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3 years ago

Group Messaging in Mango: the MMS gambit

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Group Messaging in Mango: the MMS gambit

We actually heard about this little issue from our own Jay Bennett, but others have taken note as well. In short, when using the Group Messaging feature in Mango, by default the messages will use the MMS format instead of SMS. The reason for this is not too clear, though it has something to do with trying to keep all the messages grouped together in a thread (perhaps someone with more knowledge can explain in comments).

However, you can (and probably should) turn this off.  Like a lot of folks, you may have a limited monthly allotment of MMS messages and you be charged a ton for a 'few' conversations otherwise. To disable this feature, simply go to Settings --> Applications --> Messaging and turn off the MMS part. So what about Group Messaging? Well, as far as we know, it still works but will now use the SMS method. Only downside, which we have to verify, is that it might not group properly. Still, that's a small inconvenience versus a large, unexpected bill at the end of the month, no?

Big thanks to 'We Love Windows Phone' for the tip and screen shots.

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3 years ago

Official Mango 7720 release leaked on XDA

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Yup, this story is still developing but it looks to be the case. A poster by the name of longshot442 has posted a 404MB file which contains the official RTM build of Mango aka build 7720.

Evidently, users are able to flash devices ranging from NoDo, 7661 or build 7712 up to 7720. You do not need to restore from your backup, but instead can update directly.

User cyberdel was one of the first to successfully flash once the file was uploaded:

"install on htc trophy is finished:

at first i see on the bootscreen there is no mark anymore like "Not for resale" an Version is.... tada.... 7.10.7720.68

i am very happy now, good night"

Others since have reported success as well, regardless of device, carrier or network i.e. this seems to be like the developer release, meaning device neutral. Instructions, translated from German, can be found here. You can download the files at your risk from here or here. Original thread at XDA begins here, which we strongly encourage you to read first! Alternative, simpler thread can be found here. Discuss in comments.

Remember, this is at your own risk! THIS MAY PREVENT FUTURE OS UPDATES FROM MICROSOFT. Make and save your backups. We do not endorse this method at all and take no responsibility. Having said that, enjoy. Thanks, William C., for the tip!

Image Credit: Lucas

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: XBox Live Messenger Starter Pack - $42.99

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Buy.com's eBay store is offering up a sweet deal on a XBox Live Messenger Starter Pack until August 17, or while quantities last.  The package, which will only run you a cool $42.99, includes a 1 Year Xbox Live Gold subscription, 400 XBL Points, a chatpad and a plug-in headset (reg price = $67).  We're not normally one to sling products for other companies, but we know a good deal when we see one.  Considering a year of XBL Gold will normally run you $59.99 alone, you can't miss.  Click on the source link to get there.

Source: Buy.com eBay Store

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3 years ago

Official YouTube app has gone missing in some Markets

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Sorry folks, we don't have too much to go on here just yet, but we have received numerous tips from readers like yourself that the Official YouTube app from Microsoft is no longer available in the Marketplace in some areas. This seems to have started a few days ago.

This does not apply to the U.S. market but does apply to some in Europe (all?) and at least Singapore too. Could this have to do with Microsoft filing a complaint against Google via the European Union? If you recall, last March Microsoft's Brad Smith blogged about Google's unfair search practices and how they were restricting YouTube, resulting in a sub-par user experience on Windows Phone:

"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."

Our bet? These two are definitely linked. We'll try to find out more, but in the meantime, lets do a roll-call in comments of countries affected. Austria? Check. Belgium?...

Thanks, Marcus H. and Borutes, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Words by Post - Review

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Words by Post - Review

We've covered our fair share of word games for the Windows Phone. Some may argue that there are way too many word games in the Marketplace.  But, word games are an easy way to pass the time and can be entertaining, challenging and competitive.

Words by Post is such a game. Sure, it's another scrabble type game but Words by Post expands your opponent base by jumping platforms.  Words by Post is compatible with the games iPhone and Android versions.

Among the scrabble-type games,  AlphaJax may be the front runner with its fantastic appearance and large player base.  But the cross platform feature definitely makes a case for Words by Post to be the top dog.

Head on past the break to see how Words by Post measures up.

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3 years ago

Mango's rumored September 1 release, was just that

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Brace yourselves...

Remember that PocketLint story from yesterday that had "multiple trusted sources" confirming that Mango would be rolled out on September 1?  Well, according to Joe Belfiore, the guy who "runs the team doing Windows Phone 7 product definition & design," it's "just a rumor." 

In a tweet this morning, he said so himself.  Now, this could very well just be some marketing misdirection on Belfiore's part, but it's more likely that we all just got some inaccurate information.  We knew not to get too excited about the prospect of a September 1 release, but with everything we've seen of Mango, and a glimmer of hope, we can't help but be a tiny bit disappointed that it won't be coming that soon.  But it's just one more reminder of how these things go.

