Articles

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Get jotting with Metro Wordpad for Windows Phone

There are a number of note taking apps available for Windows Phone, including Microsoft's own OneNote. Another one (like you'd need any more choices) potentially worth mentioning is Metro Wordpad. The app is a well-rated and popular Windows Phone notepad that enables consumers to create folders, send notes to others and more. It's a neat little app that's worth checking out if you're not digging the likes of OneNote.

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We have covered this story before: Microsoft made a special SKU of Surface (Intel processor powered) for China, replacing Windows 8 Pro with Windows 8, but pre-loaded with permanently licensed Office 2013 Home & Student. To many, not necessarily Chinese, this version is even more desirable than the stock Surface Pro. However, according Panos Panay, the leader of the Surface team at Microsoft, such region-specific SKU won't happen anywhere else, unless strong enough consumer interest is shown.

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The original Cut the Rope is one of the most popular Xbox Windows Phone games, and for good reason. The gameplay is simple and easy to learn, while perfecting levels provides a fair challenge. It packs a ton of levels and it only costs a buck – the perfect price point for mass market acceptance. And of course, it stars the lovable Om Nom, an endearing creature who has his own series of animated shorts on YouTube and physical merchandise like toys and games.

Now Cut the Rope is back, but not as the update with more levels promised within the game. Instead, ZeptoLabs has just released a sequel, Cut the Rope: Experiments. This one packs 150 more levels of gameplay in exactly the same style as the first, plus a few minor improvements. Now that its price has dropped to a buck, is Experiments a necessary buy for fans of the original? Read on to find out!

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Storage Check has been available on Nokia Windows Phones for a few weeks now, bundled with a firmware update. The app enables consumers to check exactly what's stored on the phone and manage the data accordingly. The company has already updated Storage Check and it's currently listed over on its Beta Labs website. This is to help the team squash bugs and solve issues consumers have experienced attempting to use the app.

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Wireless charging tech off to rocky start in the wild?

You’re missing out if you have a Windows Phone with the ability to charge wireless and you’re not using it. But it’s probably in the comfort of your home or office where you’re enjoying it day-to-day. And that’s probably because you’ve invested in a wireless enabled charging pad. Go out in public and you’ll have a hard time finding businesses that offer them.

What about those partnerships Nokia made companies like Virgin Atlantic or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf? Jessica Dolcourt shares her experience after finally seeing wireless charging in the wild.

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Audible, the popular audiobook service, has bumped its Windows Phone offering and has launched an exclusive offer for consumers. Should you download and use the apps available for either Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, create a new account and reside in the US, you'll be eligible for a free audiobook for trying out the service. Pretty neat, eh?

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Everyone has their own lifestyle and tackles day-to-day business in individual ways. How one treats a mobile phone (or any piece of technology and belonging) falls into the same notion. But an interesting question was asked on our community forum: how do you treat your mobile phone? Are you the cautious user or simply throw it into the bag and forget about it?

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Skulls of the Shogun will forever be known to Windows Phone enthusiasts as the game that broke the Xbox release drought we went through earlier this year. It also happened to be a fantastic game, despite a few rough edges here and there.

When we met up with one of the game’s developers a few weeks ago, he promised that updates would soon be coming to all three versions of the game: Windows Phone, XBLA, and Windows 7. At last those updates are upon us! We've got an exclusive screenshot comparison and visual breakdown of the revamped Windows Phone visuals, plus full change logs for all three versions of Skulls of the Shogun.

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It seems like in the past few months we’ve had official apps hitting the Windows Phone Store left and right. Today is no exception, we’ve got an official Tumblr app for everyone who loves the microblogging platform and social networking site. Tumblr powers over 102 million blogs. So we are stoked to see it join the lineup of apps available to us. Let’s check it out.

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HERE Transit (formerly Nokia Transit), which helps you get from point A to point B using public transportation, got a nice little update today. In addition to the usual bug fixes, it also adds some handy new features.

This latest version now lets you view a list of local stations on a map. It also works nicely with HERE Maps, letting you switch between it and HERE Transit in the Journey Planner section. Got some favorite locations in HERE Maps or HERE Drive? Now you can access them through Transit too. It's great to see Nokia tying their suite of HERE applications closer together like a pretty pink bow.

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Lumia 720 brings the Wallet hub to the Chinese market

Chinese Nokia Lumia 720

Lumia 720, Nokia's new king of the hill at middle range, is now available to the Chinese consumers through the legal market. Aside from great value, awesome camera and solid build, the device introduces another thing to the Chinese Windows Phone users: the Wallet hub.

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Nokia Lumia 928 coming to Verizon next month?

According to two unnamed sources, Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon will start selling the Nokia Lumia 928 next month. This comes shortly after earlier whispers that Big Red's version of the Lumia 920 would be officially announced on April 25, which seem to fall in line with Bloomberg's findings. Perhaps that ratchets our 5 on the Rum-o-meter up to a 6 or maybe even a 7.

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New Windows Phone 8 devices caught on app server log?

The guys behind popular Chinese app Love Wallpaper HD has dug out traces of several interesting devices out of their server log. Among the traces left by various handsets, the following oddities were caught:

  • Huawei H889L
  • Samsung SCH-I930
  • Nokia RM-860_nam_usa_100
  • Nokia RM-877_nam_att_205

As to what exactly these devices are, we can only make wild guesses. Huawei isn't working on a lot of Windows Phone devices, so that one should be fairly easy. Most likely H889L will be the rumored Ascend W2. As to Samsung, we know the Ativ S is codenamed GT-I8705, and Aive Odyssey SGH-T900M. Therefore SCH-I930 should be a whole new device, instead of some new variation of existing ones.

