wifi

Fon (fon.com) is a European service, based in Spain that attempts to be a global Wi-Fi network built by users across the world. Fon has finally released their official Windows Phone 8 app that allows you to connect automatically to Fon hotspots at home and on the go, worldwide. The app also allows you to view a Wi-Fi map to locate Fon hotspots near you.

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Since Windows Phone 7 launched, there have been numerous attempts by developers to create the perfect settings and connectivity shortcut solution, but many have either fallen short and/or ceased development. So which app should you look at if you're wanting such a download? Cue Status Tiles.

The app itself has been available since November, but we've somehow missed it and the developer has just pushed out a small update.

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British Telecom (BT) has released a new Wi-Fi app for Windows 8.1. Should you be a BT broadband customer, you'll be able to take full advantage of free and unlimited Wi-Fi at millions of hotspots throughout the UK. Simply connect and login to a hotspot for your settings to be automatically saved for use across the board.

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Hotspots are available across the world and offer an easy way to get connected when you're not at home. Microsoft has released a Skype WiFi app (www.skype.com) for Windows 8, enabling consumers to connect to said hotspots and chat with friends and family over WiFi, instead of racking up expensive roaming charges or fumbling around with direct registration.

Should you find yourself travelling abroad and require to remain in contact with friends and whatnot, this app is definitely a must-have for you. What's also cool is the fact you can also use the Internet access for general web browsing too. The best part is there's no extra step to get started. Simply log in with your Skype account and add some Skype Credit.

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O2 has partnered with Virgin Media to provide free Wifi connectivity to its customers throughout the London Underground train system, affectionately known as the Tube. Virgin Media has hotspots in more than 120 Tube stations and has already partnered with O2 competitors Vodafone and EE, leaving Three as the only major UK carrier to not offer this service to their users.

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US mobile operator AT&T has signed a deal with UK WiFi hotspot provider The Cloud, which is owned by BSkyB. The partnership will see AT&T customers able to utilise up to 1GB of data in the UK free of charge, when connected to one of 16,000 locations using the operator's WiFi International app. While this deal sounds like a bargain, it does require a subscription to an international data add-on.

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The HTC 8S finally allows Wi-Fi to stay on with the display off, making it the first Windows Phone device to offer this much vaunted feature.

We've noticed something pretty awesome on our HTC 8S (review coming shortly, folks), something that many have been calling out for from Microsoft since Windows Phone launched back in 2010. In the Windows Phone 8 build that's loaded on the HTC 8S, we can enable the setting to allow the WiFi connection to remain active when the screen times out.  Huzzah!

The rumor that the HTC 8S would bring this functionality was first reported back on November 22nd and it is now 100% confirmed.

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por·ti·co  (pawr-ti-koh, pohr-)

n.  An elaborate or at least covered porch area adjacent to a main entrance, generally in a classical building. The portico functions as a means to protect visitors from the elements as well as emphasizing the taste and wealth of the owner.

Even though Windows Phone 8 has just launched across the world, information on the first OS update was revealed just a week ago. The OS update is rumored to be announced this February during the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it will reportedly consist of various small patches, fixes and additions to Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Central has now learned from a known and trusted source that this update is being referred to not as Apollo+ but ‘Portico’.

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We’re not one to delve too deep into the various Wi-Fi security profiles out there. For one, we’re speaking out of league and can’t offer pros/cons to each one and two, it’s just not something we hear a lot of from our readers. But there are a few of you out there and for them, certain protocols like EAP-TLS is important.

The good news is that Microsoft is conscious of the need for EAP-TLS for Wi-Fi security (especially important for enterprise) and it looks like it will come to Windows Phone at some point, but it’s not high on their priority list...

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The HTC 8S, though widely praised as exceptionally designed, has been MIA ever since the Windows Phone 8 launch a few weeks back. Rumor that we heard was HTC was finishing up a few last details to the software and may even had some early issues to fix before release. Regardless, it was just a matter of time before that mid-range device sees the light of day.

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If there's one area where have heard a lot of complaints on it's the WiFi function on Windows Phone.

The problem is a bit niche but it has frustrated quite a few of you ever since 2010. That "problem" is when the phone goes to the Lock screen, WiFi automatically disconnects. Obviously Microsoft had good intentions in mind here with power-saving as the chief concern. But recently, evidence and personal anecdotes seem to betray the idea that turning off WiFi (when not in use) saves battery.

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From homebrew to err...publicbrew

A few days ago we reported on a new homebrew app called Keep Alive from Windows Phone Hacker. The app basically pings a server every once in awhile to maintain a constant Wi-Fi connection. It’s better than having to reconnect to your Wi-Fi connection each time you turn the display back on and has little impact on battery.

The app though was homebrew meaning only those with developer-unlocked phones could take part by sideloading the XAP file. Since the program itself does not use any illegal hooks, Jaxbot, the developer behind it has submitted it to the Marketplace and almost surprisingly it has passed.

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We’ve covered the whole how-to-keep-your-Wi-Fi-alive issue before on Windows Phone Central. It was first realized that some apps keep the data-connection channel open which then allows your Wi-Fi to stay on when the phone is placed in standby (screen off).

Then a bloke over at XDA Forums created an app to mimic that scenario and it worked quite well except for the fact that it appeared to play a dummy song in your music controls.

