Windows Central News

There’s an app all of you should have on your Windows Phone right now. It’s ours and it’s made by Jay Bennett. As you may have noticed, our app hit version 4.4 nearly a month ago. It wasn’t a big update in terms of features. Instead, it was a refinement of what was already a killer app. How did Jay refine it? With a bit of help from feedback from both users and a recent design review with Nokia and Microsoft. Let’s check out the video from that design review.

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Last year, Windows Phone 8 infamously launched without the ability to watch your content from Xbox Video. It was a sore point of contention when Windows Phone fans would argue the overall strengths of the Microsoft ecosystem. Earlier today, Microsoft finally launched a dedicated app for Xbox Video (and surprised us with a new app for Xbox Music). So, how are you liking it?  

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As 2013 begins to wind down, Windows Phone continues to grow. With more phones available to the public than ever before, choosing the right accessory is becoming more and more a priority. Luckily for you we’re throwing another sale to help ease things.

For the next 7 days you can save 20% on ALL Windows Phone cases and accessories at the Windows Phone Central Store. To take advantage of the savings, all you need to do is enter in coupon code 7DAYS during the checkout process. FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!

Never tried our Store before? It’s kind of neat as you can select your phone from our device selector and it will narrow down all accessories for that Windows Phone. Give it a spin and maybe you’ll find something you like and remember, the Store helps support our site, writers and community!

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It’s Saturday, so it’s time for another round of our weekly app highlights. This is the part of the week where we sit back and go over the big news around apps that you might have missed. We’ll look at new apps to the Windows Phone Store, big updates to some of your favorite apps, and any new betas worth checking out. Let’s jump in.

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Last week we announced our partnership with Geek Beat and the rest of the Mobile Nations crew to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. CES is known as the largest electronics event in the world and it happens every year in Vegas. Also every year, we cover it as individual sites but this time around we’re going big.

Check out the preview video with Cali Lewis and John P. of Geek Beat along with Kevin Michaluk, Phil Nickinson, Rene Ritchie and myself as we talk ourselves into doing this huge, crazy project.

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Another week has gone by, which means it’s the perfect time to sit back and go over the big app news for the week. That’s right, it’s your favorite little column where we look at the big new apps that hit the Windows Phone Store. We’ll also look at any apps that received substantial updates, cool new betas, and a few games. Let’s jump in.

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Windows 8.1 is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s cornerstone product. It’s notable for refining and building upon the ideas introduced in Windows 8. We’re also really excited because of the optimizations made in Windows 8.1 for tablet devices in the 7 to 8-inch range. Tablets like the Acer W3/W4 or Dell Venue 8 Pro. We’ve played with most of them, but we’re curious which one you own or plan to own.

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Cyber Monday may be over but that doesn’t mean we can’t extend the savings. Yes, in case you missed it earlier this week, we’re extending the savings through the end-of-the-day Friday. Until midnight PST this Friday, you can save 25% on ALL Windows Phone cases and accessories at Store.WPCentral.com.

If you haven't visited our store for a while, be sure to click over and take a browse. You simply select your phone and the store will be customized for your device—awesome.

To take advantage of the Cyber Monday savings, all you need to do it use coupon code CYBER13 during the checkout process. It's as simple as that. Also a reminder that earlier this week we announced support for Bitcoin, so if you're sitting on a pile of Bitcoins now you can get it on the savings.

Thanks for supporting the Windows Phone Central community!!

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We've had a lot of demand from users to begin accepting Bitcoin at the Windows Phone Central Store, and today I'm happy to announce that support is here! Just in time for the holidays, Bitcoin users can now checkout with the digital currency at the Windows Phone Central Store and our other Mobile Nations stores including ShopAndroid, the iMore Store and ShopCrackBerry.

To kick off the Bitcoin support, we've even extended our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale to run a full week. That means until this Friday, December 6th at midnight PST tonight, you can save 25% on ALL orders using coupon code CYBER13.

Take me to the Windows Phone Central Store!

