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3 years ago

Samsung Focus on Rogers/Bell getting a firmware update?

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We have a report (and screenshot seen above) that users on Rogers/Bell may be getting a firmware and radio update to their phones post-NoDo. According to WPCentral reader TToP:

I have a Rogers Samsung Focus unlocked and running on the Bell Network. I unlocked, and unbranded my phone to install the NoDo update on Sunday, and this morning received a update prompt on my phone. Hooked it up to Zune, and found there was an "Available Update" tagged as "Samsung update for windows Phone." Did the update and found that the Firmware and Radio revision numbers changed. FW and radio versions are now 2124.10.12.2. Took about a half hour for the update.

We already know Dell is scheduling a firmware update for the Venue Pro that is separate from the February/March OS updates, so Samsung doing the same would fit in line with that model. Any other of our readers want to confirm? For the record, we tried it on our unlocked and unbranded Samsung Focus (on AT&T) and got nothin' (we're rocking 2103.10.10.1 for Firmware). Thanks, TToP, for the tip!


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3 years ago

SuperTube hits v1.1, adds YouTube login

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Even though Google is accused of blocking Microsoft's high quality YouTube client, it hasn't stopped SuperTube from going forward.

We covered the app last week here (video) and it just received a nice upgrade, including the much coveted YouTube login feature allowing you to view your subscriptions. Here is the rest of the changelog:

  • Video Player supports full-screen mode to watch videos
  • Login Youtube account to view subscription and favorites
  • Check the most viewed videos by updated time
  • Optimize the performance of the Video Player
  • View videos by author and relevance in the video details page
  • Optimize the scroll bar of video lists

The app still fetches for $1.29 with a free trial (limit of 3 downloads). Linky to the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

BitBop – Review

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BitBop – Review

Streaming TV and Movies over 3G or Wi-Fi to your phone is without a doubt one of the cooler capabilities of a modern smart-phone. There are several well known applications for Windows Phones that provide this functionality through different methods. Netflix connects to the popular subscription service and streams video to your device while Sling Player streams video directly from your home TV connection.

A less well-known service that offers a Windows Phone application is BitBop. As an up-and-coming competitor to Hulu Plus BitBop offers streaming and downloadable content to your smart-phone. Our review of BitBop is after the jump.

Pros: 
Option to stream or download content, current tv shows.
Cons: 
Service cost is pretty high, app has some kinks to work out.
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3 years ago

Revolution - Review

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Revolution - Review

When Microsoft announced Xbox Live support for Windows Phone 7, they appealed to developers to use a control set that was natural to the device. For example Microsoft doesn’t want developers to settle for creating virtual buttons and joysticks on the screen, they want to see user interfaces that consist of using touch and gestures to navigate the experience. One of the games that best exemplifies this push towards a simplified UI is Revolution.

As puzzle games go on Windows Phone 7 devices Revolution isn’t the most visually stimulating and it isn’t a classic like Tetris, Bejeweled, or Hexic. Revolution’s strength lies in the simplicity of its graphics and controls. Keep reading to see what I mean.

Pros: 
Simple graphics, intuitive UI.
Cons: 
Not really a classic puzzle game, some achievements require serious playing time.
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3 years ago

Unofficial WP7 Homebrew Marketplace gets a start

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While we await Microsoft's solution to the Hombrew community, something that will take a bit of a hit with NoDo (since ChevronWP7 won't work with it), developers are still going forward, regardless.

Over at XDA, developer kuerbis2 has laid the groundwork for a Homebrew Marketplace by releasing a new XAP installer and even more importantly, a protocol handler (like the “zune:”-URLs) called "wphome". That last bit sort of huge as it allows people to "register" their homebrew XAP files, thereby creating hyperlinks to allow easy distribution/installation of said files. The features so far are summarized as follows:

  • In-place update on the phone: In-place update on the phone, e.g. if you already have Version 1.0.0.0 of an app installed on the phone and install 1.0.2.0 an in-place update will performed. No more full "uninstall-new install" cycle required. Your settings, custom files etc. won't be removed (same as marketplace update)
  • Deploy from file or URL: You can either specify a file or an URL. If you enter an URL the installer will automatically download the xap.
  • Own protocol "wphome": Zune's one-click download for homebrew apps. Automatically install homebrew XAPs with a click on a hyperlink. If you want, you can register the application for the wphome protocol. The application will then be allowed to handle urls like wphome:www.test.com/test.xap and will automatically start as soon as you click on such a link

Like we said, this is pretty big news as no one has gone this far in creating a framework for a homebrew marketplace. If enough devs adopt this protocol (and we see little reason why they should not), then we'll have a standard for distribution, as opposed to just attachments in a forum. Of course, people still need a way to side-load applications i.e. developer unlocked without paying $99 a year--for that we'll have to wait for Microsoft to provide a solution, otherwise the homebrew community will be forever niche. Stay tuned for more...

