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We’re still recovering from Microsoft’s //BUILD/ conference from last week. Build 2014 was the event that Microsoft finally showed us Windows Phone 8.1 for the first time publically. It was also full of information for developers throughout the week at all the various sessions. Microsoft has compiled a really handy recap of the event last week.

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Microsoft's OneNote team has been kicking ass lately. A few weeks ago they introduced a new set of APIs for developers to tie into the OneNote service. In addition there's a new app for Mac users and the desktop version of OneNote on Windows was made free. Check out this pretty amazing parody from the OneNote team of the song "One Day More" from the musical Les Miserables. Video Yes. This was a video from Microsoft promoting a product for Mac.

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Zomato is a popular restaurant finder Windows Phone app that gives you recommendations for restaurants in your area and lets you look at menus, pictures, contact info, and directions. The app allows you to check ratings and reviews of restaurants which you can search for by location, cuisine, or name.

Zomato is currently available in 41 cities across the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, the UAE, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Turkey, Portugal, the Philippines, Qatar, and Sri Lanka.

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In 2014, if you are looking to watch television shows or movies, there are a plethora of different apps and services available to fulfill your need of entertainment consumption. We are going to look at what we currently consider the best TV and movie apps available in the Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. We will begin by noting that all of these application will work within the United States, but elsewhere your results will vary.

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I’m lovin’ it. Are you lovin’ it? We’re getting more and more official apps into the Windows Phone Store. Yesterday, the official McDonald’s UK app hit the Windows Phone Store. It allows you to find restaurants and filter through listings. For example, you can look only look for McDonald’s with a drive thru, baby changing facilities, free Wi-Fi, whether they’re open 24/7 or other variables. You can also use the app to view the UKs menu, get nutritional info and much more. Not to be left out, McDonald’s Sweden has released an app into the Windows Phone Store too.

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Facebook is working on transitioning users somewhat forcefully to using their dedicated Messenger app. Warning messages have been sent out to some European users that in about two weeks time, they wouldn’t be able to use the core Facebook app to do their chatting. Though this change will be rolling out globally, there will be exceptions in place for lower-powered Android devices that apparently can’t handle the Pure Awesome of the Facebook Messenger standalone app, and for Facebook’s relatively fresh news app, Paper.

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The Start Screen is a unique way to personalize your Windows Phone. Not only do consumers have access to (and can customize) app launches, but there's the possibility to pin Live Tiles that update with relevant information for apps. Part of the Start Screen layout series from Windows Phone Central staff, it's now my turn to share what I have pinned to my Start Screen and how I've configured the layout to suit my needs.

Much like our Daniel Rubino, I'm also guilty at having butt-ugly layouts on the Start Screen. I simply do not have the creativity to get stuck in and have everything arranged in an effective manner – if an app needs to be pinned, I'll pin it for future use without too much thought on positioning. The more frequently used apps are near the top, but I enjoy scrolling down to see which other apps have content to show me.

What’s on my Start screen – April 2014


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Microsoft has donated $10,000 towards tiger conservation efforts thanks to Xbox Zoo Tycoon players. The challenge was originally put to players to pick the charity they wanted to work towards, and after picking the Sumatra tiger, the players released 1000 tigers into the wild in-game. Microsoft’s $10,000 donation to the Sumatran Tiger Survival Program will help reduce the number of tigers killed, displaced, or snared.

Good on Xbox players for reaching the game goal, and good on Microsoft for taking the initiative on this program. Any Zoo Tycoon players here take part in the event?

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Common Floor, India’s leading online real estate portal, has just released their official app for Windows Phone. Search, buy, rent or sell properties in India with this application. Common Floor has presence in more than 120 cities and has over 70,000 community listings. Their official app has released initially for iOS and Android, but it did not take long for the Windows Phone variant to follow.

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The Uncarrier is striking again with a new bottom-tier plan: T-Mobile's new Simple Starter plan starts at just $40 a month. For that rate, customers will get unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of LTE data. The plans are set to be available starting on April 12, and customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile's pay-your-old-carrier's ETF deal, purchase phones on installment plans, and enroll T-Mobile's Jump! upgrade plan.

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Some will argue that you can never have enough storage memory on your Windows Phones. It seems to take no time at all to fill up the eight, sixteen or even thirty-two gigabytes of storage on our Windows Phones. We often install apps and games that begin to collect dust after a few days, never delete photos, and often have several music albums worth of songs. All of which take up valuable memory space.

Some Windows Phone models have expansion card slots to help with storage needs but even that relief has restrictions. So, how do you manage your Windows Phone storage memory? For those who struggle with keeping enough storage space free on your Windows Phone, we’ve got a few suggestions that might help you manage your memory better.

