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Getting a tiny bump

WhatsApp is one of those services that people love to hate on Windows Phone. It seems people use it because everyone else does, thereby making them accomplice to any ongoing issues the app may be having.

Such is the case with the last few updates from the WhatsApp team. Going by the frequent user feedback from you folks, it is evidently slow and crashes (we use Kik so our recent experience is more limited with WhatsApp).

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Lots of app updates including our fave, Memento Pro

Over the last few weeks the Windows Phone Marketplace has had some minor issues, including pushing out updates for apps in timely manner. In fact, we’ve heard from a few developers that their updates have been delayed due to a backlog in the approval process.

So it’s perhaps of little wonder then that this morning we awoke to see a mini-flood of app update notifications on our phone and from what you, our audience, have reported to us.

Since there are so many, we figured we would wrap up the ones we know of (or at least for apps we use and approve at Windows Phone Central).

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Pinnable CC's and new notifications

Many of the new features of Windows Phone 8 are already known due to the leaked SDK over the summer but exactly how some of it will look is still a bit unclear.

Take for example the NFC Wallet app. It’s a safe assumption that it will allow many different options—storage of coupons, deal cards, frequent flier pass and of course your credit cards. It’s also not too wild of a guess that Microsoft will allow you to pin those to your Start screen for quick and easy access.

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The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone's Pureview Camera turned a lot of heads this week with it's very impressive low light and stabilizing features. The demo video and still images gave hope that a "knock your socks off" camera was heading to the Lumia Windows Phone line. But the video and still images have been dissected more than a High School science project with accusations that Nokia faked it all and the camera isn't as grand as Nokia would like us to think. But is this a case of bad advertising or a bad camera?

We think it's two separate issues and too many nay sayes are trying to mesh them together to make the Lumia 920 look bad. We believe this because the specs on paper lead credence to the camera's touted performance and most importantly because we've seen the camera perform up close and personal.

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First shots: Adobe X for Windows Phone has finally arrived

We’re still rubbing our eyes to figure this one out but we’ve had no less than two emails from readers that they’re receiving an app update for the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The update is bringing it from version 9.0 to version 10.1.0 build 20120818. What’s more, as you can see above, we have the pics to evidently prove it.

Reportedly users in the Netherlands and Australia are able to get the update, however when we’ve repeatedly checked the Marketplace we’re still at 9.0 here in the US. What’s more, we were unable to see the update in the Web Marketplace outside the US.

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Introducing the Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView Technology

It was a sizeable day for Nokia, Microsoft, ourselves and consumers yesterday as we saw Nokia take to the stage and unveil the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 Windows Phones. Windows Phone Central was there at the front of the event, and as Bill O'Reilly likes to scream - "We're doing it live!" (NSFW), so we blogged it live.

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We reported a while back that Nokia were helping to bring PayPal to Windows Phone. Well for all those out there that have been waiting with bated breath, it’s finally with us.

We are still trying to confirm the availability in all regions but can confirm 100% that UK and USA are able to see and install the app--you don't need a Nokia phone either. Having installed the app its looking very nice indeed, sporting a smooth scrolling panoramic layout. For a version 1.0 release this is looking very good indeed.

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Last night during Nokia’s par-tay we managed to check out their little photo challenge area. In short, they literally had a cubby hole in a brick wall where you could mosey on up with your smartphone, snap a pic and then Nokia would do the same with the Lumia 920.

Of course the Lumia 920 is better positioned to win such a contest, after all it has everything: lens stabilization, a larger BSI sensor, F/2.0 aperture and some funky Nokia algorithms to top it all off. And indeed, challenge after challenge we saw the 920 crush any phone that attempted the feat—iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S3—all were smoked.

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The Nokia Lumia 920 will have a 4.5" WXGA, 1280x768 PureMotion HD+ display. It is being billed as the fastest and brightest displays and has the most sensitive touch responses.

We've been impressed with Nokia's ClearBlack technology found on other Lumia Windows Phones, such as the Lumia 900, and from what we have witness during today's press event the PureMotion technology definitely takes things to the next level.

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The Nokia Lumia 920

Of all of the announcements today by Nokia, the 920’s PureView camera is probably one of the more impressive. We told you what we thought it meant and we weren't too far off. Today we had a chance to not only play around with it but in talking with Ilari Nurmi, VP of Product Marketing for Nokia, we were able to learn a bit more behind the technology as well.

