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This is one of those Windows Phone 8.1 changes that will only affect like 0.1% of you, though it’s still interesting if you’re into security and what may be best described as piracy.

Last summer, we ran a controversial story about how to install OEM exclusive apps to your Windows Phone. Those apps are always ‘free’ though they are in theory subsidized by your purchase of that OEM’s phone. There was a method used where you can spoof your Nokia Lumia to look like a Samsung one, or vice versa.

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Rabbids Big Bang goes free on Windows Phone 8

The wacky physics puzzle game Rabbids Big Bang is going free for a limited time in the Windows Phone Store. Rabbids Big Bang takes the absolutely insane creatures from the Rayman series and launches them into space. Take a swing at your fuzzy friend at just the right angle to send them into orbit around neighboring planets. Strategically time your jetpack usage to get all of the objective items, and ultimately unlock tons of bizzarre costumes and batting implements.

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For today only, purchase the BodyGuardz HD Anti-Glare ScreenGuardz for Nokia Lumia 820 and save 44% off the list price!

These invisible protectors are made of an ultra-slim polymer and shield your screen from abrasive elements such as keys and dust. They're custom designed to protect your Nokia Lumia 820's display while reducing annoying glare at the same time. Includes 2 per package.

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Debug 34: Sexism in tech

Debug is Mobile Nations developer podcast. This week, however, we're doing something different. We're bringing together a panel of developers and designers, CEOs and senior editors, of women in the tech industry to talk about how women are treated and mistreated in the tech industry. Join Serenity Caldwell of Macworld/TechHive, Jessie Char of Pacific Helm, Georgia Dow of ZEN & TECH, and Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat as share their experiences and insight on sexism in the tech industry, from coworkers to clients to conventions to culture and beyond.

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Verizon's first quarter results are in, and mirroring rival AT&T, they saw some rather impressive growth. Verizon as a whole saw $30 billion in revenue, but even with their substantial non-cellular businesses, Verizon Wireless accounted for a whopping $20.9 billion of that income. That's an increase of nearly 7% from this quarter last year, though growth through their retail outlets was slightly lower.

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While smartphone screen sizes appear to be closing the gap between the mobile phone and tablet, larger handheld devices are further advancing screen technology and Japan Display is looking to add 4K to the mix. The company has announced a new 10.1-inch IPS LCD display with a "4K2K" resolution (3840 x 2160). This would provide a super high-definition experience for tablet owners with a pixel density of 438ppi, comparable to premium smartphones.

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When you compare the Windows Phone ecosystem to iOS and Android you’ll find that we have most of the major apps. However, our apps don’t get updated as much as we’d like. Which is why we get pretty excited when apps like eBay get updated. That just happened, so let’s check out what’s new with eBay on Windows Phone.

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Nokia Lumia 630 unboxing

A Nokia Lumia 630 was just delivered, so it’s time for an unboxing! The Lumia 630 will be available in stores starting next month for $159 for the single-SIM version and $169 for the dual-SIM version. How does the packaging look and what’s inside? Let’s take a look.

Head past the break to watch our Nokia Lumia 630 unboxing video.

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It was last June that we first talked about Project Tripod, an upcoming photography app with a lot of potential. This is an app that is coming out of the AppCampus program. That means the Project Tripod team received funding and help from Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. In exchange, apps from AppCampus are exclusive on Windows Phone for 90 days before they’re allowed to join competing platforms. Project Tripod is an app with so much potential we can’t wait to see it go multi-platform, but in the meantime we’ll very much enjoy this Windows Phone exclusive.

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The Lumia 1520 now holds my record for longest used Windows Phone, previously held by my Lumia 920. There’s just something about the raw horsepower of a quad-core 2.2 GHz CPU and that 1080P six inch display that makes it hard to resist.  Sure, it’s big, but it’s also awesome.

Unfortunately, for those on T-Mobile in the US, the Lumia 1520 is but a pipe dream. That is until the Lumia 1520.3 (RM-938) hit third party retailers. In a very lengthy thread in our forums, this version of the Lumia 1520 has been confirmed to have the necessary AWS bands for T-Mobile, as well as reportedly getting AT&T LTE, as well. That is in addition to having 32 GB, of internal storage and Qi wireless charging. It’s the Holy Grail for those yearning for a Lumia 1520, but who reside in the States.

That’s the good news. The bad news is twofold.

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Did you know Nokia does more than make phones? They also help developers from large companies to the indie guy who’s just getting his feet wet. Their group to do this is dubbed DVLUP (www.dvlup.com), and they’ve grown to be quite a massive – and important – part of the Windows Phone ecosystem.

Their ongoing DVLUP Days program is a way for you to learn new skills and talk to the experts who will show you how to either make an app or make your app even better. It’s a phenomenal and FREE event, in which you can even nab yourself a free Windows Phone (if you publish your creation in three weeks) and some other goodies.

The event will be in San Diego this weekend, but that’s at capacity (sorry!). Luckily, Toronto and Dallas are still a go, and we have all the details below!

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Unity support has really helped some of the larger mobile games come to Windows Phone, even if we still get them later than other platforms. Case in point, Russian-publisher Nival has just published King’s Bounty: Legions on Windows Phone 8. King’s Bounty is a turn-based strategy series that started its life on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive long ago and continues to thrive on Steam.

King’s Bounty: Legions is exciting for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a serious strategy game and it’s free to play. More importantly, it supports cloud saves and cross-platform multiplayer via Facebook! You can start playing on Windows Phone and then pick up where you left off on Steam, Facebook, iOS, and Android. Read on for more impressions.

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Indian Railways, the state-owned enterprise operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways, is one of the world's largest railway networks and transports over 25 million passengers daily.

Last year, Microsoft India pulled off a major exclusive with the launch of the official IRCTC app that still is only available for Windows Phone and Windows devices and gets a lot of envy from our friends on Android or iOS.

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Setting up your Windows Phone Driving Mode

Driving Mode was introduced by Microsoft in Windows Phone 8.0 Update 3 a few months ago. It carries over into Windows Phone 8.1 update, and it remains one of the few truly unique features of Microsoft's platform. Heck, it even showed up on NBC Today.

The Windows Phone Driving Mode is designed to automatically start when you connect to a Bluetooth device and it can be set to ignore calls and text messages. In a nutshell, the Driving Mode removes aspects of your Windows Phone that may cause a distraction while you are cruising down the road. It can even auto-respond via text message to tell people you're driving - now that's smart!

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For today only, purchase the BodyGuardz UltraTough Clear ScreenGuardz for Nokia Lumia 928 and save 44% off the list price!

These ScreenGuardz are made from the same material used to shield the front of vehicles from rock chips and provide unmatched scratch protection from outside elements. This ultra-tough Lumia 928 protector is optically clear to preserve the beauty and design of the display. And, it's easy to apply!

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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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