Windows Phone News

Way back in September we reported on three new Windows Phones -- the HTC Ultimate, the HTC Radar and the Samsung Haden --  all appearing in the logs of the app "I'm a WP7!".

As it turns out, it was very accurate. The HTC Ultimate became the Titan (but for Brazil), the Radar of course is very well known today being on T-Mobile and in international markets but that Samsung Haden never really came forth.

For awhile, we thought maybe this was that rumored Samsung LTE device or perhaps something for Sprint. But as it turns out the 4G LTE Samsung phone is actually the "Mandel" (which we're starting to think has been nixed from AT&T's lineup) and of course there's nada from Sprint (or Verizon and T-Mobile.).

Site reader Bailey S. recently had some problems with his Samsung Focus S so he sent it to Samsung for repairs. Evidently there was something wrong with the motherboard so Sammy replaced it and sent the phone back to Bailey. Case closed.

But upon booting up the device for the 1st time, he was greeted with the traditional welcome screen for Windows Phone but instead of SGH-i937 or Focus S it said "Welcome to your SAMSUNG Haden". Even more curious, it says as much in the About screen of the device as well.

So what are we to make of this? The AT&T "code name" for the Focus S was "Kupua" but we're starting to think Samsung's internal device name was, you guessed, "Haden". At least that's our hunch. But why does his phone say "Haden"? We actually have no idea, though if anyone wants to add anything in comments, we're all ears.

Another interesting side note is this phone is completely unbranded with no AT&T software on board. That lends credence to the idea that "Haden" was in case Samsung released this phone internationally (something which never happened) or that "Haden" was for internal testing.

Just some weekend trivia to chew on if you happen to track device names that pop up every once in awhile. Thanks, Bailey, for the email and photos!

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The Lumia 900 (both black and cyan) has gone out of stock according to the product listing at the online AT&T store. Nokia has recently confirmed a memory management issue with the Lumia 900 running on AT&T that would kill the data connection, rendering the Windows Phone almost useless for owners while on the go. 

Since the announcement was made Nokia has offered $100 on the bill of affected AT&T and Rogers customers and has also begun rolling out the firmware fix for the connectivity bug days early. There have been reports that the U.S. carrier has been pulling handsets from shelves in favour of models with the update already installed. We haven't heard anything official but this could explain why the handset is temporarily "out of stock".

 

The amount of Lumia 900s left for shipping could have been snatched up by a relatively high number of orders. Then again, AT&T has publicly stated that the Lumia 900 has been selling beyond expectations (even the cyan case was listed as out of stock). We'll not know the exact numbers, but for now it'll be an anxious wait for the second batch of handsets to be made available for orders to run through.

Let us know if you've been able to find any Lumia 900 devices locally or if you've seen that the Windows Phones were pulled due to the update issues.

Source: AT&T; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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Did you know that in our Forums we have an area dedicated to Developer Beta testing? If you're holding that new Windows Phone and you're thinking, How can I help this operating system grow? Well how about beta testing some apps? Our Developers need your help to get their app right and to the Marketplace.

GPS Calculator PRO is one of the apps currently under beta testing in our forums. Developer and forum member kitya is asking for your help to test his app. From the app description:

"This app can be used to accurately calculate distances, get altitude information from digital elevation models, calculate areas, project locations and convert coordinates between several different formats, including UTM"

Insync is a Google Docs sync app and currently in beta testing here at WPCentral. If you use Google Docs this app has an extensive list of features. It is being developed by insynchq he describes his app and list all its features in his thread.

Chrync (beta) is used to sync Chrome to your Windows Phone. Developer dmehers is trying to get beta testers signed up now for the next version he will be testing. This is what he says about the current app.

"The current version of this app syncs down your Chrome Bookmarks, recently viewed URLs, and open browser sessions."

Developer and forum member Ronny Gydar posted his app "People search / Finn folk" in our forums and quickly filled up the 100 testers he needed. So if you're interested in beta testing some apps, be sure and keep an eye on the Beta test forums and join as soon as you can (or you might miss your chance).

Developers: this area is for you. We want to help you get those apps to market a soon as possible. If you are in need of volunteers, post up those trials as we have an army of beta testers ready to help out.

