3 years ago
Walsh speaks on ChevronWP7.Updater and "breaking phones"
Chris Walsh, part of the ChevronWP7 team and responsible for the current ChevronWP7.Updater app, which used Microsoft's own tools to push NoDo to thousands of Windows Phones prematurely, has blogged about why he pulled the app.
On Monday, I released a homebrew utility that attempted to install unreleased updates to Windows Phone devices. The tool successfully passed my own tests involving multiple update scenarios.
I was later informed by Microsoft that there were several problems with my tool and the manner in which it changes phones.
Despite the fact that all outward signs indicate the phone has been updated to build 7390, Microsoft tells me otherwise. Part of the problem, the company says, is that I incorrectly used an undocumented API to deliver updates.
Most problematic, Microsoft tells me that updating in this manner will place devices in a "non-serviceable state". In its blog post describing the situation, Microsoft instead says devices updated in this manner "may" no longer receive updates
Not too much more info than we had previously reported, if anything this just confirms what we already know: users phones may or may not have problems in the future with later updates. We have had reports from users that after using this method, they still received notifications for OEM firmware updates which were then successfully installed--which bodes well for this "Microsoft is just being safe" idea.
Still, while using non-supported hacks to force system updates may not be the best idea, Walsh will be following up his post with details on what users should do next, since "official support" is not an option. It will be interesting to see in six months when thousands of users try to update to 'Mango', to say the least!
Source: My Coding Adventures
3 years ago
Get free AppHub subscription through BizSpark
Kenikh, over at the XDA Developers forum, has posted an offer that is very interesting indeed. The first 500 BizSpark members to request a free AppHub subscription shall receive just that. To get in with a chance on gaining a free subscription, follow the simple steps below.
- Signup to BizSpark (if not done so already)
- Follow the steps on this page (must have a BizSpark account)
- Await further instruction/confirmation
There has been some posts in that same thread from other members who have experienced issues with their code not working and the fact that there is a country limitation (although no official word has been provided on the exact whitelist). Let us know how you get on in the comments should you be interested in the offer.
Source: XDA Developers
3 years ago
TVShows7 streams TV for Windows Phone [Homebrew]
If you're lucky enough to have a developer unlocked device, you may be interested in this sweet little project happening over at XDA. Martin_S has create a very lite app that enables searching and streaming of most major TV shows. In short, the app pulls down user-uploaded videos, presumably from various video-hosting sites.
Of course such grey-area usage of streaming and copyright concerns means we'll never see this app in the Marketplace, but hey, till then you can continue to flaunt those laws and stream some mediocre quality TV to your phone on the go. The app is still kind of rough and barren--but it does work as you can see in the video above.
Follow the thread here and use the version in the above video here.
3 years ago
SPB Brain Evolution 2 gets slashed to $1.99
We're big fans of SPB Brain Evolution 2 (see full review), which was bumped to v2.2 in March. But one issue we had was the price was quite high at $4.99--a pricing tier which even Xbox LIVE games struggle at.
So it's nice to see the app get its price slashed more than 50% off to $1.99--a price we think is definitely more in line with expectations and the market at this point (can't blame SPB for trying though--they did get our $5). No word if this is a permanent price drop or just temporary, but if you had reservations before, you may want to grab the app now. Link the Marketplace for a trial.
3 years ago
Cellular South getting HTC 7 Pro soon
For those of you on Cellular South, billed as "the largest privately-held wireless provider in the United States", they're looking to get the oustanding (our opinion) HTC 7 Pro on their networks in the coming weeks. Thanks to a leaked roadmap on our sister site, Androidcentral, we can see the awesome slider Windows Phone prominently listed.
No word on exact date or price, but we'll be keeping an eye out as soon as we hear something. In the meantime, catchup on our comprehensive coverage of the 7 Pro/HTC Arrive right here.
3 years ago
Gartner predicting prosperity for WP7 by 2015
We love analysts and predictions, especially when they paint Windows Phone 7 in particularly good light, and Gartner (a leading worldwide technology research and advisory company) has done just that with their latest prediction.
Having a gander at the chart above, we can see the accumulative market total topping 1 billion by 2015 and Microsoft has been predicted to achieve 19.5% market share (compared to the 4.2 they currently hold) - Not bad for a platform that is continuously said to be "failing". Gartner revised its forecast of market share for WP7 taking into account the Nokia partnership, which is said to push the platform into mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of next year.
On a general note, "by 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. We have already covered other predictions that WP7 will overtake RIM from Ovum, so what Gartner has posted seems in-line.
