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Nokia will get into the tablet business. We’re pretty sure of that as higher ups at Nokia have said as much in the past and even CEO Stephen Elop mentioned about the “opportunity” being there just a few weeks ago here in New York.

The only questions that remain are when and what it will look like, to which we have no leads or even guesses.

That hasn't stopped the folks at ProductShowroom from taking a stab at the concept with their recent device render (translation: this is all completely 'made up'). They’ve decided that Nokia should go the ‘phablet’ route, a new mixed term for really big phones that are basically mini-tablets e.g. Samsung Galaxy Note.

For the record, we really hate saying 'phablet'. 

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Supertube

HD and HQ streaming down but now out

If you’re a user of any 3rd party YouTube apps that also sport high-definition (HD) or high-quality (HQ) streaming, you may have noticed that function has stopped working recently.

Long story short is YouTube changed their access method for those streams and basically borked those apps. The changed occurred on September 14th and since Supertube and MetroTube use unorthodox methods for access (read: not officially sanctioned by YouTube), it broke on the apps’ end too, resulting in only LQ playback abilities. Interestingly, this isn't the first (nor the last) time that this has happened, as nearly a year ago, the same situation occured.

We’ve heard from the Supertube developers that a fix has already been submitted to the Windows Phone Store, meaning service will be restored when the update goes live. Although we haven’t heard from the MetroTube team, we’re just going to assume the same for them as well. That means this isn’t a permanent change but rather just a temporary glitch, so dear YouTube streamers, standby for a few days and all will return when those apps update.

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Zane Lowe Tour

Shake your booty with Zane Lowe and Nokia

Zane Lowe has announced an array of dates for his UK university tour, which kicks off in Lincoln tomorrow. The established DJ, who also currently hosts the BBC Radio 1 Evening Show, has partnered with Nokia to "connect" the tour. This is an opportunity for Nokia to work on promotion while we wait until recently announced hardware is available to consumers. 

The manufacturer has made it a strategic focus to tackle the issue with younger consumers turning away from Nokia. To aid this effort, the company has released (and continues to do so) Windows Phones with multiple themes available for more choice.

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new notifications in WP8

To the left, Twitter and to the right, reportedly Facebook notifications

Looks like Nokia’s New York City announcement is the gift that keeps on giving. Such is the case from the newly observed Twitter and Facebook notifications on the Lock screen during the introduction of the wireless charging part of the presentation. (Although Twitter is clear as day for us, we're still  not sure about the Facebook one--it's quite hard to tell.)

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Update (1pm ET): The Windows Phone Store link is now active

For those of you who commute or find yourself traveling a lot, you’ll soon be able to make your life a lot more interesting as 121Cast's SoundGecko app has finally landed for Windows Phone. We wrote on SoundGecko earlier in anticipation of the app and that day is just about upon us.

The app has passed Windows Phone certification and is just waiting to be “pushed” to the Store. Windows Phone Central managed to get our hands on it slightly early and we’re more than glad to give you the tour in the video above.

The service, found at www.soundgecko.com, is free for the basic level and it allows you to convert 30 articles a month into audio format. The service works by finding a web link of a story you want to listen to later and sending it to SoundGecko (you can even use the nifty Chrome plugin to automate the process).

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WP Central
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My Next Windows Phone - Mateo Nunez

My Next Windows Phone is.....

The Lumia 920 should be the phone of the year. Nokia has pushed innovation with their hardware design and their customer care. Nokia did not make any specific announcements about what carrier’s will get which phones. Which brings me to my problem. I do not want to switch to ATT because I can’t afford it. I am pretty positive that the Lumia 920 might be an ATT exclusive, no official announcements have been made.  

The Lumia 820, which is a great phone but doesn’t have the new Pure View camera. I like the 820 because I feel that a 4.3” screen is a perfect size for me personally, and the removable back covers are a nice touch.  I was hoping for a larger battery, but 1650mAH is pretty good and the screen isn’t as good as the 920 but still pretty classy.

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Samsung ATIV S

Samsung ATIV S heading to Canada?

We've just broke word that Microsoft has indeed released Windows Phone 8 to manufacturers (RTM) for testing and further development, which means we're not too far off from a platform launch. Nokia has revealed its lineup with the Lumia 820 and 920, and Samsung announced the ATIV S. We've got the HTC event just around the corner, but which Windows Phones will be heading to Canadian carrier Bell?

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Windows Phone 8 has officially gone gold (RTM)

Belfiore

Manager of the Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore in NYC

WP CentralRum: 10

Tonight we can confirm via two known sources that Windows Phone 8 has RTM’d. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, RTM stands for Release to Manufacturing (aka “going gold") and is one of the final steps in getting the software to market.

We're also told that this RTM date was planned and that Windows Phone 8 is "on time".

