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HTC S740/743 gets HardSPL

If you happen to be using a HTC S740/743 (a.k.a. the Rose) and often wished you could run custom ROMs, today may be yourr lucky day.

XDA Member jockyw2001 has posted a HardSPL kit for the S740/743. The HardSPL basically opens up the phone to allow for the flashing of ROMs.

Presently, there's only one cooked ROM being circulated over at XDA for the HTC Rose and it may take time before the chef's start adding this Windows Phone to the menu.


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GPS Tab for Sense 2.5

Tabs seem to be popping up out of nowhere these days. You have a tabs for Facebook, Call History, Twitter, Documents, eReader, and now there's one for GPS.

XDA Developers Forum member xaoc747 has developed posted a GPS tab designed for Sense 2.5 and the HTC HD2. The tab defines your current position and object motion parameters for calculation between the current and previous points. It will record tracks in a Yandex map format along with an analysis of the tracks (distance, speeds, time, etc.).

In skimming over the discussion on this Sense 2.5 tab, there is no mention of it being compatible with any Windows Phone running Sense 2.5 other than the HD2. The Russian Developer has released a similar tab for the HTC Touch Diamond but there is no mention as to whether or not this tab will function on a Touch Pro 2 running Sense 2.5. There is some discussion that some of the settings menus are not translating from Russian to English as well.

If you're in an adventurous mood, you can find the full discussion on the custom tab as well as the download here. Keep in mind this is a home-grown modification that may or may not have bugs and is essentially in the Beta stages.

Correction: This mod was posted over at XDA by xaoc747.  The mod was actually developed by member, MoonNah.  


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If you're lucky enough to have access to Verizon's pure fiber-optic FiOS cable/internet, then you'll want to go to Windows Marketplace and check out their DVR manager.

In an effort to basically kill off TiVO, the cable companies have been rolling out their own digital video recorder (DVR) services. This freeware app basically lets you access and program your DVR remotely via your WinMo phone. A friend tells you about a show you have to watch? Fire up this bad boy, log in and set your DVR to record it.

Having used Verizon's FiOS for a few years (even played with the DVR two years ago), we like their offerings a lot and its nice to see them give some Windows Mobile love.

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Jawbone Icon gets A2DP update

Aliph has released an update to its popular Bluetooth headset, the Icon, that gives it the ability to stream music and other audio files. The A2DP update is available through the companies MyTalk website. If you don't own an Icon and the addition to A2DP pushes you over the fence, the headset can be picked up over at the WMExperts Store for the reduced price of $96.95.


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Marketplace Spotlight: Langlearner Full

We've already shined the spotlight on several Langlearner Marketplace apps and now we turn our focus on the companies most recent Marketplace app, Langlearner Full.

Langlearner Full follows that same lesson plan of Langlearner Lite (the free version) in that it focuses on short, everyday phrases (e.g. where's the restroom, what time is it, etc.).  Langlearner Full has more content which includes ten languages and 100mbs of downloadable content covering thirty-two lessons.

Navigation is simple and the lesson plans are straightforward. You choose your lesson pack (casual conversation, dining, first aid, etc) to download and then choose your individual lesson. Each lesson covers the full language range and you choose the direction of the translation.  The Windows Phone App presents the phrase in the written and audible form as well as a picture illustrating the phrase.

Langlearner Full is available at the Windows Mobile Marketplace for 99 cents. It may not be on the same level as Rosetta Stone but if you're looking for a convenient, simple to use language app, LangLearner Full isn't a bad way to spend less than a buck. Not sure? You can still download Langlearner Lite to get a feel for things.

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Voice Search comes to Google Maps

There is a little joy in Mudville tonight. Especially if you were hoping that one day Google Maps would have voice search capability.  Because today is that day.

Google has updated Google Maps to version 4.1 for Windows Mobile and has added voice search the the app. It will detect different variations of English as well as Mandarin. The voice search is activated by the call button on your phone.

It also appears the search is location based (a good thing). When I searched "Yankee Pizza" the results were limited to the one local pizzeria. In searching "wal-mart" it brought up the closest store to my location.

In the short time I've tinkered with Google Maps voice search, it is a little buggy (locked up once) and isn't as fast as Bing's voice search. But it is a step in the right direction.

You can download the .cab file for Google Maps with Voice Search here or point your mobile browser to [Google Mobile via]

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Not to sound too repetitive, an update is available for Microsoft's Bing app for those using a Windows Phone on the Sprint, AT&T or T-Mobile network.  The new version is  5.1.2010 and you can get it by choosing the "Update Available" menu option in the old version or by pointing your mobile browser to (yeah... I know it's different than the twitter post but it's what worked for me).

No specifics on what the update covers but just off hand, it looks like a maintenance update.  If we discover anything different we'll pass it on. [via:]

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Verizon has released a software update for the Samsung Omnia (SCH-I910) that addresses some performance issues the Windows Phone has been experiencing. They include a Qualcomm patch to improve call quality; updates/fixes to the Opera browser; updating the XT9 keyboard; a correction in the algorithm codec used in attaching full resolution images to MMS messages; and a few other assorted tweaks and fixes.