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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The presence of WP7 Root Tools demonstrates this Lumia 800 is interop-unlocked

It has certainly been a very exciting 24 hours for Nokia fans between the early release of the 900 data-fix, that hilarous video from India or the prospect that "the Woz" may pick up a Lumia. And now we can add one more.

Over at XDA they have successfully figured out how to get the Lumia devices into unlocked bootloader mode (or rather, to detect if your phone has an unlocked bootloader). In turn, you can install a custom ROM with build 12070 (RM819_059P453_1600.2487.8107.12070_002) on board plus an interop-unlock.

The interop-unlock method goes deeper than developer unlocked on Mango phones but not as deep as a full-unlock. However, it will allow users to install some more sophisticated homebrew apps (e.g. registry editors) as opposed to just sideloading signed apps.

Unfortunately a lot of Lumia 800's won't have an unlocked bootloader (you'll need to check your phone first) but biktor_gj and the rest of the crew over at XDA will surely get to devices with newer firmware on board and unlock their bootloaders eventually.

At time of this writing, biktor_gj is still uploading the custom ROM for the Lumia 710 with interop unlock, though it should be up shortly and use the same process.

Certainly this is a big day for Lumia owners and just the tip of the iceberg for the custom ROMs to follow on these devices.

Source: XDA Forums; via Nokia HD Blog; Thanks, niccolo, for the tip

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Nokia has been aggressively marketing their Lumia Windows Phone family of devices, and it was only the other day that we reported on Samsung publicly announcing they believe the "Blown away by Lumia" challenges (much like Smoked by Windows Phone) being ran by the Finnish manufacturer in India are unethical.

Today we've come across another challenge recorded on film and the reaction of the losing contestant's girlfriend is particularly surprising (see below). Notice at the end when she asks both the host and her boyfriend if they can now leave where she throws in the closing comment that his smartphone is a "worthless Piece of s&^t". 

What do you make of the above video? Hats off to Nokia for not editing it, should it be real of course.

Source: Youtube, via: MyNokiaBlog; thanks Rohit for the heads up!

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The Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone update to address the data connectivity issues (and hopefully the battery issue) is now live. All you need to do is connect your Lumia 900 to your Zune Desktop and follow the steps in the Update Wizard.  The entire, ten step process takes about fifteen minutes and does involve a backup step.

When complete your Lumia 900 should be updated to the following:

  • OS Version: 7.10.8112.7
  • Firmware revision number 2175.1002.8112.12084
  • Hardware revision number: 112.1914.2.0
  • Radio software version: 2.1.75.10
  • Radio hardware version: 8055
  • Bootloader version 7.17.2.0
  • Chip SOC version: 0.85.2.1

While it was a bit of a downer to see the Lumia 900 have these issues, Nokia has done a great job of addressing them. Nokia acknowledged the issue, set a target date to correct the issues, compensated customers for their trouble and launched the fix three days ahead of schedule.  

All that is left is to see if the fix worked. My fingers are crossed that data connections are stable and the battery life returns to making it through the day without worries. Icing on the cake would be if the camera improved but that might be asking for too much in such a short period of time.

If you've updated your Lumia 900 and can tell a difference, sound off in the comments.

Thanks, everyone, for tipping us on this!

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Samsung is set to hold off on releasing new Windows Phones until Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" is released. According to reports, Samsung Taiwan has stated that they'll be launching a new handset running the next version of Windows Phone in the second half of 2012 (October at the earliest). It's a potential loop of a situation with Nokia pushing hard for consumers to adopt Windows Phone.

Samsung, like most OEMs, are waiting for the marketshare to increase and for higher demand to be present for handsets using Microsoft's operating system. Problem being consumers require a certain degree of choice to become interested in the platform. Cue Nokia just six months ago with the launch of the Lumia 800 in the UK.

With the Finnish manufacturer pushing Windows Phone left, right and centre, more demand will provide Samsung with the motivation to produce more devices to compete within the system. The complaint from a number of potential buyers (particularly from Android) is specifications, or lack of. Majority of smartphone users are now accustomed to dual-core with high resolution displays and removable storage.

We're still waiting for more news on the mysterious SGH i667 "Mandel", which is reportedly one of three AT&T LTE Windows Phones. It'll be interesting to see what Samsung can produce with the upcoming update, but for them to actually launch an effective marketing campaign is another story. For now they'll have to stick to being relatively grumpy at Nokia for their aggressive "Blown away by Lumia" marketing.

