Some new undocumented features of Windows Phone Tango

WP Central

Windows Phone 8773 still has a few hidden things in it

While users around the world are slowly getting the Windows Phone Tango 8773 update, a few under-the-hood changes are being noticed by users. We forced manually installed the update onto our Focus 2, Titan II and Lumia 900 with the Focus 2 (review) being our main device these days. As a result, we have had some experience running Tango and noticed a few little nuggets which we'll share below.

  • New wallpapers – We first noticed this on our Tango-fied Lumia 610 but Microsoft is now including those new “nature” themed wallpapers in the Tango ROM
  • Faster numeric PIN response – At least on our 8112 devices (Titan II, Focus 2, Lumia 900), when we would attempt to unlock our PIN on our phone it would sometimes be very slow and not register, requiring you to re-enter the number. While minor, it was annoying. That was fixed by updating all our devices.
  • Send ringtone via MMS – We can now attach and send ringtones to others via MMS. You can only send custom ringtones though and nothing that is “in ROM”. This in addition to the new "send voice note" and attach multiple images in an MMS that's found in Tango too.
  • Letter indexing – On Windows Phone 7.x after a user installs 45 apps, the app list will automatically index, giving you the “letter picker” to jump to find your favorite app. The problem, albeit minor, was if you went below 45, the “letter picker” would not disappear. It was odd behavior and nothing we ever experienced but Tango evidently fixes this. [Forum]
  • More reliable notifications – Many users are reporting better notifications, both Tile and Toast, with the Tango update. To be honest, we feel this has more to do with “flushing the system” than any actual optimizations, though perhaps there are a few.

WP Central

Users can now share custom ringtones over MMS

Another anecdotal fix may be related to "the Internet Sharing bug" which sometimes causes normal WiFi to stop working, then forces users onto cell data unknowingly. This only occurs if you've enabled internet sharing at some point on the device. We've seen this on our Lumia 900 and so far it seems better to us under Tango, though we're still evaluating. 

Things not available that were thought to be:

  • Static IP for WiFi- We haven’t seen this but you can reportedly enable it via a registry hack. Bad news is you need a rooted phone to do that. Some Nokia users supposedly have this though we assume it’s tied to the firmware [Forum]
  • Location icon – This actually not a part of Tango (8773) despite previous reports, but is part of 8779+, so don’t look for it or expect it
  • Export contacts to SIM – Not available though you can enable it via a registry hack, assuming you have a routed device [Forum]

Did we miss anything—specifically any new features or options? We get a lot of “this is now faster” reports but those are near impossible to verify, so we’re only looking for actual new additions to Tango 8773. If you have some, let us know in comments.

WP Central

New nature-themed wallpapers are now included in "Tango"

Finally, we have not seen a Tango update for any of our AT&T phones, including the Focus S, despite some isolated and unverified reports. Sorry, folks. Thanks, rockstarzzz, for the forum links


Reader comments

Some new undocumented features of Windows Phone Tango


You can force the update yourself.
Set phone to airplane mode
connect to Zune
click update and cut off your connection.
If the timing is right, you should get 8112. Repeat for 8773. 

Yea, me too.  Titan II with 8112....  Tried it since July.  Still nothing.
REALLY Frustrating.  I'm going to a Lumia soon as it comes out.  Support from HTC and ATT has been Zero.

Same. This worked for me as well with my Samsung Focus.  And it worked for my partner too on the Nokia Lumia 900. 

An easier method is to download the CABs manually and push it. Instructions are posted on XDA. I did this on my Titan on Thursday and it's working fantastically.

No. I got software and firmware through this. I suspect this works because MS releases the update in stages and disconnecting causes the server to issue the update when the phone ID does not transmit.

Same disconnection trick works in Italy too ;) Just updated my Lumia 800.
I disconnected wifi after 2 seconds, for both updates.
I received a 3rd update too, firmware related.

Well, I can confirm this works, since I asked, I've installed 4 updates, focus s in at&t, will update about changes, till now I've seen the multi-pic send and the ringtone send from sms, no more

Not a Tango change itself, but one of the positives I see after having recieved the update on my Focus S: With the firmware update from Samsung that installed after the OS updates, "Use auto display intensity" under "extra settings" now remains off after a reboot if you've disabled it. Hated having to re-disable it every time I rebooted.

Good to know. I hate that too. I only reboot maybe once every two weeks but nice to know it has been fixed. Either way I'll wait for 7.8.

