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We’re always, always glad to discover new Xbox games coming to Windows Phone. That’s the whole reason I started working here three years ago! Today an eagle-eyed reader by the name of John Lampard discovered a new Xbox Windows Phone game called Drop 7. I smiled, then frowned when I realized it’s just a puzzle game. After downloading the game my smile dropped even further…

Drop 7 is a puzzle game that launched on iOS and Android in 2012. Those versions came from developer Area Code, now known as Zynga New York. Wouldn’t it be rad if Zynga started making Xbox games for Windows Phone? You bet! But the Windows Phone game comes from a developer called Zanga. Something looks a little off…

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The now Facebook-owned messaging service, WhatsApp has unveiled a new SIM deal in Germany. This prepaid SIM provides consumers with unlimited access to WhatsApp on top of agreed data limits. It's a milestone since this is the first time the popular service has partnered with carriers to sell a SIM package. If you're a massive fan of WhatsApp and use it on a daily basis, you may wish to read on and keep your eyes open for a similar deal in your region, should one be made available.

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The super-popular fast food outlet McDonald's has released multiple Windows Phone apps for a number of regions. The company has now launched the official app for the UK market, enabling consumers to search for nearest restaurants, get directions to selected McDonald's and even save favorite restaurants for future use. It's a neat little app that we're sure many fans will enjoy using.

As there are a large number of McDonald's restaurants available throughout the UK, it's possible to filter through listings by establishments that sport a drive thru, are open 24/7, baby changing facilities, host birthday parties, offer free Wi-Fi and more. Currently active promotions can also be viewed form within the app, perfect for those bargain hunters.

Some other highlighted features:

  • View the full McDonald’s UK menu
  • See nutrition in formation on all products, learn more about ingredients and check allergies guide
  • Create your own meal combinations
  • Discover the combined nutritional information behind your favorite meals

Also, since the Monopoly promotion is currently underway, you'll be able to check to see if you've won any prizes while on the move. You can grab McDonald's for the UK from the Windows Phone Store for free.

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Concerns over Microsoft's purchase of Nokia have been highlighted in some regions, including China and Korea. The former country has since approved the deal with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China giving the green light. While the deal itself has been subject to regulatory and other customary approvals, some competitors have voiced concerns over the strengthening position Microsoft will have patents-wise.

This ruling was expected, especially after the government in China ordered further probing into the deal to ensure everything was in place and local manufacturers weren't going to be negatively affected by potential patent abuse. Nokia has not been requested to make alterations to its licensing program, nor has the company had its compliance with FRAND on standard-essential patents challenged.

The deal is expected to be finalized later this month.

Source: 4-Traders; cheers, riffraffy, for the tip!

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You probably have browsed Reddit and Imgur many times if, like us, you’re a child of the internet. Baconit and Readit are two killer Reddit apps for Windows Phone that we use and love daily. For Imgur we’ve been rocking Grin since we first covered it last summer. Now we’re adding another Imgur app to our collection – Imgura for Windows Phone.

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As the General Elections 2014 get underway in the largest democracy of the world, Microsoft has partnered with the Network18 media conglomerate to create the CNN-IBN Microsoft Election Analytics Centre to allow the citizens to search and engage with election data like never before.

The initiative brings comprehensive analytics on Indian election trends over the years across parties, candidates, and constituencies to www.bing.com/elections (Location aware).

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We're kicking off a new week with our Newsroom is full swing and Build 2014 well and truly behind us. That said, there's still some news and app updates to cover for you all to remain up-to-date with platform business. We'll catch a few apps and games in today's roundup to kick off the week.

Surfy 3.8

Surfy is a pretty decent alternative web browser to Internet Explorer on Windows Phone. The app was previously re-released late last year, but today we're looking at a new release with some highly requested functionality.

Here's what's new in version 3.8:

  • Share link via NFC
  • Save Login credentials
  • Find on Page
  • Voice support for Spanish, Portuguese and Italian

Both the free and the paid versions of Surfy have been updated. Check them out on the Windows Phone Store using the links and QR codes below:

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No, you’re not literally wearing the same shirt that Joe Belfiore wore last week during the day one keynote at Build 2014. Hopefully that one has been washed and framed at the Belfiore residence as a trophy for all the hard work that went into Cortana. But you too can join history and show off your support for Cortana on Windows Phone. Microsoft’s company store has the swag up for sale. Details below.

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Internet Explorer isn't necessarily a bad web browser for Windows Phone, but there's definitely room for improvement. This is where third-party developers come into play with the likes of Maxthon and SurfCube. These alternative web browsers offer more choice for the consumer. We’ll take a look at some highlighted options available on the store.

Maxthon

You may be familiar with the name, especially if you come from a PC background. Maxthon (www.maxthon.com) is a popular web browser for Microsoft’s desktop operating system and the company has brought the same experience across to Windows Phone. Released back in October 2013, the app has been updated with new features and has accumulated positive reviews.

Here are just some of the improvements being implemented (in a previous update, version 1.0.1.1000) as development progresses:

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Mid-February we told you guys and gals about a beta for an upcoming app called Threepointer. It's a third-party client for Dribbble, the popular design community and social network. If you're a graphic designer you probably have an account on Dribbble and frequent the site for inspiration and to share your work. Now you can browse the network with Threepointer, one of the most beautiful apps on Windows Phone.

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New information revealed to Windows Phone Central confirms that Microsoft is planning at least two OS updates for Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. Internally known as ‘general distribution releases – or GDRs –  GDR1 and GDR2 are already on the roadmap for this year, with a possible third one in 2015 before the next OS revision, codenamed ‘Threshold’.

