Microsoft promises HTC Surround NoDo update is in the works

Although the Focus, HD7, Dell Venue Pro and even Quantum have all received their NoDo updates, it looks like the HTC Surround (see review) is still lagging behind, much to the frustration of users.

Good news though as Microsoft says they are "scheduling" updates for the Surround's February and March updates. Translation? You should have it within in the next 10 days.

HTC also tends to have a thing for delivering firmware updates as well, so we'll be expecting a few other "fixes" around the same time.

Source: Microsoft

Possible Nodo Touchscreen Bug [Updated]

While the Nodo Update has brought a series of improvements to Windows Phone 7, it appears it may have also brought a touchscreen bug to Windows Phone as well.

As you can see in the above video, the bug deals with the touchscreen's multi-touch capabilities. The bug doesn't effect single or double touch points but when your multi-touch deals with three or more points the the screen won't hold the points for long.  They basically disappear.

We've tested the bug on our own and found it doesn't seem to effect the WP7 game Quadra with no problems experienced playing with three points on the screen. But with Piano 7, if you hold three keys down simultaneously, after about three seconds the hold disappears (much like you see towards the end of the video). However, I didn't experience any random launches of apps or have to lock the screen to correct any errors.

So, anyone else having issues with multi-touch after updating to Nodo?

Thanks goes out to Grant for tipping us on this!

Update:  Possible bugs are put out there not only as a caution but also to solicit experiences from other users.  The video's author has reached out to us and confirms what many have mentioned in our comments.  The bug appears to be exclusive to the Samsung Focus receiving the official Nodo Update. According to the author, the bug may be a firmware issue that was created during the update process.

Get GAL lookup working post-NoDO

One of perks of NoDo that pertains to the enterprise world is the ability to look up contacts on your Exchange server's Global Address List for Exchange 2003.  However, just applying NoDo might not do the trick.  In order to get the GAL look-up option to show up, you might need to do this:

  1. Delete your current Exchange account on the phone
  2. Reboot your device
  3. Set up your Exchange account again

Once this is done, you can then go into the People Hub and search for a contact.  You will then see the option to "search Outlook directory" as well as the other search options available.

Thanks, Amir for the tip!

Hacked the NoDo update and think you're safe? Think again

Back amongst the chaos of complaints, rants, tantrums and media surrounding the NoDo update process, Chris Walsh released a tool that forces a Windows Phone 7 device to update to NoDo - this hack was later regarded as a life-saver for all users who were impatiently awaiting the update notification.

Since then, there have been numerous reports and articles suggesting the tool (if used to forcefully update your handset) could cause problems down the road with future updates from Microsoft. Again, we have the above capture of a tweet by Brandon Watson reiterating Microsoft's stance on the whole shebang - users wont get past build 7390 with Walshie's tool. 

So if this runs true, who has to work for a fix? Microsoft, or will Walsh be continuously called upon by his faithful following to create more workarounds?

Source: Brandon Watson, via: wpsauce

AT&T NoDo Update: Let the adventures begin

Well, it's official. AT&T has begun distributing the Windows Phone 7 (NoDo) update for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. It hit the airways around lunchtime and many have already updated their Windows Phone.

Most AT&T customers will receive a message on their Focus or Quantum alerting them to the update. If not, simply connect your Windows Phone to your computer and Zune. You can check for the update under the phone settings in Zune.  The entire process takes about an hour and you'll first install the February 2011 update and then the March 2011 update.

While I have successfully updated my Samsung Focus, it wasn't flawless.  Luckily, Microsoft has a nice troubleshooting page set up to help with all the errors we might encounter.  To read more on my adventures in updating, ease on past the break.

AT&T distributing Nodo Update!

We heard rumors last week that today was the day AT&T was to begin distribution of the Windows Phone 7 update, affectionately known as Nodo. The morning came and went with no signs of the rumor holding true but just a few little while ago, AT&T unleashed Nodo.  We've received a number of tips from Focus owners confirming this plus the update popped up when we connected our Focus to Zune.

