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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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The U.K's EE network is set to increase prices by 2.7% — yes, two-point-seven-percent — on May 28, 2014. EE's new terms and conditions allow them to raise prices by the RPI (retail price index — i.e. the rate of inflation) once a year with 30 days notice. Here's the relevant bit from EE:

You will see a 2.7% increase to your monthly plan charge on any bills you receive from the 28th May, if you joined or upgraded to a 12, 18 or 24 month Pay Monthly or Small Business contract before the 23rd January 2014. This increase is in line with the Retail Price Index (a measure of inflation) published by the Office for National Statistics on the 25th March 2014.

If you joined or upgraded after the 23rd January 2014 then you are not affected by the price increase. If you have upgraded to a new contract in the last 30 days you may still receive a letter, however the price increase is not applicable to your new plan.

For some customers, we are also making changes to a number of other charges such as standard UK calls and texts when you go over your mobile allowance, and other services like calls to 08 numbers, international calls and MMS. These changes will take effect from the 28th May.

So, if you're on EE, consider yourself on notice. Anyone have a problem with the increase?

Source: EE via Coolsmartphone

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Anybody waiting for the ability to backup their Windows Phone Start Screen is about to get their wish, as Windows Phone 8.1 will let users backup and restore their Start Screen across devices. Restoring a device will also download the data for all of your apps.

Every tile will be restored on your device, and all of your Start Screen icons and images are maintained. Launch context is equally preserved. The only thing that isn't restored are apps themselves, which need to be re-downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. Until an app is restored its tile appears grayed out on the screen.

Are you excited to be able to backup and restore your Start Screen? Sound off below in the comments.

Source: Justin Angel on Twitter

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If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Miracast support in Windows Phone 8.1, and are excited that you’ll be able to upgrade your Windows Phone, you may have to pipe down slightly as your current device may not be compatible. This news comes from Joe Belfiore on Twitter, stating that only the Nokia Lumia 1520 from current (and previous) generation Windows Phones may be compatible.

It’s a downer for consumers who were looking forward to grabbing the Windows Phone 8.1 update on current hardware to take advantage of Miracast. That said, we’re already starting to see new hardware be announced for Microsoft’s next major OS update, so perhaps you’ll be tempted to upgrade to a new model?

Either way, we’ll hopefully have more details on the peer-to-peer wireless screen casting in the near future.

via: GSMArena

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This was a very busy week for all of us here at Windows Phone Central. We went up to San Francisco to attend Build 2014. There Microsoft officially announced Windows Phone 8.1, a new update to Windows 8.1, Windows on Devices and much more. Friday we snuck up to Petaluma, California to visit TWiT Studios for an in-studio taping of Windows Weekly 356. Daniel Rubino joined Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte for an episode to talk all about //BUILD/ and beer.

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Plex coming to Xbox One

One of the cooler announcements from BUILD this year was the support for universal applications — software that can run on more than one Windows-powered device. It appears that Plex, the popular fork of the XBMC project, is going to take advantage of this and is coming to the Xbox One. Want to hear even better news? Since the Xbone can't yet run these apps, a stand-alone version is also coming as soon as it is ready!

Tyson Edwards, posting in the official Plex forums, broke the news:

I would like to make you all aware of some very exciting news...
Microsoft has approved the development of a Plex Client for Xbox One.
That is correct, we have been granted membership into ID@Xbox specifically for the development and eventual release of Plex for Xbox One.
This is in no way saying that it will be coming next week, or even next month, but starting tonight I will be applying my first test code to an Xbox One.
More details will be coming soon.
Thank you very much for your patience in this matter, and thank you very much for your support.

An official Dashboard update is expected soon that will allow universal applications to run on the Xbox One, and hopefully Plex will be ready with the universal app then. In the meantime, get ready for Plex on your Xbox One soon.

Via: TNW

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One particularly interesting talk out of Build showcased Microsoft’s plan to bring Windows Phone into the car with a new embedded software concept. The idea here will be to project the data from the phone onto the dash display in a usable, safe format, but as you can see, a lot of the Windows visual style is retained. This is great, considering most embedded car system interfaces (Microsoft’s included) are pretty ugly.

