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Have you heard the news? Google does not care for Microsoft nor Windows Phone. In fairness, this is not news, but if you need more evidence of their antagonism, look no further than Softcard.

On Monday, Google announced that they had purchased "technology and intellectual property" from Softcard, essentially acquiring the core of that company's product line. The effort is likely a desperate move to catch up to Apple Pay, which is picking up commercial adoption by many banks and retail outlets.

Softcard is also available in the US for Windows Phone, specifically with Verizon and AT&T being supporters. In fact, the apps only recently became available (although our personal experience with their service was not exactly awe-inspiring). The fate of Softcard for Windows Phone though was not known until now.

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Is there a Pebble app coming to Windows Phone? Maybe.

Recently, an internal listing for what looks to be a Pebble synchronization app for Windows Phone was found in the Store. Pebble is one of the most prevalent and well-known smartwatches on the market, so official support for it on Windows Phone would be a big win for the platform.

Unfortunately, the evidence is mixed, at best. We'll try to explain what is going on.

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Last night, WhatsApp out of the blue pushed out a semi-rare update for their popular messaging app. Unfortunately, no changelog was included, so it was left to the masses to discern what is new.

We should have caught the change, as it has been rumored for months now, but alas we have been playing with shiny, new tablets lately. The change in 2.11.670 is rather straightforward: how the messages appear in the notification center.

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For the last few days, many tips have been rolling in about 6tin, Rudy Huyn's Tinder client. Huyn's apps have had a hit and miss record with some companies who's IP is involved with his creations. This is why when 6tin went missing recently, people started to fear the worst.

Luckily, in this case at least, 6tin is missing merely due to some Store problem.

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Windows Phone puzzle games can be an enjoyable way to pass the time. Some games are fast paced to challenge your reflexes and sense of timing. Then other games require a little more thought in finding a solution. Rote is a relatively new Windows Phone game that falls more into the latter category.

The puzzle game has you guiding a ball down a path that is blocked by a series of boxes. You will have to shuffle the boxes around to create a path the ball can use to continue its travels. The concept is simple but as you will find, the solutions are not. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Rote comes across as a quality addition to the Windows Phone puzzle game genre.

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Update: A new report in The Intercept claims that Gemalto is drastically downplaying the effects of this attack. In the report, several security researchers came to the conclusion that "the company made sweeping, overly-optimistic statements about the security and stability of Gemalto's networks, and dramatically underplayed the significance of the NSA-GCHQ targeting of the company and its employees."

Original story: Digital security vendor Gemalto revealed its findings today following last week's report of an incursion by the NSA and the GCHQ into the vendor's SIM card encryption keys. While Gemalto noted that an operation by NSA and GCHQ "probably happened" in 2010 and 2011, the intrusion could not have resulted in a "massive theft" of SIM card encryption keys as the breach affected the company's office network and not its secure networks.

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The Witcher 3 is set to be one of the year's biggest role-playing games when it arrives on Xbox One, Windows, and Playstation 4 this May. The third game in the Witcher series differentiates itself from other open-world action-RPGs with its dark and mature storyline filled with meaningful player choices and memorable sidequests.

To help prepare our readers for The Witcher 3, Windows Central has begun a new weekly Twitch series focused on The Witcher 2. Every Tuesday night at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific), we play through another section of the game while you guys watch the stream at Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch. Join us and engage in our social take on this epic Witcher adventure!

Did you miss the previous episode of our Witcher Twos-day series? Don't worry; we've got a full write-up that will get you up to speed – complete with screenshots from the stream!

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Five laptops built for travel

We've collected our favorite light and travel-friendly laptops here for your consideration.

There are some excellent Windows-powered ultrabooks available for those that need to get serious work done while on the road. Given the booming popularity of these light, powerful laptops, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, but we've found five that we're really enjoying right now. Keep in mind that you may end up paying a bit of a premium for portability, but sometimes a tablet just isn't enough to get things done. On the flip side, you may also take a hit in horsepower for the sake of saving battery, as in the case with the (still entirely capable) Core M processors.

Enough yap, let's dig into some great laptops built to move.

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If you are using Cortana on your Windows Phone or Windows 10 preview device, you may want to dive into Settings > Interests to check off some new categories. It looks like the Cortana team has finally delivered on some new items for Cortana to follow, and we are excited to see how they work.

Sometime in the last few days 'Showtimes + Trailers' (found under Movies) and 'Pick the Winners' (found under Entertainment) were added to Cortana's information repository. Users can then enable the categories and the personal assistant will keep you up to date when there are changes.

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Windows 10 won't officially be launched until sometime later in 2015, but software developers are already working on applications that will expand on the features in Microsoft's next operating system. One of the most well known third party Windows app makers, Stardock, has just launched their first Windows 10 program, Start10. The app offers users a way to bring the classic Windows 7-based Start menu to Windows 10, along with a number of other features.

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I, Gladiator is an action adventure Windows Phone game that has you playing the role of Rufus, a pawn that is caught in the middle of two warring Roman gods. To escape the clutches of the gods and regain control of his fate, Rufus must battle his way from the bottom of the gladiator hierarchy in a series of increasingly difficult tournaments.

I, Gladiator normally runs $2.99 but for the next twenty-four hours, through the myAppFree deal, you can pick the Windows Phone game up for free. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, the graphics look good, gaming controls are gesture based and in just tinkering with I, Gladiator for a short time the game comes across as an entertaining way to pass the time.

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How to use Quick Read on the Microsoft Band

The latest Microsoft Band update released earlier this week added some new features and functionality. One of those things is the new Quick Read function. It's another option to scan incoming texts, emails and other notifications on your Microsoft Band. When enabled, notifications are displayed word by word in a large size. This is handy when you're in motion and rather not scroll down to read. We'll show you how it works in our hands-on video.

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