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Some new undocumented features of Windows Phone Tango

Windows Phone 8773 still has a few hidden things in it

While users around the world are slowly getting the Windows Phone Tango 8773 update, a few under-the-hood changes are being noticed by users. We forced manually installed the update onto our Focus 2, Titan II and Lumia 900 with the Focus 2 (review) being our main device these days. As a result, we have had some experience running Tango and noticed a few little nuggets which we'll share below.

  • New wallpapers – We first noticed this on our Tango-fied Lumia 610 but Microsoft is now including those new “nature” themed wallpapers in the Tango ROM
  • Faster numeric PIN response – At least on our 8112 devices (Titan II, Focus 2, Lumia 900), when we would attempt to unlock our PIN on our phone it would sometimes be very slow and not register, requiring you to re-enter the number. While minor, it was annoying. That was fixed by updating all our devices.
  • Send ringtone via MMS – We can now attach and send ringtones to others via MMS. You can only send custom ringtones though and nothing that is “in ROM”. This in addition to the new "send voice note" and attach multiple images in an MMS that's found in Tango too.
  • Letter indexing – On Windows Phone 7.x after a user installs 45 apps, the app list will automatically index, giving you the “letter picker” to jump to find your favorite app. The problem, albeit minor, was if you went below 45, the “letter picker” would not disappear. It was odd behavior and nothing we ever experienced but Tango evidently fixes this. [Forum]
  • More reliable notifications – Many users are reporting better notifications, both Tile and Toast, with the Tango update. To be honest, we feel this has more to do with “flushing the system” than any actual optimizations, though perhaps there are a few.

Users can now share custom ringtones over MMS

Another anecdotal fix may be related to "the Internet Sharing bug" which sometimes causes normal WiFi to stop working, then forces users onto cell data unknowingly. This only occurs if you've enabled internet sharing at some point on the device. We've seen this on our Lumia 900 and so far it seems better to us under Tango, though we're still evaluating. 

Things not available that were thought to be:

  • Static IP for WiFi- We haven’t seen this but you can reportedly enable it via a registry hack. Bad news is you need a rooted phone to do that. Some Nokia users supposedly have this though we assume it’s tied to the firmware [Forum]
  • Location icon – This actually not a part of Tango (8773) despite previous reports, but is part of 8779+, so don’t look for it or expect it
  • Export contacts to SIM – Not available though you can enable it via a registry hack, assuming you have a routed device [Forum]

Did we miss anything—specifically any new features or options? We get a lot of “this is now faster” reports but those are near impossible to verify, so we’re only looking for actual new additions to Tango 8773. If you have some, let us know in comments.

New nature-themed wallpapers are now included in "Tango"

Finally, we have not seen a Tango update for any of our AT&T phones, including the Focus S, despite some isolated and unverified reports. Sorry, folks. Thanks, rockstarzzz, for the forum links

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

148 Comments
  • AT&T, can you just do us all a favor and give us an update in 2012!
  • You can force the update yourself.
    Set phone to airplane mode
    connect to Zune
    click update and cut off your connection.
    If the timing is right, you should get 8112. Repeat for 8773. 
  • Will this work for all carriers or just att phones?
  • Should work for other carriers. Worked for my focus and focus s both unlocked with Telstra
  • Worked on my DVP T Mobile.
  • Gave up after 60 tries with my titan on at&t
  • Yea, me too.  Titan II with 8112....  Tried it since July.  Still nothing.
     