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It’s been a few weeks since Nokia published a batch of exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games: the fine Vampire Rush and much less fine Storm in a Teacup. Since then, former Nokia exclusives Risk and Connect 4 became available to all Windows Phone users, knocking the number of Nokia exclusives down by two.

Clearly Nokia believes we Lumia owners need lots of stuff to brag about beyond the generally beautiful looks of our phones, and so they’ve just thrown a couple more exclusives our way in order to balance things out. Today we get DaVinci Pinball from Chillingo and Monopoly Millionaire from EA.

Both games are interesting in their own ways, but Monopoly Millionaire especially so because it’s the first Nokia exclusive Xbox game that requires Windows Phone 8 (and 1 GB of RAM). Could this mean we’ll start seeing more EA games that take advantage of Windows Phone 8’s increased horsepower? I hope so! Check out our impressions of both titles after the break.

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Beem for SKY.FM struts onto the Windows Phone Store

A lot of you are fans of Beem, a Digitally Imported client for Windows Phone. But what if you’re not really into the bass drops and seizure inducing music? Den Delimarsky, the lone wolf developer behind Beem, has a new Windows Phone app for music lovers – Beem for SKY.FM.

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Get up to design speed with this handbook for Windows 8

We don’t cover too much on the topic of design around here, but this was too handy to pass up for developers looking to do more with Windows 8. Ratio Interactive (http://www.ratiointeractive.com/) is a digital agency up in Seattle that makes various apps for companies across a lot of platforms.

But lately they’ve been doing some kickass work with Windows 8 apps. Between running contests around app design and actually making apps (AllRecipes and various Conde Nest properties) they know a thing or two about Windows 8.

So here’s a handy handbook for Windows 8 design from the Ratio Interactive team.

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Level with me, you go on other forums besides ours here at Windows Phone Central. You might like BMWs and frequent Bimmerforums. Or you’re a Bronie and frequent MLPForums, it's ok, we really won’t tell anyone about that one. For our forums you can just use our app for great access on the go, but for other forums you’ll need an app like Board Express or Foroplex. The only problem with Foroplex is that it won’t be getting many updates in the future.

But that’s a good thing because an official Tapatalk app for Windows Phone is coming.  

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We're not talking patents, but Nokia has dealt yet another blow to HTC. The Finnish handset maker has been granted a preliminary injunction by the Amsterdam district court, regarding technology utilised by HTC in its flagship device - the HTC One. It's boasted that the HTC One sports high-amplitude microphones, but this is the same dual-membrane technology that Nokia uses in its Lumia family of Windows Phones (we've even looked at the Lumia 920 vs HTC 8X recording a live event).

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Cut the Rope: Experiments is a fun Xbox Live game for your Windows Phone 7.x and 8 devices. It hit the Windows Phone Store last week for $2.99 and today, the price has been cut to $.99.

The sequel to the original Cut the Rope has a mad scientist putting the title character, Om Nom, through a wide range of scientific experiments. Cut the Rope: Experiments brings 150 levels of game play to your Windows Phone and at only $.99 may very well be a steal of a deal.

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Reports are in that the popular Windows Phone enthusiast software Navifirm can no longer access Nokia servers to display stored firmware. The Finnish handset maker previously revealed in January that access would be restricted by the end of that month. Three months later and we're now at the point where error boxes plague the user experience, reporting unauthorised faults.

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Microsoft is set to reintroduce the famous Windows start button in Windows 8, according to sources familiar with company plans. A report over on The Verge points at Windows 8.1 (aka "Blue") as to when consumers will be able to see a start button in desktop mode without utilising third-party software. The only downside is it's noted the button will simply take the user back to the start screen and not fire up a menu.

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From the Editor's Desk: Get ready for #TM13!

Long time readers of any and all of our Mobile Nations sites will remember the Smartphone Round Robin. It was a cross-site editorial event where we took a break from our regular day to day beat, swapped phones, and sounded off on the competition in an unbiased fashion.

It was a great event, we loved it, you loved it, and you've been bugging us literally daily to do it up again. And we have been listening. It's coming. And soon! We have re-envisioned the event, bigger and better and more suitable to the state of mobile in 2013, and we're going beyond our in-house team this time around. Hit up the video above to get a gander at our awesome hosts! :)

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Over the weekend, we wrapped up our ‘How Microsoft can save Xbox games on Windows Phone’ series with a Microsoft video interview that we’d been saving for just such an occasion. That video focused exclusively on the Xbox Windows Phone issues raised in our editorial series, but it didn't exactly put our concerns to rest. All we Xbox enthusiasts can do is keep pushing the editorials and issues with Microsoft until finally the right people realize the need for improvement and start effecting changes.

And while many of those issues have yet to be resolved, I’d be hard-pressed to claim that Windows Phone gaming has not improved since the debut of Windows Phone 8. Game development is easier than ever, and many companies who ignored Windows Phone 8 are now onboard for 8. When we sat down to talk with Microsoft's Larry Lieberman, Senior Product Manager and Casey McGee, Senior Marketing Manager, our first subject of business was all those recent advances that make Windows Phone gaming better than ever.

Head past the break to learn just how things are looking up and see the second part of our video interview!

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