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3 years ago

New features of the Focus firmware update [Updated]

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While we're still delving in to all the little changes of the combo NoDo + Firmware (2103.11.3.3) Focus update, it's really the latter that is a bit more interesting due to the mini, undocumented "fixes" on board.

We've found at least two so far, but know there have to be more. Still, these two are awwwwesome, to say the least:

  • Capacitive buttons are temporarily disabled to prevent accidental "clicks": before the update, if you had an app open and you put your finger on the screen and dragged it down to the capacitive button area, you'd activate those buttons. Now you do not. This is huge for gaming on the Focus, to say the least. (Go ahead, try it. We'll wait...)
  • Camera auto defaults to "anti-shake": this was a no brainer, the Focus has an anti-shake setting on it, so why would you not want that enabled by default? Evidently, Samsung saw the light on this and now it's on automatically, resulting we think in a higher percentage of steady shots
  • No more Couch Potato: Shortly after the Samsung Focus hit the market, we learned that the screen was non-responsive when laying down on a soft surface such as a couch pillow (here's our video).  Post-Nodo this is no longer a problem.  WPCentral Reader Alan tipped us on this and sure enough, the Focus's screen is responsive in your hand, on a hard surface or when chilling out on a pillow.

Find anything else that is unique to this firmware (not NoDo)? Hit us up in comments and we'll post 'em.

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3 years ago

Raise AT&T upload speed on Samsung Focus [How To]

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Raise AT&T upload speed on Samsung Focus [How To]

If you have experienced your upload speed being restricted on AT&T, which can occur after you've (finally) updated with official NoDo, there are some simple steps you can take to increase speed:

  • From the number-dial screen:
  • Enter ##634#
  • Diagnostics screen should open.
  • Enter *#32489#
  • Test mode screen should open.
  • Press back at the bottom (bottom right, not the phone's back button)
  • Press 5 for RRC (HSPA) control
  • Press 1 to view what yours is set at (Kyle's was Release 5 HSDPA only)
  • Press 2 to change it.
  • Press 3 to change to Release 6 HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Press [end] to confirm.

This will install a Diagnostics app on your device (that will be displayed on the installed app list), we are not currently aware if uninstalling the app will cause issues with the diagnostics tool itself. And if you need to know your speeds, there's an app for that: Bandwidth 2.x in the Marketplace. Hit us up in comments and let us know if this worked for you, we're still experimenting ourselves.

Thanks Kyle for the steps!

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3 years ago

AT&T NoDo Update: Let the adventures begin

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Well, it's official. AT&T has begun distributing the Windows Phone 7 (NoDo) update for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. It hit the airways around lunchtime and many have already updated their Windows Phone.

Most AT&T customers will receive a message on their Focus or Quantum alerting them to the update. If not, simply connect your Windows Phone to your computer and Zune. You can check for the update under the phone settings in Zune.  The entire process takes about an hour and you'll first install the February 2011 update and then the March 2011 update.

While I have successfully updated my Samsung Focus, it wasn't flawless.  Luckily, Microsoft has a nice troubleshooting page set up to help with all the errors we might encounter.  To read more on my adventures in updating, ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

AT&T distributing Nodo Update!

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AT&T distributing Nodo Update!

We heard rumors last week that today was the day AT&T was to begin distribution of the Windows Phone 7 update, affectionately known as Nodo. The morning came and went with no signs of the rumor holding true but just a few little while ago, AT&T unleashed Nodo.  We've received a number of tips from Focus owners confirming this plus the update popped up when we connected our Focus to Zune.

Nodo is now available for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. The HTC Surround will have to wait until mid-May due to software issues. Along with the standard features, the AT&T Nodo will also include "unique features" such as a WISPr feature that automatically taps into AT&T's hotspots and support for AT&T's Address Book.

According to the update screen, the entire process will take about twenty minutes, first installing the February 2011 update and then the March 2011 update.  We're about to hit the update button and begin the process and if you've already updated your Focus or Quantum,  feel free to share how your thoughts on how everything went and if the wait was worth it.

Thanks to everyone who sent in this tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft brings Photosynth to iOS but not WP7

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Photosynth is a fantastic app that allows you combine multiple shots when one capture is simply not enough, perfect when requiring to take a landscape photo beyond the capabilities of the mobile device and engineer some cool panoramas with a 360 degrees effect.

