Articles

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Microsoft launches the new Calendar on Outlook.com

The Outlook team has released a rather welcomed addition to its Outlook.com service. Calendar has now been added, utilising the new user interface to provide a stable and clean experience. As with all Microsoft products these days, the new "Modern" look ensures that the focus is on content rather than unrelated chrome and visual effects. Should you use Windows, Xbox or a Windows Phone, you'll feel right at home.

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By now you should know that we’re not big Facebook users around here. Hey, if everyone can critique the stupidity of Instagram, we can do the same for Facebook. Regardless, we know many of you love the service and rely on it to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. So it’s exciting to see the app get a nice 0.1 update to version 4.2 today (last update was for 7.8 in December).

Unfortunately there is no change log with this update, as it instead relies on the old update info from when the app got some Windows Phone 8 features. Also a cursory look around the app did not reveal any major new features but figuring out the labyrinth like feature-set of the world’s largest social network is never easy to begin with.

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Camera360 for Windows Phone 8 has landed in the Windows Phone Store. Camera360 is a popular photography app over on the Android and iOS platforms that presents a unique user interface that applies various filters and effects to your images.  The interface takes a little time to get used to but after a few minutes, it's rather nice.

Tapping into a "less is more" concept, Camera360 has a central dial, a creative compass, that lets you scan through the various shooting themes and then side swipe the screen to choose the effects for each theme. You also have several frames to choose from and a photo diary to review your photos by date taken.

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We have a fairly strict policy here at Windows Phone Central when it comes to rumors (believe it or not). For the ones we stand behind or sound confident in, it’s because we know the source and can vouch for their access. Other times though, we can’t and we won’t. This is the latter case, so be forewarned.

This image above of an alleged Nokia Lumia 950 prototype landed in our email box a little while ago and included some interesting details about the supposed forthcoming device.

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Spearmint Nokia Lumia 920 leaves us green with envy

The Nokia Lumia 920 is available in a decent range of colors including black, white, cyan, red, yellow and in some places gray. A new color has surfaced on Nokia Jordan's Facebook page, green.

Call it spearmint, pastel green, lime green, or just plain old green we think it looks good. While pictured on Nokia Jordan's Facebook page there is no information on when or if this color option will make it to market.

We can only hope that if a green Lumia 920 sees the light of day, other carriers will pick it up (along with the gray). Hint, Hint AT&T.

Source: Nokia Jordan via: Techorz

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Last night we cruelly teased about a potential way for Windows Phone 8 users to post to Instagram right from their devices. To be honest, we did that because it was just too late (too dark) to shoot video and yes, it was a good warm-up.

The good news is no, it is most definitely not a (late) April’s Fools’ joke. It’s 100% legitimate and yes, it will be submitted to the Windows Phone Store very soon.

Read past the break for our video walkthrough and images to serve as a teaser...

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Noted VOIP client, Viber, which just submitted its beta 2.1 version for approval a few days ago, has already gotten a significant makeover that adds a bunch of features for Windows Phone 8. Most notably, version 2.2.2.0 adds free calling with HD sound quality, but it also adds Live Tile support. You can now pin conversations to the Start screen and receive lockscreen notifications.

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Microsoft threw a big party today to celebrate the formal launch of the Intel-processor-powered Surface computers in China. This is not unexpected. However, Microsoft actually announced TWO new variations of Surface: the "Surface Pro" we've always been talking about, and something that should be coined "Surface Chinese".

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Update: As part of the Microsoft Publisher sale, a total of six games are on sale this week! Full list after the break.

On Xbox 360, the Xbox Live Spring Sale has just concluded. Starting later today, a selection of Microsoft Studios XBLA sales will go on sale. On the Windows Phone front, the big EA games sale took place during the same time as the 360’s Spring Sale. You’ll remember the EA sale as the one that took a bunch of crazily overpriced games like The Sims 3 and marked them down to just angrily overpriced. It’s good to own a Nokia phone, where the EA exclusives sell for much more reasonable prices.

Coinciding with the XBLA Microsoft Studios sale, it looks like we’re getting another Xbox game sale on Windows Phone! The sale titles include Gerbil Physics, ilomilo, and Zombies on the Phone, and three more games. Plus Gameloft’s Earthworm Jim just got a permanent price drop. More details after the break!

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The First Tech Federal credit union has released an app for Windows Phone. Enabling consumers to remain in control of deposits wherever they may be, the app matches other mobile banking solutions in terms of features and available functionality. The highly rated app will be a great addition to the arsenal of apps on Windows Phones owned by those who hold accounts.

