Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Windows Phone 7 "Instant Resuming" hack makes the OS even faster [Homebrew]

Over at Windows Phone Hacker, developer Jaxbot has figured out a way to enable "instant resuming" on Windows Phone 7.

Of course, you'll need a developer unlocked device and as they state there are some "unintended consequences" (though we don't know what those are exactly, we imagine it's memory/resource related). By using a registry editor, you can navigate to:


and set "DehydrateOnPause" to 0 (defaults to 3)

Facebook's New HTTPS Mode May Break Facebook Syncing


If you want your Facebook pictures to sync, don't turn on HTTPS! Facebook has a new security feature that lets you use secure HTTPS protocols when possible in order to help keep your private data private. However, if you turn this option on, some Facebook app connectivity may be broken. For example, on Windows Phone 7, if you turn on HTTPS you may notice that your friends' photos no longer update, you will no longer see any images in your "What's New" Feeds, and you won't see Facebook photo libraries update in the Pictures hub. The same is true with the older HTC Sense UI installations in Windows Mobile 6.x as well as some Android Facebook integration customizations. Most native Facebook clients are unaffected by the change.

Nokia R&D Already Testing Four Windows Phone 7 Handsets?


Eldar Murtazin, the so-called James Bond of mobiles, has made an interesting tweet according to which Nokia, Microsoft's fresh hardware manufacturer partner, already has not one or two but four Windows Phone 7 handsets.

Research and Development inside Nokia is allegedly playing with four Windows Phone 7 devices. According to Murtazin, two of these are obeying the current chassis specifications (that is 1GHz processor, minimum of 8GB memory and five-megapixel camera). The interesting bit comes at the end where Nokia is said to also have an additional two smartphones obeying the next-gen chassis specifications.

'NoDo' fixes Marketplace update bug too


Since the HTC Arrive on Sprint comes with 'NoDo' built in, we've been obviously testing what has/has not changed. And although we know it has copy/paste, refined Marketplace search and performance enhancements, one other little thing we noticed is fixed: the Marketplace app update bug.

If you recall, we did a video ("Tip: Force an app update in the Windows Phone Marketplace") showing how when a new update is available for an app you have installed, sometimes there's a delay with the Marketplace reflecting that. So you would navigate over to see the new version listed but no way to update it manually. The trick was to hit the back button, then go back to the app description and then you would see the "update" option (just watch the video).

HTC HD7S for AT&T hitting 'in coming weeks'


HTC and AT&T have taken the lid off the HTC HD7S, a Windows Phone 7 device sporting HTC's now-favorite 4.3 inch screen with Super LCD technology, a 1GHz processor, SRS WOW / Dolby Audio, and a 5MP camera 'round back capable of 720p HD video recording flanked by a dual-LED flash. NoDo / Copy/Pase will also be on board.

In other words, we seem to be looking at an AT&T version of the HD7, albeit loaded up with AT&T's "suite" of software like U-verse for TV and tha swanky Super LCD (which fixes the HD7's biggest problem, in our opinion). We're on the ground at CTIA Spring 2011 and we'll bring you more as we get it!

Thurrot defends himself against Microsoft, stance on Windows Phone 7

Paul Thurrott has been both a big vocal supporter and critic of Windows Phone 7, revealing key information but also giving the company "tough love", holding them to a higher standard. In turn, even some players at Microsoft are evidently getting weary of his "rants" against them, with some of them publicly "throwing him under the bus".

Here, in an excerpt for his weekly podcast, Thurrott defends himself and to be honest, we can't blame him too much--we just know that Microsoft is a lumbering juggernaut when they need to be sprite, so most of what has transpired lately is of little surprise to us.

HTC Arrive review: Welcome, Windows Phone 7, to copy/paste


We expect a fair amount from a phone that represents Sprint's first investment into Windows Phone 7, is the United State's first CDMA Windows 7 phone, and is the first of its OS to ship with the long-awaited addition of copy/paste. Thankfully, the HTC Arrive delivers.

There are a few points of concern, but for the most part, the Arrive is a likable smartphone with a great keyboard and a handy tilting screen that makes a good addition to Sprint's lineup. Be sure to check out the video, slideshow, and more details in our full review.

Upcoming WP7 Games Shown In Inside Xbox Coverage


A couple of upcoming Windows Phone 7 games are referenced inside Microsoft's coverage of Inside Xbox Event with information and even demo of the upcoming Xbox Live enabled titles.