    REALLY Frustrating.  I'm going to a Lumia soon as it comes out.  Support from HTC and ATT has been Zero.
  • Worked on my Samsung Focus on Rogers in Canada.
  • Same. This worked for me as well with my Samsung Focus.  And it worked for my partner too on the Nokia Lumia 900. 
  • It'd be nice if AT&T just freakin' release the update.
  • An easier method is to download the CABs manually and push it. Instructions are posted on XDA. I did this on my Titan on Thursday and it's working fantastically.
  • Will this affect the future updates ?
  • No. I got software and firmware through this. I suspect this works because MS releases the update in stages and disconnecting causes the server to issue the update when the phone ID does not transmit.
  • That never worked for me.
  • Same disconnection trick works in Italy too ;) Just updated my Lumia 800.
    I disconnected wifi after 2 seconds, for both updates.
    I received a 3rd update too, firmware related.
  • Well, I can confirm this works, since I asked, I've installed 4 updates, focus s in at&t, will update about changes, till now I've seen the multi-pic send and the ringtone send from sms, no more
  • Not a Tango change itself, but one of the positives I see after having recieved the update on my Focus S: With the firmware update from Samsung that installed after the OS updates, "Use auto display intensity" under "extra settings" now remains off after a reboot if you've disabled it. Hated having to re-disable it every time I rebooted.
  • Good to know. I hate that too. I only reboot maybe once every two weeks but nice to know it has been fixed. Either way I'll wait for 7.8.
  • I always enjoyed the letter picker even though I don't have 45 apps now I am not too excited to get tango
  • I wish ms would add the option to enable/disable the letter picker even if you don't have that many apps. I personally don't like scrolling to apps.
  • I think I may be suffering from that internet sharing bug - just got a text from my carrier to say I've reached my 1gig limit for June yet I rarely get anywhere close to that in previous months (with eMobile in Ireland on an Omnia 7).
  • I had the exact same situation! Never had that before until last month. 
  • LoL art sucks. Now I know why sprint unlimited all you can eat data best no need worry of getting pass.your data limit. I heard they will have windows phone 8 phones
  • Again it would be so much easier to say windows 8 phones! Hint hint MS
  • Unlimited data at dialup speeds.
  • Exactly
  • @tim- where did you hear this nugget of good news? I am on sprint and they are just stupid about WP. Have 6 months til upgrade. If sprint had not committed by then ATT will be my new carrier
  • Nevermind ,I always have over 45 apps.
  • You can now import single contacts from sum. Keyboard umlaut bug is still there though :/
  • Hmm, the Umlautbug is definitely fixed for me.
  • I'm on AT&T, and my Focus S updated Saturday around noon.
  • We've heard this from one or two folks but I nor George have been able to verify on our devices. I just tried my Focus S before I published this and nothing is being reported. Not sure what's going on but even on the AT&T forums, no one is reporting it.
  • Yeah, same here, been checking everyday and it sadly tells me Im up to date with 7720 :( - Focus S user
  • Seem to be a very limited and slow rollout. My S got it late last week (from AT&T), but the other S and the Flash in my house haven't
  • Same here, AT&T and Samsung Focus S. It notified me of updates as soon as I plugged it in to Zune
  • Am I missing something as I only ever get updates through Zune and my carrier has nothing to do with it. In UK on o2 with unlocked phone if that helps.
  • Your Xbox avatar, as well as those of your friends, are facing more to their left than before.
  • You got this update on a HTC Arrive? On Sprint? How?
  • Me too. Just use the same method as with 8107.
    I have the "send ringtone" option on my Arrive.
  • We used the force-update method. Odd ours doesn't have the send ringtone though. Will have to take another look.
  • Daniel, forced on what device, method, and carrier?
  • Sorry, bad choice of wording. We manually installed not "forced" as in the Zune/Airplane mode trick. That hasn't work for any of our AT&T devices so we manually updated them via the CAB method.
  • No worries. I appreciate the clarification!
  • aw man, this is frustrating - I can't get the timing of the force-update method right.  I'm on 7720 still, btw.
    Here's what I'm seeing:
    With Airplane mode off: - no matter how quickly or slowly I cut the internet on my computer, the result is always "Your phone is up to date"
    With Airplane mode on - no matter how quickly or slowly I cut the internet on my computer, the result is always: "Can't check for updates right now. Please try again later."
    Any tips on what I'm doing wrong?
