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When Cut the Rope: Experiments arrived on Windows Phone last month, fans of the Cut the Rope series were of course pleased to see another installment on our platform. But the sequel’s arrival also reminded us that the first Cut the Rope had yet to receive an update since launch. The original game on Windows Phone had only 275 levels - 75 less than other versions.

As mobile Xbox gamers surely know, Rovio has been busy updating several of its Angry Birds games lately. Now it looks like Russian developer ZeptoLab has decided to join in the fun, because they’ve updated Cut the Rope at last! The update brings our version up to par with the iOS and Android games and gives players a great reason to rejoin Om Nom on his quest for candy.

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Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface Pro will be released in the UK next week. The Windows 8 tablet will be available for order from May 23rd. With recommended retail pricing of £719 for the 64GB version and £799 for the 128GB model, consumers will be forking out for tablets that are grouped in the Ultrabook price range.

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It's been almost three years since Windows Phone succeeded Windows Mobile and now Microsoft has managed to take third position from BlackBerry in the global market for Q1 2013 shipments, according to IDC. The gap between the two platforms has been closing in for some time and with Nokia's strong marketing push, Windows Phone is now well on its way to the iOS and Android pool party.

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There’s nothing quite like waking up to some screenshots of the new beta version of WhatsApp, the popular mulit-platform messaging client. We’ve already detailed some of the changes coming for the future Windows Phone 8 branch, an update that looks to be quite massive. But for those on 7.8, we’re told that version is getting updated as well.

Though the 7.8 branch of WhatsApp evidently won’t ditch the background audio API for connections (more on that below), it does bring some other new features and at least shows that the WhatsApp and Nokia teams aren’t forgetting 7.x users with the planned update.

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Jays to launch Windows Phone dedicated earphones

Swedish accessory manufacturer Jays will be launching the a-Jays Five series of earphones this summer, with a version for each mobile platform supported - iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Sporting flat, tangle free cabling, a handy clip and MEMS microphone, every Windows Phone owner will find the new kit useful when out and about.

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Microsoft has unleashed this weeks Windows Phone Red Stripe Deals. Pricing has been slashed on the Xbox game Super Monkey Ball 2, glƏƏk!, and Hockey Nations PP.

For those not familiar, every week Microsoft discounts the pricing on a Windows Phone Xbox title as well as a app and game from independent developers. You easily identify them by the red stripe that surrounds the app/games Store icon tile.

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The Xbox Windows Phone version of Monster Burner started out as a free game before jumping up to 99 cents a few days later. Like most freemium games, it features In App Purchases that speed up player’s progress in the game. Using the in-game currency, you can buy upgrades to increase your firepower and life or single-use items to slow down the enemies and make tough levels a bit more manageable.

The game doesn’t force players to buy coins; you’ll earn some every time you complete a level. But while the first upgrade of any type sells for a reasonable price, subsequent upgrades cost astronomical prices. Even if you repeat an easy and high-coin level like Plains 3, it would still take hours of grinding to afford the best upgrades on your own.

Fear not! We’ve caught wind of a trick that reduces grinding times tenfold. Using this method, you could easily earn an average of 10,000 coins every two minutes! Read on for our full guide and video.

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Last time we spoke with Juha Alakarhu we were left with a ton of information about Nokia’s cameras. We learned things like whether or not the Lumia 920 has an anti-aliasing filter and gained hints about the future. That future is partially here with the Lumia 925 having recently been announced. The head of imaging technologies at Nokia sat down with the Conversations blog to give more insight into the 925.

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Memorylage is a photography app for your Windows Phone 8 device that lets you view your photo albums in collage style, create collages, share your photos and use them as your lockscreen collage-styled wallpaper. It's a nice alternative to the native Pictures Hub and was recently updated to version 1.2.

The update brings a handful of new features and performance tweaks. Lockscreen collages can now be automatically generate (you can still manually create them) and updated periodically from your collage library. You can now adjust the margin between images and select which photo albums you want the collage generator to pull the photos from.

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Ain’t competition grand? In the race to have the most full featured Instagram client for Windows Phone, we now have a few developers working on various projects. While we told you Instagraph was updated today with Windows Phone 7.x support, Itsdagram is doing quite a few maneuvers too.

Daniel Gary, the developer behind the app, expects the paid version to go live this Friday. For those who paid for the early beta version, no worries as that carries over to this release so there will be no need to repurchase.

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Last week the official YouTube app for Windows Phone received a major overhaul. Version 3.0 of the app brought some awesome Windows Phone 8 features like the ability to play under Lockscreen, download videos for offline play, pinnable channels and more. It went from web-wrapper to awesome with the recent update. Google now wants the app removed from the Store for violating YouTube’s API and Terms of Service.

