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You probably have browsed Reddit and Imgur many times if, like us, you’re a child of the internet. Baconit and Readit are two killer Reddit apps for Windows Phone that we use and love daily. For Imgur we’ve been rocking Grin since we first covered it last summer. Now we’re adding another Imgur app to our collection – Imgura for Windows Phone.

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As the General Elections 2014 get underway in the largest democracy of the world, Microsoft has partnered with the Network18 media conglomerate to create the CNN-IBN Microsoft Election Analytics Centre to allow the citizens to search and engage with election data like never before.

The initiative brings comprehensive analytics on Indian election trends over the years across parties, candidates, and constituencies to www.bing.com/elections (Location aware).

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We're kicking off a new week with our Newsroom is full swing and Build 2014 well and truly behind us. That said, there's still some news and app updates to cover for you all to remain up-to-date with platform business. We'll catch a few apps and games in today's roundup to kick off the week.

Surfy 3.8

Surfy is a pretty decent alternative web browser to Internet Explorer on Windows Phone. The app was previously re-released late last year, but today we're looking at a new release with some highly requested functionality.

Here's what's new in version 3.8:

  • Share link via NFC
  • Save Login credentials
  • Find on Page
  • Voice support for Spanish, Portuguese and Italian

Both the free and the paid versions of Surfy have been updated. Check them out on the Windows Phone Store using the links and QR codes below:

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No, you’re not literally wearing the same shirt that Joe Belfiore wore last week during the day one keynote at Build 2014. Hopefully that one has been washed and framed at the Belfiore residence as a trophy for all the hard work that went into Cortana. But you too can join history and show off your support for Cortana on Windows Phone. Microsoft’s company store has the swag up for sale. Details below.

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Internet Explorer isn't necessarily a bad web browser for Windows Phone, but there's definitely room for improvement. This is where third-party developers come into play with the likes of Maxthon and SurfCube. These alternative web browsers offer more choice for the consumer. We’ll take a look at some highlighted options available on the store.

Maxthon

You may be familiar with the name, especially if you come from a PC background. Maxthon (www.maxthon.com) is a popular web browser for Microsoft’s desktop operating system and the company has brought the same experience across to Windows Phone. Released back in October 2013, the app has been updated with new features and has accumulated positive reviews.

Here are just some of the improvements being implemented (in a previous update, version 1.0.1.1000) as development progresses:

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Mid-February we told you guys and gals about a beta for an upcoming app called Threepointer. It's a third-party client for Dribbble, the popular design community and social network. If you're a graphic designer you probably have an account on Dribbble and frequent the site for inspiration and to share your work. Now you can browse the network with Threepointer, one of the most beautiful apps on Windows Phone.

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New information revealed to Windows Phone Central confirms that Microsoft is planning at least two OS updates for Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. Internally known as ‘general distribution releases – or GDRs –  GDR1 and GDR2 are already on the roadmap for this year, with a possible third one in 2015 before the next OS revision, codenamed ‘Threshold’.

It should be of little surprise that Microsoft plans on repeating the same update schedule for Windows Phone 8 for 8.1, as it has proven to be a relatively successful method for adding new features to the OS and keeping Windows Phone in the news. A twelve-month cycle for major OS revisions also seems to be the new norm both for Phone and Windows.

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Microsoft is not resting on their laurels when it comes to gaming as new features have been announced for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Ironically, they’re unique features to each system, so hopefully you still have both of them.

First up is the Xbox 360, which is gaining an official GoPro app to view a curated channel of GoPro videos. GoPro has become the defacto source of stomach nauseating point-of-view videos, often featuring extreme sports. It’s hard to fathom how much the mini-camera system has changed our experience in watching people perform wild and crazy stunts in such a short time. Now, you’ll be able to watch all the latest right on your Xbox 360.

