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One of the nicest financial apps is now out

Hope our title didn’t spoil things but yes, the Bloomberg app co-developed with Nokia is now available in the Nokia Collection—well if you search for it or use our link below.

The app is admittedly very nice especially with the rolling stock ticker across the top 1/3 of the screen. Features are abundant with smooth scrolling and just a well thought out design.

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Yesterday saw the unveiling of the HTC 8X and with that, we now have the full picture of what devices now form the top tier of the Windows Phone 8 line-up. There is still one launch partner, Huawei we have yet to hear from but initial indications are that they will be releasing a device aimed near the mid to low end of the market.

We have already drawn up a comparison of the 8X and the Lumia 920 but many have asked that we rightly add the super slim Samsung into the mix. The ATIV S is every bit a flagship device bosting some extremely appealing specifications, let’s see how they all compare…

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HTC have finally put their cards on the table and released details of the HTC 8X, their new flagship Windows Phone 8 device. Gone are the HTC ultra-utilitarian design aesthetics and in its place we see a smooth curvy body design that comes in some cheeky colours.

HTC have been with Windows Phone from the beginning and many have eagerly awaited the pronouncement of their new devices. With a strong design heritage and deep understanding of the platform, HTC have produced some of the finest devices. The 8X is their flagship phone, but how does it compare to the Lumia 920, the hero device from Nokia?

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We managed to spend some near and dear time with the recently announced HTC 8X and the HTC 8S. What can we say besides that we love the new look for HTC--bold colors, smooth designs, excellent screens--we see a bright and popular future for the new HTC series.

The HTC 8X features a 4.3" 720p display with a whopping 344ppi and a dual-core 1.5GHz, meanwhile the 8S features a more modest WVGA resolution but in an also outstanding design.

Don't believe us? Watch the video above and decide for yourself.

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The HTC 8S in blue

Now that the HTC 8S has been announced, we figured we would give you folks some high resolution photos to gawk at--that is until our video hands on follows this post.

The HTC 8S may not impress those who are fixated on specs, but make no mistake, the device is a looker. We happen to think HTC is on to something here with these two-tone designs and punchy colors.

But enough, talk. We'll let the device with a 4" display and 1GHz dual-core CPU speak for itself.

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The HTC 8X featuring Beats Audio

Today with the announcement of the HTC 8X with Windows Phone 8, we figured we inundate you with a barrage of hands-on-photos of the beautiful and stylish new devices.

Personally, we're smitten with the Limelight Yellow and California Blue colors, which match their Accent colors perfectly. While The 8X may lack some of the more 'wow' hardware of Nokia's Lumia 920, we're nothing short of impressed with the look of these devices: they're simply gorgeous.

Light to the touch, soft-touch paint, unibody design and a smooth, rounded display? What's not to love. Check out our high resolution photos after the break...

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If you like the television game show Jeopardy, you may find some appeal in the Windows Phone version of the trivia game. Jeopardy is another Sony Pictures Television release (we saw Wheel of Fortune hit the Store shelves earlier) and is a decent model of the popular game.

Game play follows along the same lines as the Game Show with the Daily Double, the Double Jeopardy round and the Final Jeopardy round all being present. There's room for improvement with Jeopardy that deals with user interface and avatars (an acquired taste) but for the most part Jeopardy comes across as a decent trivia game for your Windows Phone but with the lack of a trial version it may not appeal to everyone.

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The HTC Elation is most likely faked

Our inbox has been inundated for the last five hours or so with ‘tips’ on the alleged HTC Elation. The device was reported on Ubuntu Life early this morning and the image and details reportedly came from HTC’s own site—in essence, a URL popped up that revealed the device in all its glory.

In just under 72 hours, HTC will be showing off numerous new devices featuring Windows Phone 8, so seeing things “leak” early is to be expected, not to mention the ‘Elation’ somewhat matches the specs of the alleged ‘Zenith’ WP8 device that HTC has reportedly been working on.

Good to go, right? Not so fast…

There are some red flags that have caused us to consider this not real...

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To the left, Twitter and to the right, reportedly Facebook notifications

Looks like Nokia’s New York City announcement is the gift that keeps on giving. Such is the case from the newly observed Twitter and Facebook notifications on the Lock screen during the introduction of the wireless charging part of the presentation. (Although Twitter is clear as day for us, we're still  not sure about the Facebook one--it's quite hard to tell.)

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Update (1pm ET): The Windows Phone Store link is now active

For those of you who commute or find yourself traveling a lot, you’ll soon be able to make your life a lot more interesting as 121Cast's SoundGecko app has finally landed for Windows Phone. We wrote on SoundGecko earlier in anticipation of the app and that day is just about upon us.

The app has passed Windows Phone certification and is just waiting to be “pushed” to the Store. Windows Phone Central managed to get our hands on it slightly early and we’re more than glad to give you the tour in the video above.

The service, found at www.soundgecko.com, is free for the basic level and it allows you to convert 30 articles a month into audio format. The service works by finding a web link of a story you want to listen to later and sending it to SoundGecko (you can even use the nifty Chrome plugin to automate the process).

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Manager of the Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore in NYC

Tonight we can confirm via two known sources that Windows Phone 8 has RTM’d. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, RTM stands for Release to Manufacturing (aka “going gold") and is one of the final steps in getting the software to market.

We're also told that this RTM date was planned and that Windows Phone 8 is "on time".