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The Xbox One we had heard about last month is apparently rolling out to select beta testers with some additional improvements. The big addition here is new controller firmware which stabilizes disconnection issues and improves headset audio quality. There's also a new online friends notification animation that looks a little like this.

Here's the full feature list according to the source. Have any of you guys got the update yet?

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We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.

Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty – these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!

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Customizing your Windows Phone Lockscreen

Our Windows Phone lockscreen serves two purposes. It gives us an opportunity to glance at key information without having to unlock our Windows Phone and it affords us an opportunity to stylize our phone’s appearance.

Through the native lockscreen settings you have the ability to customize the wallpaper that will appear and tweak what bits of information will appear. In addition to the native Windows Phone lockscreen settings, there are plenty of apps available in the Windows Phone Store to let you customize your lockscreen further.

While this may be old hat to some, we’ll touch base on a few of the options available to customize your Windows Phone lockscreen after the break.

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"At least" five high-ranking executives from Samsung Telecommunications America have left or handed in their notice in the past two months, according to a report from CNET. The list of departing execs covers some individuals who were public faces for Samsung in addition to their strategic roles within the company, as well as those involved with some key mobile products and sales efforts.

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Support for Windows XP may be ending in just a few days, but that doesn't mean everyone has prepared themselves for a switch.

The U.K. government, in particular, has announced that a new agreement with Microsoft will get them continued support for the next 12 months while they continue to update their infrastructure to newer versions of the operating system. Of course, this comes at a cost — £5.5 million to be exact. This figure, while quite high, is small compared to the cost of updating all the various systems and training users, and would have been considerably higher had individual departments negotiated with Microsoft versus one grand agreement.

It's still a bitter pill to swallow when you see your tax dollars spent to support old IT, and we imagine a big push to move things over will be coming this year.

Source: Neowin

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With 12 million downloads Minecraft is now one of the most successful Xbox 360 games in history. Minecraft is incredibly popular, so that should come as no surprise. While Xbox 360 isn't the latest, greatest console from Microsoft — that honor belongs to the Xbox One — it still lives in many hearts and many homes. And that's not all, according to TechNet Blogs:

The "Minecraft" brain trust still has plenty of surprises in store for diehard "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition" fans, including the April 18 release of the new Candy Texture Pack.

So, are you one of the 12 million? And if you're a hardcore Minecraft player, how does the Xbox 360 edition hold up?

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Facebook Beta was updated to version 5.2 today, bringing along some performance improvements and the ubiquitious bug fixes. Users on the beta track for Facebook can enjoy faster and more reliable notifications, as well as suport for additional languages.

Here's your full list of changes:

  • Faster and more reliable notifications
  • Toasts for Facebook chat
  • Redesigned primary tile
  • Redesigned secondary tiles for chat, events, groups, pages, and photo albums
  • Messaging improvements
  • Performance improvements
  • Support for additional languages

Check for your update or grab it from free from the Windows Phone Store.

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Our own Daniel Rubino is en route to Petaluma right now to join Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott, and Mary Jo Foley for TWiT's Windows Weekly podcast. Build 2014 will no doubt be the subject of the show, along with Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 Update 1, and, of course, the brand new Lumia 630, Lumia 635, and Lumia 930 phones.

The show kicks off at 1pm PT, 4pm ET, 9pm BST so make sure you load it up and catch Daniel live with the Windows Weekly crew. This one is not to be missed!

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When it comes to video playback on Windows Phone, especially YouTube, things can get a little complicated. We won’t rehash the whole Google-Microsoft tiff over an official app again, but what we can share with you is some details about how Microsoft worked really hard on Windows Phone 8.1’s HTML5 video capability.

We recently spoke with a Microsoft Program Manager who worked on the IE 11 HTML5 audio/video features, including all the details of the modifications. They’re quite significant, and we’re confident that once you learn about them, you’ll be even more excited to pick up the 8.1 bits in the coming weeks.

