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What the what? How many big updates can we get in one day? Let’s recap today, which will go down in history as one of the most updated days of all time for Windows Phone. Spotify got the ball rolling by picking up a major update with a new design. Beats Music followed with some insane optimizations. Readit went hard and gained more features than we could list. Path hit version 2.0 and introduced Path Shops and Xbox Games picked up a quick update. Pretty busy day right? Not be left out of the fun, Xbox Video and Xbox One SmartGlass Beta picked up Windows Phone updates too. Let’s see what’s new.

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Not everyone are fans of the native Windows 8 Music and Video apps, but for those who are looking to find an alternative solution – you will not have to wait any longer. Back in November of 2012, VLC announced a Kickstarter campaign to launch the software on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. As of today, the application has passed certification and is now published in the Windows 8 Store for x86 and x64 based machines.

RT and Windows Phone versions will still have to wait, though they are planned.

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If you enjoy writing down notes while listening to music and watching a movie at the same time, then you are in luck because Music, Video, and Evernote for Windows 8 have received updates. Microsoft’s Music and Video applications serve as the gateway to Xbox entertainment, while Evernote provides a Class A experience for organizing various types of data.

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Microsoft’s is introducing Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1. Out of all the new features in Windows Phone 8.1 it’s the one we’re most excited about. As you probably know, Cortana is the forthcoming intelligent personal assistant that will debut in Windows Phone 8.1, but probably seep into other Microsoft products like Windows 8 and Xbox One. We’ve seen screenshots of the UI before, but the video below is the first time the public is seeing it for the first time.

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euronews claims to be the most-watched news channel in Europe. They cover world news and broadcasts in various languages 24 hours a day. Their official app has been available on Android and iOS, but Windows Phone users are no longer left out. The official app has just been released at the Windows Phone Store.

Head past the break to watch our hands on video and walkthrough.

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If you didn’t like the dramatic Nokia Lumia 2520 video, maybe this one is better. It shows off the excellent outdoor readability of the Lumia 2520 with a nice animated story that almost makes us cry. Nokia tells us they worked with Blue Zoo, a BAFTA award winning animation studio based in central London. Watch the video after the break.

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On Android and iOS devices, there are shortcuts to settings from any app or screen. Swipe down on Android or swipe up on iOS. Windows Phone doesn’t have those options yet, but an app that has just been released provides a clever workaround.

The Kirik Settings application brings quick access to your settings like Wi-Fi, cellular data, location, rotation lock, Bluetooth and more from anywhere via your volume controls. Head past the break to watch our hands-on video.

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Sky News is a dedicated 24-hour, multi-media news channel based in Britain. They have an app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. There have been over 8 million downloads of their app to mobile devices. You can read and watch videos on the latest stories from their newsroom. Their app covers UK and World News, Politics, Showbiz, Sports, Business, and even the Strange.

Head past the break to watch our hands on video and walkthrough for the Sky News app on Windows Phone.

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We love games with great soundtrack and cool graphics. Picnic Rumble from Tree Men Games has both of those features. You control four strange characters and help them find a perfect picnic spot in a surreal world filled with food. It’s really fun and we think you should check it out.

Head past the break to watch some gameplay footage with the Nokia Lumia 1020.

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Heard of Coursera? It’s an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. They have over 5 million students from 190 countries taking free online courses in Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and more. Feel like taking a free class or two? There’s an unofficial Coursera app for Windows Phone 8 called Learn on the Go.

You can watch lecture videos and read course notes from your phone. Head past the break to watch our walkthrough video.

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We have seen a lot of anti-Apple iPad commercials coming out of Microsoft lately; they have been touting the Surface’s ability to manage devices via a built in full USB port and the ability to project to larger displays using the device’s HD video out port. Microsoft also attacks the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s inability to use multiple accounts.

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Vector 22: Don Melton on transcoding video

Vector is our cross-platform, cross-site podcast where we talk about the technology that matters to all of us. In this episode, Don Melton, former Engineering Director of Internet Technologies at Apple, deep-dives into his non-browser-based passions: Blu-Ray, transcoding video, H.264, and managing massive amounts of media. Bottom line, if you want to get your videos onto your devices, and you're not afraid of command-lines or codecs, you're in for one hell of a ride. But, yeah: Warning: Contains extreme nerdery.

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Nokia has released a new promo video for the Nokia Lumia 1320 on their Youtube channel. The video shows off the device with 360-degree views. The big 6-inch display is definitely the highlight. As we go around the device, we see glimpses of Storyteller, camera roll, and Temple Run. We're also liking the background music!

Head past the break to watch the new video.

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Microsoft just released a new 30-second ad featuring the Nokia Lumia 1020. “Honestly, I wanted a phone with a better camera,” the actress says in the video. Using the 41-megapixel camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020, she explains she can zoom way in to her boyfriend even after she takes the picture.

What’s great about this ad is that it shows off a couple of great features. The video displays the advanced controls on Nokia Camera. The actress changes the exposure value on the camera to -1.3 and viewers can see the preview of the image changing brightness as she drags the slider.  

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Sozoom by Volevi is an exclusive app for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 that lets you add “zoom balloons” to your photos. It shows off how much you can really zoom with the special Pureview cameras featured in these two devices. It’s a very simple app, but it’s not perfect.

Head past the break to watch our walkthrough video.

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