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Zune Desktop getting ready for Mango

If you blink, you might have missed it but Zune's desktop software has been updated to version 4.8. The update will allow Zune to communicate correctly with Windows Phone 7.5 (more affectionately known as Mango). So if you're planning to update your Windows Phone, you'll need to update Zune.

According to the update's release, the update has the following features to make the update process go smoother and faster.

  • Progressive updates: In Zune 4.8, you only have to click the update button once for multiple updates. Once an update is finished, the software automatically checks for more and repeats the installation process until your phone is completely up to date.
  • Streamlined backup: By synching media separately from other phone content, we’ve lowered the overall time it takes to back up your phone. The backup file is also more compact, so it should take up less space on your computer.
  • Skip phone backup: If you don’t have enough room on your computer to store a phone backup file, you’ll now have the option to skip this step so you’re not blocked from updating your phone.

The process is painless and takes about five minutes. Just go into your Zune Settings, choose Software and General Category (column on the left). Towards the bottom of the screen you'll see a button to "check for updates". Follow the update steps, accept the terms, then sit back and relax. If you are new to Windows Phones and haven't installed Zune, you can find the updated version here.

Now for the speculation. With Microsoft releasing the update to Zune, could Mango be right around the corner?

source: windowsteamblog

Thanks goes out to Shipwreck, David and everyone else who tipped us on this!

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Tezawaly of NanaPho over in Japan managed to get his hands on the Fujitsu IS12T, which is expected to ship within 3 days. He did the smart thing and ran WP BenchMark on it to see if there was anything different. While we don't know all of the specs of the IS12T, there's little doubt that it has to have the Adreno 205 GPU chipset on board due to the outstanding performance, in addition it has the later-gen Qualcomm MSM8655 at 1GHz. You can see Tezawaly's results compared to other "normal" Windows Phone in WP Benchmark's stats below:

Needless to say, the results are impressive. Next up you can see it compared to the more popular Samsung Focus. Once again, the GPU average at 40 on the IS12T versus just 19 on the Samsung Focus. Looks like that new Mango hardware will be harder and hader to resist, no?

Source: NanaPho; Related: See the HTC Mazaa benchmark results for comparison

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There's been a lot of speculation on when exactly Windows Phone "Mango" will launch--or even what that means exactly. The reason it is a questions is because there are device upgrades, there are device launches and there's no reason to think the two are tied together. Hence we've seen September 1st, August 25th and the vague "this fall" all thrown around and in fact, they're most likely all true for specific situations.

Microsoft's marketing chief for Scandinavia, Peter Wissinger has taken to Facebook to clarify the "Mango" launch. In short he tells that it is completely up to the OEMs to decide the timeline for launch of the next-generation of Mango devices. In fact, as has been speculated, Microsoft came out ahead of schedule this time with "Mango' which is why OEMs, who just received the RTM version, may seem a little behind--perhaps they weren't prepared to have it all ready this early (although Fujitsu seems prepared).

Of course in the US, OEMs still have the FCC and carriers to deal with before launching a device, making the situation more complicated. We're expecting a similar style to last years launch: announcement in October, availability (on AT&T, at least) a few weeks later with numerous devices.

Source: Facebook; via

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Gotta give 4th & Mayor developer and Microsoftie Jeff Wilcox credit--he's on fire lately, pushing out update after update.

Version 2.7 is now live in the Marketplace and brings some cool new features:

  • Fixes over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes
  • Can now flag photos and delete your own photos
  • Exciting new features for early adopters

While fixing "over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes" is itself no small feat (luckily we never saw 'em), those new features for early adopters are pretty awesome sounding. 

Yes, in v2.7 if you are running "Mango" you can pin your friends or favorite places right to your today screen--booya! [See image of Phil Nickinson for an example] Now, these are admittedly a tease--they don't yet "flip' to reveal information like most Mango secondary tiles do, but you can bet when "Mango" is officially released we'll be seeing these things happen. For now, when you tap on your friend's Foursquare tile, it'll bring you to their profile page as expected.

Very cool. You can pick up 4th & Mayor v2.7 here in the Marketplace.

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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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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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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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With the release date coming ever closer and RTM stage being well underway, it's time for us to see more devices in the news.

It seems HTC are preparing two new handsets for the Mango update. We can now see two new devices that have received Bluetooth certification, although we only have model numbers; PI06XXX and PI39XXX. Could one of these be the HTC Mazaa, Eternity, Ignite or Prime? Are you looking forward to more handsets from the manufacturer?

Source: PI06XXX, PI39XXX; via: PocketNow

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HTC Mazaa reveals faster GPU and more

Lots more information coming out from that HTC Mazaa device running Mango RTM build 7720 that we mentioned yesterday morning.