  • Try my method, I did the Zune, airplane mode, unplug stuff, after clicking update I two seconds later I turn off my internet but I don't turn airplane mode on yet, then I count 2-4 seconds and then I turn on the airplane mode, has worked with 5 updates...
  • Plug into Zune, turn on airplane mode then hit update then quickly disable your internet the update should pop up.Turn you're internet back on and install.
  • Not working for my HTC Arrive. Dan, did you use the CAB file force or Zune force?
  • I used the CAB files. Worked perfectly for me.
  • What about 8107? I'm not on that yet, either. Is there a CAB for that?
  • There is, but you need to go to the article detailing how to use the CAB method to get it.
  • cliff08er - did you use cab force method to get to 8107 and the use zune force to get to tango? I was wanting to avoid cab force method all together since it seems like a risky move.
  • Nope, just used Zune and my phone was at 8107 already.During the update it went to 8117 then to 8773.Unlocked DVP.
  • Not seeing the ability to attach anything other than pics or vids to my MMS messages. And how exactly does one enable internet sharing? Verizon HTC Trophy here, 7.10.8773.98.
  • I've got pics/vid option and ringtone. As far as Internet Sharing goes, I have a feeling this will be a Verizon/HTC firmware update. I think this will come too since Verizon released their Share Everything plan and you get "free" tethering.
  • Weird, I only have "picture or video" and "ringtone" as my mms options on my Quantum (on AT&T). Wonder if that's a registry item I can enable.
  • That's all I can do pic and video DVP, and video if it's anything over 5 seconds it says file is to big
  • Tempted to force the 8773 update on my Lumia 900 but have read rumors a forced update could stop future updates from being received or downloaded.  Anyone have any experience proving otherwise?
  • I've been receiving updates without issue. That issue was true only with the "Walsh" method in the pre-NoDo days. Besides... why worry if you can always manual update in the future too? ;)
  • Sorry to go off topic, but is anyone else in the US having dificulty connecting to the Zune server through the Zune software?  I can connect fine through zune.net, but I get a "Can't access the server" error every time I try and sign in through the desktp client.  Maybe related to the big storm we had in the NE this weekend?
  • Not just NE. All over East Coast, and some Midwest now, I think.
  • Whew! Glad it's not just me, I was getting ready to rebuild my whole dang desktop. Thanks for the response. MS really needs to get better about communicating this stuff.
  • Oh, well, I was talking about the storm, actually. I apologize for that. My Zune desktop client is working, force update is not.
  • It was future OS updates I was concerned about.  I'd be bummed to force 8773 just to have it released in a few days/weeks.  Then not be able to get 7.8 whenever that comes around because of forcing 8773.  Maybe I could just force that then?  Or could I still miss out on firmware updates frrom Nokia?  Anyone had any experience of getting OS/firmware updates after a force?
  • I forced Nodo, got Mango regularly on focus. I have L900 now, but can't force...not doing cab...gave up, guess I'll wait... No big deal with current update for me
  • All I want on my Lumia 900 is a bloody eq,...
  • Jajaja I got sound enhancer on my HTC.
  • Amen to that
  • I hate the ugly new Nokia Marketplace Tile :(
  • For some reason my 900 didn't get that ugly new icon, luckily. Probably due to the fact I forced it with the cab update.
  • EA575, how did you update to tango in Arrive? via force method? Also, do we now have tethering? I have been trying to force it with no luck.
  • Same story. I think the Zune force may not work for Arrive. We may need to use the CAB push.
  • I used the CAB files. Zune force doesn't work. And no, no tethering :(
  • Thanks for insight EA, too bad about lack of hotspot.  :(
  • No problem. And yeah, that does suck :/
  • Could anyone with a Focus S verify if this update fixes the annoying "pop" between music tracks when playing through an amplified source?
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the Scout button on the Bing search page new for Tango?
  • Don't remember the history of that, but I have it on 8107. It doesn't show unless location is enabled in search settings, though.
  • Cool, thanks. Maybe that's why it doesn't show up on my dad's Lumia 900
  • No, its always been there, I used to have local scout pinned to start until I realized its right there in search.
  • Any word on when (or if) we may get SMS backup of some sort!!?? Although my HD7 is a very good phone, I found that it lacks alot of useful functions - to be honest, I'd give anything to get my HD2 back! (I'd still keep my HD7 but only as an emergency second line)
  • Probably not until WP8, unfortunately. I know what you mean about the HD2, I still love mine!
  • My Focus S is going under the update right now.  I'm w/ AT&T in SoCal. 
     