Source: ePrice.tw, via: WMPU

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What do you get when you pack a lift full of Russians, paid for by the Nokia Lumia marketing budget? Well, it's fairly difficult to describe so we'll let the three videos do the explaining of some superb marketing stunts.

The first video shows unsuspected members of the public in the "Amazing Nokia Lift" when a horde of what appears to be police officers charge into the small space and stare that person down. Once they've completely freaked out, the headwear is removed and a superbly executed version of "I Will Survive" is performed. 

Next up, we've got the Amazing Nokia Lift - Girls (pretty self-explanatory):

Not to mention the Amazing Nokia Lift - Angry Birds, which is a rampaging onslaught of character costumes being flung at the lift as it halts at each floor:

What's amazing about Nokia is how diverse their campaigns are. From 4D projection music events all the way to blowing away the competition with Lumia handsets, there seems to be no limit to the imagination of those involved. In the end we all now know that Russians win, at basically everything.

Sources: Youtube (Police, Girls, Angry birds); thanks everyone who tipped us!

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Amazing Weather is wonderful weather app for your Windows Phone. The weather app brings everything from current conditions to weekly forecasts to weather radar to your Windows Phone.

The Amazing Weather developers are hard at work on version 3.0 of Amazing Weather that will bring themes, weather alerts, offline mode, auto location detection, and a refined user interface to the mix. But they need your help.

Amazing Weather v3's new "Metro" look

Amazing Weather needs translators for as many languages as they can find. If you care to translate weather terms into the various languages you know, just shoot Eizsoft an email at amazingweather@eizsoft.com with TRANSLATION as the subject line. In return for your help, you'll get a thanks in the About Screen of Amazing Weather and a free Beta copy.

If you're not familiar with Amazing Weather, there is a free trial version available and the full version is running $1.29.  You can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

source: XDA Developers

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Windows Phone Folders concept

As we reported a few days ago, Nokia was asking for feedback on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 via a user survey. Those who participated even qualified for a $50 Amazon gift-card for their trouble.

While user surveys are nothing new (and AT&T has done them in the past) one interesting question was noticed by reader Jonathan W regarding folders: "I would like to be able to arrange apps into folders on the apps screen" was asked with a rating system ranging from "Disagree strongly" to "Agree strongly".

That's an interesting item to raise in a survey only because Windows Phone does not have a folder system at all for apps on the Start screen. There is, however, a homebrew folder solution which works very well by Windows Phone Hacker and we know users in the past have asked for such a system (especially with all the apps we now have).

Is Nokia watching the homebrew community? They would be silly to ignore it. Are folders on the table for a Windows Phone OS update? Possibly. We know that Nokia can modify the Start screen and aspects of the UI much deeper than other OEMs.

So far, Nokia have not exercised that option but with the proof-of-concept homebrew folders working out, they could easily (and more elegantly) instantiate such a concept in the OS, should they choose to do so. Alternatively, they could also lean on Microsoft for such a feature for everyone including competing OEMs, much like the 4G LTE experience.

We'll certainly be watching Nokia closely to see what they do with this survey information. Oh and Nokia, yes, folders are a very good option and we'd like to see native support for such a feature in Windows Phone..

Thanks, Jonathan, for the image; Windows Phone Folder concept by WPCentral member Sebastien "ArtSooby" Bruneau

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Here's how you know Nokia has created a lot of buzz with their latest phone: when the co-founder of Apple and all around geeky-gadget guy Steve Wozniak is intrigued enough to get a Lumia 900.

In a simple Tweet today, 'the Woz' noted that he was wasting some time at Denny's waiting for the local AT&T store to open. Reason? He wants to see if the Nokia Lumia 900 is available for purchase. Of course whether or not he can get one is a separate issue as stores are running low on supply of the flagship Nokia phone, especially in that popular Cyan color. (An alternate reading would be he just wants to see if the Lumia 900 is selling well, but our bet is he just would have called to find that out).

It will be very interesting to see if Steve likes the 900 enough to go through with the purchase. He's well known for enjoying his Apple products, going so far as to wait in line every year for the new iPad (a nice nod to the average folks who often have to do the same) but he's also respected for being a fair and even-handed gent.

