Articles

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NoDo consists of 3 updates over several months

There has been speculation and claims for sometime, mostly from Paul Thurrott, that 'NoDo' in its current form has been "done" since December. Such an accusation has obvious implications: for four months Microsoft has been sitting on this update and due to 'X' reasons (often thought to be carrier interference), we the customer have been missing out. That's at least the narrative that has been making the rounds lately, no?

Some folks at Monsmartphone, specifically epsilon283, have broken down the NoDo update and found that Microsoft was not sitting idly by on just one update, but instead had at least two additions to NoDo.

  • Update 7.0.7008.0 to 7.0.7355.0 compiled March 15, 2011
  • Update 7.0.7355.0 to 7.0.7389.0 compiled January 25, 2011
  • Update 7.0.7389.0 to 7.0.7390.0 compiled February 1, 2011

Now, what we don't know is the trajectory of these additions--were they responses to carrier requests/bugs, were they just continued development of build numbers, etc? We'll probably never know, but it's nice to see that it at least looks like Microsoft continued to shoe-horn further updates/fixes while "copy paste" was being delayed. This is a possible reason why it was only days ago did we learn of the full changelog of NoDo...in its current form.

Source: Monsmartphone; Thanks, Gilles

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15

Verizon extends Trophy offer to MS employees

Going back to November, it was known that Verizon would be offering the HTC Trophy world phone to Microsoft employees, part of the deal that MS would cover employee phones (so long as they were Windows Phones, ahem).

A few days ago, that date for the offer was extended to April 1st, a sign we thought that Trophy release was imminent. Now we get word that the date is extended, yet again, by one week to April 7th. What does this all mean? What we've known for a bit: Verizon is testing the Trophy, it's nearly complete and their "release dates" for the public (latest being the 15th) are clearly moving targets, not written in stone. Lets just hope this is the last of the delays as Verizon is really dragging this drama out for a phone that is far from the cream of the crop.

Source: VerizonWireless

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11

Official XDA app is here

After 7 months of development, XDA's official app for Windows Phone 7 is here.  It is equipped with Toast notifications and Live Tile support, so you can receive real-time PM notifications.  Sporting the Metro user interface, the XDA app let's users:

  • View forums
  • Send/receive PMs
  • Subscribe to forum
  • Read and respond to posts
  • Check news from the Portal

Download it here for $0.99.

Source: XDA; Via: MobilityDigest

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1

Changes to Nodo's Changelog?

Last week we shared the changelog for the Windows Phone 7 "Nodo" update that came from Microsoft's support page. Along with copy/paste, faster apps and games and other improvements, the changelog noted Marketplace improvements that included "using a credit card with an address outside the United States".

Not sure when it happened but apparently Microsoft has changed the changelog to omit the "using a credit card with an address outside the United States" portion of the Marketplace improvements.

So why the change to the changelog?  Windows Phone Support via tweet has noted the improvement note was "referring to an issue that U.S. customers had when using a different language/region format on their phones."  The verbage was removed to avoid confusion.  Yet it still seems very confusing.

Source: windowsphonesauce Thanks to wp7fanboi for the tip!

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Windows Phone 7 development by the numbers

With the MIX11 Conference just around the corner, Microsoft is marking the one year anniversary of the Windows Phone 7 developer's tool set. In reflecting over the past year's events with Windows Phone 7, Brandon Watson has shared some numbers concerning Microsoft's mobile operating system. Here are the highlights.

  • The Windows Phone Developer Tools have been downloaded over 1.5 million times. Watson notes that number equals the entire population of Philadelphia.
  • There are 36,000 members (registered as developers) of the AppHub (Windows Phone development) Community.  This number is growing at a rate of 1,200 new members a week.
  • Numbers of note concerning the Marketplace include that Windows Phone customers average 12 app downloads a month; certification is taking an average of 1.8 days to complete; 44% of all paid apps include a trial version; and 62% of all apps submitted pass certification.