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Microsoft adds Google Talk support to Outlook.com

We've previously touched on Microsoft's new email service, Outlook.com. The service has replaced Hotmail and offers advanced functionality along with a refreshed user interface to better match Windows 8 and other products. As well as checking through email, users can also chat with Facebook and Skype contacts in the sidebar. Microsoft has now implemented support for Google Talk. 

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Gift cards are coming to Windows Phone later this year

Like a lot of you, we’ve been yearning for Microsoft to come up with a gift card solution for Windows Phone. Sunny skies ahead. Looks like Microsoft is finally gearing up to drop the Points system on Xbox and replace it with gift cards and cash.

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It’s been awhile in the making but Instagraph, the first Instagram uploader for Windows Phone, has just received a pretty hefty update, which also brings support for Windows Phone 7.x users.

Version 1.4.3 is now live in the Store for all devices and has been dropped in price to just $0.99. We should also mention that there are no longer any limits on uploads anymore, making this a good option for many users who want a “legal” way to upload pics to Instagram.

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Angry Birds Rio now partying on Windows Phone 7 and 8

It’s time for another new Xbox Windows Phone game this week. Sadly, Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 didn’t make it out yet, but we still expect it at the end of May or early June. Instead, this week’s release is the not too surprising but still appreciated Angry Birds Rio from Rovio.

I say not surprising because two weeks ago Microsoft and Nokia both announced that Rio would be coming very soon. They weren’t lying! Meanwhile, Angry Birds Rio has also flown in on Windows Phone 7 without Xbox Live features, just as we predicted. Now then, what makes this Rio game different from the 1500 other official Angry Birds titles already available on Windows Phone? Read on to find out.

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Developers have a hard time getting word out about their work, especially since the platform is still relatively young. Here in the UK we have the Windows Phone User Group, headed up by Matt Lacey (@mrlacey). The monthly meetings enable developers to showcase their apps and / or work in all areas of Windows Phone. We tag along each time to offer more support for developers and to see what's new in the community.

It's a perfect opportunity to get involved and also to meet ourselves for some coverage on this very website. This coming Monday (May 20th), the group is heading to Nokia's new offices in Paddington, London. We encourage all developers to register, come along and demonstrate their work to the audience. As an incentive, there's a special prize on offer too for the best app. Who doesn't want free promotion these days?

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Star Trek Almanac, giving it all she's got Captain!

The latest Star Trek movie, Into Darkness,  is about to hit theaters and while we have the official Star Trek app, we also have the Star Trek Almanac. The Star Trek Almanac is from the same developers of the Star Wars Almanac and contains enough Star Trek knowledge to satisfy a horde of tribbles in heat.

The Star Trek Almanac is spread out just like it's Star Wars counterpart. You have pages covering a featured subject, videos, a sections page with links to people, vehicles, races and planets, as well as pages highlighting updated, popular and seldom seen Star Trek subjects.

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Vox plans to bring mobile VoIP service to Windows Phone

Vox Communications is planning to support Windows Phone with its mobile VoIP service. The company currently supports Android, but it has since revealed that plans are set to launch versions on other platforms in the future. The first platform to receive such blessing will be iOS, but we are likely to see BlackBerry and Windows Phone on the horizon thereafter.

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The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its catch-up service on Windows Phone with the iPlayer now available for Windows Phone 8 consumers. The app enables users to check out shows they may have missed the past seven days across the BBC channels. As we've covered previously, the BBC hasn't developed a native client as such, but has opted to start with a mobile web wrapper of its website.

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Deal Alert: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet now $299

If you've been on the fence looking for a deal on a Windows 8 tablet, Dell may have just what you're looking for. The price for the Dell XPS 10 Windows 8 RT tablet has been slashed from $449.99 to $299.99.

The 10.1" tablet comes with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB of memory storage, 2MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear facing camera. You can upgrade the memory to 64GB (add $50) and add a keyboard dock (now only $100) when you customize your purchase. However, Dell is offering the XPS 10 bundled with the keyboard dock for $349. Bump the memory on the bundle to 64GB and you're at $399 which is still a heck of a deal.

We aren't sure how long this deal will last but you can find all the details on the Dell XPS 10 here at the Dell website.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

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Camera360 passes the 100 million user mark

We knew that Camera360 was a popular Windows Phone photography app but apparently it has become the first mobile photography app to pass 100 million global users.

Granted Windows Phone can't take claim to all these users with Camera360 being available over on iOS and Android devices. But still, 100 million is impressive.  

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