What do you think of these predictions, and what is forecasted for WP7?
Source: Gartner, via: WMPU
3 years ago
Official Microsoft MIX11 Windows Phone app now available
Although we have seen some MIX11 apps for Windows Phone in the past, it looks like Microsoft rolled out their "official" one yesterday, called 'Conference Helper'.
The app is a great tool for those attending the big Microsoft sponsored dev conference next week in Las Vegas, as it gives a way to mark events to attend, has a floor map, news and general info. No outstanding features e.g. live tiles or notifications are present, but it's not bad for what it is either.
- Browse and search sessions
- View sessions filtered by speakers and tags.
- Manage your favorite sessions.
- Access sessions and schedule information even without Internet access.
- View maps of the conference center and the neighborhood.
The alternates, MIX11 Explorer (from eDefine) or MIX11 from ConceptDevelopment.net are also good choices, with MIX11 Explorer getting the highest reviews of all.
Here are the links to the Marketplace for each: Conference Helper (Microsoft); MIX11 Explorer and MIX11
3 years ago
IM+ for Windows Phone hitting beta this month
We've been waiting for quite some time for IM+ to hit Windows Phone 7 and we finally have word that the first beta should be hitting the streets in April.
No other features have been announced, pricing or if the beta is open or closed. That's the bad news, but hey, at least it's still up for release this month in some form. In the meantime, Flory will have to hold us over, which is just fine by us.
Source: Facebook; Thanks, Tom/Kranked90, for the heads up!
3 years ago
Funny Stories by JOJO lands at the Marketplace
JOJO Mobile has created a rather interesting app that might be appealing to Windows Phone users with small children. Funny Stories is an interactive book for children that might come in handy on road trips, waiting at the restaurant, doctor's office or any where else a child's attention span might be tested.
The interactive books in the Funny Stories series includes (links are to the Marketplace) Funny Vehicles, Animal's Farm, Colorful Vitamins, and Under the Sea. Each book has both female and male narration as well as picture/word association where the words zoom up and are spoken when pictures are touched. There are three ways the books can be read.
- "Read to Me": Stories are narrated with pages manually advanced by the reader.
- "Read it Myself": Books are read by the child with pages advanced by the reader.
- "Auto Play": Stories are played like a movie with pages turned automatically.
The stories are billed as educational as well as entertaining. Funny Stories' graphics are well done, the animated page turns is a nice touch and the books should spark the interest with any toddler. Funny Vehicles is free with the additional books running $1.29.
3 years ago
Group SMS - App Spotlight
Here's a handy application if you have the need to text or email groups from your Windows Phone. Group SMS allows you to create groups from your contacts to avoid having to send your messages out individually.
In a hurry and need some boiler plate messages or responses? Group SMS also allows you to create message templates to send pre-defined messages. The developer, Stefan Stumpfl, liked the Metro design of Windows Phone 7 and choose the panoramic hub design for Group SMS to make it easier to navigate around. Group SMS tried to adapt the Windows Phone concept of "get in, out and back to life".
It's our understanding from Stefan that future updates to Group SMS will support multiple languages (German, French, Italian, and Spanish) as well as synchronization with Google Groups and Windows Live Groups.
There is a free trial version available for Group SMS with the full version running $.99. You can download both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Wipe out Windows Phone viruses with Pandemic
Z Games, developers of Bubble Burst, is offering Pandemic over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. As described by the developer, Pandemic has swarms of cute little viruses are invading your world and your objective is to stop them.
Pandemic is a colorful puzzle game where you have to match three or more viruses in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line. Viruses can be moved freely around the board to create these combinations as long as the path is clear (they can't jump other viruses). The Bejeweled-like game has two different game modes, Pandemic and Zen. Pandemic Mode is a fast paced game that has your racing the clock while the Zen is a more relaxed, no pressure game.
To help you along the way there are a few bonus items (bombs and rainbow viruses) that will help you destroy more viruses. The game includes online leaderboards and a lengthy glossary defining each virus, covering the virus's gender, likes, dislikes and general description.
After playing Pandemic for a short period, I found it to be an entertaining, mildly addictive game. Graphics are nice and the game ran smoothly.
Pandemic is a free game and is available here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Mini Squadron - Exclusive preview
MiniSquadron is already a hit on iOS and Android devices. Microsoft approached the game’s creator, UK-based Supermono Studios, and asked them to bring the game to Xbox Live. Supermono promptly teamed up with Fat Pebble to do the conversion. We spoke to Fat Pebble about the game, and now we’re bringing you this exclusive preview.