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Mobile Nations at GDC 2013 podcast

Simon Sage, gaming editor for Mobile Nations, joins Rene to talk about PAX East and GDC 2013, the state of mobile gaming in general, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone in specific, and the explosion of free-to-play titles. Also, Facebook's mobile event.

Show notes

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OnStar developing app for Windows Phone

If you’re rolling around town in an OnStar equipped vehicle (think vehicles made by GM – like the Chevy Volt) you’ll be happy to know an official app is in development. There was a popular third party called Volt Link that was pulled from the Store because of a cease-and-desist from General Motors. Now it looks like we’ll get an official offering!

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It looks like way back in February we missed Monster Pinball HD coming over for Windows Phone--consider this our makeup. The game is normally found on iOS and Android hardware, but it recently made a transition over to Windows Phone. Going for $2.49 with no free trial, the game is by no means cheap but it’s pretty decent for what it is.

We’ll show you a quick video demo of it action, and while it could be better, Monster Pinball HD is probably the best we have right now for this genre.

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The name Charlie Kindel should ring a bell or two. The long-time Microsoft employee was part of the Windows Phone team and left Microsoft over a year ago. According to GeekWire, Kindel is said to be on the move to Amazon. After 21 years at Microsoft, including the position of general manager on the Windows Phone team, what's Kindel going to be tasked with at Amazon?

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LockWidgets 8, the side project by Jaxbot from the site Windows Phone Hacker, has been bumped to version 1.1 after being out for just a few days. The app has had numerous bugs fixed with this update and the big feature: added Celsius support.

Yes to the dismay of many, the original version only had Fahrenheit, meaning a good portion of the globe was not inclined to use the otherwise stellar app. That has now been fixed with an override function found in the settings menu for the app. [Edit: see Jaxbot's comment below for clarification]

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Kantar World Panel has released it's U.S. market analysis for the three month period ending February 2013. While Android slipped into the number one spot  with 51.2%, ahead of iOS, our Windows Phones has made a nice jump with its market share.

Compared to the same period in 2012, Windows Phone's market share went from 2.7% to 4.1%. Apple experienced a decline falling from 47% to 43.5% and RIM fell from 3.6% to 0.7%.

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If there’s one thing people really like about their Lumia 920s and that is underappreciated, it’s the ability to wirelessly charge them. So it’s fun to see forum regular and video guru Nisse Tuta show us how to improve upon our nightstands by integrating our standard Nokia wireless charging plate.

The process is not that involved and only requires a few tools for the job, but it is something you’ll want to take your time with and plan out accordingly. Personally, we think this project came out quite nicely and makes us wish for more furniture that is Qi-ready.

See an earlier and similar project using a coffee table here.

Source: Windows Phone Central forums

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One of the biggest surprises coming out of GDC 2013 for me was undoubtedly PowerA’s announcement that its MOGA Bluetooth controller SDK would be coming to Windows Phone. On iOS and Android, videogame controller accessories are becoming increasingly popular with core gaming fans. Such peripherals can add more precise control and a console-like experience to smartphones. Sure, they can impact portability but they’re great at home and other places where you’d be playing for an extended length of time.

Windows Phone has always been a bit behind on peripheral support. We don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard, for instance. But Windows Phone 8 does add the ability for apps to communicate with Bluetooth. That ability now makes it possible for hardware add-ons like the MOGA Pro Controller to work with Windows Phone 8 games!

Head past the break for full details on the MOGA Pro Controller and a hands-on video.

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Our recent trip to the Game Developers Conference focused mostly on games, as you might expect. But the hardware behind the software is fairly important too. For Windows Phone, Nokia is certainly the device manufacturer doing the most to grow the platform. But regardless of the handset maker, one hardware manufacturer provides the chipsets for all Windows Phone devices: Qualcomm.

We sat down and interviewed Michelle Leyden-Li, the Senior Director of Marketing at Qualcomm about the hardware that drives Windows Phone and Windows RT devices. Check out the video after the break!

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April fools. We’re writing this story for one reason: to get all of our awesome loyal fans to stop tipping us on Instagram becoming available for Windows Phone. News flash: it’s not.

The app in question went live in the Store on March 31st in beta form and cannot be downloaded by the public. In the app description, all of the features of the hipster photo app are given along with mentions of Windows Phone 8 support and a “Modern User Interface by Sarper Erel”, who happened to have made an Instagram “concept” for Windows Phone 7 back one year ago in 2012.

That's just where some of the weirdness begins...

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