Nodo is now available for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. The HTC Surround will have to wait until mid-May due to software issues. Along with the standard features, the AT&T Nodo will also include "unique features" such as a WISPr feature that automatically taps into AT&T's hotspots and support for AT&T's Address Book.

According to the update screen, the entire process will take about twenty minutes, first installing the February 2011 update and then the March 2011 update.  We're about to hit the update button and begin the process and if you've already updated your Focus or Quantum,  feel free to share how your thoughts on how everything went and if the wait was worth it.

Thanks to everyone who sent in this tip!

AT&T's "unique" NoDo Features

We're learning a little more on the upcoming AT&T NoDo Update for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. As we mentioned the other day with the expected release on April 19th, the NoDo update will contain additional features unique to AT&T.

Microsoft's Eric Hautala has confirmed that the AT&T update has moved from Testing to Scheduling and adds,

"I forgot to mention the update we’ll be shipping to AT&T customers also includes support for two special AT&T features. The first is “WISPr” protocol support, which makes it possible for your phone’s data connection to automatically switch over to AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots when in range. The update also includes support for AT&T Address Book."

The WISPr support sounds interesting and if you frequent AT&T hotspots, this may save you on data package minutes. You can find out more about the AT&T Address Book here but basically it's an online address book you can sync with your Windows Phone. While having another source for contacts may not be that exciting, the online components to AT&T's Address Book does look interesting.

Hautula also recognizes that delay with the update for Surround owners is probably a letdown but explains that third party software earmarked for the Surround needed additional testing.

source: windowsteamblog

Nodo heading to AT&T on April 19th? [Updated]

Call it a strong rumor. One that many would like to see com true.

A leaked AT&T email to support personnel is indicating that AT&T will finally push out the Windows Phone 7 Nodo update on April 19th for the Quantum and Focus. The HTC Surround should receive the update in mid-May.

Quoting from the leaked email,

"Effective April 19, 2011, new Microsoft maintenance release updates will be available to AT&T customers with existing LG Quantum and Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 devices. Approved updates for the HTC Surround are scheduled for availability in mid-May and will be communicated once approved."

The memo also indicates that this will involve the release of two new Maintenance Release updates (7008 and 73390). The 7390 update is being referred to as NoDo that adds copy/paste as well as additional functionality that is unique to AT&T.  There is no mention as to why the Surround's update is being delayed.

Sounds promising and fortunately it won't be long before we can tell if this rumor is a good one.  Oddly, the Microsoft Update page still shows AT&T's update as "Testing". Then again, Microsoft hasn't updated the update page since April 6th.  We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this.

Source: winrumors Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

Update: We just checked in on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Update Page and, as PugetChowder notes in the comments, it has been updated.  The Quantum and Focus are listed as "Scheduling" which typically means the update will be distributed within the next ten days.  The Surround update, unfortunately, is still listed as "Testing".

Still Nogo on the Nodo Update

Microsoft has released its latest update on the Windows Phone 7 update. Briefly put, there are no changes since the last update.

Eric Hautala is taking it on the chin this week by saying that AT&T is expected to finish update testing in early April. Apparently nobody pointed out to Eric that today was April 13th, a date many consider well past early April.

We're eager to share progress. But these tests are important, and they're just not quite done. I expect to have more to say soon—so please stay tuned.

Blah, blah, blah. Microsoft needs to stop making excuses for delays that carriers are creating and light a fire to get these updates to consumers. We know the tests are important but why is everyone else making progress while others aren't? Are AT&T engineers that much slower than others?

The only saving grace is that the current version of Windows Phone 7 is running great.  Sure, copy/paste would be nice but it'll get here one day. Thankfully this isn't a critical update needed to correct major problems with system stability.

What concerns me is how Microsoft seems to be surrendering the update process to the carriers. Wasn't Windows Phone 7 supposed to be a more controlled environment?  If Microsoft can place requirements on Windows Phone 7 manufacturers and developers why can't they put requirement on carriers with respect to update?  A requirement stating testing must be concluded 45 days after the update is released to the carriers?

