Windows Phone Help & How-to

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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You're going to get behind the wheel? No, you want to catch the bus? Hold it, dear chap! Instead, since it's Mobile Nations Fitness Month, why don't you make use of the pedestrian functionality in the Windows Phone Maps app? Stretch those legs, turn up the beats and introduce your favourite swagger to the unexpected public.

There's nothing like a casual stroll on a Friday afternoon, right? Planning a walking route is an easy feature to overlook when not used on a regular basis but it is a simple feature to make use of.  A feature that will help you get to and from your destination and burn a few calories along the way.

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As we’re the largest Windows Phone site around, you could imagine we get asked a lot of questions. Some are bizarre, some are just rants asking us to fix the OS (we wish we could!) and some seem silly at first but do make you go “hmmm...”

Such is the case with this scenario: You toss your beautiful Nokia Lumia 920 onto the Fatboy wireless charger to get some juice. But you also have a USB AC adapter standing by...what happens if you plug that in? Will it charge off of both, making it “go faster”? Or does one take priority over the other—and if so, which way?

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Back a few weeks ago we came across a post detailing how using Rain X, the popular anti-rain liquid for car windshields, can help reduce finger print smudges on your phone.

Having applied the solution to our devices, we used them over the last two weeks and we figured we’d share our results.

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Is all well with Live Tiles on Windows Phone 7.8?

With the Windows Phone 7.8 update finally starting to find its way on board user’s devices, bringing with it the cosmetic upgrades of Windows Phone 8, here at Windows Phone Central our readers are noticing that not all is well for their newly-sized live tiles.

Users over in our forums have spotted that since the 7.8 update, their live tiles (those updated by background tasks at least) do not seem to be refreshing correctly.

A lot of times these issues are device specific, but in this case we’re not convinced. I recently had a conversation with Lawrence Gripper (developer of BBC News Mobile) after he got in touch to ask if we had been receiving an abnormal number of support requests since 7.8, we have. Just like the reviews you'll see for BBC News Mobile, several users have been in touch complaining that their tile seems to have ceased updating now that they have installed the new OS update.

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We’ve lamented numerous times here at Windows Phone Central on the sorry state of Xbox Music on current Windows Phone 8 devices. When it comes to management, features or in one particular case, missing album art, it can be quite frustrating to use and it's quite the downgrade from the Zune days..

We touched on this topic recently on the last podcast where ripping a CD (via Zune) and transferring to our device using the Windows Phone App (RT) caused our album art to magically disappear, leaving a hideous gray box in its place.

Luckily for us we now have a solution. Best of all it’s simple, free and called MPAtool.

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update is here. Well, it will be once you're able to update your hardware should you not go down the manual route. We've all be eagerly awaiting the notification that there's a new build available, but what if you overlook a new feature or miss new functionality through excitement (with or without comforting alcohol), or simply not being aware that such magic exists? We'll quickly run you through on how to get started with the 7.8 update.

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Update: Files have been updated to make the app more stable and reliable and indeed it does work better now. (5PM ET)

Windows Phone Hacker has released a new “wrapper” tool called 'Seven-Eighter' that reportedly makes manually installing the 7.8 update less cumbersome than downloading all the files yourself. The app comes in x86 and x64 and is a simple executable that you run on your PC (you’ll need to give it permission in Windows 8).

In theory, it’s the same method we detailed in our CAB file post yesterday---you specify the languages on your device and then it fetches the files for you, all through a progress-bar UI.

Since Windows Phone OS updates are cumulative but iterative in the process, you’ll have to go up through Tango before proceeding to 7.8 meaning there will be a few cycles of updates.

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If you didn’t already know, Sonos, the multi room entertainment center, have yet to release an official app for Windows Phone. That is where Phonos comes in. Phonos gives you the ability to easily control all of the players and music services throughout your home, right on your phone.

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With the latest versions of Windows Phone consumers are able to make use of Internet Sharing, depending on carrier, device capabilities and allowance. But what if it doesn't work as planned? Many have encountered issues when attempting to connect to the Internet via a Windows Phone.

Devices are able to view and connect to the new access point created by the smartphone, but Internet access isn't available. Luckily, there are a few steps that should resolve the issue, thanks to folk at the Nokia forum and beyond. So what does one have to do to get Internet Sharing back up and working?

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