Using the latest computer vision technology, the Photosynth app makes capturing panoramas fun and engaging, while creating sharp, high-resolution results. With the app, you can process, view, and store your panoramas directly on your device. Then, share them in a variety of ways, including to Facebook as images or as interactive panoramas (hosted for free) on Photosynth.net

It has been readily available for download on PC, but has now made the leap to the iPhone line of devices - no sign of a WP7 offering though. While slightly confusing as to why Microsoft would offer their app to iPhone users before their own platform, it's understandable to an extent with iOS and OS X (arguably) being home to designers, photographers etc.

The app will enable iPhone users to upload their panoramas to Bing Maps, which will then become publicly viewable on Microsoft's Photosynth "map app", further enhancing a continuous viewable image of the world. Are you looking forward to the tool coming to WP7, and do you believe it's a smart move to go to iOS first?

Source: Malaysian Insider

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3 years ago

WP7 security patch due out May 3?

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WP7 security patch due out May 3?

Back in March we reported on some fraudulent SSL certificates that could make WP7 users vulnerable to phishing/spoofing attacks, and the possibility that MS would be releasing a security update to fix it. According to SlashGear, sources have revealed that MS plans to roll out the update on May 3. It is still unknown whether the patch will come in the form of an OTA push or through Zune software updates.

The fake certificates were brought to light by Comodo, who issued them without fully verifying their validity, and affect nine different websites. Comodo has since revoked the certs in question, while Microsoft posted a bulletin for desktop users of Internet Explorer. The sites affected are:

  • login.live.com
  • mail.google.com
  • www.google.com
  • login.yahoo.com (3 certificates)
  • login.skype.com
  • addons.mozilla.org
  • “Global Trustee”

Source: SlashGear; Via: PocketNow

UPDATE: Bruce Cowper, Group Manager of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing, has told WinRumors that users will be notified of the update's availability over the air, while the update itself will come through Zune.  He could not confirm the release date, but simply said, “the Windows Phone team is actively working with mobile partners to develop and distribute a mitigation update.”

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3 years ago

WP7 now features a sex offenders app

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WP7 now features a sex offenders app

With all the 'bad people' out there and how smartphones solve Human problems (wireless communication, entertainment values, etc.), one would hope that an offering would reach Windows Phone 7 to combat sex offenders. Well, it has.

An app called Sex Offenders Search is slightly like Bronseal's slogan; "It does exactly what it says on the tin" (if you don't know Bronseal), where it displays to the user all registered sex offenders in and around your area (using GPS and maps). The app allows you to select an offender and view a photo, name, address and offenses. 

Sex Offenders Search is currently only available in the US, bit of a pain for us Europeans, and can be found on the Marketplace for $1.99 here.

Source: WP7 Connect

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3 years ago

Awesome Portal 2 wallpaper pack for Windows Phone

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Ahhh..it's the week for Portal 2 to hit the market. Not going to lie (the cake will do that), but Portal is probably my #1 favorite game that I've ever played. So as soon as I saw these Portal 2-inspired wallpapers, especially with transparent effect that we've covered before, well I had to share.

The pack of six wallpapers comes courtesy of George from the site Conflicting Gamers. The task is easy enough: you download the zip file, extract, choose which you want and email yourself the wallpaper.

Go right here to Conflicting Gamers for all the info and check out the sweet vid above to see all the options.

WPCentral, we do what we must, because we can. Thanks, SeNiLe911, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Device Manager and TouchXperience Betas released for WP7 [HomeBrew]

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We've been following the Homebrew Device Manager by Schapman for some time now and it has now been released as a Beta. The Device Manager features include:

  • Applications management: view, install/uninstall homebrew applications
  • File management: explore device, exchange files with your phone
  • Sync files, folders and favorites with phone
  • Send to Windows Phone (to send files, apps, ringtones, web links in one click)
  • Detailed device information (CPU, ROM, RAM, storage, network, battery, OS,...)
  • Add and manage custom ringtones

Additionally, TouchXperience for Windows Phone 7 has been released as a Beta. The navigation app was well received back in the Windows Mobile days and it doesn't miss a beat on Windows Phone 7. Key features of TouchXperience include:

  • Create custom menus
  • Add folders, apps, contacts, websites, maps, documents, and many other widgets
  • Organize applications & games
  • File explorer
  • Multitasking support
  • Panorama background customization
  • Contact manager
  • Communication manager
  • Profile manager
  • and more

Keep in mind you'll need a registered or unlocked Windows Phone 7 device to use either. You can find all the details on Windows Phone 7 Device Manager and TouchXperience here at the TouchXperience website and after the break, you can catch a video demo of TouchXperience.

