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HD Photo Viewer is a Pictures Hub alternative for our Windows Phone 8 devices. The native Windows Phone Pictures Hub reduces image resolution to improve performance and speed when you pan/zoom images. HD Photo Viewer maintains the original resolution giving your photos a sharper look.  Especially when you are viewing larger DSLR images from your Windows Phone.

The version 3.0.1 update adds a few basic editing tools to HD Photo Viewer and cinemagraph support for viewing and sharing your animated .gif files. The update also adds the ability to email full resolution photos as attachments.

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It seemed like just two days ago we were telling you about version 2.10.506 of WhatsApp for Windows Phone with presumably more bug fixes and tweaks. Well, another day and another update as version 2.10.523 is now out, once again with no changelog.

That means they’re still optimized the code to improve reliability and for some of you who are still having problems, you’ll want to grab this update ASAP.

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Yesterday we published Part 1 of our guide to Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8. Today we follow up with the second installment, which covers lots of fun subjects like guilds, auction houses, and crafting. This installment includes a brand new video guide as well!

Remember, these guides apply to the iOS and Android versions of the game as well as the Windows Phone 8 version, so all Order & Chaos Online newcomers can benefit from our tips and tricks.

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We’ve reported quite a bit on Nokia’s Glance screen in the past but we also know some of you are new to Windows Phone and may have picked up a Lumia 925 this week or a Lumia 1020 next. If that’s the case, you may not be familiar with how to enable Glance (or even what it is) and all the options that it has available to you.

So we whipped up a little tutorial video to show you how to enable this feature (it’s not on by default, though we don’t know about the 1020 yet) and configure it for your liking.

Glance, for those who don’t know, is Nokia’s always-on clock for their Lumia line. It launched with the Lumia 925 but will be available on the Lumia 1020 for launch and other Lumia series devices when Nokia’s Amber update rolls out later this summer. Basically, a clock is fixed on your otherwise-off display and while it of course uses battery, it’s quite unassuming for usage.

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Here in the North East, we’re dealing with a kind of nasty heat wave, so weather and apps seems appropriate (our “real feel” is 109F, which is crazy). That’s why we’re kind of excited to see the app InstaWeather Pro headed to Windows Phone in the coming weeks.

We’ll give you a sneak peek, including video of it in action, in addition to launch details and what’s it all about.

InstaWeather Pro, found on iOS and Android, is part of that new crop of apps that allow you to take a photo and overlay your current location and weather with just a few clicks. You can then easily share those images to Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare or email.

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The Lumia 1020 is a brand new smartphone from Nokia. Not just a different flavour of one that's already available on the market, this new Windows Phone sports a 41MP camera and some other goodies. It surely deserves a new ringtone, message tone and alarm clock sounds, right? Nokia also believes so, which is why we've got these sweet new tunes to share with you.

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We've got some interesting news for you, folks. PhoneArena has managed to get hold of the new ATIV S Neo, which will eventually be heading to Sprint. The Samsung Windows Phone was announced by the US mobile operator last month, showing signs of support for Microsoft's platform along with the HTC 8XT.

While not an entirely new ATIV product, Samsung has built on the strengths of the original ATIV S, offering Sprint customers something unique, but also familiar with Windows Phone 8. Think of the Neo as the Lumia 928 to the Lumia 920. It's part of the same family but with a different taste. If you own the ATIV S, you're not missing out. But if you're looking for a new Windows Phone, there's certainly a strong choice for you on Sprint.

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Last night at 7PM ET, the world finally got their hands on the highly anticipated first ever mobile Halo game, Halo: Spartan Assault. At least, that was the plan.

We already knew that here in the US, Verizon would have an exclusive for 30 days before those on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint could grab it, but as it turns out, a lot of others in the rest of the world also had difficulty getting the game.

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The Lumia 925 has received praise for the improved optics and software on-board to make low-light photography an absolute breeze. First introduced on the Lumia 920, Nokia added OIS (optical image stabilisation), leading to amazing results and is now pumping up the hype for its latest flagship Windows Phone. Introducing Capture The Night, Nokia's launching a promotion to market the new smartphone here in the UK.

To prove just how good the Lumia 925 is in low-light settings, the company has sent 15 units to secret locations around the UK. Each night at 9:25PM (starting on July 24th), each and every Lumia 925 will snap a photo at every location. This is where consumers get involved. As well as showing off the result of the improved imaging capabilities, Nokia will be giving away all 15 Lumia 925 handsets (as well as a trip to New York) if you can guess where that specific Lumia 925 is.

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Because indie games usually come from very small teams, their developers tend to take personal responsibility for their games’ shortcomings and actively work to improve them. Such is the case with Tainicom, the Greek developer responsible for The World of Dr. Pickaxe (a pinball game) on Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Only two months after the Windows 8 and RT version of Dr. Pickaxe debuted, this week’s update fixes practically every complaint from our previous article. It adds a bunch of new features like Xbox 360 controller support as well. See all the improvements in our video after the break!

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In recent weeks, the team behind the popular messenger WhatsApp have been aggressively pushing out updates for Windows Phone, including a somewhat major overhaul of behind the scenes plumbing.  But if there was one area where people always had complaints about the app, it was with its notification system not working reliably.

We’ll spare you the details of why notifications sometimes fail on Windows Phone, but we can say that things are at least improving. In fact, the Nokia team working with WhatsApp to develop the service has certainly been a positive influence on the app, making it more dependable.