    Force Update / Airplane Mode
    *Took a couple of tries.  I restarted my PC twice.  As soon as you click "update" wait 2-3 seconds.  Try to time it to reach 3 seconds, sometimes too soon, will just not work. 
    **Good Luck**
  • Could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
    I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
    I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!
  • I got my update on the Focus S yesterday. Does anyone know if AT&T supports visual voicemail with this update?
  • VVM should already be there unless you behind somehow, came with Mango
  • Hmm. I knew it was a part of mango, but I thought it depended on the carrier. I just updated yesterday to the latest build (tango) and I still don't have vvm. Maybe I have to have At&t activate it.
  • Had to call AT&T to activate my vv on the L900
  • Could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
    I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
    I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!
  • I just played music through my car stereo on my Focus S using an aux cable. I did not experience any loud pop when switching tracks. I tried it both manually and when the song ends and continues to the next track. I hope this helps.
  • Like what I said.. Im waiting for the official release...most of this improvements in tango doesn't impress me at all... I don't have text.. I just email.. My friends are force to EMAIL..why not its F free...windowsphone8... Bring it
  • any word on the radar 4g? i dont know how many times i tried to do the force thru zune thing with no luck. i keep getting a error code or it says im up to date. ive done it with airplane mode on and off.
  • I just did that forced update Samsung Focus S, T-Mobile and it worked!!
  • Ok, so I just forced updated my focus flash(AT&T) with Zune. It took awhile to time the disconnect off the internet. A good tip is if it's taking a long time to search for updates after the disconnect, then it's working. Just wait for it to find the update. Oh, I also don't have the send ringtone option. Maybe I don't have any compatible ringtones to send? That's why I or we don't have that option?
  • As long as you have custom ring tones you should have the option.
  • @mklemin From what I understand, they are only going to support it on LTE phones.
  • Okay. Thanks.
  • I was able to only get the 7.10.7740.16 update and I don't see any new features! Lol.
  • If I force the update will I no longer get the updates in the future
  • You'll still be able to get them.
  • Still waiting for Ota update lumia 710 don't wanna force anything and zune keep saying phone is up to date.. BUMMER
  • Xbox avatar is bugged, they face slightly more to the right also if you are to shake the screen which makes your avatar fall over and pull the screen from the left in frustration, mine now turns to the right side to pull but the screen moves from the left.
  • Just tested this out & you're right! Kind of annoying.
  • I can confirm the Focus S can be updated via Zune with the Airplane mode/disconnect from internet method. I'm doing it right now. This also confirms that the update is in ATT's servers ready to be deployed otherwise this method would not work. Pretty sweet indeed. Also, you're going to have to rinse and repeat until you get to 8773. Once 8773 is done installing, leave phone plugged in and Zune will automatically tell you there's another update (firmware), something you don't get with the cab sender method. For MMS, everything is there: "picture or video", "voice note" and "ringtone". Before and after firmware update: Firmware revision number: 2103.11.10.1 to 2103.12.05.2
    Radio Software version: 2103.11.10.1 to 2103.12.5.2
    Bootloader version: 5.10.2.0 to 6.5.16.0 Also in settings>about, it displays IMEI # and SIM ID # where before it didn't.
  • Can't pull off the disconnect trick with my Focus Flash on AT&T. Damn I'm more excited for the firmware update people have been saying comes with the update more than anything. Hopefully it fixes my freezing issues.
  • To confirm...
    With the update done and installed, via force update (it works via Zune), the phone seems to be FASTER and smoother.  Hard to statistically prove, but I'm sure many of you will agree.
    Using the keyboard seems alot smoother, not that it was an issue before (texing-wise not the dissappearing keyboard), but seriously, it just seems smoother. 
    Along with the new features, the "switch" button while texting someone added a feature of texting other numbers, just in case folks have more than one phone that can receive text.
     
