How To

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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The Xbox Windows Phone version of Monster Burner started out as a free game before jumping up to 99 cents a few days later. Like most freemium games, it features In App Purchases that speed up player’s progress in the game. Using the in-game currency, you can buy upgrades to increase your firepower and life or single-use items to slow down the enemies and make tough levels a bit more manageable.

The game doesn’t force players to buy coins; you’ll earn some every time you complete a level. But while the first upgrade of any type sells for a reasonable price, subsequent upgrades cost astronomical prices. Even if you repeat an easy and high-coin level like Plains 3, it would still take hours of grinding to afford the best upgrades on your own.

Fear not! We’ve caught wind of a trick that reduces grinding times tenfold. Using this method, you could easily earn an average of 10,000 coins every two minutes! Read on for our full guide and video.

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Metrofy all the web with these browser extensions

File under fun. Like most of you, we spend a lot of time staring at some screens throughout the day. Typically our Windows Phone device and computer are the ones that get the most action. You love the look and feel of Windows Phone and get that same familiarity in Windows 8. But what about in the wild web? You don’t have much control over how a site looks. Or do you?

If you want to make your web browsing experience on the desktop a little more like Windows Phone check out the following extensions for Chrome. Yes, Chrome, mostly because Internet Explorer doesn’t support add-ons/extensions at the moment like Chrome does. We’ll be making Reddit and the general web a little more “Metro”.

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When you picked up your Nokia Lumia 920 a few months back you probably had a color in mind before heading to the store. Maybe you wanted Cyan or Yellow to stand out from the crowd. But you get to the store only to have your selection limited to whatever was on hand. You could have waited for more colors to come in, but you said screw it and took black because you wanted that Windows Phone 8 goodness right then and there. You could throw on a case and get a new color, but you’ll lose out on the beautiful industrial design of that high-end Lumia.

Why not just swap the shell?

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If you use Windows Phone, 7 or 8, you probably know that holding down the Start button will bring up TellMe, the native voice command service from Microsoft. You can use it to launch app, write an SMS message, etc.

For Windows Phone 8 users though, you get the added bonus that apps optimized for the new OS can also take advantage of TellMe, allowing you quickly open an app and then go to a specific section, for instance.

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About a week ago Microsoft made your account more secure. If you use any Microsoft service or product you own a Microsoft Account. You use that account to sign into your Windows Phone to download apps and track the phone if you ever lose it. On Xbox it’s associated with your Gamertag and allows you to carry your profile from Xbox to Xbox and keep your Gamerscore and Achievements synced. On Windows 8 it allows your settings and wallpapers’ to sync across your laptop, desktop, and tablets.

If you’re in anyway shape or form using a Microsoft product you need to enable two-step verification to keep your account secure. Here’s how to set it up.

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