Windows Phone Help & How-to

We briefly mentioned the Windows Phone partnership with We Are JUXT, a community of mobile photography enthusiasts (www.wearejuxt.com). Recently, ten of the most influential members of the We Are JUXT community were challenged to shoot exclusively with a Nokia Lumia 920

The group were asked to shoot exclusively with the Windows Phone for an eight day period and share a few tips on how to take the best pictures. The end result: a respectable collection of tips on not only how to take better photos but how to approach mobile photography as a whole.

Read on for these great tricks on how to better hone your mobile photo skills!

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Deal alert: Fable III is currently free for Xbox 360

The gaming and tech world-at-large has made a stink about how the Xbox One is moving to a more PC like approach. Specifically Steam has been cited as a model that the new Xbox One is moving towards. Of course Steam has been cut some slack because of how often they have deals on games. Well, it looks like Microsoft is even getting ready to follow that practice because right now you can download Fable III for free onto your Xbox 360.

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This week Microsoft launched a new site, WindowsChipIn.com. The site aims to help students without adequate financial resources raise money for a new Windows 8 PC or tablet via their social networks.

The program is three step: First, select the Windows PC you would like. Next, create a profile and invite friends to contribute towards your new high-tech gadget. Finally, collect the profits and flee to Mexico buy your PC.

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This week, Gravilux for Windows 8 showed up free in the marketplace (but it will only be of no-cost for a limited time). The app is an “interactive musical star field visualizer”; simply touch the screen and simulated stars are whirled around and began to change color. You can even set the stars to react to music or other audio files in a custom playlist

Gravilux is a fun tool to amuse your friends with and show them what your fancy Windows 8/RT touch screen can do.

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Here at Windows Phone Central, we go out of our way to bring you the latest and greatest apps conveniently. For instance, if you use our official app, you get one-tap access to download whatever it is we’re writing about, instead of making you hop out of the app and searching in the Store. If you’re browsing via the web on a PC, you get a nice QR code to quickly scan at the bottom of each article.

Well, ThomasP from the website WP7App.de has written a killer extension for the Chrome browser that goes one step further. The extension simply auto-generates QR codes for any app in the Windows Phone web Store. So if you are just browsing or someone emails you a link, when you head to Microsoft's site you’ll get a nicely accessible QR code for quick scanning.

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We’ve seen quite a few projects come from our forums and the latest is from AccentAE86, who took the concept of Nokia’s “dual shot” Lumia 620 shell design and applied it to his Lumia 920.

For those who aren’t familiar, “dual shot”, especially on the Green Lumia 620, is actually a two-layer yellow and blue shell that results in a bright green color. It’s an interesting new design language that Nokia is evidently experimenting with and something we hope to see in future devices.

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Hey Xbox game fans, Windows Phone Central is back with another exclusive and professional-quality Achievement guide. This time we tackle the Windows Phone version of NBA Jam from EA Sports. Whether you’re a Jam veteran or new to the series, our guide will help you knock the game’s Achievements out as quickly and easily as possible, though it’ll still take just over 30 hours to unlock the final one.

Earning NBA Jam’s Achievements also unlocks a variety of characters, but several of the game’s most outlandish characters can only be accessed via secret codes. We’ve got those for you too, right after the break. Boom shaka laka!

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Setting up and configuring your new Windows Phone

Got your new Windows Phone? Congratulations!

The first step you need to take is to actually set up the smartphone for the first time. We’ve continuously stated how user-friendly the experience is, so why do we need a tutorial on setting up a new smartphone running Microsoft’s mobile operating system? It’s a fair question, but truth be told that many aren’t as computer savvy as those who were born in this millennium.

That said, it really is super simple to get cracking from unboxing the new gem in your life to making calls, downloading apps and racking up the gamerscore on Xbox Live. What do you need to get started? Nothing really, just the new phone, ample enough charge to get through (it’s always recommended to zap some juice into the device before use) and our quick step-by-step guide. Shall we begin?

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If you've made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile with your Windows Phone and are having trouble access T-Mobile's LTE Network take a look at your APN settings.

Windows Phone Central member MikeSo made the switch with his Nokia Lumia 900 and had trouble accessing the LTE network. He could see the network, just not connect to it.

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Splashtop 2 is now available to download for Windows Phone 8 devices and is free though August 31st. The popular remote desktop application allows users to access their PCs directly from their mobile phone. View and edit files, stream HD movies, play games, and more using the Splashtop Streaming App for Windows and the new mobile app for Windows Phone 8. Splashtop 2 can transmit video content at up to 30 frames per second with low latency times which makes almost anything possible.

As a writer on the go, I can personally recommend that you check out this popular piece of software, as it has saved me a few times in the past when I have left articles on my machine.

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Welcome to the world of Windows Phone

Are you new to Windows Phone, or just the realm of mobile when it comes to Microsoft? If so, then welcome aboard! You’re at the right place as Windows Phone Central is the number one online resource for all things Windows Phone. We’ll be diving into why you should choose Windows Phone, what makes the platform great for not only personal, but work life too and how you can get involved in the community. So grab a cup of tea and let’s dive in.

As this is a guide through the basics of the platform, we’re going to assume that everyone reading this will either be new to Windows Phone or smartphones in general. If you're already up on your knowledge, these guides may not be for you. Let’s start with some history about the platform itself.

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You may or may not know that if you buy a Nokia Lumia 928 from Verizon, you qualify for a $25 Windows Phone Store credit. That’s a big chunk of money actually for picking up some $0.99 apps and even a few EA games.