The biggest factor in determining whether most folks like the 900 seems dependent upon if their favorite apps have a counterpart on the Windows Phone platform. For that, we'll be real curious to get his thoughts on the experience should he buy the phone.

Source: @SteveWoz; Thanks, HD7guy, for the tip!

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Back in January we reported that ChevronWP7 Labs, the officially-sanctioned "jailbreak" service for Windows Phone "homebrew", was coming to a halt. At the time, the reasons cited mostly revolved around the difficulties some users experienced in installing it and the following tech-support needed to help them out. The project was put on indefinite hiatus with more tokens possibly being bought in the future.

However, today it's official: the experiment is over.

Within 120 days, those who unlocked their phones via the ChevronWP7 Labs service will have their phones re-locked. The good news is all users who bought a token are eligible for a one-year Microsoft App Hub membership, a $99 value and allowing them to stay unlocked for 12 more months.

The jailbreak service is being permanently shut down for a few reasons, including those cited above but also because many of those who did unlock their phones so that they could "sideload" apps for experimentation, never moved on to actually publishing any apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace. That was one of the goals of the project -- to reduce the $99 barrier for devs who might not be able to afford the App Hub membership.

While ChevronWP7 Labs is gone, the ChevronWP7 team made up of Rafael Rivera, Long Zheng and Chris Walsh will continue tinkering around:

"Fear not, we will continue to explore other ideas with Microsoft. All sides are still very interested in the hobbyist and homebrew developer communities."

For more information on the closure of the service and for those looking to upgrade to that App Hub membership, head to the ChevronWP7 Labs site here.

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We've had the pricing details revealed by Clove UK for the Lumia 900, and now we've got the expected date of availability. Be sure to scribble in May 16th should you be looking forward to getting your hands on the handset that's currently making way in the U.S. Also, if you haven't already, check out our in-depth review of the Lumia 900 (AT&T version).

The date is slightly later than what Mobile Fun reported on, but we now have firm dates for when it's finally hitting the shores. Both the Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U have pre-order and interest registration pages up, but if you'd rather take one unlocked Clove has your back with a price of £460.80 (including VAT). This is a slight reduction of their earlier pricing of £528.

Source: CloveUK (Lumia 900); thanks @Jubbing for the heads up!

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The 7digital team have released an official app for Windows Phone which joins the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. The 7digital app allows users to log into their account and synchronise purchased media to their device. The massive online store is integrated so purchases can be made while on the go enabling the discovery, purchasing and enjoyment of music when not at the PC.

With reportedly over 18 million songs for users to choose from, 7digital is a solid alternative to iTunes, Zune or other music store. Available worldwide and localised for Europe (including UK, Germany, France, Spain Italy, Ireland) and North America, users are able to enjoy offline playback from their purchase library.

As one can see from the screenshots, it's an extremely good looking client. The team have also taken advantage of live tiles in Windows Phone allowing artists, tracks and albums to be pinned to the home screen for convenient access.

You can download 7digital from the Marketplace for free. Thanks Bill for the tip!

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The Swedish radio station Mix Megapol has released an official Windows Phone app on the Marketplace. The app enables users to listen to programmes that may have been missed, as well as stream live radio of course. The ability to read up on latest news and updates, as well as sporting an appealing UI makes Mix Megapol a must-have for any station fan.

You can download Mix Megapol from the Marketplace for free.

Via: WinGadget.se; thanks Peter for the heads up!

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Good news for those with Lumia 900s on Canadian carrier Rogers as an employee has confirmed that affected customers will see $100 credit on their bill, much like what AT&T is currently offering. The Lumia 900 has been troubled with a "memory management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity", which has affected a number of owners.

AT&T and Nokia are allowing customers to exchange their affected 900 for a new one with the upcoming firmware update already installed, or you can sit tight for April 16th when the update is expected to be pushed out. There's certainly a win-win here with purchasing a Lumia 900 before April 21st, as you'll have a high-end LTE Windows Phone as well as $100 credit. So, really you're being paid to own one.

Those who are on Rogers, you have the exact same deal. You'll be given $100 credit on your bill should you purchase a Lumia 900 before April 21st, and if you're already affected you can either exchange your device for a new one with the firmware installed or sit it out until Monday when the update will hit Zune / Mac Connector.