This is the first update for Windows Phone 7 and maybe we should cut Microsoft some slack.  However, if Microsoft can't get a handle on the update process, it will only create more problems down the road with future updates.  Problems that will only hurt Windows Phone 7's chances for success.

Just as a reminder, you can check the current status of the Nodo update through Microsoft's Update Page or from your Windows Phone by using the "Dude, Where is my update" app.

source: Windowsteamblog

NoDo causing color banding issues, temp fix for unlocked devices

For some who have rolled out the NoDo update, they've begun to notice a color banding issue, causing color gradients to be less than smooth, to say the least (see the above image).

Why this change was made and what's being done to alleviate it is currently not known (though we may ask around today/tomorrow). Needless to say, having a reduction in color depth and smoothness from getting an update may upset a few (this is noticeable on the HD7). 

A fix has been found but unfortunately it requires a dev unlocked device and since NoDo broke most ChevronWp7 jailbroken devices, not many can take advantage of this trick. Still, for those with legit dev unlocked phones, here you go:

HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\PrimBPP dword 32

HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\bpp dword 32

HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\PanelBPP dword 24

If you have this issue and access to this fix, let us know if it works for you. Oh and we're told via Android Central that this issue is common to Android as well. Still doesn't make us feel any better...

Source: XDA; via wmpu; Image: thanks, Robert Varga

Windows Phone Radio on updates, ChevronWP7.updater not FUD

Windows Phone Radio, Microsoft's official Windows Phone 7 podcast, returns with hosts Brian Seitz and Matt Akers to discuss the weekly update blog posts by Eric Hatula (NoDo) and later joined by Brandon Watson to talk about the ChevronWP7.updater.

Firstly, let's cover what is really meant when updates are in the "testing" stage over on Where's my update?...

Dude, WIMU goes to v1.1, gets statistics

For those of you still waiting on your NoDo, or even if you're just curious about those around you, you'll want to grab the new version of 'Dude, Where's my update?'. See our original coverage here.

How it works is you choose from a menu your regional location and phone type and the app does the rest. Showing your current OS version, if you have OS updates ready and now the stats. The stats, both local and global, are actually really neat. As you can see from the above pic, here in New York City there are already 40 users at 6am with the majority running 7004 and eight running 7390. Not bad, NYC, not bad. Scrolling down and you can even see what phones are popular in your area. (Hint: Samsung Focus owns in Manhattan)

We imagine if enough people use this, it can actually be a useful guide for garnering real numbers in your area. The app is of course free and we really dig the whole concept behind it, so endorsement or whatever. You can download it here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, Alan, for the heads up

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

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).

Source: Windowsteamblog

ChevronWP7.Updater pulled, breaks future updates on Windows Phones? Maybe not.

Information is a bit murky, but it looks like there could be a problem with the recently released ChevronWP7.Updater that was posted a few days ago by Chris Walsh. The updater as of now has been pulled offline with no explanation given. Based on Microsoft's own tools for fixing NoDo installation errors, Walsh was able to modify it so that it forced a NoDo update for any device queued for the ROM upgrade without any "hacking" to the phone itself.

Adding fire to the mix is a report, unconfirmed, from the::unwired who said this:

According to Microsoft, the use of ChevronWP7.Updater could possibly put the updated Windows Phone 7 device into a state where it cannot receive future regular updates to the OS anymore and the only fix will be re-flashing the device with an original stock ROM. At the end of the day if could mean that such Windows Phone 7 devices have to be send to the manufacturers or carriers service centers because unlike for Windows Mobile, stock ROMs are officially not available as a public download for end-users.

However, before we all start panicking, the man himself, Chris Walsh, has chimed in on Twitter saying "Don't believe everything you read" in response from numerous people mentioning the potential issues.

Pure speculation here, but we imagine Microsoft asked Walsh to pull the update till they could test all the ramifications of the hack. In the process, some premature dire warnings made it out to the 'net without 100% confidence behind them e.g. better to be cautious than not. In short, if you haven't done this update yet, your best bet is to wait a few days for the dust to settle as we're sure Walsh and Microsoft will have something to announce on the matter when something definitive can be said.