    Can't wait for WP8 or W8P (that looks weird)
    Samsung Focus S - ATT - SoCal
  • I totally agree.. It is faster..
  • What about that call waiting feature?? Is it still there in update tango??
  • This may not be relevant..but.. I recieve Whatsapp messages at almost an 30 - 60min lag compared to my iPhone (say, "Group chat A"  but my WP and iPhone numbers are both in the same group). I should be receiving the same messages simultaneously but my Lumia 800 receives them way later than my iPhone (iPhone rcvs immediately).  Is this WP7's notification bug (or possibly cellular/wifi connection) or is this Whatsapp's problem. I have other IM's but they don't really pop the notification bar out so I'm leaning towards WP7 being the problem. Any suggestions?
  • That's very odd. Restart your phone, reconnect to your WiFi. Otherwise, I couldn't tell you.
  • Thanks anyways!
  • The main thing I've noticed on my titan is that I can run more than 8 apps in the background now. I currently have 12 apps running in the background without getting the app limit message. HTC hd7 has always ran 15 so I think this may have been fixed for my titan with tango.
  • Do you have a TITAN or TITAN II??? I've not been able to get beyond 8112 that came with the phone?
     
    Thanks.
  • So how do I get the other updates because I only got one & that was 7740??
  • Samsung Focus S, T-Mobile??
  • If you updated via the Zune trick, then you have to do it again a few more times until you get to the final update.
  • I forced the update with airplane mode, and now I have the new Nokia Marketplace which is a little bit uglier. Lumia 800; carrier is 3; Sweden. Is it the same for everyone? No one has mentioned it.
  • Have new logo, although I don't have on main screen. I am with 3uk unbranded phone.
  • I received the update notification today for my Nokia lumia 800 but I am experiencing a weird sound problem. When I lower the sound above 10, the sound is still louder till 0. Anyone met this problem?
  • I noticed that there are "Two" improvements for my Lumia 800 and HTC Mozart with Tango update.
    1. The mail client can download and view attachments without any issues, previously you will have "Download incomplete" with Exchange Server prior than version 2010. 2. Faster swift between Wireless and mobile data connection. Before Tango update, I experience difficulties for the phone to have data connection when 1 swift to another. Last, I experience noticeable performance and smoothness improvements!
  • Ok the sound issue is linked to the game Chicken can't Fly with Zune music everything is fine. Where can I find the tethering option?
  • It should be in settings, below bluetooth. Do you have the Nokia Marketplace logo now?
  • In the Arrive for the option of send ringtone to show up you need to have at least one custome ring tone.
    Tango (8779).
  • Anyone with a Samsung Focus S - PLEASE could you try playing some music with the phone connected to an amplified source via the headphone socket - say a car stereo or home theater system. Is there still a loud "pop" when switching tracks? Either manually or when the song ends and moves to the next track?
    I'd love to see if this has been fixed as it was a deal breaker for me getting the Focus S but I'd definitely consider getting one to tide me over until WP8 if this issue has been fixed.
    I'd appreciate it very much....thanks!
  • My lumia 800 still has the popping sound when changing tracks
  • Where are the Call Forwarding Options that was documented back in post
     
    Call forwarding - forward your calls to a designated number for (1) all calls (2) when I don't answer (3) when I am busy (4) when my phone is turned off
     
    Mango only had option to turn Call Forwarding On / Off. I thought Tango was supposed to add these options above or is that OEM/Carrier Specific
    I do have these has options under Call Forwarding via Samsung Wireless Manager by the way..
    But does anybody else have the option ?
     