Jaxbot from Windows Phone Hacker has now thrown his hat in the ring with Keep Alive. It too is a homebrew app that does not require root, meaning regular ‘dev unlocked’ phones can use it but it uses a slightly different method. Instead of pretending to stream a dummy song, Jaxbot evidently has set up his own server which then keeps your phone connected—data is kept at a minimum as it is just using pings to keep the connection open.

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Earlier this morning we reported on a neat little trick that a few Windows Phone apps can do which is keep your Wi-Fi connection active even when the display is powered off.

That’s pretty useful feature for some people who are using a public Wi-Fi access point that requires you to “accept” the terms of service each time you re-connect. On a Windows Phone, every time you turn the display off it kills the Wi-Fi connection meaning you are forced to reconnect which can be problematic--even more so if you’re downloading some files.

Over at XDA, developer Ha Mai Tung (WinPhoneViet.com) has created a neat little homebrew app called Keep WiFi Alive which exploits the trick that some audio apps use. The app creates a fake music stream that makes the OS “think” it is downloading music, thereby keeping the Wi-Fi connection active.  The app is simple to use—just launch and hit the button.  To disable you can either turn off Wi-Fi in Settings or restart the phone.

Demo of Keep WiFi Alive

The app is homebrew, meaning you’ll need a developer unlocked device (either AppHub or Chevron) and does not require interop access, meaning many of you can use it if you can sideload the XAP. It’s still in beta form so there could be some bugs and of course battery usage will presumably increase, so be warned.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily, Plaffo

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Does your Lumia 900's WiFi occasionally go dead?

We're getting a few reports that at least for some users their Lumia 900 behaves a bit oddly on WiFi. The reports vary as to the experience but most of it seems to revolve around the idea that when the device goes to sleep, the WiFi data connection doesn't re-connect properly upon waking.

From one description on Nokia's help forum is thus:

"When my Lumia 900 is connected to my house's WiFi (airport extreme), it will connect fine.  However, when my phone goes to sleep (or when I don't use the connection for awhile), I can't connect to the web even though my phone saids that it is still connected to the network.  It seems like some other people are also having the problem.  http://forums.windowscentral.com/lumia-900-ace/189504.htm

Sometimes a soft-reset will fix the problem, and sometimes it will take some time before I can browse the web with my WiFi network.  I tested with my other phones / laptops / PDAs, so I am sure that it is not my router's problem."

Others reported the same issue as well even after the latest update. Admittedly we had this problem with our review and purchased units but it seemed to have been fixed with the first patch. However, even our WiFi got a little funky after the latest update just a few weeks ago. It's not an "all the time" bug and it's a bit hard to replicate but we've certainly experienced some odd data issues with our 900, though rare.

So the question for everyone here: do you notice any dropped data issues with your Lumia 900? Is it with WiFi, cellular or both? Take our poll after the break and/or leave a comment. Thanks, səlɹɐɥɔ sɯıs, for the tip

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An unknown Samsung Windows Phone (SCH-S759) has been WiFi and Bluetooth certified. The device is reported to be CDMA compatible, which leads us to believe this smartphone could be a version of the recently announced Omnia M. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the handset with no other detail or specifications being listed, apart from a spotted agent string - Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; SAMSUNG; SCH-S759.

With the release of the Focus 2 and Omnia M, one could hope that Samsung is rising to the bar set by Nokia within the Windows Phone market. It's rumoured that this Samsung Windows Phone is set to head for China, probably to combat Nokia and the Lumia 800c, unless Sprint or Verizon is secretly set to unveil a device? We look forward to seeing some more details come to light in the near future, so stay tuned.

via: Unwired View, Blog of Mobile

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An article has been published over at Nokia Conversations detailing the 1600.2483.8106.11500 firmware update for the Lumia 800, which is in the process of rolling out. The update is being pushed out gradually using Zune software and contains two benefits; battery performance (making use of the capacity too) and WiFi connectivity improvements. This is update number two of two that were announced at the end of last year.

"The update will not be delivered to every Lumia 800 simultaneously, but rather will be staggered over the next two weeks through Microsoft’s standard update process. This helps each owner gets the update without any hitches. Around half of owners will get the update in the next seven days, with the remainder over the following seven days."

Unfortunately, we've received reports that users have encountered issues with soft key lighting and battery performance after updating, but we've yet to confirm this on our models. Let us know in the comments when you get the update.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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We do love our GPS and navigation. Heck, we now confidently strut around foreign countries like we've been there for years now, instead of gazing and gawking at a giant map, walking in circles. But one problem we still have is once we're at our location, we're back on our own once inside. Clearly a #firstworldproblem.

Nokia is working on this solution by using WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 in an attempt to maximize accuracy indoors. What's more, they're reaching out to partners to make this happen quickly, with a goal of about 18 months. Recently, Google announced indoor navigation with Google Maps 6.0, which will help steer conference attendees to their right spots. In that sense, Nokia is playing a bit of a catch-up to Google for once, but at least the video above shows that the Finns are well on their way to making this happen too.

Side note, anyone else worried that we're just going to be staring at our phones incessantly, walking around, bumping into things as we find where we are going?

Source: NokiaBlog; via: PhoneArena

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