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The new U.S. smartphone market share numbers for February 2014 from comScore show Android made a slight gain since last November. Android grew from 51.9 percent to 52.1, while Apple gained 0.1 percentage points to hit 41.3 percent. BlackBerry saw a dip, while Microsoft climbed ever so slightly to hit 3.4 percent market share.

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Nokia announced not only new hardware at Build this year, but also SensorCore for developers. This Software Development Kit enables developers to utilize sensors on a Lumia Windows Phone without sacrificing battery life a whole deal – perfect for health and fitness apps or services that rely on sensors for data.

How it all works is by using a new software solution to run at low power levels, but is also able to provide the data applications require when in use. The SDK and new software from Nokia essentially acts as a buffer of somewhat between the sensors and installed apps. While this won’t mean much to consumers, it’s progress for developers.

There’s a shortage of official support from vendors of fitness products (Fitbit to name but one), but this SDK will hopefully look to address issues with actual tracking apps, alongside improvements in Windows Phone such as Bluetooth 4.0 LE. It will aid said companies to create solutions with better power management. The low power capabilities of SensorCore will be available on the Lumia 1520, Lumia Icon and Lumia 930. Affordable hardware will also be included; the Lumia 630 and Lumia 635.

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Nokia has unveiled plans to push wireless charging heavily with the Lumia 930 launch. By this we mean the company will be bundling a free wireless charging accessory with each purchase. It’s a move we expected to see with future hardware since Microsoft joined the Wireless Power Consortium alongside Nokia and other companies.

The Lumia 930 has gone back to Nokia’s roots of including wireless charging inside the chassis itself, rather than requiring the consumer to purchase an optional case accessory. Conor Pierce, VP of Nokia UK & Ireland explained to a media briefing yesterday how the company was going to drive wireless charging, a more convenient option.

We expect the Lumia 930 to launch later this year.

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This is a rather weird story to read, but an interesting one nonetheless. Kirstoffer Von Hassel from San Diego in the US worked out how to log in to his father’s Xbox Live account without the correct password. Sounds like a serious security flaw, right?

Microsoft has since fixed the issue and added Von Hassel to its list of recognized security researchers. A five-year old. Expectedly, Von Hassel is both excited and grateful Microsoft took the time to acknowledge his contribution, as well as sending some free titles to use on the video game system.

How the young boy managed to bypass the security feature was by purposely entering an incorrect password, which would bring up a verification screen. He would then fill the password field up with spaces, leading the system to log into his father’s account. A simple, yet serious flaw.

"I got nervous. I thought he was going to find out," Von Hassel told the TV station KGTV, "I thought someone was going to steal the Xbox." The father sent in the flaw details to Microsoft, who later thanked the family by sending four free games, $50 gift card and a year subscription to Xbox Live.

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Top Baseball Apps for Windows Phone

Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Baseball Apps

Major League Baseball opened it’s 2014 Season this week and we would be remiss if we failed to present you with a roundup of the top Windows Phone apps for keeping up with America’s Past-time. These are dedicated Major League Baseball apps.

We’ve got four of the top apps in this week’s roundup that deliver stats, video highlights, player profiles, news from the baseball field and even streaming live video from games. And just to make sure all our bases are covered, we’ve got a short list of honorable mentions for you to consider as well.

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We know that Samsung is working on launching the ATIV SE on Verizon, but what about the rest of the world? SamMobile has reported that the manufacturer is actively developing another Windows Phone – the ATIV Core. It's believed to be a mid-range smartphone and will be a launching product for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft's next major update for the platform.

The reason we're weighing something on this report is down to Samsung not missing out on a Windows Phone as of yet. The company has released a steady (albeit slow) flow of smartphones running Microsoft's mobile OS and the ATIV Core would fit in alongside the plethora of Nokia/Microsoft devices, joined by phones from newly announced partners.

The ATIV Core is said to have a 4.5-inch display (720p), 1GB RAM and be powered by a 2100mAh power plant. We're not sure about the report (take it with a grain of salt), but would you be interested in a mid-range Samsung Windows Phone 8.1 device?

Source: SamMobile

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