Tips

With the Windows Phone 7.8 update finally starting to find its way on board user’s devices, bringing with it the cosmetic upgrades of Windows Phone 8, here at Windows Phone Central our readers are noticing that not all is well for their newly-sized live tiles.

Users over in our forums have spotted that since the 7.8 update, their live tiles (those updated by background tasks at least) do not seem to be refreshing correctly.

A lot of times these issues are device specific, but in this case we’re not convinced. I recently had a conversation with Lawrence Gripper (developer of BBC News Mobile) after he got in touch to ask if we had been receiving an abnormal number of support requests since 7.8, we have. Just like the reviews you'll see for BBC News Mobile, several users have been in touch complaining that their tile seems to have ceased updating now that they have installed the new OS update.

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We’ve lamented numerous times here at Windows Phone Central on the sorry state of Xbox Music on current Windows Phone 8 devices. When it comes to management, features or in one particular case, missing album art, it can be quite frustrating to use and it's quite the downgrade from the Zune days..

We touched on this topic recently on the last podcast where ripping a CD (via Zune) and transferring to our device using the Windows Phone App (RT) caused our album art to magically disappear, leaving a hideous gray box in its place.

Luckily for us we now have a solution. Best of all it’s simple, free and called MPAtool.

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update is here. Well, it will be once you're able to update your hardware should you not go down the manual route. We've all be eagerly awaiting the notification that there's a new build available, but what if you overlook a new feature or miss new functionality through excitement (with or without comforting alcohol), or simply not being aware that such magic exists? We'll quickly run you through on how to get started with the 7.8 update.

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With the latest versions of Windows Phone consumers are able to make use of Internet Sharing, depending on carrier, device capabilities and allowance. But what if it doesn't work as planned? Many have encountered issues when attempting to connect to the Internet via a Windows Phone.

Devices are able to view and connect to the new access point created by the smartphone, but Internet access isn't available. Luckily, there are a few steps that should resolve the issue, thanks to folk at the Nokia forum and beyond. So what does one have to do to get Internet Sharing back up and working?

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What would a mobile phone be without an address book of contacts to open up communication with, or a calendar to keep up-to-date with social events? Windows Phone takes strives in being more socially connected than the likes of iOS and Android by sporting integration with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. But how does one import contacts and calendars from services that are also used on competing platforms?

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Although the majority of people who are on AT&T or Rogers who have upgraded their Lumia 920 to Windows Phone “Portico” are having no problems (in fact, quite the opposite), there is one bug that seems to affect a few people: auto-screen brightness.

As detailed in our Lumia 920 forums, the problem exhibits itself when you turn on the phone in a mildly lit room and the brightness seems to ramp up to max and then back down again, resulting in a staggered and constantly fluctuating display brightness.

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We reported earlier in the week on s slew of updates for Maps but in case you missed it these apply to all Windows Phone 8 handsets. Windows Phone 8 has been designed with the ability to download and install maps that can be used offline.

From time to time these will get updated with improved detail or just changes that normally happen to maps over time. Unlike other updates the maps don’t appear to have a push mechanism so you’ll have to kick the process off manually. Read on to find out how.

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How does one synchronise content between a Windows Phone and a Windows PC or Mac? Microsoft is continuously developing two separate clients, one for each platform, enabling consumers to charge, synchronise, update and backup their Windows Phone. While both clients are not identical in features and functionality, basic tasks can still be completed.

Moving content between smartphones and computers on competing mobile platforms is pretty much identical to Windows Phone. Apple makes use of iTunes for its management of the iPhone (as well as media players and other devices), while Android opts for a more integrated experience through the use of a file manager.  

So how does one get started with available clients?

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Purchasing apps and games on a Windows Phone is an absolute breeze. Trials are a unique opportunity for developers to allow consumers to download and "try" their work before committing to a purchase. But with the speedy process in purchasing apps from the Store, should there be some level of protection for credit cards that are attached to a Microsoft Account?

Currently, anyone who has access to a Windows Phone that has a Microsoft Account loaded with valid credit cards for transactions can head into the Store and engage in a shopping spree - this isn't a good situation to be in but it can occur with children or other folk who borrow a smartphone for a few minutes. Luckily, Microsoft has a solution for this issue.