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We told you what we think are the best Windows Phones, but now we want your opinion.​ We’ve had some major official apps land like Instagram, Domino’s Pizza, Songza and more. We’ve also had some groundbreaking hardware like the Lumia 1020 or the massive Lumia 1520, even though it was the mild-mannered Lumia 520 that built Windows Phone market share. 

So which do you think was the most important? Take our survey and tell us what the best app for photography was or which productivity app was your top choice. After two weeks, we’ll post the top nominations from you for each category, which will then be voted on by you. Finally, at the end of December we’ll post the results of what you think were the best apps and devices of the year.

Sound good? Then take our survey by following this link: smartphoneexperts.polldaddy.com/s/wpc-best-of-2013-nominations 

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It's been fairly quiet in terms of updates to our own official app for Windows Phone in the last couple of months, other things tend to get in the way especially when the big focus is something for bigger screens. That said we have some good news today in that version 4.4 of our app has just gone live and is available for you to download to your Windows Phone 7 or 8 device right now from the marketplace.

You'll likely only notice a few of the changes straight away so as usual you can read all about them after the break, as well as an important announcement about our Windows Phone 7 support from here on in.

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Has Windows Phone finally come of age? Microsoft emphatically says 'yes'

With today’s announcement that Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone along with Waze (Mint and Xbox Video are still “coming soon”), Windows Phone as an operating system has finally reached a significant turning point. At least according to Microsoft.

We recently sat down with Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, who walked us through some of the recent accomplishments. Brix and Microsoft are claiming that with the recent spate of app releases, a “critical mass” has finally pushed Windows Phone into the big leagues. Windows Phone now has parity on most of the top download apps found on iOS and Android with an “85% overlap” in top-25 titles, according to the company.

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Instagram has officially launched on Windows Phone, as a beta at least. That said, many of you are already downloading the app and publishing content on the social network. While there are third-party apps already available on the store, the official app is finally here and we'd like to see what you've all been able to produce on the Windows Phone Central forum.

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This past year we’ve seen some pretty serious growth when it comes to startups developing apps for Windows Phone. Still, market share is a little north of 4% globally depending on which market analysis you go off of. There’s still plenty of work left to be done in order to attract startups that are typically short on both cash and man power. Sometimes they just need a little convincing that there’s enough interest in their upcoming service on Windows Phone.

Windows Phone community let’s meet Coin.

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As we start to come to the end of 2013, we figured we would have a little site celebration and say thanks. Just a few days ago, Windows Phone Central hit the 3 million unique visitors a month threshold.

To put that number in perspective, it was just 11 months ago when we hit 1 million uniques—that’s a healthy 200% increase in less than a year.  One-third of that is US based, while the rest, we’re proud to say, is the rest of the world...

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Another week has gone by and we’ve got a handful of great new apps in the Windows Phone Store. A lot can happen in the span of one week, so we’re here to roundup and highlight any new apps in the Store. We’ll also look at popular apps that were updated and any betas you should be aware of. That’s right, it’s time for another weekly app highlight from your friends at Windows Phone Central. We never want you to fall behind on what’s happening, so let’s get started.

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Polls are fun. They’re a good way to quickly get a feel for how the Windows Phone community feels on a particular topic. We just learned that the Nokia Lumia 1520 becomes available on November 22nd here in the United States. We also just learned from a close source that the yellow Lumia 1520 might be scarce. So we’re curious, what color are you getting?

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It was two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi at Nokia World 2013 that we finally saw the next flagship Windows Phone device – the Lumia 1520. It’s the biggest Windows Phone device to date, packing a 1080p display into a 6-inch screen. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 800, which is a 2.2GHz quad-core processor that will help you process those photos from the 20MP sensor with ease. Are you planning on getting one? Take our poll at let us know.

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2013 has been an exciting year for Windows Phone. As Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market has grown, so has Windows Phone Central, as we now near 3 million unique visitors a month, making us by far the number one site for all Windows Phone news and information.

As such, we’re continuing to expand and refine how we do things. For instance, many of you asked us to re-cap app news on the weekend, which Sam Sabri has obliged you with. Likewise, we can’t ignore India and how much it matters to the Windows Phone ecosystem—so we’re addressing that too.

So. here’s what’s new at your favorite Windows Phone and Microsoft site.

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