It should be of little surprise that Microsoft plans on repeating the same update schedule for Windows Phone 8 for 8.1, as it has proven to be a relatively successful method for adding new features to the OS and keeping Windows Phone in the news. A twelve-month cycle for major OS revisions also seems to be the new norm both for Phone and Windows.

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Microsoft is not resting on their laurels when it comes to gaming as new features have been announced for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Ironically, they’re unique features to each system, so hopefully you still have both of them.

First up is the Xbox 360, which is gaining an official GoPro app to view a curated channel of GoPro videos. GoPro has become the defacto source of stomach nauseating point-of-view videos, often featuring extreme sports. It’s hard to fathom how much the mini-camera system has changed our experience in watching people perform wild and crazy stunts in such a short time. Now, you’ll be able to watch all the latest right on your Xbox 360.

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Last week, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. One of the subtle new features was the Word Flow keyboard, which brings ‘shape writing’ to the mix, in addition to the familiar ‘touch typing’ for text input. Developed by Microsoft Research, the technology behind Word Flow is completely unique to Redmond, being proprietary technology and building off of the already excellent auto-complete feature. Heck, it now even predicts emoji for you too.

We demoed the new keyboard in our hands-on video but now it’s been confirmed to be the fastest in the world. In a video posted by Microsoft Research a few days ago – and lost in our shuffle – Word Flow can certainly hold its own as it was used to set the world record for fastest keyboard by a 15-year old named Gaurav Sharma.

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Cases and Covers for the HTC 8X

Here at the WPCentral Store, we like to highlight the protective solutions that stand out and make an impression with our customers and staff. We're doing exactly that, today, with cases for the HTC 8X Windows Phone. Jump past the break to get a look at the entire selection!

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Careem, a chauffeur-driven car booking service in the Middle East, has just launched their official app for Windows Phone. The service allows you to order hassle-free rides in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam from your smartphone. You can track rides in real-time, pay with credit cards, and access receipts online. Careem originally launched in Google Play and the App Store. Now, Windows Phone users can join the fun.

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We use smartphones nearly every minute of every day, and that can be an issue, specifically for batteries. If there’s one area in tech that we haven’t seen any innovation – not for lack of trying – it’s batteries. Sure they’ve grown in size and chipsets have become more power efficient, but for the most part, charging is still charging in 2014.

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Qualcomm today announced its next-generation mobile processors for the Snapdragon 800 family – 810 and 808. These new chips are designed to deliver even better performance and delight compared to what’s currently available to handset vendors today. The main improvements with these two chips is the 64bit architecture and Cat 6 LTE.

Though the chips aren’t expect to hit the public domain before 2015, it’s interesting to see what Qualcomm is working on. This Cat 6 LTE support will depend on carriers and Qualcomm has opted to use ARM core designs and not its own Krait. These new processors will introduce support for 4K displays with the new Adreno 430 GPU.

The Snapdragon 810 will combine a quad core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and Cortex-A53 to provide ample power. The 808 on-the-other-hand will have two ARM Cortex-A57 cores paired with a quad Cortex-A53 CPU. It’s all good to know, but you can expect to see more hardware with both 801 and 805 chips until early next year.

Check the presser below for the full details.

Press release:

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Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by a member of the audience, and garnered this response:

"There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

What form any emulator would take is still open for debate, though simply sticking your discs in might not be the way it would work. In any case, it's great news that Microsoft is at least looking into making it happen. Whether it will or not is another story for another day.

Source: Kotaku

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Microsoft plans to roll out new shows with its Xbox TV studio. According to Bloomberg, Nancy Tellem is heading up the game with six series lined up, including the thriller Humans which is set to go live in 2015. It's going to be a difficult road for the software giant with the likes of Netflix and Amazon both producing original content to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers. Tellem, who was part of the team that debuted the likes of ER and Friends, plans to separate Microsoft from the competition by adding interactive experiences.

Alongside the new Halo series and Humans, the Xbox studio will produce a comedy sketch and a stop-motion show with Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which produces Robot Chicken. Then there's the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, US this July, which will see full coverage and backstage Skype interviews. While some shows, including Every Street United, will be available for Xbox One and 360 owners for free, Microsoft is still ironing out the creases in its business model plans.

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There have been reports floating around the Internet today that detail the Lumia 630 not having a proximity sensor, as well as some other sensors. Are these reports to be believed? No. Simply put, we found contradicting evidence and reached out to Nokia for confirmation and you can bet to see such features included in the device.

The official Nokia website has the Lumia 630 listed, alongside its dual-SIM sibling – the Lumia 635 – and the Lumia 930. While the specifications chart for the Lumia 930 clearly states the device sports a proximity sensor, the Lumia 630 listing does not. This has led some to believe the device will not have such capabilities.

We did some digging around as this was difficult to comprehend. The Nokia Developer website has the Lumia 630 listed with full specifications too, and this website clearly states the device does indeed have a proximity sensor (detects objects in-front of screen, used for calls), as well as an ambient light sensor (for altering auto-brightness).

It’s difficult to imagine the Lumia 630 (or the Lumia 635) not having these features as not only would it affect the user experience, but this would mean the Lumia 630 would be less advanced than the Lumia 520. That's nigh-on impossible. Will you have a proximity sensor on the new Windows Phone? Definitely.

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Nokia has released the above video for the Lumia 1520, showing how the Windows Phone helps make business smarter. Whether you consider the Office for Mobile suite or integration with Microsoft services and products, Windows Phone as a whole is a perfect match for employees who make use of Windows-based hardware on a daily basis.

The Lumia 1520 brings a 6-inch display to the table, improving productivity further with its 1080p display to show everything you need to see on-screen.

Source: YouTube

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