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Nokia Windows Phones are solid smartphones running Microsoft's mobile operating system and we've previously looked at how physically durable the devices are. According to AdDuplex reports, almost 90 percent of all Windows Phones are part of the Nokia Lumia family of devices. Consumers have enjoyed both stability and reliability when it comes to said Nokia hardware, but there are times when things can go wrong.

The Finnish manufacturer has made its Software Recovery Tool available for consumers to download, should they experience issues with their Nokia Windows Phone and its OS. It seems to be a re-brand of the 'Nokia Software Update for Retail', which we covered months ago as a solution to fixing your Lumia.  Nokia appears to have made now made it 'public' instead of a tool for themselves.

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Nokia has today released an update for Play To, taking the app up to version 2.2.3.2. This release includes the much anticipated fix for those running the GDR3 Developer Preview (Update 3), which saw the app lose all functionality and be rendered useless. It was only last week we covered news that the company would be releasing a patch to help users out, so we see this as a positive turn around.

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Last week Microsoft pulled their latest firmware update for their Surface Pro 2 tablet. The update itself had caused issues on the devices of users who initially grabbed the update and Microsoft promised that a new update would be posted “after the holidays”. To our surprise (and delight), the update will actually be right around the corner instead of early 2014.

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We've already looked at the spinning cogs issue with Nokia Windows Phones. You reset (or update) your handset and the when booting the handset, you simply cannot get past the spinning cogs. Luckily, while Nokia has been busy replacing damaged hardware, the manufacturer has also released an update to its Nokia Software Updater that looks to address the problem.

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Feed Me is a popular Windows Phone news reader that's used and loved by many (including some of us here), but we've been informed by the developer that YouTube video playback has ceased to function correctly. This is due to utilising unsupported and unofficial endpoints to achieve the playback and connectivity being hampered by changes made by Google. The good news is an update is in the works.

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According to Microsoft’s support forums, a user complained that his Surface RT running the latest version of the company’s Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview was seeing an extreme power decrease while in standby mode. The user also noted that a driver known as “Microsoft UART V2” seemed to be causing the issue.

Microsoft’s support team contacted the user and requested he try switching his Bluetooth to on to save battery life. Right away, this seems to be an odd solution; turning on your Bluetooth radio should decrease your device’s battery life – not improve it. That being said, as soon as said user turned on his Bluetooth radio, his issue disappeared.

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One issue that has been bugging some users for a while now is the inability to delete temporary files on their Windows Phone 8 devices.  Nokia got around this by building in their Storage Check app and even Huawei is reportedly making an app to do the same.

Now, after reports of the GDR2 (and firmware) update rolling out for unbranded HTC 8X owners today, the ability to delete temporary files is evidently built right into the OS.

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[Update: Nokia Care US is now claiming that this is for AT&T users, and it should be live. Our device is now updated at 1:22pm ET...]

While a lot of Lumia 920 owners are getting the 1308 firmware (which is busted for AT&T users, having been recently halted), Nokia is pushing out a follow up to it numbered 1314. That update, as far as we know, has not actually started to go to devices and it’s not currently on Nokia’s Navifirm server (the highest is 1310 for China’s Lumia 920T).

But it may be real close...

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Ever felt like getting stuck into the Lumia 620? A video published by YouTube channel LE55ONS shows exactly how to disassemble, reassemble and fiddle with the insides. It's 27 minutes long and provides an in-depth walkthrough on what to do to achieve the task on opening up the Windows Phone, as well as identifying each component.

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Yesterday on Nokia’s Navifirm servers evidently a new firmware update for the Lumia 920 briefly appeared. The current version for most users is the 1249 branch but this new version is of 1308 variety (1232.5957.1308.0004).

Unfortunately, the firmware is now off of the server meaning we personally cannot analyze it for changes. The good news is that some in our forums already did do some digging and there do appear to be changes to the camera for the better. In addition, new Storage options may give users a means to clear their Temporary cache on their Lumia.