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Last week, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. One of the subtle new features was the Word Flow keyboard, which brings ‘shape writing’ to the mix, in addition to the familiar ‘touch typing’ for text input. Developed by Microsoft Research, the technology behind Word Flow is completely unique to Redmond, being proprietary technology and building off of the already excellent auto-complete feature. Heck, it now even predicts emoji for you too.

We demoed the new keyboard in our hands-on video but now it’s been confirmed to be the fastest in the world. In a video posted by Microsoft Research a few days ago – and lost in our shuffle – Word Flow can certainly hold its own as it was used to set the world record for fastest keyboard by a 15-year old named Gaurav Sharma.

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Cases and Covers for the HTC 8X

Here at the WPCentral Store, we like to highlight the protective solutions that stand out and make an impression with our customers and staff. We're doing exactly that, today, with cases for the HTC 8X Windows Phone. Jump past the break to get a look at the entire selection!

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Careem, a chauffeur-driven car booking service in the Middle East, has just launched their official app for Windows Phone. The service allows you to order hassle-free rides in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam from your smartphone. You can track rides in real-time, pay with credit cards, and access receipts online. Careem originally launched in Google Play and the App Store. Now, Windows Phone users can join the fun.

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We use smartphones nearly every minute of every day, and that can be an issue, specifically for batteries. If there’s one area in tech that we haven’t seen any innovation – not for lack of trying – it’s batteries. Sure they’ve grown in size and chipsets have become more power efficient, but for the most part, charging is still charging in 2014.

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Qualcomm today announced its next-generation mobile processors for the Snapdragon 800 family – 810 and 808. These new chips are designed to deliver even better performance and delight compared to what’s currently available to handset vendors today. The main improvements with these two chips is the 64bit architecture and Cat 6 LTE.

Though the chips aren’t expect to hit the public domain before 2015, it’s interesting to see what Qualcomm is working on. This Cat 6 LTE support will depend on carriers and Qualcomm has opted to use ARM core designs and not its own Krait. These new processors will introduce support for 4K displays with the new Adreno 430 GPU.

The Snapdragon 810 will combine a quad core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and Cortex-A53 to provide ample power. The 808 on-the-other-hand will have two ARM Cortex-A57 cores paired with a quad Cortex-A53 CPU. It’s all good to know, but you can expect to see more hardware with both 801 and 805 chips until early next year.

Check the presser below for the full details.

Press release:

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Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by a member of the audience, and garnered this response:

"There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

What form any emulator would take is still open for debate, though simply sticking your discs in might not be the way it would work. In any case, it's great news that Microsoft is at least looking into making it happen. Whether it will or not is another story for another day.

Source: Kotaku

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Microsoft plans to roll out new shows with its Xbox TV studio. According to Bloomberg, Nancy Tellem is heading up the game with six series lined up, including the thriller Humans which is set to go live in 2015. It's going to be a difficult road for the software giant with the likes of Netflix and Amazon both producing original content to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers. Tellem, who was part of the team that debuted the likes of ER and Friends, plans to separate Microsoft from the competition by adding interactive experiences.

Alongside the new Halo series and Humans, the Xbox studio will produce a comedy sketch and a stop-motion show with Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which produces Robot Chicken. Then there's the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, US this July, which will see full coverage and backstage Skype interviews. While some shows, including Every Street United, will be available for Xbox One and 360 owners for free, Microsoft is still ironing out the creases in its business model plans.

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There have been reports floating around the Internet today that detail the Lumia 630 not having a proximity sensor, as well as some other sensors. Are these reports to be believed? No. Simply put, we found contradicting evidence and reached out to Nokia for confirmation and you can bet to see such features included in the device.

The official Nokia website has the Lumia 630 listed, alongside its dual-SIM sibling – the Lumia 635 – and the Lumia 930. While the specifications chart for the Lumia 930 clearly states the device sports a proximity sensor, the Lumia 630 listing does not. This has led some to believe the device will not have such capabilities.

