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2 years ago

Microsoft updates the Xbox One SmartGlass Beta letting you 'like' published content

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The Xbox One SmartGlass Beta is a version of the official remote control app for Microsoft's video game console, which consumers can download to check out upcoming features not yet loaded into the main release. We last looked at the app being updated back in May, but today the team has released another update to bring forward some new features.

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2 years ago

Inside ExpertZone: How Microsoft empowers retail pros for today and tomorrow

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Microsoft's ExpertZone is a program within the company to help out knowledgeable retail sales staff. Those are the guys and gals who work at electronic retailers around the globe. ExpertZone is a place where those with a passion for Microsoft products can talk, learn and get rewarded.

Last week at E3 2014, over 300 lucky ExpertZone members had a chance to check out the Xbox booth after show floor hours. Guests were treated to food, drinks, and, of course, a whole lot of games. Here's a look at that event and what Microsoft does to give retail pros an edge in the workplace.

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2 years ago

We get some hands-on time with the newly announced Micromax Canvas Win W092

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Micromax Canvas Win W092 is one of the two Windows Phone devices launched by the company this week, and is the cheapest Windows Phone device to be released in India. The Canvas Win W092 is priced at INR 6,500 ($110) and will be available in the market starting early July 2014.

The budget smartphone aims to compete with the Nokia Lumia 520, another popular affordable Lumia available in the region. I spent some time with the device at the launch event, and here are my first impressions of the phone.

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2 years ago

Xbox One launch date and pricing confirmed for Russia

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2 years ago

Micromax Canvas Win W121: Hands-on, First impressions, and Photos

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Micromax Canvas Win W121 is one of the two Windows Phone devices launched in India by the company, the first domestic smartphone manufacturer to do so. The Canvas Win W121 is priced at INR 9,500 ($160) and will be available in the market starting early July 2014.

The budget smartphone aims to compete with the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 525, as well as the latest Lumia 630, the only other Windows Phone 8.1 device in the market. I spent some time with the device at the launch event, and here are my first impressions of the phone.

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2 years ago

Xbox One games to benefit from major graphics boost with new XDK

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2 years ago

Official BlueFly app brings a boutique fashion experience to Windows Phone

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BlueFly is an online fashion retailer based in the heart of the fashion district in New York City. The retailer released its official Windows Phone app earlier this month allowing you to browse all the designer fashions and buy on the go. A boutique of sorts accessible from your Windows Phone.

The Windows Phone 8 app has a clean appearance and straightforward navigation. It comes across with a slight high-end feel to match the high-end clothing offered by the retailer.

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2 years ago

Introducing Hidden Gems, our new series showcasing distinctive apps for Windows and Windows Phone!

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Reporting and reviewing apps and games is part of our job at Windows Phone Central. Some of it is easy, like when a major app finally makes its way to our ecosystem, but if there's one thing we especially love, it's discovering an exceptional and unknown app. Often, it's you, our audience that brings them to our attention. Today, we're changing the tables around.

Starting tomorrow and running throughout the rest of June, we're partnering up with Microsoft to give away some great prizes and focusing on a select few apps and games that we think deserve some attention. They may for devices or services you are not aware of, they may be unique games, but they have all been handpicked.

The series is planned to run every day before noon Eastern Time, and they'll feature our cool little graphic (see below) so that you know it is part of the Hidden Gems program. We're also creating a main topic page, where you can view all the previous Hidden Gems articles in case you want to catch up. You can find that page here: www.wpcentral.com/hidden-gems, so make sure you bookmark it.

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2 years ago

Glympse travel tracker for Windows Phone gets an update after a three year hiatus

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Glympse (www.glympse.com) is probably one of the most useful services when making a car trip. The free service allows you to share your journey with friends or family so that they can track you in real time. For instance, imagine you're meeting up with a friend in the city. You can give them a Glympse along with your ETA, allowing your compadre to see where you are (and perhaps preventing an unnecessary call when you're running late).