From day one, Microsoft and its critics felt that Windows Phone 7's success was dependent on developer support. The Marketplace currently has a little over 12,200 apps and combined with the numbers Watson has provided, that support appears to be strong.

Source: windowsteamblog

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We all know how...unimpressive...the "native" YouTube app is on Windows Phone 7--it's basically just a browser for the site and pales in comparison to Android and even the iPhone. Why that is has always bothered users, but it looks like we may have an answer, or at least one-side of it.

In a blog post by Brad Smith, Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Microsoft, he blames Google directly for the Windows Phone situation. There's no if's and's or but's about it, according to Smith ergo Microsoft:

...in 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.

Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.

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Windows Phone developer makes $28k in just four months

In an interesting "case study" presented by Microsoft Advertising, developer Richard Foster is reported to have made a nice $28,882 in four months using Microsoft's Advertising SDK across his 14 apps for Windows Phone:

Richard Foster, once a DOS programmer and now working for the family dry cleaning business and developing mobile applications part-time for his company Edgeway Software, is ecstatic about the results he is seeing developing for Windows Phone 7. Since the introduction of his first app, Unit Converter, in November, Richard has now developed more than 14 apps - all with the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 for mobile.

Richard had developed paid apps for the Windows Mobile 6x platform, but since there are a huge number of free apps in the new marketplace for Windows Phone 7, he made the switch to ad-supported apps. For him, this model proved the most lucrative.

Now, in fairness, most developers are not making nearly as much money as Mr. Foster and there's a certain dishonesty in making him a poster-child--plus 14 apps is nothing to sneeze at even if they are things like a "unit converter". However, Windows Phone is still a young platform and it goes to show how just advertising alone, can lead to some serious sustainable income for developers--if ya got the skillz.

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If you don't know who Elbert Perez is, you probably know his games as he just published his 10th one to the Windows Phone Marketplace, called 'Microchip Rush'. His other games are include Nom Nom Worm, Impossible Shoota, Quadra, Fishing Girl and many others.

From the app's description for Microchip Rush:

The microchips need to be delivered fast! As the manager of the largest microchip production facility your task is to teleport as many chips as possible. However production errors manifest themselves as mines that can end your career as a shipping manager.

  • Use strategy and speed to deliver the most chips as possible
  • Score the highest score possible to be able to brag around the world that you are the greatest Microchip production facility manager

We always find Perez's games quite amusing and seeing as they are free, you know, there's no real commitment in trying it out. So if the above vid has wet your appetite, here's your Marketplace link.

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70

Easy hack forces NoDo update

For those of you who received the February pre-NoDo update but are still waiting for the big important March one to hit, there looks to be an easy way to make it happen now, without using the "VPN" trick discovered earlier.

In essence, the earlier VPN trick forced your computer to connect up to Hungary where, for some reason, the NoDo update was residing for certain phones. Now that NoDo is being pushed out large-scale, well, it's on more servers including more local ones. Still, how to get it to your device is proving to be a little tricky.

On devices listed on Microsoft's website as "delivering update" this should work, including T-Mobile HD7's:

  1. Start Zune
  2. Turn off Data connection and Wifi on the Phone
  3. Connect the Phone with the PC (USB)
  4. Start the update search in Zune
  5. About 3 seconds later, disconnect your PC from the internet (Turn WLAN off).
  6. Zune finds NoDo-Update. Press OK.
  7. Connect to the internet again and install the update.

Although some people are reporting that they had to try this multiple times, specifically the "timing" aspect in step 5, lots of folks are successfully getting the NoDo update. Share your experience in comments below and what you did to finally get it to push through. By the way, you do need the February update to get this to work.

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11

ESPN ScoreCenter - First Look

ESPN has released their official ScoreCenter application for Windows Phone 7. ScoreCenter is a free application and brings you scores, news, standings, videos for your favorite sports teams and leagues.  ScoreCenter makes a good first impression with a clean appearance and brings plenty of sports information to your Windows Phone.