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With the release of BlackBerry 10 this week, Microsoft has even more fresh blood for competition in the smartphone business. While one could argue that it is still Android or iOS that Microsoft is up against, the picture painted for spring 2013 is one of stiff competition and a fight for the third spot.

Windows Phone 8 has made great strides in making Redmond’s mobile OS much better than its predecessor, most importantly with the new NT kernel which will allow Microsoft to grow the OS. Having said that, there is a lot of room for improvement and we’re not just talking about touch-up features either but core aspects that need to be addressed.

Below is a list of 8 things we think Microsoft needs to fix in order for Windows Phone to really take off. We’re confident Microsoft already knows about these and in fact may have solutions in the pipeline. At least that's the hope.

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Supertube for Windows Phone has been bumped to version 2.8, which implements support for HQ / HD streaming of YouTube videos. The functionality was disabled on all YouTube clients for the platform due to Google altering the access method for said streams. MetroTube was also affected by the change, but has since been updated to enable users to take advantage of high quality viewing.

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Metrotube was recently pulled due to YouTube alterations that broke playback. The developer has got in touch with us to reveal that an update containing a fix has been submitted and should be live in the Store within the next 24 hours (it is currently live for those in the US). The app update has passed certification, meaning consumers will be seeing the release shortly.

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Although we haven’t seen this problem at all on our 920, our HTC 8X on occasion has spontaneously reset.  And judging by our forums, users of all Windows Phone 8 devices have had some stability issues, although it’s a seemingly small percentage.

Now, according to All Microsoft, via All Things D, have said they think they have identified the issue hope to have a hot fix update deployed over-the-air next month. No details on exactly what the issue is but we can bet is has to do with memory allocation or execution of specific code that causes the phone to spontaneously restart itself.

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If there's one area where have heard a lot of complaints on it's the WiFi function on Windows Phone.

The problem is a bit niche but it has frustrated quite a few of you ever since 2010. That "problem" is when the phone goes to the Lock screen, WiFi automatically disconnects. Obviously Microsoft had good intentions in mind here with power-saving as the chief concern. But recently, evidence and personal anecdotes seem to betray the idea that turning off WiFi (when not in use) saves battery.

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We know that Microsoft is listening to users, as feature after feature consumers want eventually do show up in the OS. We think we have found another one focused on the Music player controls.

The complaint: once you start playing a tune in Windows Phone, the Player controls permanently stay on the Lock screen, even if the music is not playing any more.

Yes, some of you may be thinking ‘who cares?’ but we can assure you, many people find it annoying. In fact, there are third party apps in the Windows Phone Store to address this very issue with the most prominent being ‘Stop the Music!’. And we agree, there should be something more elegant than the current method.

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Marketplace fix has been applied but it may take a day or two deploy

As expected, Microsoft has begun deploying the digital certificate fix for the Marketplace that has resulted in some Windows Phone users unable to either install or update a select few apps (notably WhatsApp, NY Times and Translator). In a recent change to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix notes:

“We fixed the digital certificate problem and last evening resumed publishing new apps. It will take a day or two for the repair to fully deploy and newly-published apps to begin appearing in Marketplace again.  If your app was in the process of being published, you don’t need to take any action.  We have applied the fix and the app will continue through the certification and publishing workflow as normal.”

Of course as mentioned above that does not mean you can now instantly re-install or update those apps with issues as it can take time for the changes to rollout across their servers. Still, users should be begin to see updates by the end of the weekend.

Let us know in comments if you have had any success. Thanks, ThisIsMetro, for the heads up

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With the recent release of the Microsoft Office 2013 Customer Preview, many have been hitting a giant wall when it comes to connecting Hotmail and Gmail accounts in Outlook.

Outlook 2013 supports Exchange ActiveSync as an explicit option when creating accounts, which kisses goodbye to the pesky Outlook Connector. The problem is when Outlook can't detect Hotmail (or Gmail) accounts correctly. Should a valid address be entered into the account setup assistant and it can't configure Exchange ActiveSync, it will resort to POP and SMTP protocols. This isn't ideal.

Lucky for those who suffer from the above issue, a simple workaround is available that enables Hotmail users to enjoy the new Outlook experience...

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