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Earlier this week, a rumor was started by a certain “journalist” who shall remain unnamed stating that the Windows Phone team was looking to “start over” in 2015, including a re-write of the OS and that they were even considering toying with the Modern look of the UI.

A few of you tipped us on it, asking us to cover the news but it’s a safe bet that if we don’t re-report something, it’s because we think it’s garbage. Indeed, this “journalist” has been more wrong than right in his ambitious predictions about Microsoft, Nokia and Windows Phone in the past, but other tech sites are addicted to his bold headlines.

Now, the Windows Phone Design team, responsible for the UI and "theory" behind Windows Phone, has evidently had enough, as they have publicly rebuked the rumor via their Twitter account.

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Nokia has been delving in both the consumer and enterprise market, but has never really tackled the business sector with full force. The company then chose to back Microsoft and build hardware running Windows Phone. This gave Nokia numerous possibilities, one being stronger foundations for heading into the enterprise market and snapping up businesses.

What better way to get in bed with companies than partnering with the software giant that provides backend solutions?

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Way back at the beginning of 2013, Sprint announced that they were returning to the Windows Phone fold with two new devices slated for release at a later time. Those devices, one from HTC and one from Samsung, were not revealed until months later, prolonging what has to be an endurance run for those on Sprint and who enjoy Microsoft.

Today, July 19th, the company has finally put on sale the HTC 8XT (previously known as the Tiara), an interesting new release from the OEM that seemingly combines the best aspects of the 8X, 8S (bottom half) and One, into a fairly solid looking mid-range Windows Phone.

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Yesterday we shared that HSN.com was having a weekend sale on the Nokia Lumia 521 from T-Mobile. The price has been reduced from $149 to $99.95 through this Saturday, July 30th at midnight EST.

If you're on the fence about the Lumia 521, LiveHotDeals.com has a coupon code for this deal knocking down the price to $79.95 (new T-Mobile customers only). Just enter the coupon code 135235 at check out and you'll save another $20.

Source: LiveHotDeals.com

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Windows Phone Essential Games Collection


Windows Phone Central Roundup: Essential Games Collection

Over at the Windows Phone Store, Microsoft has created a handful of app and game collections that include photography apps, sports apps, music apps, and other categories. For this week's roundup we take a peek at the Essential Game's Collection.

The Essential Game's Collection is a wide range of gaming titles that include puzzle games, word games, card games and more. We plucked four titles for this weeks roundup that we concur are essential games for our Windows Phones. Games that are addictive, entertaining, and a great way to pass the time with.

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Microsoft has once again updated the official Facebook app for Windows Phone, bringing the public version up to speed with the beta. If you've not been following our rather frenzied Facebook Beta coverage, this latest release (5.0.3.0) includes numerous improvements and fixes. These include the ability to unfriend someone, as well as "unlike" a page and numerous stability improvements - essentially everything from each update since version 5.

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New official WPCentral app patch available

You may have noticed a new update for your official Windows Phone Central app appeared earlier this week, followed by another one this morning. In the interest of keeping our readership informed we thought it best to let you know what these minor patches are for, but if you'd rather just get on with being up to date you can grab the update here in the marketplace.

The brief changelist and a little information on what's changed can be found after the break for those of you who enjoy technical details!

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Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has always been an incredibly impressive console in terms of sales and the company’s recent announcement of its successor, the Xbox One, has not slowed it down one bit. The Xbox 360 remains the top sold console and has hit thirty consecutive months.

According to Microsoft, the Xbox 360 has maintained its position as the top US console last month selling over 140,000 units. The company states that the Xbox 360 platform (hardware, software, and accessories) brought in over $197 million dollars in June.

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The Nokia Lumia 521 has always been a budget friendly Windows Phone and HSN.com is now offering it at a very attractive price.

Through midnight on Saturday, July 20th HSN.com is offering the T-Mobile Windows Phone for a single payment of $99.95 or for interest free flexpayments as low as $24.99.  HSN.com has a little history with the Lumia 521, initially offering the Lumia 521 at launch for $149 and was bundled with a car charger and screen protector. While this current deal isn't a bundle, with the $50 saving you can easily buy your own car charger and screen protector.

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Today is the day, you can play Halo: Spartan Assault on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. We already gave you the link for the Windows Phone version, which only Verizon customers can enjoy here in the United States. But you can definitely get your Spartan Assault on with Windows 8, nobody is stopping you there. Read past the break to get the link for the Windows Store!

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Microsoft recently celebrated the start of a new year – at least for those who watch Microsoft. July marks the start of the fiscal year for Microsoft and today they’ve shared their financial results for their fourth quarter of 2013. The big news? The company had a 10 percent increase in revenue for the same quarter the previous year. The Redmond company reported $19.90 billion in revenue for Q4 2013 as they enter their phase as a devices-and-services company.

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It’s been teased for a month now and we even told you that it was coming out today, but now we can tell you officially that Halo: Spartan Assault, is live in the Store for Windows Phone 8.

Building off of the hit franchise and 18 months in the making, Halo: Spartan Assault is Microsoft’s attempt to capitalize off of the famous first shooter game for mobile. Instead of just “porting” the FPS model over though, a paradigm that is difficult to translate onto tablets and smartphones, Microsoft and 343 Industries opted for a third-person overhead view, which is more arcade style. The game’s timeline takes place in the four years between Halo 3 and 4.

In addition, the developers spent months honing game play to make the frame rate as high (and smooth) as possible and just as importantly, ensured that the game controls were fluid and flexible. From our last 24 hours playing with it, we can confirm that as a “casual gamer”, we found the game highly accessible and extremely well-polished.

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