All Articles by George Ponder | Windows Central

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All Articles by George Ponder

Our Windows Phones are great devices to keep you in touch. Either through actually using it as a wireless telephone, checking your email, chatting through text messages, surfing the web or accessing your favorite app or game. But there are some occasions where your Windows Phone, or any other smartphone for that matter, can be rather annoying.

Occasions such as a movie theater when someone pulls out there Windows Phone to check a missed call and the screen lights up the room. Or when you're in a meeting and the chime sounds for an incoming text that interrupts your bosses in mid-speech.

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The developers of the Windows Phone game Pirates Assault have released a new game for our Windows Phone, Hamstas 'n Kitties.

Dagari Studios has developed a rather unique game that draws a little from Tetris, a little from Bejeweled and maybe a dash from Bubble Birds. With Hamstas 'n Kitties you are presented with a playing field with assorted colored hamsters. Your goal is to create combos of three or more of the same colored hamsters. The gathering of hamsters continue with a row of the furry critters dropping from the top of the screen periodically. If the collection of hamster's reaches the top of the screen, game over.

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It appears that Samsung will not be launching the companies Windows RT tablet, the ATIV Tab, in the U.S. market and the future doesn't look bright for other markets as well.

The reason behind the cold feet? Feedback from Samsung's retail partners indicated demand for Windows RT tablets is modest at best and the investment to sell the importance of Windows RT's benefits was too great.

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Windows Phone Central's Roundup: Exercise Apps

With the new year comes New Year's Resolutions and what may be the most popular resolution is to get into shape or lose weight. There are several Windows Phone fitness apps and we thought that if you are trying to stick with a resolution for better health, we'd roundup a few fitness apps to help you along the way.

Included are a few freebies and a few structured for men or women. As always, with as many apps in the Windows Phone Store, we can't touch on them all. If we've missed your favorite fitness app, feel free to sound off in the comments.

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Just when you thought the Samsung Focus Flash had vanished into thin air, AT&T has started pushing out the Windows Phone 7.5 (a.k.a. Tango) update to the tiny little phone.

Windows Phone Tango brings a handful of small fixes to the OS that includes multiple images in MMS, send ringtones via MMS, more reliable push notifications, new wallpapers and a few other performance optimizations.

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We've seen the Nokia Lumia 920 make cameos in several venues but this commercial spot for KPN may be the largest gathering of the Windows Phones we've seen to date.

KPN is a mobile service provider in the Netherlands and chose the Lumia 920 to showcase their 4G network. If my count is correct and this isn't some fancy special effects trick, it took 875 Lumia 920's to shoot this twenty-five second spot.  I wonder what they did with the Windows Phones once the commercial was shot?

Source: Youtube; Thanks, Patrick, for the tip!

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627.AM updated to Windows Phone 8

627.AM is a nifty daily assistant that includes a wake-up alarm, daily weather forecasts, and notes. While the free, ad-supported version is still Windows Phone 7.x compatible, the paid version of 627.AM was recently updated to Windows Phone 8.

The version 1.6 update for the paid version of 627.AM adds fast app resume support, a few bug fixes, resolution support for 720 HD screens and live tile support.

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AppoinTile is a Windows Phone 8 app that you can use as an alternative to the native calendar tile and bring a little more information about your schedule to your Start Screen. AppoinTile's live tile can display up to four upcoming events with the backside of the tile displaying a 42 day calendar with markers on days with activity.

AppoinTile was recently updated to version 2.1 and brings lockscreen support to the table. AppoinTile's live tile will show up to four upcoming appoints and the new lockscreen support will display three upcoming appointments and the number of appointments left in the day.

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The Nokia Lumia line of Windows Phones have arrived in India. At a press event in New Delhi, Nokia announced the launch of the Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and Lumia 620 Windows Phones.

The Lumia 920 and 820 will be available tomorrow from select local retailers for Rs. 38,199 (about $700 US) and Rs. 27,559 (about $505 US) respectively. The Lumia 920 will be available in black, red, yellow and white with the Lumia 820 being offered in red, yellow, white, black and cyan.

The more affordable Lumia 620 won't be available until early next month in magenta, yello, cyan, white and black colors. Pricing wasn't available and is expected to be announced closer to availability.

Source: Symbian Tweet; Thanks, everyone for the tip!

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Weather Smiles updated with Windows Phone 8 support

Weather Smiles is a fairly simple weather app for your Windows Phone that has been recently updated to support Windows Phone 8. Version 2.0 adds multi-sized live tiles, support for all Windows Phone 8 resolutions, and lockscreen support to the mix.

Weather Smiles supports two locations for your weather forecasts, your current location and another that you choose. The app will display the current conditions and a five day forecast for each location. Live tiles will display current conditions (and forecast depending on the size) for each location as well.