I always enjoyed the letter picker even though I don't have 45 apps now I am not too excited to get tango

I wish ms would add the option to enable/disable the letter picker even if you don't have that many apps. I personally don't like scrolling to apps.

I think I may be suffering from that internet sharing bug - just got a text from my carrier to say I've reached my 1gig limit for June yet I rarely get anywhere close to that in previous months (with eMobile in Ireland on an Omnia 7).

LoL art sucks. Now I know why sprint unlimited all you can eat data best no need worry of getting pass.your data limit. I heard they will have windows phone 8 phones

@tim- where did you hear this nugget of good news? I am on sprint and they are just stupid about WP. Have 6 months til upgrade. If sprint had not committed by then ATT will be my new carrier

We've heard this from one or two folks but I nor George have been able to verify on our devices. I just tried my Focus S before I published this and nothing is being reported.

Not sure what's going on but even on the AT&T forums, no one is reporting it.

Seem to be a very limited and slow rollout. My S got it late last week (from AT&T), but the other S and the Flash in my house haven't

Am I missing something as I only ever get updates through Zune and my carrier has nothing to do with it. In UK on o2 with unlocked phone if that helps.

Sorry, bad choice of wording. We manually installed not "forced" as in the Zune/Airplane mode trick. That hasn't work for any of our AT&T devices so we manually updated them via the CAB method.

aw man, this is frustrating - I can't get the timing of the force-update method right.  I'm on 7720 still, btw.
Here's what I'm seeing:
With Airplane mode off: - no matter how quickly or slowly I cut the internet on my computer, the result is always "Your phone is up to date"
With Airplane mode on - no matter how quickly or slowly I cut the internet on my computer, the result is always: "Can't check for updates right now. Please try again later."
Any tips on what I'm doing wrong?

Try my method, I did the Zune, airplane mode, unplug stuff, after clicking update I two seconds later I turn off my internet but I don't turn airplane mode on yet, then I count 2-4 seconds and then I turn on the airplane mode, has worked with 5 updates...

Plug into Zune, turn on airplane mode then hit update then quickly disable your internet the update should pop up.Turn you're internet back on and install.

cliff08er - did you use cab force method to get to 8107 and the use zune force to get to tango? I was wanting to avoid cab force method all together since it seems like a risky move.

Nope, just used Zune and my phone was at 8107 already.During the update it went to 8117 then to 8773.Unlocked DVP.

Not seeing the ability to attach anything other than pics or vids to my MMS messages. And how exactly does one enable internet sharing? Verizon HTC Trophy here, 7.10.8773.98.

I've got pics/vid option and ringtone. As far as Internet Sharing goes, I have a feeling this will be a Verizon/HTC firmware update. I think this will come too since Verizon released their Share Everything plan and you get "free" tethering.

Weird, I only have "picture or video" and "ringtone" as my mms options on my Quantum (on AT&T). Wonder if that's a registry item I can enable.

Tempted to force the 8773 update on my Lumia 900 but have read rumors a forced update could stop future updates from being received or downloaded.  Anyone have any experience proving otherwise?

I've been receiving updates without issue. That issue was true only with the "Walsh" method in the pre-NoDo days. Besides... why worry if you can always manual update in the future too? ;)

Sorry to go off topic, but is anyone else in the US having dificulty connecting to the Zune server through the Zune software?  I can connect fine through zune.net, but I get a "Can't access the server" error every time I try and sign in through the desktp client.  Maybe related to the big storm we had in the NE this weekend?

Whew! Glad it's not just me, I was getting ready to rebuild my whole dang desktop. Thanks for the response. MS really needs to get better about communicating this stuff.

Oh, well, I was talking about the storm, actually. I apologize for that. My Zune desktop client is working, force update is not.

It was future OS updates I was concerned about.  I'd be bummed to force 8773 just to have it released in a few days/weeks.  Then not be able to get 7.8 whenever that comes around because of forcing 8773.  Maybe I could just force that then?  Or could I still miss out on firmware updates frrom Nokia?  Anyone had any experience of getting OS/firmware updates after a force?

I forced Nodo, got Mango regularly on focus. I have L900 now, but can't force...not doing cab...gave up, guess I'll wait... No big deal with current update for me

EA575, how did you update to tango in Arrive? via force method? Also, do we now have tethering? I have been trying to force it with no luck.

