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500px officially comes to Windows Phone

It was nearly a year ago that we started getting some third party apps in the Windows Phone Store for 500px. The popular photography website didn’t have any plans to make official apps for either Windows Phone or Windows 8, so we were stuck with unofficial offerings. They weren’t bad though, in fact a few of those independent apps were quite good. They just didn’t carry that badge of authenticity that an official app can.

Today that changes. 500px is now available for Windows Phone 8 users in the Windows Phone Store.

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Even though the NFL season is wrapping up, we’re happy to see more official apps for NFL teams join the Windows Phone Store. Mosey on over to the Store and you’ll see new official apps for the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. That’s in addition to a handful of teams that are already there. Let’s check out what these apps are about and what we can look forward to from other teams.

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Have a developer unlocked phone? You can get the XAP for the YouTube app from Microsoft that was pulled by Google. 

Metrotube and myTube are by far some of the best options in the Windows Phone Store right now if you want to get your YouTube on. There was a brief period of time where Microsoft’s own YouTube app was killer, before Google had it killed. Now it’s a shell of its former self and not exactly an app we’d recommend to anyone. Miss that great YouTube app that Microsoft put out? There are ways to get it back. Details below.

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It was just over a week ago that Microsoft announced Update 3 (formerly known as GDR3) for Windows Phone 8. The update, due in the coming weeks for many Windows Phones, features numerous mid to low level fixes and improvements, including new hardware support for devices like the Lumia 1520.

Microsoft glossed over many of the changes in their official blog post, but they have now published the full changelog on the Windows Phone site.

The update refers to OS version 10501 and 10512, both of which are considered Update 3. While there are no surprises in Microsoft’s changelog, it’s still handy to have and to peruse in case you’re curious.

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Windows Phone 8 GDR3 to be delivered in the coming weeks, bringing many new features to current and future hardware

This morning at 8 AM ET, Microsoft officially pulled the veil off of the highly anticipated General Distribution Release 3 (GDR3), the third and final OS update for Windows Phone 8 before next year’s 8.1 overhaul. This comes just days after AT&T in the US began to push out GDR2 for current Lumia 820 and 920 users and the nearly complete worldwide launch of that second update.

Microsoft updates their mobile OS through a series of updates, called GDRs, which are akin to the Service Packs of Windows desktop from years ago. In addition to full OS updates, GDRs are meant to add fixes to the OS for bugs, bring new features to current users and enable new hardware options for their hardware partners.

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Earlier this year, Microsoft surprise its users by releasing its own YouTube app, complete with login and advanced management features of the popular streaming service. At the time, it was thought that Microsoft had come to an agreement with Google over the app, but as it turns out that was not the case. After some back and forth between the companies, Microsoft had agreed to pull the app as they work on a new, compliant version with Google.

Today, version 3.2.0.0 of YouTube is now live on the Store for Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8 devices.

The new app looks a lot like the app that was pulled and even includes an upload feature for posting videos directly to the service. That should reassure customers who believe the app would be stripped of functionality (one feature that seems to be missing is downloading of videos).

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Looks like it's not just those Bing apps that are getting released today as the Wells Fargo banking app is now finally available for Windows Phone 8. Ever since Bank of America, Chase and numerous other financial institutions released their apps over the last two years, we’ve been hearing requests for Wells Fargo—now those wishes have been answered.

The Wells Fargo app is everything you’d expect from a modern banking institution -  it allows you to check account balances, pay bills, send money, make balance transfers, deposit checks, and track investments.

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Halifax has finally released its Windows Phone app. We last looked at parent Royal Bank of Scotland launching an app on Microsoft's mobile platform, knowing it would only be a matter of time before Halifax followed suit. This latest UK banking app joins the likes of RBS and Natwest, offering consumers new ways to stay in control of money while on the move.

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When it rains, it pours. Today, the official YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 has received a massive makeover, bringing new features and becoming more than just a web-wrapper for the popular video streaming site.

Version 3.0 is now going live in the Store (depending on region) and brings a new UI, High, Medium and Low video quality settings, pinnable channels, ability to download videos for offline play, play under Lockscreen and more. Indeed, it’s just about everything most casual users could want in an official YouTube client.

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For those in near some major US (and even UK) cities, you may take interest in seeing the official Uber app (www.uber.com) land today for Windows Phone, both 7.x and 8. In case you don’t know, Uber is a livery service that is gaining popularity for embracing mobile technology—specifically you pull your location on your phone, access your account and ping a driver to pick you up. It’s fast, convenient and a great use of your phone.

Previously, we have had some decent unofficial apps in the Store, like Uber Towncar. Now, the fancy taxi company has embraced Windows Phone with a version 1.0 of their app, which of course is free and ad-free. That’s the good news (and it’s always good news when we get official support). The bad news is the app is a tad rough, even for a version 1.0.

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No new Xbox games for Windows Phone appeared this week, not even a game from Nokia. This marks the fifth week without a new release – the longest in Windows Phone history. But Windows Phone 8 did gain a new playable title in the form of Shuffle Party (which was previously incompatible), and all Windows Phone users can look forward to the highly-anticipated Skulls of the Shogun next week.

It’s no secret that we consider the ball to have been dropped pretty far as Xbox games for Windows Phone go. You might even say the ball had rolled across the street and into the scary old neighbor’s yard. Throughout the release drought, Windows Phone Central has worked hard at getting an explanation from Microsoft themselves. At last we have official word and a bit of good news to go along with it.

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Today, Nokia took the wraps off of the Lumia 505, expected to be an exclusive low-end Windows Phone for Mexico’s Telcel network and sister device to the Lumia 510.

The Lumia 505 should be launching within the next few weeks and the phone, which comes in red, pink or black, admittedly looks strikingly bold. The full device specs have also now been revealed for the Windows Phone 7.8 device and while it skimps severely on storage (4GB, non-expandable) the rest of the features are solid.

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Just because it’s Sunday it doesn’t mean that Nokia can’t release new and exclusive apps for their Lumia customers. Today it’s Australia’s turn with the official Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) app being released.

The app is based off of the site www.smh.com.au and even boasts some advanced Windows Phone 8 features, like the latest news and image to your lockscreen (akin to CNN’s app)...

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There’s some good news, bad news brewing in the Windows Phone Store as some app fragmentation is now becoming a little more evident. Such is the case with the updated official Vimeo app, which was bumped to version 1.3 this morning, joining the list of updated Windows Phone 8 apps. The bad news is it’s no longer available for Windows Phone 7.

We’re unsure if this is yet-another-Store error, meaning in the next few days Phone 7 owners will be able to download the app again, but for right now, it’s exclusive for those with the latest and greatest handsets on the market...

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There are a number of weather related apps in the marketplace but this one stands out for a few reasons. The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service and is therefore the trusted supplier of weather information to everyone from the military or the man on the street.

They have released an official app for Windows Phone 8 that supports Live Tiles, double wide tiles in a super extensive and well-designed package.  The app will only show weather for the United Kingdom but anyone can download it. Still interested? Read on past the break to find out more…

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