Source: CBC NewsMalik Meghani, via: WMPU

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There's a discussion going on in the WPCentral Discussions Forums about the Nokia Lumia 900's battery life. It appears that some Lumia 900 owners aren't experiencing the greatest of battery life from their new Windows Phone.

Tweetwp7 reports that their HTC Titan's battery would be around the 60% level at the end of the day while the Lumia 900 is at 45%. Red Grenadine, on the other hand, reports fantastic battery life.

Personally, I had stellar battery life on my Lumia 900 for the first five days and that's with heavy use trying to compare the Lumia 900 with the HTC Titan II. Then the other day the connectivity issues struck and my battery life dropped like a rock. I'm seeing about 40% left after eight hours of use where the Titan II is in the 55-60% range.  In the time it took to write this article (about twenty minutes) I saw the Lumia 900's battery drop 3%.

In checking out the battery performance using Nokia's Diagnostic Tools (you can install them by dialing ##634#) my battery discharge rate ranges from 100mA to 500mA while the Lumia 900 is sitting idle (no wifi, BT, no live tiles, no apps running in the background, etc). Now I'm no electrical engineer but that doesn't seem right.

There could be a direct correlation between the connectivity issues and the battery drain or it could be a separate issue all together. We'll have to wait and see when the fix rolls out in the next few days to see if the battery performance improves as well as the data connections.  Our fingers will be crossed that it does the trick.

If you've seen a change in your battery performance on the Lumia 900, feel free to sound off in the comments or over in this WPCentral Forums discussion.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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The other day we made note that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 was selling strong based on the rankings over at Amazon.com. Today, it appears the strong sales numbers are based on the availability or un-availability of the Lumia 900 in AT&T's retail stores.

We've received several tips that the cyan Lumia 900 is completely sold out at various AT&T Retail Stores. WPCentral.com reader MaulerX reports that you can't find a cyan Lumia 900 at any of the AT&T Retail Stores in New York City.  Even Wichita, Kansas stores are sold out (thanks Seth!) of all Lumia 900 models.

Even Paul Roth, AT&T's President of Retail Sales and Service, in a WSJ.com interview recognized the sales of the Lumia 900 has exceeded AT&T's expectations and that some AT&T stores had sold out of the Windows Phone, particularly the cyan model.

And it's not only the devices that appear to be selling well. Nokia accessories are becoming harder to find. For example, the cyan case for the Lumia 900 is listed as "Out of Stock" over at AT&T's website.  Sounds like blue is the color of choice for a lot of Windows Phone users.

While the Lumia 900's launch did have a slight stumble with the connectivity issues, which Nokia is promptly responding to and stepping up to the plate to make right,, from a sales perspective the launch appears to be a success.  Sound off in the comments if you're having trouble finding the Lumia 900 or if you've found a store with plenty of cyan models.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

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We broke the news the other night that Verizon Wireless was set to roll out the latest (or nearly the latest) Windows Phone OS update, version 8107, to HTC Trophy users on its network. That update not only fixes security issues but addresses the disappearing keyboard bug that has driven many mad for the last few months.

We've now received a flood of tips that the update is currently live and if you plug in your Trophy to Zune Desktop you'll be greeted with an update notification. Actually, you'll eventually have three updates to install as it's cumulative:

  • OS 7740
  • OS 8107
  • HTC Firmware

So sit tight as the backup process will vary from device device and will depend on how much "stuff" you have on your phone. Let us know in comments if all has gone well.

Thanks to all who tipped us! Thanks, Vance, for the image.

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The Smoked by Windows Phone marketing challenge has gone global since Ben ("the PC guy") Rudolph first started the campaign back at CES 2012. Now the Windows Phone team in Malaysia has taken to the streets to challenge the public who own competitor handsets and see if they can beat Microsoft's platform. 

Should the contestant manage to best Windows Phone, they'll walk away with RM100, and should they lose a card is at hand reading "My phone just got smoked by Windows Phone". Check out the following video of the Malaysian challenge in action.

To find out where the team will be to challenge them on April 14th and 15th, head on over to the Windows Phone Malaysia Facebook page. We'll also be the first to state that we want one of those polo shirts.

Source: Discovr, Youtube; thanks Jason for the heads up!

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