Source: XDA; Thanks, Tobias, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Eric Hautala apologizes, provides more NoDo info

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Updating a post which he published little more than a week ago, Eric Hautala, Microsoft's GM of Customer Experience Engineering, apologizes for the sheer amount of disappointment currently felt by end users and reiterates that the update is being rolled out.

This was brought to the public eye after a mass of 500 comments (at the time of writing) swarmed his original post, majority being complaints and angered views. What can only be summarized as a carefully constructed apology, Eric reached out to those who are still awaiting the NoDo update and produced further detail with regards to the page of the update.

I know many of you are disappointed, even angry. You certainly have a right to be. We’ve fallen far short of your expectations, and our own, and for that I’m truly sorry. We didn’t set out to let you down. But it’s clear we did. Whether you’re someone who has followed our progress from the start, or are new to Windows Phone, you deserve the updates we’ve promised. My job is to get us on the right path and deliver them.

I'm not sure whether we require yet another apology, sure the drama is still present and most of the community is still highly irritated, but after Joe Belfiore's response to negative comments and criticism and UK developer Danny Tupenny receiving a phone call, we would very much like to see more action than words. The update is rolling, just not fast enough for most. Putting forward the somewhat over-asked question, have you received NoDo yet? How do you feel about the continued stream of apologies, and do you believe Microsoft has learned some valuable lessons?

Via WMPU

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3 years ago

Dell blogs about NoDo, teases about Venue Pro firmware update

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True to his word, Lionel Menchaca from Dell has taken to the Dell blog to detail the February and March Windows Phone update aka pre-NoDo and NoDo for the Venue Pro. Adding some transparency to the process, something we know all of you like, they explain a bit of their method going on with the update and when you can expect it. While nothing earth shattering is revealed, it's nice to see some info direct from Dell on the matter, as we know many of you are anxiously waiting for NoDo (unless, of course, you forced the update, cough).

  • Last week, we started a phased rollout of the Microsoft Copy and Paste update in EMEA and India.
  • On March 29, we began a phased rollout of the Copy and Paste update to T-Mobile customers in the United States.
  • There will be a Dell update that will provide additional enhancements/ fixes coming after this Copy and Paste Microsoft update. I don't have an ETA for the Dell update just yet.
  • While the Copy and Paste update rollout started yesterday, it will happen in a phased rollout over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately while the pre-NoDo/NoDo updates are discussed in detail, the big upcoming Dell firmware update, which is expected to address some system instabilities and bugs on the Venue Pro is not. But, it is confirmed that it IS coming and that it exists, which, we really like the idea of and we're sure you do too. They'll post more when they can, but we've heard mid-to-late April for this firmware update--we wouldn't bet our life on that date though. Regardless, we'll be anxiously awaiting--the DVP is one sexy device and if Dell can iron out those remaining bugs, found mostly in the 16GB versions, we'll be very happy.

Source: Direct2Dell

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3 years ago

NoDo consists of 3 updates over several months

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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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3 years ago

RC AirSim - Review

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RC AirSim - Review

RC-AirSim Lite is a radio-controlled model airplane flight simulator that is available over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. The simulator features realistic flight dynamics and aerodynamics, Doppler-correct sound, and 3D graphics.

RC AirSim comes in two versions. The free version, RC AirSim Lite, is ad supported, limited to only two airplane styles and flights are restricted to five minutes. The full, paid version will run you $2.99, is ad free, offers seven airplane styles and unlimited flights.

To read more on RC-AirSim, follow the break.

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3 years ago

Cubes - Review

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Cubes - Review

Mathieu Lussier is offering an interesting Windows Phone game over at the Marketplace. Cubes (not to be confused with Cubed) is an challenging puzzle game that has you moving cubes across a grid into a flashing zone on that grid.

Sounds easy, right? Follow the break to see just how easy Cubes is.

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3 years ago

Verizon extends Trophy offer to MS employees

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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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3 years ago

Official XDA app is here

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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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3 years ago

Changes to Nodo's Changelog?

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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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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 development by the numbers

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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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3 years ago

Microsoft calls out Google for poor YouTube on Windows Phone

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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.

Microsoft, in response, is ready to fight against Google, ironically in Europe:

Microsoft is filing a formal complaint with the European Commission as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law. We thought it important to be transparent and provide some information on what we’re doing and why.

This raises all sorts of questions for us, non-legal types who don't understand everything going on behind the scenes, for instance why can HTC and 3rd-parties create superior apps but Microsoft cannot? For example, SuperTube is quite impressive and adds all sorts of advanced features, including streaming in HD and saving files. Then again, in a personal note from developer Atta Elayyan, involved with LazyTube (which just hit 2.0), SuperTube evidently violates several of YouTube's Terms of Service, but Microsoft seems to have looked the other way during the app's Marketplace approval (get out tinfoil hats...now).

Whatever the exact details, gauntlet meet ground, as Microsoft has just thrown down some serious charges against Google. This could get interesting...

Source: Microsoft on the Issues; via I Love Windows Phone!

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