Source: Joe Belfiore

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3 years ago

Compal shipping first of 2 million phones to Nokia in September

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Back in June, we found out that Taiwanese company Compal Electronics, Inc. signed on to be an ODM of WP7 phones for Nokia.  Citing local media, Dan Nystedt, tech reporter for IDG in Taiwan, tweeted that Compal Communications will begin shipping WP7 handsets to Nokia starting in September.  Reports are that the first order for Q4 of this year is for a total of 2 million devices.  This means that consumers should be able to get their hands on the long-awaited Nokia line almost immediately after the Finnish company unveils them, which is expected to be at the Nokia World conference October 26-27. 

Compal was the first to break the news about Tango, which from what we can tell, will be a version of Windows Phone that is "all about Nokia" and thought to be geared to the lower price-point market.  This seems to be only one piece in the Nokia WP7 market, as Nokia will be doing some manufacturing of their own as well. If past output of up to 5 million Symbian devices in a quarter is any indicator, we could see a flood of Nokia-branded handsets come 2012.

Source: Dan Nystedt; Via: UnwiredView

 

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3 years ago

Basecamp - Review

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Basecamp - Review

Basecamp is a tracking app for your Windows Phone that should help you from loosing your way while your out hiking, climbing, surfing or whatever voodoo that you do while in the great outdoors. Basecamp helps you remember what to do at the fork in the trail as you head back to camp, where you parked your car, and will also remind you when to start heading back to camp.

The core function of Basecamp is to set a GPS coordinate for your base camp and help track yourself back when you venture out. Basecamp will also help you send out an SOS should you find yourself in trouble. To see how well Basecamp can tracks your steps, hit the break.

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3 years ago

App updates: 4th & Mayor, ESPN Score Center, PhotoFunia & USA Today

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In case you were yearning for some app updates of popular apps, you're in luck tonight as we have at last count four of 'em:

We're just kind of excited that 4th & Mayor has finally beat our FourSquare in the version number war those two have been waging. We also like the USA Today fix as that app keeps getting better and better and we're sure you ESPN fans will like the new Score Center.

And sorry, too many links for us to list. Just look 'em up in the Marketplace, we're tired ;-) Thanks, Lawrence F.& Shipwreck, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Google accuses Microsoft of revealing "highly confidential" Android source code. What?

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Google doesn't seem to want to get along at all with Microsoft these days. We had the issue about the patent sale that Google took to the Court of Public Opinion.  Now they are taking issue with Microsoft in another Court.  Google is asking a US International Trade Commission Judge to bar a Microsoft expert witness from testifying in Microsoft's lawsuit against Motorola.

If you have lost track of who's suing who or complaining on whom, Microsoft is currently suing Motorola in an attempt to force them to pay royalties for patents Microsoft owns that are related to technology used in Android mobile operating systems.

In the motion to block the expert witness testimony, Google claims Microsoft violated a confidentiality agreement between Microsoft, Google, and Motorola when Microsoft shared "highly confidential source codes" with its expert witness. Google's motion states in part,

“The protective order governing confidentiality in this investigation explicitly requires that Microsoft disclose to Google any consultant or expert seeking access to Google confidential business information or highly confidential source code before [Google's emphasis] allowing a consultant or expert to review such information so that Google has an opportunity to object prior to disclosure.”

The sixteen page motion asks the Judge to prohibit the expert witness from testifying and require Microsoft to provide Google with a declaration, under oath, that no additional consultants or experts were permitted access to the confidential information.

Microsoft has until August 15th to respond to Google's motion. Wouldn't it be a hoot if Microsoft produced an email from Google voicing no objection to disclosing this information?  We also must ask how confidential can source code be when the Android system is supposedly open source?

Source: Yahoo News

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3 years ago

Microsoft employees getting Mango (7720) starting today?

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This is just an interesting little tid-bit but we just got word that Microsoft employees can now get their phones updated to "Mango" 7720 starting today.

We were curious as to how this would be done i.e. if it is a similar process to how devs can now upgrade via Zune Desktop or do they just go to some guy's office, line up with their phones and have it flashed?

Turns out, it's actually closer to the latter part! Employees can take their phone to the Device Lab on the Bellevue campus and have it flashed to the finalized, RTM version of "Mango". That's pretty cool. So any of our readers want to chime in if they've experienced this?

