WPCentral News

A few weeks back, we dived deeper into using Windows or Windows Phone for various connected hardware, including the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, Sphero 2.0 and Insteon home-automation kits. The articles not only explained what those things are, but how well the work within the growing Microsoft ecosystem.

As part of the Hidden Gems campaign, we were giving away multiple devices per article, with the only rule being to write a comment (and preferably more than just a word). Over the last two weeks, we picked the winners, notified them, and most are already in possession of their new today.

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ICYMI: August 23, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It.

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new and worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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ICYMI: August 16, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It.

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new_and_worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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Converge is a popular newsreader that used to go by the name of the Verge app. We will skip wading into the circumstances that lead to the name change, but even as 'Converge,' the developer behind the app, Anand Prakash, faced some obstacles in keeping his creation on the Store. Now, Converge is back with version 4.0 and with it a new mission as a general tech newsreader, but with the familiar – and beautiful – UI and smooth transitions.

Converge 4.0 still features articles from the Verge, but additionally it now also supports feeds from WinBeta and Windows Phone Central (with our blessing and consent). The decision as to which newsfeeds to use is left to the user during the initial setup.

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Weekly photo contest: Motion

Ready for another weekly photo contest? Of course, you are! This will be our third weekly photo contest. The first week our theme was sunrise and last week it was coffee. We've had stellar entries over the past two weeks, but now it's time for a new contest. This week I want to see your best photos with motion!

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ICYMI: August 9, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It.

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new_and_worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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Editor's rant here! I realize that there is a lot of news and buzz about Windows Phone these days, which is always a good thing. I also appreciate that our audience is growing every day, and we welcome you warmly.

Comments are a crucial aspect of our community. The fact is you folks are often our connection to the rest of the world. If we miss something, or get something wrong, we love learning more from you in those posts, as you are a valuable resource too. As our site grows, there are more challenges for us to face including moderating comments. A few solutions are due in the coming weeks, but for now, here are a few guidelines that can keep your fellow WPCentral readers happy.

It is time to lay down the law and for you to eat your veggies or something.

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ICYMI: August 2, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It.

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new and worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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What do you think of China's Xiao Na?

Microsoft just announced the availability of Cortana in China and the United Kingdom. In China, Cortana will be going by the nickname Xiao Na. Not only is the name different in China, but Cortana looks different and has been given a pair of eyes. This is in order to serve the Chinese culture. We think Xiao Na looks pretty great and want to ask you the same. Take our poll and share your thoughts on Xiao Na.

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Late last week, Windows Phone Central had a nice little refresh to our website. The new header to the site has a more modern appearance, is dynamic (try clicking into a story and watch it change topics), and it features more of our guides and super pages, like our Windows Phone 8.1 Update Tracker for quick access.

The one downside to the deployment was the color scheme was not exactly _something many of us wanted. Of course, I mentioned we would be changing it soon and sure enough, our hardworking developers and designers have brought back our familiar magenta, and cyan colors from days past. Hooray! Therefore, you get those new features _and the accustomed colors too. Later, we can still look to add custom themes for registered members.

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