How To

One fantastic accessory for the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone is the camera grip. It gives the Lumia 1020 a little more girth for the gripping and with the built-in battery the grip extends your camera time significantly.

While it would have been great if Nokia had threaded the camera lens opening on the grip to accommodate screw-on accessories, we've seen a few reader's tips for making due without. We've seen close-up filters taped to the camera to boost the Lumia 1020's macro abilities and now we've got a lens hood to reduce any lens flare bright lights may cause.

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The Sims FreePlay was a very big game when it arrived on Windows Phone 8 in September. So big that we published a two installment Achievement guide and an In-App Purchase guide on top of our usual review. But even then, our version lacked some content from the iOS version, including all social features. The iOS and Android games received a new update on October 11, pushing even farther ahead of our version.

Only one month after its initial release, The Sims FreePlay has just received a massive update. Windows Phone players now have access to the Mysterious Island area, teenage Sims, a whole new quest system, tons of new items, and much more. However, the update also makes a few Achievements much more difficult and time consuming. Head past the break for detailed descriptions and screenshots of the many changes!

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If you’re like us, you’ve spent a good chunk of the day updating your PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks to the brand spanking new (and spectacular) Windows 8.1 OS. If you did, pat yourself on the back because we have a small, but cool, bonus for you troopers: The Windows Phone Central Live Tile.

Sure, it’s not our official RT app, which is still in the works (you can bug Jay about it), but as runner up you can use the new Internet Explorer 11 “pin to start” feature, which will give you four Tile sizes: small, medium, large or wide. The tile is also Live, pulling directly from our site—think of it as another cool way to keep up to date on your favorite Windows Phone and Microsoft news.

The Tile will update every 30 minutes, giving you a peek at what’s new on the site!

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Welcome to the second half of Windows Phone Central’s Sims FreePlay Achievement guide! In this installment, you’ll learn how to bust ghosts and feel good, make babies, and get your kids’ grades up on high. We’ll put you on the long, long road to completing 1,000 goals as well.

In case you missed it, please note that The Sims FreePlay MUST be connected to Xbox Live in order for an Achievement to unlock. Sometimes it drops the connection during gameplay – without warning the player. If that happens, any Achievements you unlock won’t count.

To avoid unlocking Achievements while offline, always save and exit the game by pressing the Save and Exit button at the bottom right corner of the main menu. You can also do this right before you expect to earn an Achievement. That way, whenever you restart the game you’re sure to be connected.

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Last week Windows Phone Central brought you a guide to the In-App Purchases of The Sims FreePlay for Windows Phone 8. Today we’re back with part one of our exclusive and thorough Achievement Guide! It will take many, many hours to get The Sims FreePlay’s 200 GamerScore, but we’ll help you do it.

Before we get to the strategies, note that Sims FreePlay does have some Achievement glitchiness. The game MUST be connected to Xbox Live in order for an Achievement to unlock. Sometimes it drops the connection during gameplay – without warning the player. If that happens, any Achievements you unlock won’t count.

To avoid unlocking Achievements while offline, always save and exit the game by pressing the Save and Exit button at the bottom right corner of the main menu. You can also do this right before you expect to earn an Achievement. That way, whenever you restart the game you’re sure to be connected.

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While the flow of new Xbox games for Windows Phone has slowed this year, the number of free to play games in the Xbox lineup continues to grow. These titles rely on In-App Purchases (IAPs) for revenue. Users who enjoy a game and feel motivated to purchase content can do so, while other players can simply play without spending.

We’ll be profiling the In-App Purchases of each new free to play or IAP-heavy mobile Xbox title that comes along. We’ve already looked at the IAPs of Six-Guns from Gameloft; this week we explore the purchases in Electronic Arts’ The Sims FreePlay for Windows Phone 8. Read on to learn exactly what IAPs the game has in store and which offer the best values.

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Gameloft’s latest Xbox Windows Phone release Six-Guns is a free to play game. Of course it must be monetized somehow – in this case via In-App Purchases (IAPs). Six-Guns actually offers a wider variety of things to buy than many free games, which can be confusing (or off-putting) to new players.

We’ve spent ample time with the game as we prepare for our upcoming review. And we’ve also spent a little cash in order to put those IAPs through their paces. Read on to learn how to which premium purchases might be worth your coin, plus some encouraging news about cloud saves.

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Square-Enix’s Chaos Rings is easily the cream of the single-player Role-Playing Game crop on Windows Phone. With an intricate storyline spanning alternate dimensions and timelines and four teams of playable characters, it’s also one of the vaster and most complex games in the Xbox Windows Phone lineup.

Windows Phone Central has spent countless hours exploring Chaos Rings’ every cranny and secret, and now we’ve got an exclusive Achievement Guide to share with you. Learn which team to start with, the best equipment and skills to use, where to find the hidden bosses, and lots more – after the break!

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While Windows Phone 8 10327 and higher (aka GDR2) does a great job of fixing the Other storage memory leak, there are still some quirks that are irritating a few users. The main complaint appears to be how Windows Phone handles auto-uploaded images to SkyDrive, or even if you manually mass upload photos and video.

In essence, when you upload photos to SkyDrive, they end up either in the 'Camera Roll' and 'Mobile Uploads' folders. You can then of course delete them from your device but believe it or not, Windows Phone holds onto them in Temporary storage for two weeks i.e. a SkyDrive cache.