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Mango's Push Notifications and Live Tile Support [Video]

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Microsoft's Channel 9 has posted a nice video demonstration of all the push notifications and Live Tile change coming in Windows Phone Mango. In addition, they interview Thomas Fennel, who's in charge of that aspect of the OS (we saw him speak at MIX11 in a similar demonstration). To recap the changes from our earlier coverage:

  • Local notifications: these aren't push, but instead are purely local--great for alarms, reminders, "note tiles", etc.
  • Deep Toast: Say 'Weather Bug' gives you a flood toast notification, when you click it, it can now take you directly to the flood alert, instead of just opening the app. This is very cool.
  • Multi-tiles: One app, 'X' amount of tiles. For example, you have a news app with World, Local and Political news, you can now create individual Live Tiles for each category, or whatever the dev allows
  • Live Tile limit bumped: Currently, you can only have 15 Live Tiles on your phone. Starting with Mango, that goes to 30.
  • Tile flip: When a notification comes in, the Tile can "flip" with a back image (see video)
  • Improvements: Reliability, performance and efficiency (15 min polling, down from 60) have all been adjusted and made better

We've already seen how BBC News Mobile and the Weather Channel are looking to take advantage of the new system and our very own WPCentral app is currently being "Mango-ized", as a few of you lucky beta testers are now experiencing. In fact, we may have a video demo tomorrow of our new "flippy tile" and push notifications.

The interview with Fennel is quite interesting as he explains their motivation, reasoning behind the decisions and things they are looking at for the next version of the OS, expected to be "Tango". And on the Channel 9 page, they link to a bunch of resources on the new system, which is worth checking out if you're a developer.

As a side note, we can say after running "Mango" for the last seven weeks, we haven't had a single "end point failure" with our Live Tiles or push notifications, which means despite have nearly 15 Live Tiles they are all working perfectly. So for those who currently are experiencing Tiles not updating, hold tight as Mango fixes this and fixes it good.

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3 years ago

Minesweeper and Sudoko stirring up a storm

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Minesweeper and Sudoko stirring up a storm

Sudoku and Minesweeper seems to be causing a bit of a stir. The two Windows Phone Xbox Live titles are now available over at the Marketplace (for free) but for some reason Microsoft limited the release to the U.S. Market only.

We received a small sampling of the ill feelings from our International readers the other day about this restriction but over at the Windows Blog, Microsoft seems to be taking it on the chin.  Here are a few of the comments that basically sum up the feeling of those readers.

"At some point the WP team is going to need to realize there are places outside the USA. So many missing features / USA only apps." -Freypal

"This just confirmed the fact that to the rest of the world Microsoft is just showing us a "big middle finger"."-K.Rawlins

"With all due respect, this "US Only" thing is getting old real fast. I am a US citizen, but I'm not sure why Microsoft loves screwing over the rest of the world."-Cylon Centurion

Michael Stroh penned the post over at the Windows Phone Blog and appeared to be as surprised as we were to learn these titles were "U.S. Only". Stroh would later learn that there are no plans to introduce these two games elsewhere and promised to make sure the Xbox Live team was aware of the ill feelings.

Now here's a question (actually two) for our readers. Is the irritation from not being able to play Minesweeper or Sudoku? Or is more over the principle of things? If it's the latter, I never knew Minesweeper had such a following.

Personally, I think unless an app has regional content that wouldn't make sense anywhere else, every Marketplace app should be available system wide. I can understand Bing Get Me There being only useful in London because I don't have any Tube Stations in Alabama.

But games? Come on, make them available world wide. Obviously you've got some language issues to tackle but the rewards will surely out weigh the cost.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Maybe the Xbox Live team visits our blog as well.

Source: Windowsteamblog

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3 years ago

Gelaskin: A different kinda case for your Windows Phone

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We ran across an interesting case for your Windows Phone. Gelaskins are a removable cover for protecting and customizing your Windows Phones. I guess it wouldn't qualify as a "case" but it looks as though it will offer some level of protection from scratches and scuffs.

The skin is attached to your phone by 3M adhesive that leaves no residue and allows for repositioning so you can get the most perfect fit possible. The skin has the appropriate cut-outs for microphones, ear speakers, volume keys and the what not.

Gelaskins has a decent selection of skins available for a nice selection of Windows Phones including the Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC Trophy, LG Quantum and the Samsung Omnia 7.  Gelaskins also makes skin covers for laptops, gaming consoles, tablets, and other electronic devices.

If you can't find a skin design that suits your fancy, you can always create a skin from scratch using your own photograph or art work. Most skins will run $14.95 and will include the wallpaper to complete your skin appearance (emailed to you once your skins ship).

For more information, head on over to Gelaskin's website. We've got two skins ordered and we'll get a review up once we get them in hand.

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3 years ago

Samsung GT-i8350 could be "Omnia W"

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We first heard about the Samsung GT-i8350 in July, when it was speculated to be a follow up to the Omnia 7.  Yesterday, we saw that it got its Bluetooth certification, which means it's close to being released.  Word is now that the GT-i8350 will be re-branded as the Omnia W and that it will hit shelves in October. 

The Mango-equipped refresh of the Omnia 7 will also sport the following:

  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5MP camera
  • 3.7-inch WVGA screen
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth (as we already knew)

Nothing to get excited about here, but hey, it will be one more option out there come Fall.

Source: HDBlog; Via: PocketNow

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