Cpitt over at XDA received the phone as an award for winning a Microsoft sponsored developer contest. Since then he has posted numerous images and detailed some of the changes on board:

  • GPU seems faster - using WP Benchmark, the Mazaa hit 50 FPS vs the HD7 (Mango 7712) at 23 FPS
  • Local Scout in RTM 7720 has its own Tile (edit: this is there in 7712, evidently)
  • Fishtank on the Mazaa is about 47 fps, where it's only abou 30 on the HD7
  • CDMA/GSM dual band

The CDMA/GSM dual band makes this a shoe in for Verizon, though it's doubtful the Mazaa will be released publicly. The faster GPU is potentially a combo of the tweaked RTM 7720 as well as the Adreno 205 GPU chipset that is thought to be on board the Mazaa, giving it a little extra horsepower.

Even though this is basically a revised HTC Trophy, we like where all of this is heading--RTM build of Mango seems fantastic, potentially faster GPU in devices (plus bumping the 30 FPS cap from NoDo) means smoother graphics. We have a good feeling about this fall...

Oh and XDA member lionmilk, who also won one, sold his on eBay for the low-low price of $699.

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Samsung Omnia 7 running Mango RTM ?

A tipster over at WPSauce sent them a screen shot of a Samsung Omnia 7 sporting WP7 version 7720, which is the RTM version of Mango.  We saw this same version number on the Mango-toting HTC Mazaa that was awarded to a student developer yesterday and is expected to be made available to current WP7 devices this fall.  File this one under "iffy," as the picture cannot be verified and no details have been provided for its context.

In fact, the closer we look at it, the more fake it looks.

Source: WPSauce

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We've talked about the Microsoft sponsored student contest here and here before. The winners are to be given brand new Mango devices, which of course raised all sorts of questions e.g. what phone, is Mango RTM'd, etc. Well, we now know the answer to all of those.

Turns out at least one student managed to received the HTC Mazaa, a device mentioned a few times in the past as being the latest "dev phone" for Microsoft employees and we imagine software partners. Featuring a gyroscope for those Mango APIs, the device is similar to the Trophy in many ways.

Over at XDA, one of the student winners has posted a screen shot of his about screen to prove it is what it is. Not bad kid, not bad at all. The phone is even running Mango 7720:

"For those who might be interested. I was one of the 50 lucky winners in the ongoing WPAPPITUP student developer competition, and was promised a Mango phone about a week or so ago. To my surprise I arrived home to find a package from Microsoft waiting for me. Open it up and I find my self a brand new unlocked HTC Mazaa, running Mango 7.10.7720.500.

First impressions the phone is fast, whether it just be the new Mango build or the phone itself I'm not entirely certain. But it runs circles around my HD7. On the same note comparing it to the HD7 it's a lot smaller. It also only has 8gig of internal not upgradable internal memory, which doesn't really cut it for me. However, beggars can't be choosers, and I'm glad to have the phone either way."

Hopefully some more info will be coming forward about this new phone, specifically that Adreno GPU. Very cool.

Source: XDA; via WPSauce

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Mango not only promises to bring 500 new features for regular users but also numerous other languages for the rest of the planet. For those who want some Japanese on their Windows Phone now, or perhaps those looking to explore how to add other language, a neat little hack has appeared over at NanaPho.

The trick requires a registry edit before you upgrade to Mango (you can't yet edit the registry on Mango devices, as far as we know) and may be good for those playing with DFT's custom ROMs. While in NoDo or earlier, simply launch the registry editor and make these changes:

1. add this entry on your NoDo (7390 or 7392) phone.


name: 0411

value: Japanese

2. update to Mango Beta 2 Refresh

3. you will get Japanese language

Of course the potential is there to add other languages, though it has to be verified. Other language packs which are made available with the Mango release include 0413 (Netherlands), 0419 (Russian), 0804 (Simplified Chinese), 0404 (Traditional Chinese) and in theory, those should work too. Looks to be a cool trick for those not wanting to wait the extra month or two for the RTM Mango to hit.

Source: NanaPho

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We've already talked about Mango's overhauled Live Tile/push system back during MIX11. The tile's ability to "flip" showing a second side really gives developers an extra option for displaying more information, not to mention it looks pretty darn cool (see the BBC Mango New Mobile; Weather Channel Mango).

Reader Justin contacted the USA Today Mobile devs with a feature request and he received a great response:

"Flipping livetile to show current weather on back once the mango update arrives. This would be a worthwhile feature.

Thank you for all your excellent work!"

"Hello, thanks for your feedback. You’ve read our minds with regard to Live Tile for Mango – what you described is exactly what we’re planning on J. Let us know if you think of anything else or if you run into any issues with the USA TODAY app.


Tim Carlson, USA TODAY Mobile"

That does sound pretty nifty to us. The USA Today app just received an update for a Live Tile and not only is it one of the best looking Windows Phone apps out there, their weather, provided by Accuweather, is very nicely implemented. It should be very exiting to see what other devs come up with one Mango hits.

Thanks, Justin F., for the heads up!

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This is very exciting news (if you're like me where you simply can't wait to have a potential uni-body Windows Phone handset) surrounding Gamescon, which is to be held at Cologne, Germany this month. It seems Nokia has some exciting news with actions and surprises that will make the 17th of August an evening to remember. Notice the new post-Mango Windows Phone logo?