You can download the software update at Samsung's support website.


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Ah, Foursquare. Either you love it or you think it is even more dumb than Twitter. Either way, the fledgling social service which is now available in the Microsoft Marketplace and soon for Windows Phone 7, has updated some of their code to prevent people from cheating on 'check ins'.

See, the more often you 'check in' with Foursquare at a specific location, the better chance you have at being the number one visitor. Upon that amazing (or sad) achievement, you are awarded badges or the most coveted 'mayorship'. Yes, yes, it's also silly and a bit odd for adults, especially if it's a place of ill repute to indulge in your lascivious ways.

As bad as all that is, evidently people were cheating to get those awards by spoofing their location. For shame people. Well, Foursquare wants you to know they frown upon such behavior and have attempted to put an end to your evil-doing ways.

So there, neener-neener.

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Okay you TV watching fanatics, while Hulu may have lost The Daily Show/Colbert Report recnetly, it looks like somehow they are now allowing the Skyfire browser to stream videos.

Or perhaps it is vice-versa, we'll probably never know. (See Skyfire's earlier explanation to the community).

Either way, if you load up the latest version of Skyfire and head to, you can now stream your heart away. We just tried it ourselves and we can confirm 100% (see above screens shot).

So there, you folks happy yet?

Update: And thou taketh away. Looks like it was just an error on Hulu's part as mobile streaming, once again, is dead in the water. Such teases. Thanks to everyone for sending this in.

[Thanks Scott, via everythingWM]

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Channel 9 (a.k.a. five guys at Microsoft) has released a Developer's Training Kit for Windows Phone 7 Series. The Training Kit is designed to give you a jumpstart into the new operating system.

The training kit includes three units covering the WP7S platform, Silverlight for Windows Phones and XNA Framework 4.0 for Windows Phones.

According to Channel 9 the training kit is geared for the beginners who want to get started with developing applications for the Windows Phone 7 Series.  Experienced application developers should find the training kit useful in that the Silverlight unit focuses in part the differences between Silverlight and Silverlight for the Windows Phone.

You can find the Windows Phone 7 Series Training kit here with each course unit being a separate download. 

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Give your desktop a 7 Series twist

Like the panoramic view of Windows Phone 7 Series?  Wish you could have tiles on your personal computer?  Want to see more of WP7S on your computer than just the emulator?  If such is the case, we might have stumbled upon a solution for you.

Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform that will let you use skins to enhance your Windows computer. Rainmeter has it's own following of chefs that create new skins for the platform (similar to the ROM Chefs for Windows Mobile) with varying color patterns, information displayed, and themes.

One such cooked up skin is the Omnimo UI which is based on the Metro-UI design of Windows Phone 7 Series. Tiles on Omnimo can be customized from content to color to number. The only thing missing is the touch navigation.

Simply download/install the Rainmeter program on your Windows Computer (Win XP or later) and then do the same with the Omnimo UI program. Both programs are complex by way of tons of customization options.  It took me about ten minutes to download, install and get the Omnimo UI running.  It will likely take me days to explore all the options both Omnimo and Rainmeter have to offer.

Just as with cooked ROMs, there is plenty of forum discussion on the both program's development to help guide users along.


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Turn the HD2 into a metal detector

One of the many creative minds over at XDA Developers may has come up with a way to turn your HTC HD2 into a metal detector. XDA member 6Fg8 has created an application, Metal Detector, that works under the premises that the built in compass on the HD2 relies on the earth's magnetic field to calculate the deviation from magnetic north. If you put a piece of metal near the compass, it deviates from the natural deviation.

There are still a few bugs to work out in the application but for the most part, it performs as advertised. Yet somehow I don't see scanning the beach with an HD2 looking for buried treasure.  However, if that screw you dropped blends in too well with the carpet, this application might be of some use. [via]

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Slacker Radio Giveaway

Now that Slacker has officially come to Windows Mobile, we thought we would take the opportunity to entice readers to tell us what you think. To help sweeten the pot, Slacker has been kind enough to provide a few complimentary subscriptions.

What you'll need to do is install Slacker to your Windows Phone, sign up for the Free Account, give it a test drive and tell us what you think. Could it be better? What do you like or dislike?

Once you've gathered your thoughts, post them over on the forums in this discussion. And please, try to post more than the easy two word thoughts (e.g. love it, hate it, it sucks, it rocks, etc.). We will randomly draw two grand prize winners who will receive a one year subscription to Slacker and three runner's up will be selected to receive a three month subscription.

Posts must be submitted by 5:00pm CST on April 3, 2010.  You'll need to be registered to participate and that painless process can be found here.

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For those who use Foursquare, that social network app that pre-dates Google's Buzz and lets you share your location with others, you'll be pleased to see what they have in the works for Windows Phone 7.

Demo shots were shown off by Windows Phone Senior Product Manager Anand Iyer on his blog recently.