First, let’s talk about the specifications and what they mean to you, the consumer…

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Windows Phone Central's Photo Gallery from the Nokia Windows Phone Event

It has been a busy morning with all the news coming from Nokia's Windows Phone event.  We've seen the introduction of the Lumia 920, Lumia 820, the 8.7 megapixel Pureview Camera, floating lens technology, Nokia's Maps adding augmented reality, a handful of new Nokia exclusive apps, and a new Lenses app for the Windows Phone camera.

Then there's the Nokia Fat Boy charging pads, the JBL Bluetooth Speakers, and even Steve Ballmer popped in to say hello.  Our own Dan Rubino had front row seats for todays event.  While he's busy interviewing folks and snatching some hands on time with all that has been presented, we thought we'd share some images he's already captured.

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Ballmer takes the stage at New York

While a handful of Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo") features were demoed by Joe Belfiore on-stage today, there was little revealed in terms of when we can look to see the next major release of Windows Phone be made available. Could Build 2012 be were Window Phone 8 is shown off completely with dates announced? It's a strong possibility.

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Although we’re less than 24 hours from Nokia doing the big unveiling of their new Lumia range expected for AT&T and other carriers, the leaks are still happening (which may be planned, for all we know).

The latest shows the back of the Lumia 820 in purple—that device is expected to have removable backplates for different colors akin to the Lumia 710.

The other shows the familiar stance of the Lumia 920 and its colors, including Yellow, Red, White, Black and evidently Silver/Grey.

Besides the removal of the chrome bezel for a presumably more scratch-resistant gunmetal grey bezel and matching buttons, there isn’t too much else to be gleaned. But that’s okay, as all will be shown tomorrow morning and we’ll be there live to cover it.

Source: Evleaks 1, 2

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Critics of both Nokia's PureView technology and the Lumia 920 camera have been attacked by the company's chief of photography, Damian Dinning. Publishing a series of tweets, Dinning chose to reach out and explain how the PureView technology Nokia is developing is not limited to a single feature on the specification sheet.

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Achievement unlocked: Xbox LIVE upgrade enabled

Back in January 2011, we posted a rumor noting that the Scrabble-like game AlphaJax, one of our favorite indie games for Windows Phone, may be heading to Xbox LIVE.

Flash forward a mind-numbing 19 months later and we’re happy to report that indeed, AlphaJax will be coming to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone in the near future.

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While there is a lot to look forward to with Windows Phone 8, some of the changes may not be as noticeable but no less important. Windows Phone 8 will have a number of significant changes under the hood to bolster the security of the platform.

Windows Phone 8 will have device encryption throughout the entire device including the OS and its applications. Designed along the same lines as Windows 7 PCs, encryption kicks in as soon as you power up the device. This system, based off of Bitlocker (but adapted for Windows Phone) was something first reported on back in February as an early rumor.

BitLocker is a logical volume encryption system that is present in Windows 7 and will be present in Windows 8.  BitLocker is designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes or drives within a computer to protect the integrity of a trusted boot path.  The main difference between the PC version of encryption and what we will see on Windows Phone 8 is that the encryption keys are not manageable on our Windows Phone as they are on desktops or laptops.

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Windows Phone 8 and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

We knew since the Windows Phone Summit back in June that Windows Phone 8 would offer greater accent color selection in lieu of an actual color selector. While that latter option would be more preferred by our uses, surely having a great choice is better than the current 10+1 choice in Windows Phone 7.

The issue though up until this point is exactly what those color choices would be for consumers. Now thanks to that leaked SDK from July, we have an answer.

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Till this day, how big exactly is the Windows Phone ecosystem is largely a myth. Microsoft is keeping crucial figures all to itself. Over time, many tried to measure the ecosystem with various ways, such as the active users of the Windows Phone Facebook client.

Now WPDang and OpenXLive have decided to do it a bit more scientifically: with consolidated server data of 112 apps and games. Sadly the report only covers the Chinese market, because the majority of these data source apps either make sense only to Chinese users, or are well ranked only in the Chinese Marketplace...

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It's a relaxing weekend holiday with Labour Day just around the corner, but Windows Phone Central is still full steam ahead with the run up to Nokia's announcement (as well as other OEM hardware). If you haven't already done so, we recommend checking out our community forums for the latest and greatest platform discussion.

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