update

Microsoft has released an update to BLINK, but the app remains on version 1.1 so what's new? It's a hot fix for the Lumia 620, which experienced issues when attempting to run the app after the previous update.

We've confirmed that BLINK now works on the Lumia 620 (the issue appears to have been tied to the 620's 512MB of RAM as opposed to the 1GB found on other WP8 devices).

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GroupMe is a popular service from Microsoft, enabling consumers to connect with others using groups (hence the name). It's an app that allows the transfer of photos, while making use of both push and SMS for messages. GroupMe was previously bumped to version 4.2, which is now being replaced by 4.3. The latest release has been submitted for publication.

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The popular mobile communication and social networking app WeChat has been updated to version 4.0. The Windows Phone client has been bumped to include further support for Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's latest mobile platform. Already available for Windows Phone 7.5, WeChat can now be utilised by those running new or legacy hardware.

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Hello Friends is a useful and popular app for Windows Phone that enables consumers to add photos of contact stored on the device to the lockscreen and create the same mosaic effect that's utilised on the People Hub Live Tile. As well as being available for Windows Phone 8 (with the added lockscreen support), Hello Friends is also downloadable for Windows Phone 7 hardware, but lacks automatic functionality.

We previously looked at Hello Friends when it was bumped to version 3.0, but the app has been updated since so what's new in the latest release?

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The Rowi team has announced that they've pushed through updates for the popular Windows Phone Twitter app. For those who are out of the loop, there are two versions of Rowi on the store, one for Windows Phone 8 and the other for Windows Phone 7. It can get slightly confusing (especially when both are bumped to new builds), but bear with us as we head on through what's new.

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Nokia has updated its Music app for Lumia Windows Phones. Nokia Music enables those with Lumia hardware to tune into playlists and stream music straight to the handset. While the music isn't able for individual listening, the selection of music makes up for this with ample supply of notes to be pumped through the array of genres available.

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According to a number of sources, the Windows Phone 8 update -- codename "Portico" OS build 8858 -- is rolling out across a number of European markets for those using unbranded hardware. WPArea.de reports that they have received the notification to upgrade their unlocked Windows Phone in Germany, while a handful of our readers from both Denmark and Sweden have got in touch.

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We’ve all been holding our breaths the past few months waiting for older devices running Windows Phone 7.5 to get the modest update to 7.8. Great news for those of you with a Nokia Lumia handset like the 710 or 900 – starting today, the Windows Phone 7.8 update is rolling out to all of you.

It’s been a long time coming, but your Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800, and 900 have been a little bummed out about missing the double wide Live Tile action newer phones have been getting. Not anymore, you can now look forward to multiple tile sizes, lockscreens, and more theme colors.

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HTC has revealed on Twitter that no plans are in the pipeline for Windows Phone 7.8 to be released for the HD7. While this is no confirmation that the company will never update the HD7, it's a shame there's nothing for consumers who still wield the handset. Sporting Windows Phone 7, the user experience is still butter smooth and rich, but everyone wants the latest and greatest, right?

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Just as we covered UK mobile operator EE rolling out the Windows Phone 8 update, reports have flooded in from multiple markets, including Italy, Germany and Russia. We're witnessing Microsoft gradually open the flood gates to release the Portico update to more consumers, which is a sign that progress is strong and issues are few and far between.

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We've just got word that UK mobile operator EE has begun rolling out the Portico update for Lumia 920 Windows Phones that are tied to the network. The Windows Phone 8 update introduces a number of improvements, including SMS call reject, persistent Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot and addresses stability issues (such as those annoying soft-resets).

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We last touched on a map refresh in late December when users were able to download OTA updates to their offline locations.

Today, Nokia Maps have received yet another update and once again, this applies to all Windows Phone 8 devices, not just Nokia. If you have downloaded maps on your phone, you should have already been prompted to update them for the latest batch of improvements. If you haven’t already, go to settings > applications > maps > check for updates.

The question you may be wondering is, what changed? We have the details.

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AT&T's previous Nokia flagship, the Lumia 900, will be one of the first to sport the 7.8 OS upgrade

Nokia Lumia 900 users on AT&T can look forward to receiving the Windows Phone 7.8 OS update on Wednesday, January 30th—one day earlier than what we were anticipating. Windows Phone Central has learned (via an internal AT&T email) details of the update including that it was approved on January 7th by the carrier.

We’ve written extensively on the 7.8 update recently including giving a full video-tour of what the update will look like. That was accomplished by flashing our Lumia 900 with the Nokia-approved ROM files that  were posted to Nokia’s servers. While this method works, it also wipes the phone and can be risky (in addition to frustrating if you don’t have the right drivers).

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We began to get rather hopeful with news of an imminent release for the Windows Phone 7.8 update, thanks to a tweet published by UK mobile operator O2. The company has quickly become the premier Windows Phone carrier in the UK, supporting the platform with stock of not only Lumia handsets, but Samsung and HTC as well.

Now Telstra has provided some hints that consumers with Windows Phone 7 hardware won't have to wait too long for the much anticipated update.

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Some sites today are erroneously spreading word that Nokia has begun a “global rollout” of the Portico Windows Phone OS update for the Lumia 920 and 820. Presumably this includes unlocked phones and even ones on various carriers.

Unfortunately, these sites didn’t verify the information or took liberties with the source.

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