Features include:

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8

Why you should care about IE9 on WP7

At Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore gave a demonstration of some of the new features coming to Windows Phone 7 in an update to come later this year. The touted features include multitasking, which is for some the Holy Grail of mobile platforms. Somewhat overshadowed by the multitasking features was the demonstration of Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Phone, which is to include many of the features of its desktop counterpart.

The real issue for some WPCentral readers is why they should care about Internet Explorer on Windows Phone? IE has long been the whipping boy among browsers, at least from a PC enthusiast’s standpoint. Lambasted for its lack of security and standards support, Internet Explorer has been losing market share to Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Follow the break to learn why Internet Explorer 9 is the single biggest feature coming to Windows Phone 7 in 2011, at least in this writers estimation.

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36

Microsoft gives AT&T users some hope for NoDo

In the wake of the uproar over their lack of communication on their update strategy, Microsoft created a web page to communicate with users on the status of their updates. Up until now AT&T users were left wondering what "Testing" meant, and how long that would take. The bad news is that all three Windows Phone 7 devices on AT&T are still in the testing phase, but the good news is that there are target dates attached now.

According to Microsoft’s website, testing for both the NoDo and Pre-Nodo updates are estimated to be completed early next month. While this is obviously later than anyone wants, at least we have a time frame to mark on the calendar.

What do you think? Is this too late? Are you at least glad that there is some communication rolling at this point? Get your rant on in the comments.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks to Bryan for the tip!

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10

Nodo Update being distributed at Rogers

Samsung Focus owners on the Rogers network are reporting that they are receiving the March Nodo Update today. We've gotten a handful of tips from Roger's customers who were pleasantly surprised that when they hooked their carrier locked Focus up to Zune, the update notification was there.

We can only hope that AT&T isn't too far behind.  So for the Roger's customers in the crowd, how's the update process going?

Thanks to Sean, Rob and everyone else who tipped us on this!

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10

Super Monkey Ball rolling to Xbox Live on April 6

Since the debut of Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7, we’ve seen games from a few large console developers like Konami and Namco. Sega is finally throwing its hat into the ring with next week’s Xbox Live title, Super Monkey Ball.

Super Monkey Ball 2 was previously thought to be coming to Xbox Live based on its Achievements listing at Xbox360Achievements. Achievements listings don’t always turn out to be correct, though – the same site listed Katamari Damacy as coming to Windows Phone 7, but then the actual game ended up being I Love Katamari. It now looks like instead of porting the (much superior) Super Monkey Ball 2 from iPhone, Sega chose to start with the original.

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11

Verizon HTC Trophy to land April 15th?

It was earlier thought that the Verizon HTC Trophy would hit the market on March 24th but that date has long since come and gone.  We've also seen rumors that the release date would be some time in June.

Now, through a leaked Verizon Spring road map, it looks like the Windows Phone 7 device will should hit stores on April 15.  It joins a handful of Android devices being released by Verizon during April and, as previously reported, will be featuring the NoDo update.

No details on pricing have surfaced but we're thinking $199 with contractual discounts might be in the ball park.  We'll have our fingers crossed (again) that the April 15th date holds true.


Source: phandroid via: AndroidCentral  Thanks goes out to D.J. Richard for the tip!

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AlphaJax -Everyone’s favorite Scrabble clone, I mean, word game - has received a steady stream of updates since its release in October. We were excited when a February update added unlimited, ad-supported play to the trial version of the game as well as user statistic tracking.

Today’s update overhauls stat tracking. Previously, the leader board just put the players with the highest number of wins at the top. Now player skill is also a factor. The new rating system is based on the Elo rating system. Gamers increase their rank via wins, but rank goes up a lot more by defeating a higher ranked opponent. On Xbox 360, the Xbox Live TrueSkill system works much the same way.

How does AlphaJax’s rating system affect people who are new to the game? Players aren’t ranked until they complete ten online games. Pass-and-play (local multiplayer) doesn’t affect rank. Even if someone loses all ten of their starting games, they won’t receive a negative rank. When they finally do win, they should jump up in rank a fair bit since other players are likely ranked higher than zero.

