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Microsoft rebranding Nokia apps, memories.nokia.com to shut down

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Microsoft is discontinuing the Nokia brand for its smartphones and is in the process of renaming Nokia-branded apps to “Lumia”. Some apps have already been rebadged but for some it’s a little harder – Nokia Cinemagraph used to host shared images on memories.nokia.com, but that’s shutting down and “memories” will be deleted come January.

Cinemagraphs stored on your phone will not be affected but if you have any on the Nokia site you’ll have to manually download a copy. Read more »

Google Now and Siri beat Cortana at answering tough questions

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Now that all three major mobile platforms have their own personal assistants, we’re all wondering how well each of them performs at different tasks. The latest study doesn’t look good for Cortana, Microsoft’s attempt in this space.

This particular test is all about tough questions. Google Now, Siri, and Cortana were all asked difficult things, through a random question generator created by two developers. Read more »

Microsoft: Want an iPhone 6? Better get a Lumia 635!

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Microsoft posted a picture via its Nokia USA Twitter account, which shows why a Lumia 635 is a better deal than an iPhone 6.

Instead of a $700 iPhone you can get a $100 LTE-enabled Lumia 635 plus a plethora of accessories and free services on a much lower price. Read more »

Microsoft Band goes official with ten sensors and $199 price tag

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The freshly leaked Microsoft Band is now official and will work with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Redmond’s wearable device is made for the right hand, packs ten sensors, and will cost $199 when it hits the shelves on October 30 online and in Microsoft stores in the United States.

Microsoft Band’s sensors allow it to measure heart rate, stress levels, and UV exposure among others. Read more »

HTC One (M8) for Windows battery life test

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HTC One (M8) for Windows turned out quite an interesting smartphone, a great alternative to the original HTC One (M8). Our in-depth review has been live for a few days, so it’s time we the complete results of our battery life test with you.

The Windows-powered HTC One (M8) features the same hardware and battery as its Android counterpart. The two operating systems are completely different, though and we hoped Microsoft’s OS will be able to match or beat the very good battery rating we achieved with the Android One (M8) flavor. Read more »

Skype for Windows Phone adds drawing feature

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Microsoft has published a new update for Skype in the Windows Phone app store. The new version is 2.24, and it debuts an interesting feature: drawing.

It’s just as it sounds, basically. You can tap the “+” icon in any chat and then select “drawing” to, well, draw – a picture, or whatever else your talent level allows you to. There’s also the possibility of adding a “personal touch” to a photo, or to annotate a Bing map. Read more »

Halo: Spartan Strike goes official for Windows and Steam

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Microsoft and 343 Industries announced Halo Spartan Strike. The twin-stick shooter game will be available on Windows/Windows Phone devices and Steam on December 12 for $5.99.

The events in the successor of Halo: Spartan Assault take place during Halo 2. Read more »

Nokia Refocus app gets an update, new Lumia name

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The Nokia Refocus app for Windows Phone has been rebranded with a new name. The app is now called Lumia Refocus in the spirit of Microsoft’s recent changes, which saw almost everything drop the Finns’ brand.

Other than that, the app hasn’t been changed in any way. The Lumia Refocus lets you take a shot and choose what you want in focus later. Read more »

New Skype-made Qik app lets groups chat with 42-second videos

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A small team at Skype went the startup route with the popular “send [arbitrary number] second videos!” formula. The new app is called Skype Qik (“quick”) and lets you record 42-second videos that you can send to one person or a whole group.

The app is available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS starting today. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 730 taken apart, disassembly schematic included

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Tear-downs offer a curious peek into what components go into a smartphone and now thanks to WidnowsMania.pl we have a detailed map of the Nokia Lumia 730.

Aside from the usual photo of the internals, there’s also a helpful disassembly schematic, which shows the components layer by layer with tooltips explaining what each component does. Read more »

Cortana can now lookup song lyrics for you

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Microsoft has added a new ability to Windows Phone’s virtual assistant skill set. Cortana is now capable of looking for song lyrics for you so you can sing along with your favorite artists.

It’s very easy – just ask “lyrics for song name by artist name“. You’ll get the lyrics momentarily. Read more »

Samsung looking to settle its patent dispute with Microsoft through arbitration

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The long-standing patent fee dispute between Samsung and Microsoft, which first made headlines this summer, apparently continues to be an issue as still neither can come to an agreement.

In an attempt to put the issue at rest, Samsung has filed for arbitration under the International Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Read more »

Flipboard is now available for Windows Phone devices

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The popular magazine format app Flipboard is now available for Windows Phone 8.1 devices. The application is currently available to download in the Windows Phone App Store. It will also come pre-loaded on the freshly launched Nokia Lumia 830.

For the time being, Flipboard is available only for Windows Phone smartphones with at least 1GB of RAM. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 735 ad wants you to stop the cutout selfie violence

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Nokia’s latest ad wants to usher in the world of allfies – the selfie that doesn’t cut important people (namely the photo-taker) from the picture. For it Nokia puts forth the Lumia 735 which has a wide-angle 5MP front-facing shooter.

The ad is really hilarious and shows the people shooting cutout selfies as cutouts in the real world and shows the reaction from the people around them. Read more »

‘Asphalt Overdrive’ for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone review

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The Asphalt series of games has been around since pretty much smartphones themselves. I still remember playing the excellent Asphalt: Urban GT and its sequel, Urban GT 2 on the N-Gage. In portrait mode, no less, cause that’s how the screen on those phones were.

Since then the series has gone through a lot of changes and as with most Gameloft games are now some of the most visually impressive games available on the mobile platform. But before we head from last year’s Asphalt 8: Airborne to Asphalt 9: Whatever, Gameloft has a little spin-off called Asphalt Overdrive to keep us busy. Let’s take a look. Read more »