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Microsoft is rolling out the Bing in the Classroom program, which has just entered the second phase. Stage two will see a broad availability of ad-free and "safer" searching to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Advertising is stripped out and searches are prevented from being utilized for personalized advertising to help keep youngsters safe while online.

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Enjoy checking in when out and about? If so, you're likely a Foursquare user. 4th & Mayor is a premium experience wrapped up in an unofficial app. The third-party app is also ahead of the official client in terms of functionality, especially with the release of the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview. You can now integrate 4th & Mayor (Foursquare) into the Windows Phone Me tile with the new Social Extension app.

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Xbox One to finally hit Japan this September

Japan and Microsoft do not get along when it comes to the Xbox video game console. That said, the company is looking to release its next-gen video game console later this year. September 4th has been marked in calendars and should you reside in the region, it won't be long until you'll be bale to pick an Xbox One up.

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Microsoft has released a preview of its Windows Phone Remote Desktop app on the Windows Phone Store. Should you be rocking the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, you'll be able to take part in this beta program too. The app enables users to connect to remote computers and enjoy the full Windows experience through the small screen, regardless as to where they may be currently located.

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Personally I've been loving the new Notification center in Windows Phone 8.1. The other day I joked about the Windows Phone dark ages where I’d hear an alert on my phone and would have to search the various Live tiles on my Start screen for which app wanted my attention. Missing that initial toast notification meant you’d need to put in some work to find out what’s going on. The Notification center in Windows Phone 8.1 changes all that of course. Here’s a quick tip on how to prevent others from seeing your Notification center when your phone is locked. A lot of you have been asking, so here’s the solution.  

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The Windows Phone app for Mac OSX was updated this week to version 3.1.1. That's up from 3.1.0, for those of you keeping track at home. And normally we wouldn't bother with what's probably just a quick bugfix, but it's yet another chance to point out that changelogs matter. We can't tell what's new here, as the changelog is the same as we saw a couple weeks ago when the app was updated for Windows Phone 8.1.

Anyhoo. If you're on a Mac and need the full-on app, now's a good time to update.

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AT&T reported its first quarter 2014 results, showing impressive growth in revenues, handset sales and customer acquisition for the quarter. While AT&T operates businesses outside of its wireless division, we're going to focus on this portion. For the quarter, AT&T posted $17.9 billion in revenue including handset sales, up 7 percent year-over-year, leading to $5.1 billion in operating income, up 8.1 percent.

On the customer side, AT&T added 625,000 postpaid customers, its largest first quarter gain in five years. It also added 693,000 "connected devices," but saw prepaid customers dip overall in the quarter mostly due to the loss of over 200,000 reseller subscribers. Of those additions, 311,000 were for postpaid smartphones, while 313,000 were tablets.

AT&T sold 5.8 million smartphones in total for the quarter, making up 92 percent of all postpaid phone sales — which first quarter record. This leads to 78 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers now using smartphones, up from 74 percent this time last year. In terms of connectivity, 57 percent of AT&T's postpaid smartphone subscribers have an LTE-capable device.

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It’s pretty easy for most of us to rib on the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). They’re the group responsible for the PMA wireless charging, a competitor to the Qi wireless standard that so many of you Windows Phone users are very familiar with. However, many technology companies are PMA members. Organizations like Huawei, BlackBerry, LG, Samsung, Qualcomm, Sony, Toshiba, AT&T and Starbucks all hold PMA membership. Guess who else just joined the PMA today? Yup, Microsoft.

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Every month we look at numbers from AdDuplex, the cross-promotion network for Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps. Those numbers give us an overview of how the Windows Phone market has been doing the past month. It’s also an opportunity to potentially spot some new handsets before they come out.

Today we’re looking at the numbers for the month of April. Windows Phone 8.1 became available last week through the Preview for Developers program. Did it make it into the stats?

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Changelogs. They’re the list of reasons why we want to update an app or game. It’s the simplest thing that some app creators often ignore. It’s baffling. Version 1.2 of your app is out? Great, umm, why do I care unless you tell me?

Granted, in Windows Phone 8.0, and earlier there was no real region for a proper list of changes, resulting in some developers creating pop-up screens detailing the fixes upon first launch, or a separate area under ‘About’ where they can detail their continuing hard work, or even jamming it under the app description in the Store. It wasn’t ideal, but people definitely appreciated the effort.

But developers, you no longer have such an excuse with Windows Phone 8.1. And we hope you notice.

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Gold's Gym International, Inc. is an American chain of international fitness centers with more than 700 locations in 30 countries. The largest gym chain in the world, Gold’s Gym started operations in India in 2002.

Gold’s Gym India has introduced a personal training app for Windows Phone devices. The My Daily Fitness Guide app is their official app that aims to keep you fit and stay healthy serving as your personal trainer and nutritionist. The app helps you to get exercise and diet plans, log your gym workouts, and track your progress.