While we have a decent version already for Windows Mobile 6.x, this new version for WP7s certainly looks very smooth and minimalist. In addition, there are two new features that as TechCrunch points out, not even the revamped iPhone version has: "Society" area and 'Directions'.

The former shows a "heat map" of the immediate area, which is a representation of the most popular spots in your locale. We suppose this is great for finding where everybody be at, as this kids would say.

The other feature, directions, is just that: once you find where your friends are, you can get directions to that spot within the app itself, instead of hopping into Bing or Google Maps (we won't even touch the multi-tasking issue).

One thing looks certain, with companies like Netflix, Twikini, the Associated Press, EA mobile, IMDB, Weatherbug, Pandora, Photobucket, Sling Media, Seesmic, SPB and now Foursquare, WP7s should have the basics ready to go on launch.

[TechCrunch via Rene Ritchie]


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Microsoft updates My Phone

Microsoft has recently updated its My Phone service. The new version is 1.06.22718.01.  What's in the update? So far nothing stands out and the update is listed as "fixes and enhancements based on your feedback."

The next time you sync your Windows Phone with My Phone you will be prompted for the update. Once you download and install the update, soft reset your phone, and you'll be back in business.

Don't have My Phone yet? Simply point your Windows Phone browser to to download and install the application to your phone. Full official release after the break.

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Back in the day, we had an app on Windows Mobile called CityID (Flashback: 2006!). It recently reared its dormant head on the Verizon Imagio (see full review). The app was basically an area code database that compared that was compared to an incoming phone call, resulting in a City, State caller ID.

Very useful stuff.

Turns out that many HTC devices, likewise, have a database that stores states, but not necessarily anything else. Saumaun, who is quite well known in various Windows Mobile communities, managed to whip up a detailed registry change to give us back that function. He basically included all the major metropolitan areas and referenced them via area codes, giving a pretty decent shot at city accuracy.

The best part of his "hack" is that there is no running programs or increased resources--it simply uses the device's registry to enhance caller ID. ROM chefs are encouraged to incorporate it into their builds and end-users can just download and install the simple and tiny .cab file, found in this thread.


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After teasing us with a leaked .cab in February, Slacker Radio has been officially launched for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. The Slacker Mobile application is "optimized" specifically for the HTC HD2 and is launched in conjunction with the release of the HD2 on T-Mobile. Slacker should work on other 6.5 phones with WVGA (800x480) screens; those specifically listed are the HTC Imagio, HTC Pure, HTC Tilt 2, LG eXpo and the Samsung Omnia II.

Slacker Radio for Windows Mobile provides access to your Slacker Radio account (Free or Premium), over 100 stations, the ability to create your own stations, and various information about the current track and artist. To give it a try point your mobile browser to Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Standalone Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator

If you're interested in exploring the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator but don't really want to bother with the entire development environment, we've found a way to do that. 

The emulator .exe file will need a few changes to the command line parameters to run independent of Visual Studio.  You will still need to download the Developer's Tools for Windows Phone 7 Series but Redmond Pie lays out the three step process to add this string, xde.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\WindowsPhone\v7.0\Emulation\Images\WM70C1.bin, to the command prompt for the the XDE.exe file.  This will allow the Emulator to launch without the need to go through Visual Studio.

Nervous about tinkering with the command parameters? Redmond Pie also provides a shortcut for your desktop that will take care of it for you which you can find here.

I did experience one quirk in using the desktop shortcut.  I kept receiving an error message that the .bin file couldn't be found.  We discovered (or should I say Tim discovered) that the target properties of the shortcut needed a slight modification.  If you get a similar error, simply right click on the desktop icon, open up the properties and replace the existing target field with the following (including the quotations) to get the emulator to launch: 

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft XDE\1.0\XDE.exe" "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\WindowsPhone\v7.0\Emulation\Images\WM70C1.bin"

Once launched, you will see the Windows Phone appear with a tool bar to the upper right of the phone.  I'm sure the load times will vary depending on your computer but don't be surprised if it takes a few seconds for the WP7S ROM to load.  Keep in mind that this is a work in progress and it's entirely possible that you'll run into a few bugs and glitches along the way.

Also, if you want to tinker with the unlocked WP7S ROM, you can find it here, courtesy of XDA Developers. Simply follow the directions to replace the development ROM .bin file and you can explore the unlocked world of WP7S.

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ROM Updates from HTC

Sporting a Euro Touch Diamond 2?  If you are, HTC has released a "official" ROM update for the Windows Phone. The update includes Sense 2.5 and can be found on HTC's UK Support site.  While the Touch Diamond 2 isn't available in the U.S. Market, we do have the AT&T Pure.  Could it be next?

In addition to the update for the Touch Diamond 2, HTC has also released an "official" ROM update for the Euro Touch Pro 2.  However, unlike with the update for the Touch Diamond 2, it doesn't look like HTC is ready to officially put Sense 2.5 on the Touch Pro 2.


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