Gympse originally arrived on Windows Phone back in 2011 and before that it was even on Windows Mobile 6. The app had a handful of updates jumping from 1.0 to 2.0 in five months, but after November 2011, the well went dry. The deserting was particularly painful because it wasn't until Windows Phone 8 and the background GPS tasks that Glympse had the potential to be fully unleashed. On Windows Phone 7, the Glympse app had to stay in the forefront, losing the signal if tombstoned.

However, June 17, 2014 is the day Glympse finally returned to Windows Phone.

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2 years ago

Is it fair to consider the size of the Lumia 1520 as a con?

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There is very little debate on the Nokia Lumia 1520 being a large Windows Phone. Its 6 inch screen is massive compared to other Windows Phones. But is it fair to consider the largeness of the Lumia 1520 a "con" (as in pros and cons)?

WPCentral Forums member Rawliglat x poses the question in a recent forums discussion taking the position that the Lumia 1520 is simply designed for consumers looking for a bigger screen. The larger size of the 1520 should not be considered a con any more than the smaller size of other Windows Phone should be considered a con.

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2 years ago

Microsoft working on passive-voice activation for Cortana

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While asking Cortana various questions on Windows Phone 8.1 is natural, the way in which one enables the personal voice assistant isn't quite as fluid. Users need to press down on the Search key or press the Live Tile and microphone before Cortana enables, and while it's not difficult there are better solutions available.

One of the solutions is passive-voice activation, which is something users of the Xbox One with Kinect should know. Passive-voice activation allows users to engage the AI or system simply by using their voice. Likewise, the Motorola Moto X with Android can also activated by explicitly stating 'Ok, Google Now.' The phone will then come awake, letting users make appointments, starting their music, or sending a text message without ever touching the phone.

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2 years ago

Facebook Beta for Windows Phone 8 overhauled with new design and features

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Facebook Beta has finally received the highly anticipated refresh that Microsoft's Joe Belfiore mentioned during his recent Reddit AMA. The update brings the popular app up to version 5.3.0.1 (8.3.0.1) for those on Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, respectively. In addition, a detailed changelog has been added, noting a range of improvements including a new, more Modern layout.

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2 years ago

1Password for Windows gets much needed 4.0 update

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1Password is a solid solution for those who require apps to store randomized passwords. Agile Bits, the development house behind the service and apps, have announced version 4.0 for Windows on their blog. Sporting rather old and basic apps for both Windows Phone and Windows, this is welcomed news as what's contained in the release is a bunch of revamped features.

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2 years ago

8.1 HD Tiles, delivering transparent Live Tiles to your Windows Phone

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8.1 HD Tiles is a Windows Phone 8.1 app that will let you add transparent Live Tiles to your Start Screen. The app not only offers transparent tiles for two hundred apps but 8.1 HD Tiles also offers tile options for settings, websites and blank tiles that can be used as spacers or to categorize groups of Windows Phone Live Tiles.

The app is compatible with Windows Phone 8 devices but some of the system settings will not be available and the tiles are not transparent. 8.1 HD Tiles is an easy way to add transparent Live Tiles and a nice addition to the Windows Phone 8.1 app library.

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2 years ago

Surface Pro 3 128 GB ship date pushed back by 10 days for new orders

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The Surface Pro 3 is slated for release later this Friday, but only for the Core i5 versions coming in 128 GB and 256 GB ranges. The more budget friendly Core i3 and wallet-busting Core i7 configurations, however, are not due until the end of August.

Microsoft may be dealing with somewhat high demand though, as the $999 Core i5 version with 128 GB now has a June 30 ship-by date, slipping by 10 days from June 20. The change in shipping appears only to apply to new purchases, and not early pre-orders. Accordingly, if you reserved your Surface Pro 3 128 GB prior to the last 24 hours, your new tablet/laptop hybrid should still be on track for delivery.

Presumably, Microsoft and Best Buy will also have the128 GB version on-hand in stores for immediate purchase starting Friday as well.

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