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We're hearing additional confirmation of rumors that Microsoft is speeding up their release cycle for Windows. Mary Jo Foley's sources say we may see Windows 8.1 update 2 as soon as August, which could include a new start menu, but probably not floating modern apps in desktop mode, which may take until Spring 2015 to arrive in Windows 9. We had heard Windows Phone update cycles would be sped up too, so it would be no surprise if Windows had things kicked up a notch too.

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Some of you were looking for file managers for Windows Phone 8.1, so a couple of developers have quickly delivered. These file managers let you access your Documents, Downloads, and other user folders. You can essentially read, copy, and move files.

The two apps that we’re looking at are Aerize Explorer and Pocket Explorer. They share similar features with a few differences. Both apps are currently works in progress but can already be downloaded from the Windows Phone Store.

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Another Case Solved is a new puzzle game for Windows Phone 8 that has you playing detective to solve the mystery of a curious candy conspiracy. The story line has your city clamping down on candy cravings by outlawing the source. You will need to figure out what is behind the candy craze by gathering clues, interviewing witnesses and solve a series of mind-bending clues.

Another Case Solved has seen a decent amount of success over on iOS and based on tinkering with the game for a short period, it should be well received on the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms as well.

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There was nothing worse than accidentally exiting a game on a Windows Phone by hitting the search capacitive button. This turned gameplay into a terrible experience, especially if the game didn't pause and issues arose. It also made it difficult for players to hop back into the gaming seat and pick off where he (or she) left off. This has changed in Windows Phone 8.1.

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Reuters has released a Windows app for desktop and tablet owners to keep tabs on the world's biggest news. All of the major news topics are covered, including technology, politics, and business. Rich video and imagery keeps things interesting, and sharing options helps you get the word out about important stories to your social circle.

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Windows Phone 8.1 has a lot going on under the hood, from unified app stores with Windows 8.1 to new tools for developers. One of those tools is dubbed the ‘Social Extensibility Framework’ and while an odd term, it will have vast consequences for Windows Phone users going forward.

In case you’re wondering, this is the ‘What happened to Facebook in Windows Phone 8.1?’ discussion. While some of you have lamented the changes, no doubt due in part to habit, in the long run this improved architecture alteration will give companies a more consistent and unified approach to Windows Phone.

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Word Flow is the new name for the keyboard in Windows Phone 8.1. That keyboard includes a Shape writing feature where you swipe letters on the keyboard as opposed to the traditional touch-typing method. You slide your finger across the keyboard, pausing ever so slightly on the keys you want used and the software does the rest to create the words (here's our hands-on video).

While many will swear by Shape writing (it even set the World Record for typing speed), some aren’t yet sold on this new keyboard feature. WPCentral reader, PxuLL, has started this discussion over in the Forums asking if you use Shape writing.

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American carriers are making progress in being more open and customer-friendly — particularly T-Mobile — but Sprint is preparing to take a significant step forward by ensuring that the devices they sell to customers are able to be SIM unlocked. Eventually. In 2015. In an FAQ on Sprint's unlocking policy, the company states that they are "working to ensure that all devices developed and launched on or after February 11, 2015 are capable of being unlocked domestically."

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For today only, purchase the Incipio Feather Snap-On Case for Nokia Lumia 521 and save 32% off the list price!

Lightweight and durable, the Feather Case for Nokia Lumia 521 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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Bing Rewards is a neat program from Microsoft that enables web surfers who utilize Bing to earn rewards for using the service. Today, Microsoft announced integration with US carriers for converting points to air miles. If you're not familiar with air miles, airlines have their own frequent flyer programs that reward customers with savings and promotions on point schemes. If you search with Bing, you'll be able to convert points earned to miles with participating programs.

Bing Rewards will be pairing with American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair Saga Club, IHG Rewards Club, LifeMiles, My BestBuy Rewards, SVM FuelCircle, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. All you have to do is (once you've received the certificate) select your preferred loyalty program, enter your member number and all points or miles will be transferred to the specified account. Be sure to read through terms and conditions and other details on the Bing Rewards website for further information.

Source: Bing Rewards

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We’ve enjoyed the ability to set custom alerts with our Windows Phone contacts for a while now and with Windows Phone 8.1, we know have the ability to extend this customization to our app notification alerts.

While custom alerts for our contacts may be old hat for some, for those new to the Windows Phone platform all you need to do is go into your contacts and choose the edit button. You will see two options to set a custom ringtone and text tone just below their name. Customizing an alert sound for an app is just as simple.

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Samsung isn't the only one updating its App Folder application for Windows Phone today as Nokia has pushed out an update to its own version. Downloadable from the Windows Phone Store right now there's not a lot to shout about, just some general performance improvements.

But we'll never turn our noses up at performance improvements. And if you've not yet downloaded it, give it a shot, it's completely free.

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Consumers thoroughly enjoy using Cortana and what she can bring to the Windows Phone experience and while many are impressed by the whole setup and how Cortana looks on-screen, there may be many hidden animations you may not be aware of. We know Cortana had an Easter egg in the form of Clippy (the famous Word assistant), but Leon Zandman decided to investigate further into how this was triggered and stumbled onto numerous Cortana personae.

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