Windows Phone 8 codenamed ‘Apollo’ has been in development since 2011. The previous major branch of Windows Phone codenamed ‘Mango’ RTM’d in July 26th, just over one year ago. Bringing along a new core architecture built upon the NT kernel, the Windows Phone 8 OS will allow Microsoft to adopt cutting edge technology and heavily compete with Android and iOS in terms of features and hardware flexibility.

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Broken HTC

Just don't whack it too hard...

What a way to round off the working week with a humorous patent that has been filed by Microsoft. If implemented into Windows Phone, we'll be looking to "whack off" our phones should they start ringing. Depending on what the term "whack" means in the society you belong to, it usually involves utmost satisfaction followed by intense drowsiness, or crying children - but please attempt to stay with us without chuckling while we check out how Microsoft will allow us to whack our phones.

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WP Central

Behind those smiles is concern

This was another important week for the mobile giant from Cupertino.  Apple continued to improve upon its iPhone product line by launching the iPhone 5. While I believe Apple delivered exactly what investors need, none of this really changes the story for the two major comeback players - Nokia and RIM.

So let’s focus on Nokia here.  We already know they did a poor job of unveiling the Lumia 920 but I didn’t think the stock market reaction made sense.  Sure, Nokia left a lot of information off the table but they still showed off a very nice phone running Windows Phone 8, proving their lineup is becoming interesting again.  And as much as I love Apple products (I really do), I recognize that people don’t just want to buy iClones.  Apple is an amazing company with amazing products.  But they aren’t for everybody.

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Google

Google is getting bold, telling OEMs 'no' on other OSs

Update: Google's Andy Rubin finally responds. See after the break...

A bit of a controversy is slowly erupting over Acer’s widely publicized plan to use the Aliyun OS in a new line of low-cost smartphones, mostly destined for the Chinese market. Aliyun OS is a Linux-based system developed by the Chinese company Alibaba Group and offered a way for OEMs like Acer to diversify.

Acer has now abruptly canceled plans after Google “expressed concerns” over the announcement.  Though Acer still wants to use the Aliyun OS, the move by Google is being interpreted as a hostile action to block competition. Reportedly Google threatened to cancel Acer’s license to make Android devices, which many consider playing hardball.

The question is, how far is Google willing to go to maintain dominance?

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WP Central

Coming to the US on October 21st? Not likely.

Rum: 4

File this under wishful thinking and maybe true but BGR’s Geller personally posted that they’ve confirmed through sources the AT&T launch date for the Nokia Lumia 920. On Tracour, BGR.com only has a 52% average rating on rumor accuracy, so take this rumor with some skepticism. 

The flagship Windows Phone from Nokia is reportedly going to launch on October 21st—a traditional Sunday launch for the company. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Note II will launch the same day. That contradicts earlier rumors from the Verge and TechRadar who suggested November 2nd--the last day of Microsoft's Build '12.

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HP

Could HP rejoin Microsoft in 2013? Maybe.

Yesterday, Fox Business has a recent interview with HP CEO Meg Whitman where all aspects of the business were discussed. HP has had a very interesting history these last 10 years and while we don’t want to focus on the changes, it’s on again/off again foray into smartphones is highly relevant.

To that issue, Whitman was asked directly "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" to which Whitman replied:

"[HP will] have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

That’s a smart analysis of the mobile industry but also a tough problem to solve.

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UFC for Windows Phone

Let's get ready to...wait, wrong sport

When you’re done pounding down your scotch, you may want to watch some brawny guys beat the heck out of each other—if so the official UFC companion app for Windows Phone may just be your next download.

We say 'companion' because it expands upon the official Xbox UFC Live app for the 360--that app allows you to watch UFC fights through your 360 to your TV and more. (Of course you can use the app without an Xbox 360 too).

The app just landed on the Store for Windows Phone and it’s not half bad (though it does have the default load screen for a split second). Actually, the app had a really gorgeous Metro layout and logs into your Xbox Live account automatically.

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PC Refresh

Santa's here - free gifts for everyone

Microsoft has announced at an internal event held in Seattle that employees at the company will be receiving a hardware package which includes a PC refresh, Surface tablet and Windows Phone. GeekWire reports the company is looking to accelerate the refresh cycle for Employee workstations to take full advantage of Windows 8. 

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My next Windows Phone will hopefully be a Lumia 820
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My next Windows Phone - Seth Brodeur

As an IT consultant, my approach to technology is one best described as practical. I examine the circumstances and then try to decide which solution will best fit the needs of my clients.  So when we here at Windows Phone Central were asked to write a piece about what our next Windows Phone device would be, I took that same practical approach on deciding how I would replace my current phone, the HTC Arrive.

I use my Arrive in every facet of my life: personal/work, information/entertainment. It’s because of this that I am looking for a phone that is practical, versatile and does a lot of things well; a Swiss army phone, if you will. For this reason, I am choosing the Nokia Lumia 820. Let me explain.

