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Is Skype the Windows Phone Wildcard?

Is Skype the Windows Phone Wildcard?

That Windows Phone lacks a Skype app is, like Apple's fixation on the word "Magical" and the rampant popularity of Justin Bieber, one of life's great conundra. Microsoft is desperately seeking "must have" apps to showcase its smartphone platform, and yet it already owns a VoIP company putting out what could legitimately be described as just that on iOS and Android. Delivering Skype for Windows Phone would certainly answer one great criticism of the OS, and cross a further reason off the wait-and-see list for many buyers. Still, it's the promised deeper integration of Skype into future iterations of Windows Phone, however, that could signal the turning point for the "third platform."

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Windows Phone 7.1 Mango Technical Preview

Windows Phone 7.1 Mango Technical Preview

It's been eight long months since we reviewed our first Windows Phone 7 handset. Microsoft's rebooted platform launched with a bang at the tail end of 2010, promising not only a new start from the Windows Mobile days of old, but a fresh interpretation of what a smartphone should be like. A tentative hit with reviewers but less so among consumers, however, Windows Phone's impetus fizzled out as new devices failed to appear. Now, Windows Phone 7.1 "Mango" is coming to fill in some of the gaps, tidy up some of the loose ends and - Microsoft hopes - make the platform a more realistic competitor to iOS and Android. Check out the SlashGear review after the cut.

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The State of Tech in Japan’s Recovery

The State of Tech in Japan’s Recovery

We've already written about the terrifying situation in Japan this past week, and how SlashGear readers can help the ongoing aid effort. Now, Japanese manufacturers are beginning to add up the impact the earthquake and tsunami have had on tech production, affected both by physical damage to facilities as well as ongoing power shortages and transportation break-down. Components used in everything from Apple's iPad 2 through digital cameras, mobile devices and computers have been impacted, with some estimates putting recovery several quarters out. Read on for more details.

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Dilithium added Live TV and VoD supports for Blackberry

Dilithium added Live TV and VoD supports for Blackberry

Research in Motion’s popular line of Blackberry devices do not have any soft of TV tuner incorporated, but the subscribers will be able to browser, view live Tv and VOD content steaming with the added support of Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA). Basically, it’s much like mobile entertainment services such as SlingBox media and Tivo mobile apps on RIM phones you probably have heard. The different, according to Dilithium, unlike most devices that allow only browsing DVR content and scheduling, the DCA is the only product on the market that supports Live TV and VoD streaming.

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SlashGear Review: O2′s minimalist Cocoon cellphone

SlashGear Review: O2′s minimalist Cocoon cellphone

Cocoon, if you remember, was a film about a bunch of cantankerous elderly people who discovered the alien key to prolonging their life; with that horrible thought in mind, I grudgingly agreed to review O2 UK's Cocoon cellphone, fearing that at any moment a trio of elderly men might leap out and deliver a touching message about not marginalising the old.  Thankfully, O2 have been a little more up-to-date with their latest own-brand handset, and while it's nowhere near perfect have still managed to inject it with a bit more life than some rivals.

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SlashGear Review: T-Mobile’s Samsung T539 Beat cellphone

SlashGear Review: T-Mobile’s Samsung T539 Beat cellphone

You can tell a lot from a name. Call a car a "Stag" and it has far butcher connotations than if you named it "Primrose"; christen your new laptop "Brick" and don't be surprised that urban warriors pick the rival "Feather" instead. So Samsung are being pretty upfront when they brand their latest cellphone 'Beat' (well, unless you hear rather than see the name, whereupon you might think it was actually a purple vegetable) - this is every bit as much a music player as it is a mobile phone.

In fact looking it it for the first time, you could be excused for not realising it's a phone at all: the prominentl green-rimmed music controls are reminiscent of, well, the PMP market leader, while the clamshell hinge is masked by the gloss black plastic casing.

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SlashGear Review: Samsung Z560 with HSDPA

SlashGear Review: Samsung Z560 with HSDPA

Readers of my personal blog will know the stress I've had recently around moving house and trying to take my ADSL broadband connection with me. To cut a tedious story short, despite claims to the contrary I was without internet access for a little over a fortnight; now that might not sound like much, but to a dedicated net-addict like myself it put a serious dent in my day to day life.

Since my phone line was also waiting to be connected, that meant dial-up was a non-starter, and so as the withdrawal symptoms began to get worse (shaking hands, excess perspiration, a tendency to shout out phrases like "purge the cache!" and "dot com!") I looked around desperately for a way to sate my need for the interweb. And then my twitching eye fell onto the Samsung SGH-Z560.

T-Mobile UK had sent me this unassuming clamshell a week or so back, it being one of the first models to support HSDPA on their network. Unfortunately its arrival had coincided with that of a Treo 750v, and the smartphone had gobbled up most of my attention (you can follow my path to push-email redemption in my Treo 750v review).

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