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For today only, purchase the Incipio Feather Ultra Thin Snap-On Case for Nokia Lumia 1520 and save 33% off the list price!

Lightweight and durable, the Feather Case for Lumia 1520 is engineered to provide inconspicuous protection. The snap-on application of this hard case allows for quick installation when needed and its soft touch finish provides a comfortable grip in the hand.

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Enterprise rollouts of Windows 8.1 updates through the Windows Server Update Service is hitting a bit of a roadbump. Apparently servers running SSL but without Travel Layer Security 1.2 enabled won’t be able to push out the update, and Microsoft is pausing the distribution of the update until this is fixed. This doesn’t stop you from updating if you haven’t already, since you can pick it up from the Windows Update Catalog, but Microsoft still suggests you wait until a fix is in place.

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If you believe paying anything around $150 is too much for a Windows 8 tablet, you may be in luck with Chinese manufacturer Emdoor. According to PadNews, the company has revealed its product roadmap, which includes affordable 7-, 8- and 10-inch tablets. Pricing for these new devices could reach as low as $60, depending on which configuration you opt for.

The roadmap shows that we could see these new Windows tablets this summer, with models sporting 3G connectivity starting at just $99 and 4G setting you back just shy of $200. The cheapest Emdoor model will pack a 7-inch display (1024x600), 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is essentially resting on the bare minimum in terms of specifications to run Windows 8. The beauty of these tablets is the full Windows experience.

Intel Bay Trail chips will be powering the affordable tablets, and you can all thank Microsoft for the price reductions through its recent announcement that Windows will be available for free to manufacturers on devices under 9 inches. This new wave of hardware is set to compete against more affordable Android tablets. Would you look to pick one up?

Source: PadNews, via: Windows Blog Italia; thanks, Guy, for the tip!

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Unreal Engine 4 is coming to Windows RT and Windows Phone. Someday. That's the word from Epic Games co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. The new game engine saw its initial release just last week for PC, and while iOS and Android are up next for Unreal Engine 4 development, they're also keeping their eyes on the mobile operating systems out of Redmond.

Said Sweeney on the Unreal Engine Forums:

We have been doing some work in this direction (implementing various levels of WinRT API support) and we want to have Windows Phone support eventually, but we're a very long way from having a ship-quality implementation.

Right now our mobile efforts are really focused on iOS and Android based on their huge market sizes. We have a lot of work to do on these platforms before expanding to other mobile platforms such as WP.

Now that's no guarantee that Unreal Engine 4 will come to the mobile Windows platforms any time soon. After all, Unreal Engine 3 was released in 2005 and was first demoed on a Windows RT tablet in 2012. But that Windows RT and Windows Phone are on the roadmap for Unreal is a positive sign, unlike other development houses that are quick to dismiss them due to their smaller (but growing) market share.

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Comcast may branch out from cable and landline internet, moving into the wireless service arena in the future. According to a report out of The Information, Comcast has been looking into the idea of creating a nationwide wireless phone network that relies primarily on Wifi with back-up service leased from already-established cellular carriers.

Instead of having to pursue purchasing large blocks of wireless spectrum and rights to traditional cellular towers, Comcast would leverage its currently-available network of Wifi hotspots to provide the majority of traffic for phones. Its Wifi network is growing with installations of public access points — over a million across various markets — in large cities and special residential routers that Comcast provides with a publicly-available signal in over eight million homes. But it naturally wouldn't be able to cover the entire country comprehensively — that's where other carriers come in.

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It is four months into 2014, and there is a good chance that some of us who have set our New Year’s goals to be healthier have fallen off the track a bit. If you are looking to get healthy and in shape, or simply want tips to improve your current routine, we are going to check out some of our favorite health and fitness apps within the Windows Store. So sit back, grab some water, munch on a rice cake, and let us explore the Windows Store.

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Last week, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. We gave you numerous video tours of the OS, and we’re sure you watched Joe Belfiore's on stage demonstration of Cortana. Microsoft also announced that the Preview for Developers Program will go live for 8.1 "sometime in April". That program will allow you to install the 8.1 update early on any Windows Phone 8 device. Every. Single. One.

What is this program? How can you prepare for it before it arrives? Head past the break for all you need to know!

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Zedge (www.zedge.net) is one of the most popular source of free ringtones and wallpapers in the world for over a decade now. Over 80 million people get more than 300 million free ringtones and wallpapers from Zedge every month.

After a long wait, few days back, the official app - ZEDGE Ringtones & Wallpapers – landed on the Windows Phone Store. The app allows you to seamlessly download free, high quality ringtones and HD wallpapers optimized for your device.

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