Windows Phone 8 codenamed ‘Apollo’ has been in development since 2011. The previous major branch of Windows Phone codenamed ‘Mango’ RTM’d in July 26th, just over one year ago. Bringing along a new core architecture built upon the NT kernel, the Windows Phone 8 OS will allow Microsoft to adopt cutting edge technology and heavily compete with Android and iOS in terms of features and hardware flexibility.

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Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Go To Games

This week's Roundup deals with Go To Games for your Windows Phone. For the lack of a better term, Go To games are the ones that always find their way on to your Windows Phone and really never grow old. These games are amongst your favorites but always seem to rise to the top of that list. They are the games you go to for entertainment that are great time wasters that never disappoint.

The Windows Phone Central staff were polled on which two gaming titles are their Go To Games. We see a lot of games come and go on our Windows Phones but these titles seem to always be around. The Roundup contains a wide range of games that include a beauty salon, chickens and rainbows as well as a healthy selection of Xbox Live titles.

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“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing." -Hitchens

Being a full-time writer and frequent traveler often means one enjoys spirits—it helps free the mind for writing or eases a hard day from running around airports.  And in this case, yours truly is a fan of Whiskey—scotch, bourbon, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re not putting Coke in it.  Pansies.

Last night I purchased a nice bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. For those connoisseurs in audience, air high-five. I tossed a lovely pic on Twitter and thus started an awesome stream of recommendations from the Twittosphere.  Only one problem: true Scotch often has the original distillers name, which to my eyes (and ears) look like “Hey, you should really try Ddfjpshee Allt-Aphaig” or something.

Foreign tongues can be tough, so when someone really says that I should try anConc or Adelphi Fascadale (real names),  I need a way to remember and categorize that. Enter in the app Whisky Bar.

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What do you think of the new Xbox rebranding for Windows Phone?

We’ve known for a couple of weeks now that Microsoft was evidently rebranding their Xbox games for the Windows Phone OS by dropping “LIVE” and adding a green banner to the top of the cover art. Today we reported that Microsoft was even doing this for older games too.

Interestingly, Microsoft has not announced this publicly yet, making the strategy not very clear. We’ll just assume it is part of the plan to excise “LIVE” from just about everything (and we’re real curious about the Xbox 360).

So simple question: Do you like the new look?

The green banner pops more but you also lose some cover-art space and we’re still not sure what to call it…Xbox on Windows Phone? Xbox for Windows Phone?

Sound off in comments. Voting closes in 3-days and you can vote on your phone by going to m.wpcentral.com.

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Today's winner is...

Today, Apple finally took the wraps off of the long-awaited iPhone 5 (you can get all the dirty details at our sister site iMore). Funny thing happened along the way though to the announcement: many leaks came forward early on that turned out to be highly accurate, taking the punch out of a lot of the new features. What’s more, even the media started to get a bit bored with Apple’s plans for the next-gen device.

The question for our readers though is in terms of raw technology—who came out on top? We say that because we know Apple will win the PR and hype war, but for the first time a Windows Phone has gone toe-to-toe and in terms of specs, has beat out the next-generation iPhone.

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Last week, Microsoft suddenly announced that we’d be getting Crimson Dragon Side Story on Windows Phone. We were pumped to see a Crimson Dragon/Panzer Dragoon game coming to the platform (see this article to learn more), but would it live up to the series’ high quality bar? Fast forward to now: the game is here, it’s really good, and it only costs a dollar!

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Backing up Windows Phones on Macs is a breeze

We've already established that backing up your Windows Phone can prevent any unnecessary headache due to the loss of personal data. There's no guarantee you'll always remember to take the Windows Phone out the pockets before bundling clothes into the washing machine. We recently took a look at how to back up Windows Phone using a third-party Windows tool since Microsoft doesn't offer said functionality in Zune.

In that article we incorrectly believed that the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac doesn't feature any backup facility. Turns out, it certainly does (officially too) and shares the exact same functionality as the tool we used in our previous how to, except we're now on a Mac. It's odd that Microsoft would provide Apple Mac users the means to successfully carry out backing up their Windows Phones without using third-party software, yet Windows consumers are left in the dark for now. 

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Nokia have just a announced through their Conversations website that existing Lumia phones will get some sweet new feature updates. The new features announced will include addition Bluetooth capabilities, a ringtone maker and of course the new Windows Phone 8 start screen aka the 7.8 OS refresh.

Nokia are not forgetting about their existing customers, they made this clear at the launch of Windows Phone 8 and now we’re seeing them keep to their word.

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Viber with voice support coming to Nokia Lumia phones

This morning, Viber, the company behind the popular and free VOIP communication software announced the soon-to-be available Viber app for Windows Phone, adding to Viber Messenger. The new version of the app, developed with assistance from Nokia themselves, now supports HD voice calls, bringing the app up to full Viber standards.

Viber has had a long route to get to Windows Phone, especially since their service required deeper integration with the OS, which was not available for early iterations of the software. Now, in conjunction with Nokia, the new Viber app has full voice-over-IP protocol support, allowing users to make and receive free calls over their data connection. In addition, users can of course continue to use the free messenger aspect of the app.

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On Friday, we asked our readers what Windows Phone 8 device they were leaning towards for their next purchase. And although HTC has yet to unveil their new phones, it appears that Nokia has by far demonstrated their dominance amongst our readership.

The poll was simple: Choose one of four new Windows Phone 8 devices, including the Nokia Lumia 820, Lumia 920, Samsung ATIV S or the HTC Accord (a device all but officially confirmed at this point for release).

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