Could this well be the unveiling of the earlier prototype "Sea Ray" handset? Whatever doubt you may still have floating within that mind of yours, take a gander at the raffle prizes in the bottom-left box. Three winners will receive a 250GB Xbox 360 console (with Kinect) and a Nokia Windows Phone (as soon as available - can't be long surely?).

Will we be seeing a possible pre-release announcement of the final product within three weeks time? Let's hope so. We'll of course keep you all posted with any updates regarding this event.

Source: Unwired, via: WPSauce

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We previously covered this contest just over a month ago, and the response the Windows Phone team have had from student developers is really impressive. 20 students have already received a special "Mango" device to aid them in unleashing their creations. 

There are still 30 "Mango" handsets to be won by students for great prototypes. Here's how you can enter:

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device
Be sure to check out all the submissions on the official blog post. We've also linked Achia's entry (Colorful Sketch) below too.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog, thanks Achia for the heads up!

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N9 launch to clash with Mango?

While the next Windows Phone major update is rapidly approaching, Nokia have still wrapped their N9 running MeeGo in a cloud of not-releasing-any-information. Orange Switzerland has published a release date for the handset (as shown in the image above) of Spetember 15th. This goes with 3 stating that they promise the N9 will be with the carrier by September 23rd. 

What has this got to do with WP7 or the "Mango" update? Well, we're currently looking at a September rollout of new devices from the platform-backed OEMs, including Nokia - not to mention Apple is apparently looking at September too for the iPhone 5. Should the release of the N9 coincide with the launch of the upcoming Nokia "Mango" handset this could cause a clash and potentially dissolve hype for either device (probably the N9 in this case with the sheer volume of Mango devices unveiling).

Of course, no official word has been given by Nokia as to the release date they're looking at for the N9, but it will be interesting should the iPhone 5, the N9 and "Mango" mobile phones all pop up at once, truly giving consumers a selection. The first "Mango" device is set to be released this month in Japan, the Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T (specifications).

Source: Engadget, via: ElectricPig

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MobileTechWorld has uncovered a pretty neat feature. We now know we can achieve music and video playback via SkyDrive, but we can also receive files via Messenger in Windows Phone "Mango". Specifically demoed in the above video is the receiving and playing of a music (wma/mp3) and video (wmv/mp4) file.

Unfortunately, as one can see there is no album art displayed and media files saved with this method don't appear in Music and Videos hub, so you'll have to return to the conversation to open up the file once again. This is pretty sweet for deeper integration into IM with users not having to resort to booting up a PC to receive files from a friend (but then again, who doesn't use email these days?)

Source: MobileTechWorld

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We'll just leave this here. It should be no surprise that those savvy gurus at team DFT have not only managed to get their hands on the RTM build of Mango (7720) but they've already have it running on an HTC HD7.

No word on whether others can flash this and our Chinese-forum skills are not helping here, but we imagine we'll see this trickle out to other devices, including the HD2...why not, right?

Source: Weibo; Thanks, talan1314!

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Hidden SSID coming in "Mango" RTM

Good news for those of you without an HTC device but still need hidden SSID for your home or work WiFi network. According to Brandon Watson, this feature will be implemented in the final build of "Mango" aka build 7720 which went out to OEMs and carriers earlier this week.

The ability to connect to hidden WiFi networks has been long sought by Windows Phone users ever since its release in October of 2010. HTC responded by coming up with their own custom app that fills in the gap, but Samsung, LG and Dell users were left without any options. Luckily, this now looks to be remedied with Mango coming this fall. It's also one of the key differences between build 7712 and the RTM build.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Brianna, for the heads up

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Looks like we've experienced some kind of problem on the Windows Phone app count line shown in the above graph measuring the amount of newly added apps. It's shown to be pretty much halted. But fear not dear chaps, I've brought along some crumpets, cups of tea and some Pimms (you just never know) to keep you all patient while we work through some possible explanations.

So we've seen a sudden halt in growth, what's the cause? Well, we must not forget that "Mango" is just around the corner and developers have been using the beta tools provided by Microsoft to update their apps by taking advantage of new APIs etc. with any new projects they're undertaking. It could well be that all apps being developed now are actually taking advantage of the features (and improvements) found in "Mango" and will be submitted once the doors open up to developers.

Then again Mark, who tipped us on this news, also made a point about developers potentially having issues with the newly updated AppHub, which is backed by some reports. The platform has previously experienced a slow down in app growth back in January, as shown in the chart above and below. This certainly isn't anything to get worked up about, I'm sure we'll experience a flood of new submissions once "Mango" submissions are opened and the update is rolled out to the public.

In the end (or if you wish to have the tl;dr version of this article) - "Mango" is coming and developers may be waiting for the submission gates to open up. Nothing to worry about, quality over quantity right?

Source: WP7Applist, thanks Mark for tipping us

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