  • I only have on/off aswell.
  • No call divert options or call barring options.
  • I received my updates (Tango and Samsung firmware) for my Samsung Focus S on Friday via Zune. Haven't really checked things out, but I did get the updates.
  • I have the lumia 900 on at&t in the US. I was able to do the zune trick to update to the TANGO and after my phone rebooted, it made a hardware change, it places a new silent switch on the left side of my phone.
    This is great, now i can easily put my phone on vibrate instead of
    hitting the power button
    then the volume rocker
    then choose vibrate
     
    thanks MS and Nokia
  • Damn... That's pretty sweet!!
  • Seriously? Why even include the opption to share ringtones when all you can do with them is listen to them and not save them to your phone, WT? I mean if you share from one WP to another as soon as the person on the receiving end opens his attachment it freaking goes straight to Zune player, no opption to save the ringtone to your ringtones folder on the phone.. Who in the world though that one up? It must have been the same person who created the new UI for WP 7.8 & 8 without even thinking about the tiles covering up the clock. What is MS doing?
  • Every picture and video i see of the new start screen the tiles are not coving up the clock.
  • Ahh its the whiner from XDA
  • I can confirm that the person on the receiving end must also have Tango. If you do... when you press and hold the text containing the ringtone it will give you an option to "Save as ringtone". Hope your happy now.
  • Have HTC Titan II / Arizona ATT
    Yea tried Airplane mode on,  disconnect on update.
    Tried a dozen times to force it.  Still says I'm up to day.
     
    GRRRRR....
  • WP_elcapo, get a life, I'm not whining just wondering why you dumb ass.
  • Thanks MaulerX for answering my question, unlike other rude people on here with their smart comments.
  • Updated successfully from 8107 to 8112 to 8773 using method above on unbranded HD7 in Australia.  Internet Sharing bug (see above) seems (at least) temporarily fixed: it could conceivably come back when I enable Internet Sharing for the first time (the way it started) - not sure I want to try this now!
  • T-mobile Poland trick worked on nokia 710 (took a long time to update...)
  • Seems only new thing on lumia 800 is tethering and wallpapers... Oh and end call now fails randomly.
  • lumia 800: battery draining quicker than before. Mms update works, flip to silence works, can't find divert call options, tethering works.....camera update software nit available in UK. And that is all there is.. Worth the wait nope.
  • I have a Samsung Focus S and I received the update through AT&T just fine yesterday. I didn't have to hack to get the updates. 
  • I currently have a Sumsung Focus S and I recieved the following updates TODAY:
    7740
    8112
    8773 (Tango)
    Samsung Update for Windows Phone
    I just plugged in my phone to add music (this is a "new"  phone for me aka a replacement device for my became-very-defective Samsung Focus). I checked to see if I need updates and that is when the magic happened. :)
    If you have a Samsung Focus S, I say just plug it in and wait a little. You should be able to get it now.
  • If you flip to silence only works per call. If already faced down the phone will still ring.
  • Unable to sync podcasts directly to my HD7 now. The Subscribe button is missing after updating to Tango;
       Music+Videos > Podcasts > Episodes/Overview [Subscribe] [Unsubscribe]
     
    Is this feature gone for everyone else too?  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp7-wpmusic/podcasts-why-does-the-subscribe-option-appear-on/75eb01bd-b948-4ef2-b741-b30414e7725d
  • I think microsoft have removed the ability to subscribe to podcasts on the phone in countries that don't have access to the podcast marketplace. I've got the same problem on my lumia 800.
     
  • I can export contacts to sim in my windows phone build 8773
    HTC Trophy
  • I just found out that you can listen to the phone radio threw the speaker instead of have a head set. I dont remember it being like this before tango