Doodle Jump and Fable Coin Golf are just a couple of them. We know Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies are coming in the next period so there will be a lot of exciting gaming titles to choose from. Full House Poker has been just released to the Marketplace a couple of days ago and with so many games, we wonder whether there will ever be a demand for a slide-out game controller device, The Xbox Phone. Microsoft could certainly take that into consideration (at 9:30 marker).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Ad Has Man Dropping Android in Toilet


You've undoubtedly seen this ad for Windows Phone 7 before (we posted about it last November). But watch it again. If features a man awkwardly looking at his mobile phone while using a urinal, only to drop it into the toilet moments later; he then pulls the phone out of the urinal and resumes checking for messages, much to the dismay of of an onlooker. If you go to the 13 second mark, you'll notice something interesting: the phone the man uses is an Android phone! Anyone want to try guessing which Android phone it is? It seems to have the HTC weather clock on the homescreen.

Microsoft putting Windows Phone 7 on promotional tour...in France


Well, who says Microsoft isn't trying? Between the ads, TV show placements, developer out reach and evidently now putting the phone "on tour", Microsoft at least seems to be trying to get the word out.

From March 16th to May 7th, they'll be going around France giving demos of the phone and even raffling off an HD7 to a few lucky peeps. We suppose it's a good idea that can't hurt, but lets see if it drums up sales.

Facebook App experiencing intermittent crashing


The official Facebook application, brought to you by Microsoft, is experiencing some odd crashing issues with some users. Checking the Marketplace for the application and reading some reviews featured on the app summary page displays a clear indication as to the scale of the problem.

We have attempted to reproduce the issue ourselves, and were only able to report one instance (Samsung Focus - another Focus worked however) that experienced crashes when running the Facebook app. It appears (at this early stage) to be randomly tripped with no apparent cause(s) being identified.

HTC 7 Pro (Europe) 'NoDo' ROM leaked on XDA


Although the Sprint HTC Arrive (aka CDMA 7 Pro) comes with 'NoDo' built in, thankfully avoiding any needed "updates", the European 7 Pro which came out a a few months ago, obviously does not.

Keeping up with the unlocked HD7, Trophy and Mozart leaked ROMs, the 7 Pro evidently now has it as well. According to forum member Football (who hails from Moscow and seems to have a solid rep at XDA), this ROM version has a filename of:


Clove getting Dell Venue Pro on March 26


After a plethora of delays and limited availability through Dell, Clove's blog reports that they will be receiving SIM free stock of Dell Venue Pros for the UK on March 26. The vertical QWERTY slider will sell for £350.00 straight-up, or £420.00 with VAT. Clove admits that the long-awaited Venue Pro "will not be available in huge quantities at launch," so order soon if you are sick of waiting.

Google releases AdMob WP7 SDK Beta


Yesterday Google released AdMob Windows Phone SDK Beta for download. The SDK, which includes HTML5 support, allows developers to "easily integrate advertising into their applications, control where the ads appear, and what types of ads are shown in their apps." Text and banner ads can be linked to websites or directly to the Marketplace. The SDK maintains the same look and feel as WP7 and allow users to click on an ad, then smoothly return to their current application.

Zune hardware biz developer: "I'll be going to work tomorrow"


Microsoft has responded to the "Zune (hardware) is dead" meme that has taken off like a hurricane ever since the Bloomberg article the other day:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device -- but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

Is the HTC Ignite a new Windows Phone?


File this one under rumor, with contradictions

The above image comes to us from XDA.cn, which in fairness, does get a high amount of accurate leaks--well, they get it right some of the time. The above rendering is of the supposed HTC Ignite, a device rumored for a mid-2011 release. As Pocketnow notes, the HTC Ignite is also listed on UK etailer King of Gadgets, so the name may be in use by HTC after all (although to be honest, it sounds like Android for some reason).

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace hits 10,000 apps, Microsoft WP7 updates still way outnumbered


It's a milestone in the life of any OS: the day you reach that magical 10,000 app number. Windows Phone 7 is the latest kindred soul to achieve the feat, accomplishing the task in just over four and a half months -- that's faster than both the Android Marketplace and iTunes App Store. Microsoft's been adding around 1,000 apps a week since it hit 5k right before the New Year, and as of late that rate's been picking up.