The question you may have is how do you get it?

As it turns out, Verizon, who is not shy about emailing or calling you, will pass along an email with the voucher link.

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The Xbox Windows Phone version of Monster Burner started out as a free game before jumping up to 99 cents a few days later. Like most freemium games, it features In App Purchases that speed up player’s progress in the game. Using the in-game currency, you can buy upgrades to increase your firepower and life or single-use items to slow down the enemies and make tough levels a bit more manageable.

The game doesn’t force players to buy coins; you’ll earn some every time you complete a level. But while the first upgrade of any type sells for a reasonable price, subsequent upgrades cost astronomical prices. Even if you repeat an easy and high-coin level like Plains 3, it would still take hours of grinding to afford the best upgrades on your own.

Fear not! We’ve caught wind of a trick that reduces grinding times tenfold. Using this method, you could easily earn an average of 10,000 coins every two minutes! Read on for our full guide and video.

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Metrofy all the web with these browser extensions

File under fun. Like most of you, we spend a lot of time staring at some screens throughout the day. Typically our Windows Phone device and computer are the ones that get the most action. You love the look and feel of Windows Phone and get that same familiarity in Windows 8. But what about in the wild web? You don’t have much control over how a site looks. Or do you?

If you want to make your web browsing experience on the desktop a little more like Windows Phone check out the following extensions for Chrome. Yes, Chrome, mostly because Internet Explorer doesn’t support add-ons/extensions at the moment like Chrome does. We’ll be making Reddit and the general web a little more “Metro”.

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How to make your black Lumia 920 snap necks

When you picked up your Nokia Lumia 920 a few months back you probably had a color in mind before heading to the store. Maybe you wanted Cyan or Yellow to stand out from the crowd. But you get to the store only to have your selection limited to whatever was on hand. You could have waited for more colors to come in, but you said screw it and took black because you wanted that Windows Phone 8 goodness right then and there. You could throw on a case and get a new color, but you’ll lose out on the beautiful industrial design of that high-end Lumia.

Why not just swap the shell?

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That's right, folks. We're firing up an article on user review etiquette. Why, you ask? We've had numerous developers complain that consumers simply don't pay attention to information provided on the Windows Phone Store. This is prior to downloading trials or purchasing apps and they then leave negative feedback, which is viewable by the general public. We've noted this ourselves when browsing the catalogue.

Our own Jay Bennett has had this issue with the official Windows Phone Central app, so we figured we'd talk about how you can help make the review system less skewed for others to rely on, as well as improving the overall store experience for everyone (including developers). If you're one to quickly jump the gun and add a one-star review on apps and games then this resource is for you.

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If you use Windows Phone, 7 or 8, you probably know that holding down the Start button will bring up TellMe, the native voice command service from Microsoft. You can use it to launch app, write an SMS message, etc.

For Windows Phone 8 users though, you get the added bonus that apps optimized for the new OS can also take advantage of TellMe, allowing you quickly open an app and then go to a specific section, for instance.

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About a week ago Microsoft made your account more secure. If you use any Microsoft service or product you own a Microsoft Account. You use that account to sign into your Windows Phone to download apps and track the phone if you ever lose it. On Xbox it’s associated with your Gamertag and allows you to carry your profile from Xbox to Xbox and keep your Gamerscore and Achievements synced. On Windows 8 it allows your settings and wallpapers’ to sync across your laptop, desktop, and tablets.

If you’re in anyway shape or form using a Microsoft product you need to enable two-step verification to keep your account secure. Here’s how to set it up.

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One of the bigger news coming out from last summer’s Windows Phone 8 reveal was support for game engines – like Unity. It allows game developers to easily target multiple platforms if their particular engine is supported there. Unity is one of the more popular engines at the moment, with support for nearly any platform you can think of. Right now game developers can get early access to the beta of the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 versions of Unity.

Want to jumpstart to Windows Phone 8 and Unity?

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How to: Using BlueStacks to upload photos to Instagram

Whether you like it or not, Instagram is here to stay as a social network. Whatever plans Facebook has in the future are irrelevant, today it’s a huge platform for a lot of users. Its presence (or absence) makes or breaks potential smartphone purchases by the active 90 million users. Windows Phone still doesn’t have an official app, but Instagraph is a good workaround for right now. From the forums, here’s another slightly more involved way to get pictures up to Instagram without using an iPhone or Android device.

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If there’s one thing people really like about their Lumia 920s and that is underappreciated, it’s the ability to wirelessly charge them. So it’s fun to see forum regular and video guru Nisse Tuta show us how to improve upon our nightstands by integrating our standard Nokia wireless charging plate.

The process is not that involved and only requires a few tools for the job, but it is something you’ll want to take your time with and plan out accordingly. Personally, we think this project came out quite nicely and makes us wish for more furniture that is Qi-ready.

See an earlier and similar project using a coffee table here.

Source: Windows Phone Central forums

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Google is set to cease supporting Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for its array of online services, including both GMail and Calendar. This will prevent consumers from setting up accounts on Windows Phones with both contact and calendar support (but will not affect those who already have email configured on Windows Phone). Consumers who make use of said features will have to go through workarounds to get connected, or switch across to Outlook.

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One look at the comments section of our article announcing the release of Asphalt 7: Heat on Windows Phone 8 will tell you that the game is pretty popular. Hey Microsoft, we told you people wanted decent mobile Xbox games!

Ahem. With that gloating out of the way, we have more tasty Asphalt 7 tidbits to share with you now. Head past the break for a hands-on video, multiplayer walkthrough, and update news!

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