USA

New look for USA Today

USA Today has consistently been one of the better designed and thought-out apps available on Windows Phone. It's fast, minimalist and the developers update the app quite consistently. Well, almost. The last update was back in October 2011.

Version 1.7 just went live in the Store and brings with it a new logo for the popular news source. The new design is a tad, dare we say, Metro? It’s flat, simple and less gaudy then the previous look and we approve 100% of the new change. Interestingly, the official Web site has yet to reflect the new design.

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Chris Weber, Nokia's president of North America, told FierceWireless in an interview that they are working to gain ground in the U.S. market by becoming the most carrier-friendly manufacturer in town.  With this in mind, he said that they are trying to bring exclusive Windows Phone devices, content and experiences to each carrier. 

"The most important thing we can do in the U.S. market is bring exclusive devices and opportunities to each of the carriers," he said. "Doing that exclusivity and giving them something unique allows us to get great carrier support."

T-Mobile is set to get the Lumia 710 and the stunning Lumia 900 is en route to AT&T under the moniker Ace.  Nokia is working with T-Mobile specifically to lure in first time smartphone buyers, while the main focus with AT&T is to get current users on other platforms to make the move over.  However, when asked about Verizon, who currently only carries the Gen-1 HTC Trophy, Weber was rather mum, stating only that "they're a very important partner for [Nokia]."  He made no mention of Sprint, who seems to have nearly abandoned Windows Phone all together after a half-hearted affair with the wonderful HTC Arrive.

Perhaps this is just reading too much into the words of an exec, mixed some a healthy pinch of wishful thinking.  Or perhaps it is a sign of greatness on the horizon.  Either way, Weber's words show that Nokia knows where the key to success lies:

"At the end of the day, if we have great consumer satisfaction, they recommend it to friends, they love those devices, every other business metric takes care of itself."

Source: FierceWireless

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For those who just can't wait another 2 weeks or so, you can go the guerilla route and just directly flash NoDo (7389) on your T-Mobile HD7 today, if you wanted. The process is actually quite simple: you download two ROM files (the old school "ROM Update Utility") and simple flash one, then flash the other.

The first ROM puts a signed Telstra version on your phone, the second, which is much smaller, NoDo (7389). The difference here is the Telstra ROM has the T-Mobile US radios on board, keeping the important part the same and since NoDo doesn't touch the radio, the second ROM is just an OS upgrade.

All in all, the process takes about 10 minutes. You won't be able to backup anything, so this is a clean install, meaning you'll lose any pics or data not saved elsewhere. The other thing is you'll rock some Telstra branding on the bootscreen and a few OEM apps (that of course can be removed), however once you throw in your T-Mo SIM, you can re-download their OEM apps instead.

So how is it? Well, it's NoDo so it fast as heck and we haven't noticed any downsides (it does make the camera better, less pink; also Bing Voice now speaks the Queens English, no joke). On the other hand, it's probably best to just wait a few weeks for the official version. But, if you want to go ahead, read all the directions here at XDA.

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File this under "confusing": Are the HTC Schubert and HTC Mozart one and the same? We may be finding out soon as TmoNews is hearing from a trusted source that the HTC Mozart (a 800x480, keyboardless slab) is coming to T-Mobile USA in the fall.

The big question is are Schubert/Mozart just swappable code names--one being the general device ('Mozart'), the other the carrier specific version ('Schubert') or are they two separate devices?  Too early to tell and like most WP7 device leaks, no hard info to really get excited about.

Hopefully we'll see some real hardware, real specs and something tangible soon.

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20

T-Mobile HTC HD2 in NYC Party (Recap)

In case you missed our live coverage of the T-Mobile HD2 launch event in New York City the other night, we figured we'd recap what we know and what we found out while there, getting our nerdy groove on.

One thing is for certain: the HD2 for T-Mobile U.S. is one heck of a multimedia powerhouse and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Still, with Windows Phone 7 Series around the corner, is the HD2 already falling behind? We think not and we'll explain why as we cover all the glorious media features on board.

Read on for all the details!

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Looks like that T-Mobile HD2 (US version, slated for March 24th) just keeps getting better and better.

Not only does it come with a memory boost (or rather, has memory allocated differently) which seems to shape it up for a Seven upgrade in October (that's what we're hearing too), but it looks to also feature Swype.

To refresh, Swype is that new soft-keyboard that first appeared on the Verizon Omnia II. It was then quickly ripped and ported to other devices (to the chagrin of the developers), due to its overwhelming popularity. The company has also recently secured a nice source of funding, meaning we can expect more form them in the future.

Fast forward to today and we find the latest T-Mo HD2 ROM dump features a unique file: 

PACKAGE_LEO_1_5_IME_Swype

And to the right you'll see a screenshot of that very file in action. We're also told that this new build is "...slightly more accurate and looks much more polished than the original". What can we say other than we approve of this addition greatly? Nice move HTC and T-Mobile!

[Thanks, Tek818, for the info and screenshot!]

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