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Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Go To Games

WPCentral's Roundup of Go To Games

Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Go To Games

This week's Roundup deals with Go To Games for your Windows Phone. For the lack of a better term, Go To games are the ones that always find their way on to your Windows Phone and really never grow old. These games are amongst your favorites but always seem to rise to the top of that list. They are the games you go to for entertainment that are great time wasters that never disappoint.

The Windows Phone Central staff were polled on which two gaming titles are their Go To Games. We see a lot of games come and go on our Windows Phones but these titles seem to always be around. The Roundup contains a wide range of games that include a beauty salon, chickens and rainbows as well as a healthy selection of Xbox Live titles.

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   WP Central   

I think we have briefly heard about this before, and Chinese tech site WPDang just got confirmation from their informants: Microsoft will cancel retail package of Windows 8. This means you won't be able to grab a DVD copy at nearby store. Instead, to get the latest member of the Windows family, you have the following options:

  • Buy a branded PC, and get preloaded Windows 8
  • Some OEM have Windows 8 upgrade coupons for buyers of existing Windows 7 computers, providing a way to the future
  • If you have a genuine copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft has an online upgrading program. Sets you $14.99 for an upgrade from Windows 7, and $39.99 for upgrade from its elder brothers

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From the Forums

We've not had a From the Forums roundup for a few days due to an overwhelming focus on Nokia and the recently announced Lumia hardware. We can only cover so much before you begin to repeat previous threads. Unfortunately this appeared it would be the case until the HTC event, but luckily there's enough happening surrounding the iPhone announcement, as well as other general discussions.

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WP Central

Did Apple's announcement help Nokia buy time?

Just over one week ago as Nokia took to the stage to announce their new Windows Phone 8 devices, their stock value dropped 16% in a single day upon the news. To many of us, this was confusing if only because the devices themselves really seemed great—but the problem was (and still is) the uncertainty created by not announcing price and availability.

We had an excellent analysis of the situation by our own Chris Umiastowski and noted how this was probably temporary and not warranted.

Since that time, Nokia’s stock has slowly climbed back up but there was another hurdle in the distance: Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement. The anticipation was if Apple announced something truly groundbreaking—revolutionary instead of evolutionary—it would further damage perception of Nokia to investors. The iPhone 5 is already one of the top selling phones in the world and it just got way better? That’s bad if you’re betting on Nokia.

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Lumia 920

China Mobile, the country's largest carrier, is looking to stock and offer the Lumia 920, according to Huang Guoqiang, director of sales at Nokia China. The manufacturer (and Windows Phone as a whole) has punched through a hole in the wall in China with marketshare surpassing the iPhone just after the Lumia 710 and 800 both launched earlier this year.

The Nokia Windows Phone sports the Qualcomm MSM8690/8260A chipset that reportedly supports China Mobile's TD-SCDMA (GSM) standard, and will bring PureMotion HD+, PureView and other features to the Chinese market. China Telecom on the other hand will take up other OEM partners, including HTC and Samsung for its Windows Phone 8 lineup.

Availability dates, as well as details surrounding what hardware is going where, have not been released yet so we look forward to see how Nokia and other Windows Phone partners plan to rollout new hardware worldwide in supported markets.

via: winp.cn; thanks, hengxiang32401, for the tip!

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We’ve known for a couple of weeks now that Microsoft was evidently rebranding their Xbox games for the Windows Phone OS by dropping “LIVE” and adding a green banner to the top of the cover art. Today we reported that Microsoft was even doing this for older games too.

Interestingly, Microsoft has not announced this publicly yet, making the strategy not very clear. We’ll just assume it is part of the plan to excise “LIVE” from just about everything (and we’re real curious about the Xbox 360).

WP Central

So simple question: Do you like the new look?

The green banner pops more but you also lose some cover-art space and we’re still not sure what to call it…Xbox on Windows Phone? Xbox for Windows Phone?

Sound off in comments. Voting closes in 3-days and you can vote on your phone by going to m.wpcentral.com.

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WP Central

Even older games are getting rebranded

Microsoft sure has been doing a lot of rebranding lately—from Outlook.com to Microsoft Store to getting rid of “LIVE”, the purge has been subtle but in our view, effective.

That trend is now continuing, especially with “LIVE” as the Windows Phone team is excising that phrase from current Xbox LIVE Games for Windows Phone. The trend started weeks a go with Shoot1UP and since then, three more titles have the new look and name: Xbox – Windows Phone.

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Microsoft Feedback

She's not wanting your features, gosh darn it.

News of Microsoft backtracking on offering consumers the opportunity to provide requests for features in Windows Phone 7.8 has been circling multiple sources today. This is due to a reply to a User Voice thread that apologises for misleading consumers through a previous reply, which turned out to be badly worded. 

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