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While Sprint has announced they would be adding two Windows Phone 8 devices to their lineup this summer, they were rather vague as to which Windows Phones. Sprint did say HTC and Samsung would be the manufacturers but could it be the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S?

Today at CES 2013 Sprint tried to shed a little light on the subject but left us with more questions than answers. Ryan Sullivan, Sprint's Director of Device Delivery, said that the wireless provider will introduce "current" Windows Phone 8 devices. Okay, so what does current mean?

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It may not be an official Instagram app for our Windows Phone, but Instagram Lockscreen does bring the popular photo sharing service to your Windows Phone 8 device.

As you would guess, Instagram Lockscreen lets you set your lockscreen wallpaper with images from Instagram. You can choose image feeds by your favorite Instagram member, your favorite hashtag or just set it to your own Instagram images.

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CameraPro is a feature rich camera app for your Windows Phone 8 device. An update is being pushed out for CameraPro bringing the app to version 1.0.3.

The update should fix the stability issues experiences on HTC Windows Phone 8 devices (8X and 8S) and the Samsung ATIV S. It also adds options to switch between fixed exposure times and exposure compensation for image bracketing and adds the option for manual white balance. The developer does note that the manual white balance feature does not work properly on Nokia Windows Phones.

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Huawei has released a commercial spot over on YouTube featuring the Ascend W1 Windows Phone. While the video highlights Windows Phone features we've grown accustom to (photo sharing, email, live tiles, Office Hub, etc.), it does give us a nice glimpse of the new Windows Phone.

We spent some hands on time with the Ascend W1 at CES 2013 and found it to be a decent budget oriented Windows Phone. The Huawei W1 will sport a 4" WVGA display, dual core 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a 5MP rear/.3MP front camera set up.

Source: YouTube

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While AT&T is seeing success with Windows Phone sales, Microsoft isn't doing to bad with Windows 8. During the 11th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech Forums at CES 2013, Microsoft announced that they have sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.

According to Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller this includes both upgrades and sales to OEMs for new devices. The sales pace is similar to what Microsoft experienced with Windows 7.

As far as Windows 8 apps and games are concerned, growth continues to rise with the number of apps being available quadrupling since launch. As an added bonus, Microsoft recently passed the 100 million app download mark.

Source: Windows Blog

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There's a firmware update available for your Microsoft Surface running Windows RT. There's really not much to the update but is designed to provide system improvements to audio playback when in Connected Standby and provide additional capabilities for handling firmware updates when your battery is low.

The update also includes a handful of security and non-security fixes and updates for Windows RT.

You can check for updates on your Windows RT device by swiping right on the screen to pull up the side bar menu.  Then tap on settings, tap on Change PC Settings at the bottom of the menu and Check for Updates will be the last setting listed. All totaled, it takes about five minutes to download, install the updates and restart the Surface.

Source: ZDNet

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AT&T announced today that it sold more than ten million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012. This surpasses the previous record of 9.4 million set last year.

While AT&T didn't break down the sales figures Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T commented,

"During the quarter, we averaged more than 110,000 smartphone sales a day as customers flocked to our leading portfolio of the latest Android, Apple and Windows devices."

de la Vega also commented yesterday at the AT&T Developer Summit at CES 2013 that AT&T sells more Windows Phones than any other carrier in the world. While Android and iPhone sales likely contributed heavily to the 10 million in sales, we suspect that AT&T's Windows Phone lineup wasn't sitting idly by on the sidelines and helped contribute to the record sales figures as well.

Source: AT&T

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Fantweestic! is a Windows 8 Twitter client with the sports fan in mind and it's about to go on sale.

Fantweestic! is from Liquid Daffodil, the developers of the Windows Phone apps glƏƏk!, Outsider and Locksider, and offers a sports themed take on Twitter.

Fantweestic! has the ability to easily add a Team or College Twitter feed directly to your views based on the theme you select. There's about forty themes available, including a Windows Phone Central theme! Oh... if you don't see your College or sports team listed in the theme, there's no need to panic.  Shoot the developer an email and it should be on the list shortly thereafter. Fantweestic's goal is to have hundreds of themes available.

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The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is just now getting warmed up and we are already seeing a nice presence with Windows 8 tablets. While ASUS may not be offering any Windows Phones, they have announced three impressive Windows 8 tablets and a nifty looking Ultrabook.

The ASUS VivoTab (pictured above) is a 10.1" tablet that features an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor. The tablet is 9.7mm thin and weighs in at 580g. The display offers a 1366x768 HD resolution. Other features of note includes NFC support, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front facing camera and ASUS SonicMaster Audio. The VivoTab does have a TranSleeve Keyboard accessory that can pull extra duty as a tablet cover and stand.

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