Thanks, @KingpinEX, for the  heads up

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3 years ago

Rowi gets a paid version with push notifications and Live Tile [Video]

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We covered Rowi (free) a few weeks ago when they rolled out their fast-user lookup while writing a new Tweet (it really works brilliantly). At the time, we mentioned that the Rowi team was gearing up to release a paid version which loses the ads and gain push notifications/Live Tile functionality.

Well, that day is here as the full version was released over the weekend. We had an early look at the app and give it high praise for it's speed and minimalist appeal. The push notifications/Live Tile has been work very well for us and the overall "clean" look to the app is a nice departure from some other clients.

The app fetches for $2.99, which is a bit high for a Twitter client these days. But, even at that price, the app delivers and works exceptionally well. In other words, if you're a fan of the still-available free version aka Rowi Lite (with ads), you'll want to take this one for a trial spin.

Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WP7 neck and neck with webOS; more gains on the way?

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Research group, Chitika, is reporting that Windows Phone 7 has gained enough of the smartphone market to bring it on par with HP's (Palm's) webOS.  Since February, WP7 has risen from 0.44% to 0.5%, putting it in a virtual tie with webOS' estimated 0.53%, down from 0.84% in the same period.  While this may not seem very impressive at first blush, it is significant because newcomer WP7 is now even, and set to overtake, an already established OS.  Windows Phone has been slowly gaining ground since its launch, while webOS has been steadily declining. 

Chitika predicts that WP7 will potentially spike once it makes its way over to Verizon, though its arrival has seen more than its fair share of delays.  Verizon has worked wonders for market leader, Android, as it accounts for more than half of all Android devices out there.  The slow growth of Windows Phone 7 seems to be less about quality, as most devices seem to receive high marks, and more about accessibility.  Once Big Red gets in the game, it could mean some substantial gains for Microsoft.

Source: 1800PocketPC; Via: Chitika

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3 years ago

Zombie Attack! 2 - Review

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Zombie Attack! 2 - Review

Windows Phone 7 has no shortage of tower defense games. In addition to numerous indie offerings, Xbox Live games Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, Plants vs. Zombies, and geoDefense will all be available by the end of June. Then there’s Zombie Attack! 2 (AKA Zombie Attack! The 2nd Wave) from IUGO Mobile Entertainment. “Sweet, zombies and tower defense go together like brains and ketchup,” you might be thinking. Don’t get too excited just yet…

Zombie Attack 2’s claim to fame is that the player controls a human survivor that runs around planting and upgrading towers. Standing next to a tower boosts its damage by fifty percent. The survivor can attack zombies directly with a machete or shotgun, but zombies can hurt him or her as well. If the human dies, he or she will re-spawn at the base after several seconds. The base has its own health meter. If the zombies destroy the base, the game ends.

The six playable characters include: Survivor, Red Ninja, Fighter, Super Spy, Santa, and Daisy Mae. They don’t play differently and are fairly generic, except maybe for Daisy Mae. She’s actually the star of a separate indie WP7 title from IUGO.

Creep past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

HTC Hero running WP7 on Smallville

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HTC Hero running WP7 on Smallville

This is pretty impressive to see, a HTC Hero (my previous Android device prior to WP7) has been spotted on Smallville, why is this important? It's not running Eclair (2.1) but Windows Phone 7.

As you can see in the capture above Lois Lane's contact picture with an obvious WP7 home screen in the background. This device was a powerhouse on Android, to see it on WP7 would be exciting indeed. 

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Pinball League: The Juggler - Review

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Tainicom has brought the pinball experience to your Windows Phone with Pinball League: The Juggler. How does the song go? He's a pinball wizard there's got to be a twist....

While you may not become a pinball wizard with Pinball League, we found it to be an entertaining game to pass the time with. The 3D graphics looks really good and the realistic game play represents pinball machines really good.

Ease on past the break to read more about Pinball League: The Juggler.

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