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Halo: Spartan Assault has been available on Windows Phone 8 for some time now, but there isn't a trial to take advantage of for a free go to see if the game is right for you. Now a lite version has been published that sports the first level to give you an insight into the gameplay and whether you feel it's worth the price tag. Perfect if you've never jumped into the Halo universe before or are hesitant at playing a Spartan on the small screen.

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Microsoft is teaming up with Google (no, you read that correctly) to sue the US government and win the right to reveal details surrounding official requests for user data. The two tech giants announced the lawsuit yesterday, taking the battle over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to a whole new level.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and other US government bodies utilise the mechanism to collect data on foreign Internet users, which has been in the news recently with activity through the likes of PRISM leaked to the media. Microsoft previously responded to the NSA controversy, stating the company is not spying on consumers.

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Lest Windows Phone 8 users now ironically feel shunned, they too get an update for their Facebook beta app. Since the releases are timed together now, this makes sense.

Version 5.1.0.2 is now live in the Store and at least according to the change log, you get the good old generic “performance improvements and bug fixes”. That’s a fairly vague statement but if you use this app every day, you’re probably a smidge excited to see if it is any faster, especially after that last big update one week ago.

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Earlier this evening we reported that the updated Facebook app for Windows Phone 7.x was submitted to the Store. At the time, it was unclear from Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore if the app still needed approval or how long it would take to be published.

We can now report as of 10PM ET, the new Beta of the app is available for download.

The app uses the same Beta link for the Windows Phone 8 version, found below, though its version number is 3.1.0.2, as opposed to the 5.1.02 found for newer devices. Otherwise, the app appears to be exactly the same besides a few subtle differences.

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Nokia Lumia 925 coming soon to Latin America

Depending on who you ask around the Windows Phone Central water cooler the Lumia 925 might be their favorite phone. Compared to other Windows Phone devices, it’s very different, but in a good way. It’s sleek, aluminum body makes it a joy to pick up and use all the time. So far, it’s only been available in various markets around the globe. European markets picked it up first in early June, with the U.S. joining a month later in July. Since then it’s slowly been spreading around the globe. Soon, users in Latin America will be getting their hands on the aluminum Lumia.

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Disney makes several fine games for Windows 8 and RT, but they’re all a bit pricey compared to their Windows Phone counterparts. Temple Run: Brave for instance, launched at $1.49 on Windows 8 but soon went up to $4.99. Actually, $4.99 is the regular price of all Disney tablet and PC games.

That’s why Disney fans will want to take advantage of the Disney Windows 8 sale going on this weekend. All of Disney’s non-Xbox games are on sale for $3.49, including the just-released Temple Run: Oz. Disney’s Windows Phone 8 titles are not affected by this sale. Full descriptions and Store links after the break!

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The developers of the Night Stand Clock have a new Windows Phone app in the Store designed to make your shopping trips a little easier. Just Shopping is a Windows Phone shopping list generator that lets you create, manage and delete your shopping lists with ease.  Be it a grocery list, a shopping list for the hardware store, a Christmas list for the wife or kids, or a shopping list for the weekend football party.

Just Shopping's interface is clean, simple, and lends itself rather nicely to one-handed operation. The app comes across as a nifty shopping app for our Windows Phones and is worth a gander.

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What are you up to this weekend? Maybe you’re heading to 1 Infinite Loop to tag some Live tiles on buildings. Maybe you’re taking your Lumia 1020 to a remote location to capture works of art. Or maybe you’re just lounging around the house with no crazy adventures. If you do find yourself at home, here’s a free movie for you to watch from Crackle and Xbox Live.

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This is just a late (yeah, we know it's short notice) reminder that the Windows Phone Dev Day in Bournemouth is occurring tomorrow (August 31st). The event will be held at Redweb with numerous souls preparing to give talks and mingle with attendees. The event was held at the same location last year, where we also gave a quick speech on Windows Phone Central. The day turned out to be a great opportunity for networking.

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After months of waiting, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore just announced on Twitter that yes, the Facebook app for Windows Phone 7.x with the updated UI and features, has been submitted to the Store.

No ETA was given on when it would be available and it’s unclear if it still needs to pass certification or if it is being published as we speak, but we’ll keep an eye out as soon as it goes live.

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Sort of like Yelp, Shazam is often seen as a redundant service to Microsoft’s built in Bing offerings. And like Yelp, Shazam does a lot more than too.

For instance, starting with version 3.5 you can tag (ID) songs even when you don’t have an active internet connection—that’s kind of a big deal if you’re like us and are always trying to figure out what that song is. You also get things like LyricPlay, the ability to buy music from the Xbox or Nokia Music stores, one-click tag with the Tile, watch YouTube videos, see local tags and more. Heck, it even has lockscreen support. That’s way more than the Bing Music ID service.