We did some digging around as this was difficult to comprehend. The Nokia Developer website has the Lumia 630 listed with full specifications too, and this website clearly states the device does indeed have a proximity sensor (detects objects in-front of screen, used for calls), as well as an ambient light sensor (for altering auto-brightness).

It’s difficult to imagine the Lumia 630 (or the Lumia 635) not having these features as not only would it affect the user experience, but this would mean the Lumia 630 would be less advanced than the Lumia 520. That's nigh-on impossible. Will you have a proximity sensor on the new Windows Phone? Definitely.

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Nokia has released the above video for the Lumia 1520, showing how the Windows Phone helps make business smarter. Whether you consider the Office for Mobile suite or integration with Microsoft services and products, Windows Phone as a whole is a perfect match for employees who make use of Windows-based hardware on a daily basis.

The Lumia 1520 brings a 6-inch display to the table, improving productivity further with its 1080p display to show everything you need to see on-screen.

Source: YouTube

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Xbox Entertainment Studios and Channel 4 here in the UK have announced a new partnership to co-produce a new drama titled Humans. Part of the Xbox content collection coming to the platform, this series will feature eight hour-long episodes, produced by award-winning UK production company Kudos. Humans will be broadcasted on the Xbox platform in North America and in the UK in 2015.

Humans will be set in a parallel present where a must-have gadget, the Synth – a robotic servant, is the craze for families. One family purchases a refurbished Synth to find out that sharing their home and lives with the machine has some chilling consequences. The show aims to question personal relationships.

If you’re a major thriller fan and own an Xbox, you’ll want to take a good look at this upcoming show. Humans will make you think about love, discrimination and integration as you’re taken through the end result of collaboration between Microsoft and Channel 4.

Source: Xbox

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The Xbox One has experienced a handful of price cuts since the next-gen video game console from Microsoft launched last year. The latest deal we're seeing is over at US retailer Target, which has the console listed for $449. This price is identical to what we saw at Best Buy and Walmart, but with this deal you'll also be getting Xbox Live for 12 months.

This is a neat deal for those who have yet to make the leap to the future of gaming. Enjoying Titanfall on the Xbox One is a perfect way to get started too. Head over to Target to place your order or pop into your local outlet.

via: DualShockers, NeoGAF

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While it might seem that a lot has happened since Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft's new CEO earlier this year, including the open-sourcing of the .NET frameworks, it's really the result of a process several years in the making. Mary J. Foley elaborates on ZDNET:

Somasegar said management was aware that Microsoft hadn't embraced open source in needed ways. The thinking was that Microsoft should start out by open-sourcing higher levels of the .Net Framework at first, and then consider gradually move down the stack. But there were debates about whether Microsoft should actually take contributions from the community, as is expected under most, if not all, open source licenses -- or simply make the code available for viewing but not modification.

If you're into .NET or open source software it's worth a read.

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Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are great machines for getting things done. They're equally as good at entertainment. Movies, television shows and games look great on the 1080p resolution spread across the 10.6-inch display found on both machines. Here's a project on Kickstarter that's going to increase your listening experience when watching video or playing games. Want some Ears for your Surface?

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The developer of Baconit, a popular Reddit app for Windows Phone, has opened up an early access program. What this program does for consumers is it allows those who wish to help out test new functionality and enjoy features before the stable app is updated. If you're an avid beta tester, this is certainly the option for you. Read past the break to see how you can get involved.

The idea is to add a lot of new functionality, test it with live users and then have everything patched before rolling out the major update for everyone to enjoy with a stable release. Think of it as the Baconit Beta. Since the final version is free, the developer is charging $1.49 for access on the beta program – a perfect opportunity for everyone to support future development. All you have to do is pay up, download and you're sorted.

It's worth noting that this is not a stable release of Baconit. Seriously, if you download this version (and future releases from this development cycle) there's a chance the app may have issues. Oh, and for those who are sticking to the stable, live release cycle, an update is reportedly well on the way.

The developer is seeking feedback over on Reddit, so be sure to get involved if you're interested. Source: Reddit

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