Now that players have a proper skill rating, random matchmaking has significantly improved. There are two options: Skill Match and Random Game. Random works just like it did before, throwing one player up against a completely random opponent. Skill Match, however, pits the player against someone with a similar skill rating. This should result in much more competitive games. Winning a Skill Match is also more likely to have a significant impact on a player’s rating. A high AlphaJax rating, I assume, helps you get all the girls. I’m… not quite there yet. ;)

AlphaJax, is the leading Scrabble-style game for Windows Phone 7. It supports two-player online play against friends or random players as well as local multiplayer. Our review praises AlphaJax’s features and presentation. Even now, AlphaJax remains quite possibly the most polished and addictive indie game on the platform.

AlphaJax is available in ad-supported and ad-free ($2.99) flavors. You can pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. WPCentral staffers Daniel Rubino (Malatesta), George Ponder (coppertop) and Paul Acevedo (eastx) are accepting challenges!

Head past the jump for the full version 1.7 changelog.

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Need a new WP7 Lock Screen wallpaper?

Growing tired of your Windows Phone's lock screen? Looking for a new wallpaper? eMobilez has collected a vast assortment of 480x800 resolution wallpapers (and other sizes) that range from the abstract to cartoons.

All totaled (if my math is correct) the site offers 803 wallpaper images from nine categories. The only drawback is that the wallpapers aren't keyword searchable but you won't grow tired of surfing through them.

Installation is simple. Just find the wallpaper of your liking, download it to your computer and then transfer it to your Windows Phone via Zune. Then venture into settings and change your Lock Screen setting.

source: eMobilez via: monsmartphone Thanks goes out to Gilles for the tip!

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2

Microsoft's Mobile Studio, Kin Studio Part Two?

Could the Kin Studio be rising from the ashes and headed to the Windows Phone as the Mobile Studio? For those not familiar with Microsoft's Kin, in many ways it was a scaled down Windows Phone for teenagers. A social networking phone of sorts.

It failed and had a life span measured in months but one glowing success of the Kin experiment was the Kin Studio. The Kin Studio was an online portal to your phone where photos, videos, status updates and messages were synced to. Similar to Windows Live but with more pizzazz.

There have been hints that Microsoft hasn't completely scrapped the Kin Studio concept and a recent job posting might be another such hint. Microsoft is advertising for positions to the Mobile Studio Team. As described in the announcement,

"The Mobile Studio will redefine the mobile phone for millions of everyday users around the world. We are looking for an intuitive and driven User Interface Designer with the ability to conceptualize and lead the design of features built for mobile phones...The candidate will be part of a team that is responsible for extending and evolving the functionality of Windows Phone."

Could the Mobile Studio be a new version of the Kin Studio? Maybe a new addition to the Windows Live services?  Or are we just reading too much into the job posting?

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Glow Artisan is Deal of the Week: $1.99

Another Wednesday and we get to see another Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone title drop. Glow Artisan (see review) was originally $4.99, then dropped to $2.99 a few weeks ago. Now the we received puzzle game is going for a very fair $1.99.

Remember, the DotW is just that...for one week. So grab the trial now and give it a spin to see if it's worth the $1.99--we think it is. Here's your link to the Marketplace.

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Looks like there has been some confusion regarding the Dell Venue Pro and the NoDo update, which started coming out today for the HD7. Many users have successfully received the pre-NoDo February update, but few if anyone has received the big NoDo one itself. As Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger for Dell Inc. states, users can expect NoDo to "rolled out...over time starting today" and a second firmware update from Dell "coming later".

That second bit hints at something we've been hearing--a firmware update that will fix some outstanding issues that DVP has been plagued with since launch. What exactly this firmware update will fix is not clear yet, so we'll be awaiting for details in Menchaca's Dell post which should be forthcoming soon.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, pjfan75, for the heads up

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By now, a lot of T-Mobile US customers have received their alert about the February and March updates for their HD7s. T-Mobile has published a step-by-step guide on the process, which can be found here.