Same story. I think the Zune force may not work for Arrive. We may need to use the CAB push.

Could anyone with a Focus S verify if this update fixes the annoying "pop" between music tracks when playing through an amplified source?

Don't remember the history of that, but I have it on 8107. It doesn't show unless location is enabled in search settings, though.

Any word on when (or if) we may get SMS backup of some sort!!?? Although my HD7 is a very good phone, I found that it lacks alot of useful functions - to be honest, I'd give anything to get my HD2 back! (I'd still keep my HD7 but only as an emergency second line)

My Focus S is going under the update right now.  I'm w/ AT&T in SoCal. 
Force Update / Airplane Mode
*Took a couple of tries.  I restarted my PC twice.  As soon as you click "update" wait 2-3 seconds.  Try to time it to reach 3 seconds, sometimes too soon, will just not work. 
**Good Luck**

Could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!

I got my update on the Focus S yesterday. Does anyone know if AT&T supports visual voicemail with this update?

Hmm. I knew it was a part of mango, but I thought it depended on the carrier. I just updated yesterday to the latest build (tango) and I still don't have vvm. Maybe I have to have At&t activate it.

Could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!

I just played music through my car stereo on my Focus S using an aux cable. I did not experience any loud pop when switching tracks. I tried it both manually and when the song ends and continues to the next track. I hope this helps.

Like what I said.. Im waiting for the official release...most of this improvements in tango doesn't impress me at all... I don't have text.. I just email.. My friends are force to EMAIL..why not its F free...windowsphone8... Bring it

any word on the radar 4g? i dont know how many times i tried to do the force thru zune thing with no luck. i keep getting a error code or it says im up to date. ive done it with airplane mode on and off.

Ok, so I just forced updated my focus flash(AT&T) with Zune. It took awhile to time the disconnect off the internet. A good tip is if it's taking a long time to search for updates after the disconnect, then it's working. Just wait for it to find the update. Oh, I also don't have the send ringtone option. Maybe I don't have any compatible ringtones to send? That's why I or we don't have that option?

Still waiting for Ota update lumia 710 don't wanna force anything and zune keep saying phone is up to date.. BUMMER

Xbox avatar is bugged, they face slightly more to the right also if you are to shake the screen which makes your avatar fall over and pull the screen from the left in frustration, mine now turns to the right side to pull but the screen moves from the left.

I can confirm the Focus S can be updated via Zune with the Airplane mode/disconnect from internet method. I'm doing it right now. This also confirms that the update is in ATT's servers ready to be deployed otherwise this method would not work. Pretty sweet indeed.

Also, you're going to have to rinse and repeat until you get to 8773. Once 8773 is done installing, leave phone plugged in and Zune will automatically tell you there's another update (firmware), something you don't get with the cab sender method. For MMS, everything is there: "picture or video", "voice note" and "ringtone".

Before and after firmware update:

Firmware revision number: 2103.11.10.1 to 2103.12.05.2
Radio Software version: 2103.11.10.1 to 2103.12.5.2
Bootloader version: to

Also in settings>about, it displays IMEI # and SIM ID # where before it didn't.

Can't pull off the disconnect trick with my Focus Flash on AT&T. Damn I'm more excited for the firmware update people have been saying comes with the update more than anything. Hopefully it fixes my freezing issues.

To confirm...
With the update done and installed, via force update (it works via Zune), the phone seems to be FASTER and smoother.  Hard to statistically prove, but I'm sure many of you will agree.
Using the keyboard seems alot smoother, not that it was an issue before (texing-wise not the dissappearing keyboard), but seriously, it just seems smoother. 
Along with the new features, the "switch" button while texting someone added a feature of texting other numbers, just in case folks have more than one phone that can receive text.
Can't wait for WP8 or W8P (that looks weird)
Samsung Focus S - ATT - SoCal

This may not be relevant..but..

I recieve Whatsapp messages at almost an 30 - 60min lag compared to my iPhone (say, "Group chat A"  but my WP and iPhone numbers are both in the same group). I should be receiving the same messages simultaneously but my Lumia 800 receives them way later than my iPhone (iPhone rcvs immediately). 

Is this WP7's notification bug (or possibly cellular/wifi connection) or is this Whatsapp's problem. I have other IM's but they don't really pop the notification bar out so I'm leaning towards WP7 being the problem.

Any suggestions?

That's very odd. Restart your phone, reconnect to your WiFi. Otherwise, I couldn't tell you.