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We just reviewed Charlie Murder, an awesome downloadable Xbox 360 game. Now let's talk about free 360 games. Microsoft’s Games with Gold program got off to a decent start when Fable III became free for Gold members during E3 in June. The program, meant to compete with Playstation Plus’s free games giveaway, offers two or more downloadable games a month free to all Xbox Live Gold members.

Since then, July saw Defense Grid: The Awakening and Assassin’s Creed II go free. In August, Gold members received Crackdown, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising: Case Zero – probably the strongest month of free titles so far.

September starts on Sunday, and with it comes a new free game: Magic: the Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas will follow later in the month. Head past the break for details on both games!

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ZEN & TECH 58: Zen in the workplace

ZEN & TECH is Mobile Nations' lifestyle podcast where we work on centering your inner geek and using technology to help reduce stress and live better lives. In today's episode, Georgia and Rene talk about making the workplace a less stressful space. From de-cluttering to familiarizing to feng shui, ergonomics, and taking breaks.

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Ever since Yelp (www.yelp.com) hit version 2.0 earlier this year, the company has been steadily trickling our new features to give it parity with its iOS and Android counterparts. Last night the latest version of the app, one for Windows Phone 7.x and one for 8, was bumped to version 2.0.0.3 and 2.5.1.4 respectively and it brings along with it a few nice changes.

There isn’t a detailed changelog though we do note you still can’t add full reviews. Instead, the app will save a “draft”, which you then need to finish on your own time on the PC. That's kind of a weak implementation, though we suppose it may weed out the insta-angry reviews that sometimes people bang away while still in the restaurant.

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It may be a fore gone conclusion that the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone camera is an impressive piece of hardware. That conclusion has been re-affirmed by DPReview.com's thorough review of the Lumia 1020. A review that concludes the Lumia 1020 is best-in-class in a few categories.

For those not familiar with DPReview.com, it's a photographic website that's been around for a while. It provides comprehensive reviews of photo gear, reports on industry news and has a discussion forum that covers just about every aspect of photography (digital and film). The review actually pops up on Connect, DPReview's website that focuses solely on mobile photography technology.

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We've been made aware of a super deal currently going on with Interval for Windows Phone. The app is an alarm, stopwatch and timer all under one roof. Featuring live tile support, a clock view and a nice selection (all be it small) of alarm tones, Interval is well worth checking out should you require a way to perform all of the above tasks with minimal fuss. It has dropped its price tag and is available for free.

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Swedish accessory manufacturer Jays has started the pre-orders for the a-Jays Five series of earphones. Sporting a version for each mobile platform supported - iOS, Android and Windows Phone; flat, tangle free cabling; handy clip and MEMS microphone, every Windows Phone owner will find the new kit useful when out and about. How much are they going for? €89.99 ($120).

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Nokia has kept the camera in its Windows Phone at the forefront of its marketing campaign since joining Microsoft's resolve back in 2011. The Lumia 1020 is the latest addition to the Lumia family of smartphones and sports the most advanced optics on any mobile phone available today. We've already seen sample shots from both ourselves and Nokia, but what about general consumers? Nokia has highlighted some beautiful shots on their blog.

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Microsoft appears to be on an aggressive marketing path in Brazil when it comes to Windows Phone. Reports have come in stating that Redmond is throwing the Lumia 920 Windows Phone everywhere in the media. Taking full advantage of the array of content aired on television, Microsoft has snapped up multiple advertisement spots around football matches, local soap operas and more.

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Heading into the last quarter in 2013, it is becoming increasingly clear that Windows Phone is now solidifying itself as the third alternative for smartphones (see the latest IDC report). While sales are still miles behind iOS and Android, Windows Phone as a platform is finally being treated more equally by retailers and consumers.

Part of that apparent victory, in typical Microsoft fashion, is due to missteps by Redmond’s competitors. Years ago, BlackBerry (then called RIM) basically owned the enterprise market. Fast forward to 2013 and with BlackBerry 10 on the market with a handful of new devices, it’s becoming clear that it’s just not enough to regain that momentum.

The site IT Wire has performed some store-checks for the new BlackBerry Q10 and Z10—two devices we actually own and occasionally use ourselves. The site tried to get a statement from Australia’s telco’s Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone but received no comment about those BlackBerry sales. Not hindered, IT Wire then spoke with Harvey Norman, Optus and Telstra franchises for their opinions on BlackBerry’s prospects.

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