Source: the:unwired, My Coding Adventures, Twitter 1, Twitter 2

o2 rolling NoDo out as planned

Recently we covered o2 claiming that they're looking to push NoDo update out for customers on April 5th, which is today. Long and behold folk are begining to announce they're updating and we've had a reader tip us that he's received the update notification and is updating his device too. Seems o2 held their word and all WP7 users on o2 UK should begin to receive the notification from today onwards.

Have you received the update notification on o2 yet?

Thanks StaticPlaya for the tip!

Samsung Focus update imminent?

Being a member of the Chevron team, Chris Walshie isn't one to raise false awareness or hope, so Focus owners could be in with some luck shortly, which is fantastic news. According to his tweet, the update will a Bluetooth fix may be specifically targeted, and hopefully bundled with NoDo. We previously covered Dell teasing about NoDo and a post-NoDo firmware update, and it would be great to see Samsung nail it all in one.

We're not currently aware what the safe steps to update are should you have updated your device prematurely. If any information be made available from a source or Focus user who updates, we will of course publish it.

Via: MobilityDigest

NoDo update hack released--works for every device, every carrier right now

Last night on the Twitter, Chris Walsh, aka one of the people who brought ChevronWP7 to the masses, was working on something "big", having Raphael Rivera testing something related to those new tools release by Microsoft. Those tools were meant to fix two rare but possible update errors people may be experiencing with the NoDo updater.

Turns out, when modified, those tools were able to force pre-NoDo and NoDo updates to any phone, any carrier with any language. Indeed. There's no sideloading here, no modifying of registries, etc. Just a multi-step process that will bring you the update to your phone right now.

Basically they’ve created a managed wrapper over the whole update process for us, rather nice of them.

So I flashed my HTC Mozart back to RTM (7004) via a ROM update HTC ship and whipped up a little application to flash pre-NoDo (7008), NoDo (7355), NoDo update 1 (7389) & NoDo update 2 (7390) all in a single process. No I don’t care which carrier you are on, which phone you have, it’ll just update your phone accordingly.

We really have to commend Microsoft here for being able to split up the OS updates into differential packs, which saves users downloading 200+ MB updates, unlike the IFruit updates.

All you need to do is run the ChevronWP7.Updater.exe console app and follow the prompts.

For the instructions and custom updater file (both for 32 and 64 bit Windows), go to Walsh's blog for more info. [Also, see Simple Mobile Review for a step-by-step walkthrough]

Windows Phone Support Tool fixes NoDo update errors

One story that has gone mostly unmentioned, due to the non-drama, is how smoothly the NoDo updates have been going for thousands now--meaning we're not having the botched updates we saw with the February/pre-NoDo update.

Still, on the rare occasion there are still a few errors happening (though we haven't heard anyone complain yet to us). Specifically there are two errors that seem to affect a small amount of users that have the following codes:

  • 800705B4: The timer ran out on what we were trying to do.
  • 80180080: We couldn't update your phone because your operating system might be corrupt.

For those, Microsoft has released a special tool, preventing users from fiddling with their hard disk space and/or hard-resetting their phone. If you do have the above mentioned errors, head to Microsoft support to grab the special tool and get 'er fixed already.

Source: Microsoft Support; Thanks, Kevin W, for the heads up

Dude, Where is my Update? Released

Dude, Where is my Update?

A question most Windows Phone owners have been asking lately and now there's an app to help answer that question.  Unfortunately, some of us still may not like the answer.

"Dude, Where is my Update?" taps into the Microsoft Update Page and pulls up the latest Nodo update status, based on your location and phone. Your status is aptly illustrated with the appropriate smiley faces and the date/time of the last time the status was updated.

"Dude, Where is my Update?" is an interesting way to keep up with your update status while on the run. The app is free and you can download your copy here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.  Oh...and from your Windows Phone, just search "Dude WIMU" to find it through your Marketplace app.

Source: Emad Ibrahim  via: @BrandonWatson