MiniSquadron, as you might expect, involves planes. Lots of ‘em. Players battles hoards of aerial opponents in a two-dimensional space. Controlling the plane is as simple as changing the pitch (the angle of its nose) with a virtual analog stick. This lets you pull off a variety of loops and other maneuvers as you chase down enemy planes and dodge oncoming attacks. Just don’t fly too high or the plane will stall and nosedive; hit the ground and you’ll crash and burn. Horizontal level boundaries just bounce planes safely away.
Incoming fire won’t bounce off so safely, though players and enemies alike can take a few shots before going down. Every aircraft comes equipped with one of seven weapon types, including cannons, missiles, fireballs, lasers, and more. Each type has its own variations, with different damage, firing speed, and range. Blasting enemies without getting hit yourself increases a combo multiplier, so skillful players will earn higher scores.
Fly past the jump for screenshots and details about MiniSquadron’s new Windows Phone features.
3 years ago
'Multitask7' homebrew brings fast-app switching to Windows Phone
A few weeks ago, we saw the advent of a de-hydration hack on Windows Phone that seemingly brought fast-app switching to the OS (and despite claims, we didn't see a hit on battery life).
Now the same hacker, Jaxbot over at Windows Phone Hacker, is bringing it to the next level by adding on an app-switching program to the mix. In short, this brings near full multi-tasking to Windows Phone well before the 'Mango' update, expected this fall.
By utilizing the camera's half-shutter button, a user can bring up a nice UI that allows one to now choose between apps that are "running" instead of just using the back-arrow or "re-launching" the app from your Start screen. Of note, this is just a 'preview' meaning the design is still in development and things can change as it progresses. Either way, we're stoked:
...the application is triggered by pressing the half shutter button (pressing the camera button halfway, not to the point where the camera would launch), and allows the user to jump between desired applications. The applications run in the background to a degree, as shown with the timer, and no time is required to bring the applications back from their background state. It's all very technical, but rest assure that he will be sharing some more details in the future.
Keep in mind the application is a preview-the interface and how it functions may very well change before release, and no release date is available. But if you're interested in having it on your device, share some thoughts about how you think it should look, function, etc, in the comments below.
Very cool stuff. Stay tuned for more as this develops. Of note, you will need a developer unlocked device to have this work when it is finally released.
Source: Windows Phone Hacker
3 years ago
Weekly Nodo Update from Microsoft
According to Microsoft, they aren't going to be happy until everyone gets their update and continue to work hard to get this job done. In their weekly Nodo Update Microsoft recognizes that the update has gone out to O2 and SFR customers in Europe and Telstra customers are receiving the February update now. Eric Hautala also offers a word of caution to those turning to homebrew solutions.
As an engineer and a gadget lover, I totally understand the impulse to tinker. You want the latest technology and you’re tired of waiting. Believe me, I get it. But my strong advice is: wait. If you attempt one of these workarounds, we can’t say for sure what might happen to your phone because we haven’t fully tested these homebrew techniques. You might not be getting the important device-specific software we would typically deliver in the official update. Or your phone might get mis-configured and not receive future updates.
Hautala continues to say a lot of progress has been made in recent weeks. However, we all know there is still a lot of work to be done. AT&T has changed their update status to indicate that Scheduling (the stage before distribution) would begin early April 2011. But "early" April is fast turning into "mid" April. It is entirely possible we'll see the new AT&T HD7S running the updated OS before existing phones are updated.
With the original Windows Phone 7 OS working well, I'm more concerned about the update process than the update itself. While I agree with Hautala's call for patience, at some point Microsoft needs to get better control of their update process and make it more timely. Thoughts?
You can check the latest Nodo Status for your Windows Phone at Microsoft's Update Page or you can download "Dude, Where is my update?" app here (opens Zune).
3 years ago
HTC is first to push own ROM update
While NoDo is still in the process of being tested and rolled out across networks, HTC have played a wild card and have began rolling out their own update. While we previously covered the news that Dell is looking to push out their own separate update post-NoDo, but this is the first attempt from a manufacturer on the platform.
[Edit: Actually, Samsung has been doing it with the Focus for various users too]
According to the information received at TheUnwired, users are reporting that they too are receiving the update while being prematurely on NoDo, so it seems as though ChevronWP7.Updater isn't such a huge problem. This - of course - is an update from HTC and not Microsoft though.
Our own George Ponder has received the update for his Surround (updates the firmware to 2250.09.10307.502) and notices that their is no noticeable change in performance, and no word has been located as to what the update actually add and/or fixes. Could well be simply HTC showing off. Have you received the update, do you notice anything different?
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