That’s why some people have higher than normal Temporary storage numbers that cannot be cleared using apps like Nokia Storage Check. If you leave auto-upload for photos off, it will be quite low, usually less than 50MB in size (ours is at 33MB). If however you had a few hundred photos that were just processed, it could much higher.

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With the recent "security changes" from Instagram, causing all third party apps from being blocked from posting, we figured we’d recap at least two ways that we know of that still work. Think of these as your permanent fail-safes in case this is a prolonged outage or as a temporary solution until Daniel Gary (Instance) and others figure out a way around the problem.

To recap, using apps like Instance allows users to post to their Instagram account, but after about fifteen seconds, the image is deleted. That means somehow Instagram has flagged images uploaded by unauthorized apps in a clever way that has befuddled developers so far. But you can still post via other apps—one official, the other a hack.

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Yesterday we published Part 1 of our guide to Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8. Today we follow up with the second installment, which covers lots of fun subjects like guilds, auction houses, and crafting. This installment includes a brand new video guide as well!

Remember, these guides apply to the iOS and Android versions of the game as well as the Windows Phone 8 version, so all Order & Chaos Online newcomers can benefit from our tips and tricks.

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We’ve reported quite a bit on Nokia’s Glance screen in the past but we also know some of you are new to Windows Phone and may have picked up a Lumia 925 this week or a Lumia 1020 next. If that’s the case, you may not be familiar with how to enable Glance (or even what it is) and all the options that it has available to you.

So we whipped up a little tutorial video to show you how to enable this feature (it’s not on by default, though we don’t know about the 1020 yet) and configure it for your liking.

Glance, for those who don’t know, is Nokia’s always-on clock for their Lumia line. It launched with the Lumia 925 but will be available on the Lumia 1020 for launch and other Lumia series devices when Nokia’s Amber update rolls out later this summer. Basically, a clock is fixed on your otherwise-off display and while it of course uses battery, it’s quite unassuming for usage.

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Last week’s Xbox Windows Phone 8 release Order & Chaos Online is pretty much the largest game on the platform, as far as quantity of content goes. One can’t possibly see all there is to see in an Massive Multi-player Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG) in only a week’s time, so we’re going to hold off on reviewing it for a bit.

Today Windows Phone Central brings you part one of our exclusive Order & Chaos Online Beginner’s Guide, complete with video. Stick with us to learn how the game works and get ahead quickly! Remember, you can play Order & Chaos Online until you reach experience level 8 for FREE (and purchase the game without losing your progress if you desire) so anybody who can run this game needs to give it a try.

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This is a strange one indeed. OneNote for Windows Phone 7 allows consumers to pin the create note tile to their Start screen, but this feature is amiss in Windows Phone 8.

That is unless you're using the latest hardware with the GDR2 update. We've checked on our Nokia Lumia 925 and it does indeed enable us to pin the tile to the Start screen, which has been confirmed by the OneNote team on Reddit.

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Xbox gamers have been eagerly anticipating Halo: Spartan Assault ever since Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 game at the beginning of June. Many Windows Phone gamers especially look forward to it since Spartan Assault is likely the only Xbox Windows Phone game that will be released this month (we hear next week, in fact). Be that as it may, Windows 8 users got the first shot at the first mobile Halo game today, however briefly…

For a few hours, the tablet and PC version of Halo: Spartan Assault became available for purchase in the Caribbean island nations of Trinidad and Tobago. People from outside of those countries were able to buy it too, thanks to a little regional trickery and the magic of PayPal. Unfortunately, Microsoft quickly pulled Spartan Assault as we were in the process of writing this story to tell you about it, just hours after the game first appeared on the Windows Store.

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At last count, Nokia had well over 50 exclusive apps or games in its Collection, giving Lumia owners a slight edge in features.

But that advantage may be no more, at least temporarily. According to Chinese site WPDang, there is a freshly spotted glitch in Windows Phone Store that could enable everyone to download exclusive apps from the Nokia Collection.

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We’ve seen quite a few projects come from our forums and the latest is from AccentAE86, who took the concept of Nokia’s “dual shot” Lumia 620 shell design and applied it to his Lumia 920.

For those who aren’t familiar, “dual shot”, especially on the Green Lumia 620, is actually a two-layer yellow and blue shell that results in a bright green color. It’s an interesting new design language that Nokia is evidently experimenting with and something we hope to see in future devices.

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Hey Xbox game fans, Windows Phone Central is back with another exclusive and professional-quality Achievement guide. This time we tackle the Windows Phone version of NBA Jam from EA Sports. Whether you’re a Jam veteran or new to the series, our guide will help you knock the game’s Achievements out as quickly and easily as possible, though it’ll still take just over 30 hours to unlock the final one.

Earning NBA Jam’s Achievements also unlocks a variety of characters, but several of the game’s most outlandish characters can only be accessed via secret codes. We’ve got those for you too, right after the break. Boom shaka laka!

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You may or may not know that if you buy a Nokia Lumia 928 from Verizon, you qualify for a $25 Windows Phone Store credit. That’s a big chunk of money actually for picking up some $0.99 apps and even a few EA games.

The question you may have is how do you get it?

As it turns out, Verizon, who is not shy about emailing or calling you, will pass along an email with the voucher link.

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