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A common complaint with the Nokia Lumia 920 is that of "soft" photos--both in terms of sharpness and colors. While we can argue the merits and reasons for such behavior, did you know you can easily fix them with just a few seconds and barely any effort? The key is to use Nokia's homegrown, free and surprisingly robust photo editor, Creative Studio.

But how does it work and what are the best tips? Read ahead and we'll show you how to make the most of it.

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In a fun from the forums thread, we have an interesting conversation about something even we’ve witnessed: the Nokia Lumia 920 slipping and sliding off of seemingly flat surfaces, often crashing to the ground.

Forum member Cheyenne Price started a thread and even posted a video on his Facebook documenting the phenomenon (video after the break). The video starts with this 920 placed faced down on his Dell laptop, firmly in the center and flat on a desk. Yet within moments you can see the 920 spin around and then slowly begin to creep towards the corner.

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Wireless Charging in the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Windows Phones (not forgetting the Verizon HTC 8X) opens up news possibilities, especially for those who enjoy carrying out DIY around the home. Windows Phone Central reader Andre Schneider has managed to alter his coffee table to enable Wireless Charging by resting his compatible Windows Phone on top.

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Got a Nokia phone and want to keep up-to-date on news about it without seeing what you missed on their Twitter feed? If so, you can sign up for their new Tweetsender service, which will send you direct messages on Twitter any time they have news related to your model Nokia. The messages you receive will include bits about anything from accessories, to apps to software updates.

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Probably the toughest problem any new user faces when switching platforms is finding comparable apps on their new OS. Sure, we have the Windows Phone Central forums to help and we try to do what we can here, but Nokia has something even better.

Nokia, in conjunction with Xyologic, have teamed up to bring a site called Find your Favorite Apps (www.xyo.net/lumia) that allows you to name the platform you’re coming from (iPhone, Android), choose one of 15 supported countries and then the app you are looking to pick up. The service then searches database and comes up with what it thinks is the best choice. Heck, it even auto-creates a QR code for quick and easy scanning.

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Recently on the Windows Phone Central Podcast we were lamenting how Nokia Maps leaves a lot to be desired on Windows Phone 8. The app is a bit slow, the UI is not as intuitive and some of the information (like traffic) is hit or miss. Most people would suggest using Bing Maps (aka the native Maps application) instead but unfortunately, Nokia has removed the hard link for that app leaving users no choice on Windows Phone 8 Lumias.

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One of the troubles with running a dedicated Windows Phone site is that you need to cater to the pro users and the new folks who have just picked up their first device. This post is for them, the new people.

On Windows Phone 8 you may often see a little dot-in-a-circle icon appear in the upper right hand side on your screen. It seemingly pops up randomly and due to the amount of forum threads on the matter, it has caused some confusion. So what is it?...

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Google and Windows Phone haven’t always had the rosiest of relationships. Head to the Marketplace and you’ll find a whopping single app from the Mountain View tech giant. Whatever, we can do without them and their 1st party support when we have developers picking up the slack. However, a lot of you still rely on Gmail as your web email and have no plans to switch to Outlook anytime soon. So here is a super simple trick to make your experience a bit better on your new Lumia 920 or 8X.

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Ever since Windows Phone 8 came out people have rightly wanted Skype. And so they got it, albeit a preview edition which in our vernacular reads ‘beta’ and beta it is.

Previously we’ve passed on a few tips for people who have had battery issues and we can absolutely confirm one of them now: Skype. No, it doesn’t occur often in fact this was our first time with the problem ever since Skype hit the Store a few weeks ago.

The issue started when we were updating some contact info and then we force synced our Microsoft Account under Settings (hold down the account, hit Sync). Only problem was, it wouldn’t stop ...ever.

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While we’ve shot video on the Nokia Lumia 920 a few times under somewhat ideal conditions e.g. quiet, well lit, there’s a good argument to be made that we haven’t seen too many “real world” examples.

From our Lumia 920 forums, member ‘mercilesskiller’ posted this YouTube video clip of a Seether concert at the Manchester Academy 2, Manchester UK. While the clip is only 58 seconds long and shot in 720P (the Lumia 920 can be bumped to 1080P), the result is quite stunning...

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