those familiar with our site, you’ll know we have some developers whose work we consider to be generally the crème of the crop. Rudy Huyn is one of those and he released his new app recently aptly titled Wikipedia (his other apps include TVShow, Friend Tracker, 9Gag and Fuse)

Long story short, Rudy previously had a similar app called MyEncyclopedia. MyEncyclopedia was actually part of a contest involving the carrier Orange. Huyn wanted to control the app and updates  though so he was going to relist it under his account but alas, the developer-bug got him and he decided to redo the whole thing making it even nicer than ever.

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Playlist Howto

Enjoying music collections while on the go is a breeze with Windows Phone. Simply synchronise selected media onto a device and either Zune or the Windows Phone Connector for Mac will do the rest. But what if you wanted to organise music into moods, easy-to-sync lists or to quickly extract favourite music? This is where playlists come in.

Many make use of playlists in media players already. Sorting through 30,000 songs to build a collection of favourites is a task majority of music fans go through when wanting to take their sounds on the move. Most devices and smartphones have a limited capacity for media, so until we have 1TB storage options for Windows Phone, it makes sense to move across said playlists.

How does one go about achieving this?

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Deal of the WeekThis Week: Buy the Incipio NGP Semi-Rigid Soft Shell Case for Nokia Lumia 900 and save $5.99!

The NGP case is made of a semi-rigid dense polymer that offers low profile protection against drops and features custom-cut holes for access to all the Lumia 900's features. This case wraps around the front edges of your device, keeping it elevated from surfaces to prevent scratches. Comes in black, magenta and translucent mercury.

List Price: $19.99     This Week: $14.00

Learn More and Buy Now

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Weekly Deal alerts!

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Samsung ATIV S

Phones 4u is expected to be stocking the Samsung ATIV S, according to its 'coming soon' arrivals page. The Windows Phone was recently unveiled at IFA 2012 in Berlin, where Samsung announced a number of Microsoft products alongside its Android arsenal of devices. Featuring a dual-core CPU, 16GB or 32GB storage, 1GB RAM, 8MP shooter and a 4.8" HD display, the ATIV S is a beastly Windows Phone.

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Nokia has released another short film on YouTube to further tease Windows Phone fans of tomorrow’s event in New York. Titled ‘Nearly There!’ the film shows a young lady explore the realm of shoes, or rather the colour selection available.

Much like the previous video we covered that hinted at augmented reality, this new clip is believed to be showing off the array of colours available for Lumia Windows Phones. The Nokia range of Windows Phones have sported a variety of themes, which has given the Finnish manufacturer a personalised edge against other platform OEMs.

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Graphene sensor could put a larger sensor in smaller packages

New sensor technology could put a larger cameras into smaller packages

Nokia may have the best smartphone camera system around with its 41 megapixel Pureview camera. We are all hoping to see similar Pureview technology (but on a smaller scale) with the Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 devices. While the Pureview cameras have turned heads, what Nokia has up it's sleeve should take the Nokia cameras to a new level and eliminate that pesky hump in the process.

Nokia has filed a patent application for the sensing of photons utilizing graphene technology. Graphene is a two-dimensional material made of a single atomic layer of carbon layers. It allows photo sensors to be smaller than the current crop of CMOS sensor and capture light photons across a broad spectrum of frequencies of visible light. Combined with the transparency of the graphene layers, this should make the graphene sensors better low-light performers than what we have today.

In a nutshell, we are looking at potentially a smaller, thinner, better low-light performing photo sensor that may give us the 41 megapixel Pureview camera without the hump.

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Nokia Music unveils free music streaming for U.S.

WP Central Nokia Music unveils free music streaming for North America

Nokia has announced that their music streaming service is to finally get launched in the U.S. Whilst many countries have seen the service up and running for a while the U.S. has, to date, been left out in the cold.

Not so anymore, Nokia brags about their service having over 150 playlists from Detroit house to Classical music. U.S. users will also be able to take advantage of creating custom playlists and even downloading the playlist for offline use.

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Stay Tuned teaser trailer hits the web hints at augmented reality

With one short day to go before we finally see what Nokia has in its bag of tricks for us, they release yet another teaser, its too much, we know. Tomorrow of course is go day for the Nokia and Microsoft announcement in New York.

This one is very short at sixteen seconds, a lady walks down the street with her cans on whilst images of deals are superimposed on the shops. The information conveys the shops rating from Style Magazine along with “likes” from friends. The obvious thing to think here is of augmented reality, perhaps like that of Nokia City Lens that has just left beta.

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WP Central

Now supporting Japan, China and Australia

One of our top apps for Windows Phone is definitely Amazon Mobile because we’re Prime junkies, forever ordering things online for that sweet, sweet next-day delivery.

But not everyone can share our joy, which is why we’re always glad to see Amazon update their app to support more countries. Such is the case with version 1.9 that just went live today on the Marketplace.

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WP Central

Achievement unlocked: Xbox LIVE upgrade enabled

Back in January 2011, we posted a rumor noting that the Scrabble-like game AlphaJax, one of our favorite indie games for Windows Phone, may be heading to Xbox LIVE.

Flash forward a mind-numbing 19 months later and we’re happy to report that indeed, AlphaJax will be coming to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone in the near future.

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WP Central

While there is a lot to look forward to with Windows Phone 8, some of the changes may not be as noticeable but no less important. Windows Phone 8 will have a number of significant changes under the hood to bolster the security of the platform.

Windows Phone 8 will have device encryption throughout the entire device including the OS and its applications. Designed along the same lines as Windows 7 PCs, encryption kicks in as soon as you power up the device. This system, based off of Bitlocker (but adapted for Windows Phone) was something first reported on back in February as an early rumor.

BitLocker is a logical volume encryption system that is present in Windows 7 and will be present in Windows 8.  BitLocker is designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes or drives within a computer to protect the integrity of a trusted boot path.  The main difference between the PC version of encryption and what we will see on Windows Phone 8 is that the encryption keys are not manageable on our Windows Phone as they are on desktops or laptops.

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WP Central

Windows Phone 8 and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

We knew since the Windows Phone Summit back in June that Windows Phone 8 would offer greater accent color selection in lieu of an actual color selector. While that latter option would be more preferred by our uses, surely having a great choice is better than the current 10+1 choice in Windows Phone 7.

The issue though up until this point is exactly what those color choices would be for consumers. Now thanks to that leaked SDK from July, we have an answer.

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