What is obvious is that the HD7, but not the Dell Venue Pro is getting NoDo today. The DVP did receive the February pre-NoDo update but we've heard, but not confirmed, that NoDo will be hitting the Dell phone in mid-April (April 18th?)--has to do with more "fixes" being on board in addition to NoDo. Hopefully we'll hear more about that later.

In addition, what is curious is the changelog for the HD7:

  • Adds the ability to copy and paste text.
  • Stops unnecessary data connectivity and lowers data usage while using Yahoo! Mail.
  • Improved Marketplace search
  • While connected to Wi-Fi, customers will now see different background images in the Search screen.

We haven't heard about the Yahoo! Mail bug being fixed in this update before, nor about the the "background images" being different during search when over WiFi--more subtle changes we suppose.

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Tarot - App Spotlight

Carlo Milian, developer of Windows Phone apps such as SoundEscape 7, Twitter Translator, and Palm Reader 7, is offering Tarot over at the Marketplace. The free fortune telling application brings the art of Tarot Card reading to your Windows Phone.

Billed as being able to help guide you through your troubled emotions and clouded thoughts, by offering a reflection of your past, present and possible future and showing you a fresh perspective on your life. Tarot lays out predictions for your past, present and future in a nice looking application.

To begin the reading you tap the Tarot Card deck to shuffle and tap the deck again to deal your hand. From there just tap each card to flip them over and tap them again to read your fortune. Tarot also provides a view of the full deck of cards on a second page of the applications hub.

Tarot is a free application and ad supported. If your curious what the cards have to say about your fortune, Tarot can be downloaded here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Audio Phone 7 - App Spotlight

While there are a handful of note taking apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, some prefer audio notes to serve as a reminder. Enter Audio Phone 7 from Redtalon.

Audio Phone 7 is an ad supported voice recorder for your Windows Phone. When the application launches, it goes directly to the recording page of the hub. From there you simply type in a title for your recording and record away.

Audio Phone 7 also includes pages to view your past recordings as well as links to other applications by the developer. The only drawback I could see while giving Audio Phone 7 a quick test is that you have to enter a title to the recording. If your on the go and need to record a quick voice memo, you may not have the time to enter a title. Then again, you could always just type a few random characters.

Audio Phone 7 is a free application, allowing you to see for yourself if it's worth keeping on your phone. You can download your copy of Audio Phone 7 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Quick Easy Note - App Spotlight

Quick Easy Note by Erlensoft is a temporary note taking app for your Windows Phone. Designed to jot down short notes that you don't need to save for prolonged use. Notes such as phone numbers, your parking space number, a car tag, or other bits of information you need to preserve for a short period.

Your notes are saved automatically when you exit Quick Easy Note and will remain in the text field when you re-launch the app. Once you've transferred the information or no longer need it, a clear text command is in the pull up menu. I could see Quick Easy Note being useful for shopping lists that you don't necessarily need to save and would discard when you are finished shopping.

There are two versions of Quick Easy Note, a free version that is ad supported and a non-ad supported version that will run you $.99. You can find the free version here (opens Zune) and the paid version here at the Marketplace.

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Four avatar items on sale through April 1st

One of the fun benefits of Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7 is that users can view and edit their avatars on the go. Some avatar items are free, while many of them cost money.

A quartet of avatar goods are currently on sale for fifty percent off. These must be purchased through a PC or Mac web browser or an Xbox 360 console before equipping them to your avatar.

Ninjas - Black Horned Samurai Outfit (Male or Female) - 120 Microsoft Points ($1.50) - 50% off
Star Wars - Chewbacca Wookie Costume (Male or Female) - 160 Microsoft Points ($2) - 50% off

Avatar pets are not currently viewable on Windows Phone 7. The Fierce Moves item is actually a break dancing animation for your avatar. We can’t confirm whether premium avatar moves are actually viewable on Microsoft’s mobile platform, but we’ll update if we find out.

The sale runs through April 1st, no fooling. A ton of Xbox Live Arcade games (Xbox 360 only) are on sale during the same time period. Head past the break for the full list.

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