The main thing I've noticed on my titan is that I can run more than 8 apps in the background now. I currently have 12 apps running in the background without getting the app limit message. HTC hd7 has always ran 15 so I think this may have been fixed for my titan with tango.

Do you have a TITAN or TITAN II??? I've not been able to get beyond 8112 that came with the phone?

If you updated via the Zune trick, then you have to do it again a few more times until you get to the final update.

I forced the update with airplane mode, and now I have the new Nokia Marketplace which is a little bit uglier. Lumia 800; carrier is 3; Sweden. Is it the same for everyone? No one has mentioned it.

I received the update notification today for my Nokia lumia 800 but I am experiencing a weird sound problem. When I lower the sound above 10, the sound is still louder till 0. Anyone met this problem?

I noticed that there are "Two" improvements for my Lumia 800 and HTC Mozart with Tango update.
1. The mail client can download and view attachments without any issues, previously you will have "Download incomplete" with Exchange Server prior than version 2010.

2. Faster swift between Wireless and mobile data connection. Before Tango update, I experience difficulties for the phone to have data connection when 1 swift to another.

Last, I experience noticeable performance and smoothness improvements!

Ok the sound issue is linked to the game Chicken can't Fly with Zune music everything is fine. Where can I find the tethering option?

In the Arrive for the option of send ringtone to show up you need to have at least one custome ring tone.
Tango (8779).

Anyone with a Samsung Focus S - PLEASE could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!

Where are the Call Forwarding Options that was documented back in post
Call forwarding - forward your calls to a designated number for (1) all calls (2) when I don't answer (3) when I am busy (4) when my phone is turned off
Mango only had option to turn Call Forwarding On / Off. I thought Tango was supposed to add these options above or is that OEM/Carrier Specific
I do have these has options under Call Forwarding via Samsung Wireless Manager by the way..
But does anybody else have the option ?

I received my updates (Tango and Samsung firmware) for my Samsung Focus S on Friday via Zune. Haven't really checked things out, but I did get the updates.

I have the lumia 900 on at&t in the US. I was able to do the zune trick to update to the TANGO and after my phone rebooted, it made a hardware change, it places a new silent switch on the left side of my phone.
This is great, now i can easily put my phone on vibrate instead of
hitting the power button
then the volume rocker
then choose vibrate
thanks MS and Nokia

Seriously? Why even include the opption to share ringtones when all you can do with them is listen to them and not save them to your phone, WT? I mean if you share from one WP to another as soon as the person on the receiving end opens his attachment it freaking goes straight to Zune player, no opption to save the ringtone to your ringtones folder on the phone.. Who in the world though that one up? It must have been the same person who created the new UI for WP 7.8 & 8 without even thinking about the tiles covering up the clock. What is MS doing?

I can confirm that the person on the receiving end must also have Tango. If you do... when you press and hold the text containing the ringtone it will give you an option to "Save as ringtone".

Hope your happy now.

Have HTC Titan II / Arizona ATT
Yea tried Airplane mode on,  disconnect on update.
Tried a dozen times to force it.  Still says I'm up to day.

Updated successfully from 8107 to 8112 to 8773 using method above on unbranded HD7 in Australia.  Internet Sharing bug (see above) seems (at least) temporarily fixed: it could conceivably come back when I enable Internet Sharing for the first time (the way it started) - not sure I want to try this now!

Seems only new thing on lumia 800 is tethering and wallpapers... Oh and end call now fails randomly.

lumia 800: battery draining quicker than before. Mms update works, flip to silence works, can't find divert call options, tethering works.....camera update software nit available in UK. And that is all there is.. Worth the wait nope.

I have a Samsung Focus S and I received the update through AT&T just fine yesterday. I didn't have to hack to get the updates. 

I currently have a Sumsung Focus S and I recieved the following updates TODAY:
8773 (Tango)
Samsung Update for Windows Phone
I just plugged in my phone to add music (this is a "new"  phone for me aka a replacement device for my became-very-defective Samsung Focus). I checked to see if I need updates and that is when the magic happened. :)
If you have a Samsung Focus S, I say just plug it in and wait a little. You should be able to get it now.

I think microsoft have removed the ability to subscribe to podcasts on the phone in countries that don't have access to the podcast marketplace. I've got the same problem on my lumia 800.

I just found out that you can listen to the phone radio threw the speaker instead of have a head set. I dont remember it being like this before tango