Yahoo Mail gets IMAP patch, Windows Phone 7 data consumption catches a break


Yahoo had been pegged a few weeks ago as the culprit behind excessive data usage on Windows Phone 7 devices, sending far more information in replies to requests from the phone than necessary -- not really a big deal for those on unlimited data plans, but a legitimate cause for concern if you've got a data cap and overage to worry about (as more and more customers on AT&T do these days). Well, turns out Yahoo went ahead and updated its IMAP servers at some point in the last few days, fixing the issue and more or less obliterating the ravenous gobbling of kilobytes.

Microsoft taking 'extra time' to make sure Windows Phone 7 copy and paste update is solid, targeting late March

Eric Hautala -- the cog in the Microsoft machine responsible for Windows Phone 7's update mechanism -- has taken to the company's official Windows Phone blog today to deep-dive on some of the concerns, problems, and delays that have dogged the platform's updates so far. In brief, Hautala says that the glitches that hosed the small February update for a few customers has brought the company to pause and take the time to make sure everything's rock solid before proceeding with the so-called NoDo update

Monday, March 7, 2011

Is this a prototype Sony Ericsson Windows Phone?


A picture has surfaced of what appears to be a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone, sporting a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, akin to the LG Qunatum and HTC 7 Pro. The picture evidently appeared on Lizhecome and was picked up by Xperia Blog.

As Pocketnow points out, some of those tiles look like the old, early development ones from when the OS was first introduced in February 2010. That could either mean this was a prototype device, back when SE was announced as a key launch partner, or...ya know, it's fake.

HTC YouTube app hacked for all [Homebrew]


Although we've seen quite a few OEM apps ripped from their exclusive hardware (see Samsung, LG) there was one HTC app that proved extremely difficult: YouTube HD.

The app had unique tie ins to the hardware and some real custom programming that made ripping a functional app impossible. However, it has finally been done by Tom Hounsell, who's been very big on the XDA seen and led the charge on making these apps available for all (who have a developer unlocked device).

Microsoft releases another "Surprise" ad for Windows Phone

Looks like Microsoft (with AT&T) is rolling our yet another ad, continuing the same theme with close-ups of the OS on the Samsung Focus. This one is called "Surprise" asking "When was the last time your phone surprised you? In a good way." Going by the label, it looks like this will also air on TV at some point, so keep your eyes open.

So far, we like this new campaign and think it does justice to the phone and OS, as much as you can in 30 seconds.

Windows Phone 7 Update Round Two: Only 100 effected?


Microsoft resumed sending out the pre-NoDo update the other day and while there’s still a few bugs in the system, Microsoft is reporting that only around 100 users, worldwide, are currently having issues with the update.

Microsoft is basing the number of users adversely affected due to the fact they have received reports from about 100 users worldwide. Granted, it could be possible that more had issues but just didn’t report them. We also don’t know how many updates were attempted.

Qualcomm sees promise with Nokia Windows Phones


According to Qualcomm, the Nokia Windows Phone might pay off nicely for the chip maker. Speaking at a technology conference, Qualcomm CFO Bill Keitel noted that Qualcomm is the only chip player qualified for Windows Phone 7 right now and while the company “took some lumps” for dedicating research and development to WP7, they see the Nokia deal could be promising.

Nielsen survey: Windows Phone/Mobile at 10% in U.S.


Looks like all is not doom and gloom with Windows Phone 7. While there have been plenty of surveys noting that the OS is not catching on as fast, Microsoft has always taken the position that this is a marathon, not a race and that eventually the OS will break through.

According to a new Nielsen survey, Microsoft's mobile OS's (Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile) command 10% of the market share. This is actually quite a jump, if accurate, from the oft-cited 6% number that we've seen in other surveys.

New Windows Phone 7 Spot: 'Everything a Smartphone Should Be'


The "What if" Samsung Focus spot from last month turned out to be one of the most popular Windows Phone 7 ads to date. It quickly and effectively shuffled through a bevy of software features, so potential consumers could actually see what the platform offers as a whole. Microsoft just released another video which capitalizes on the momentum introduced by that cool presentation. Essentially an extended version of the aforementioned ad, this new video showcases Windows Phone 7 at a slower pace, complete with multiple software visuals and testimonials. Check it out and give us your opinion in the comments below.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 9,000--right on schedule


Time for our usual punch-in-the-arm reminder that growth in the Marketplace is a steady as a ninja's hand, hitting the 9,000 mark today. Like clockwork, the addition of 1,000 new apps and games comes exactly two-weeks after the last mini-milestone.

We noted in early January that if the trend keeps up, the Marketplace will hit 10,000 by mid-March. We're now certain that will happen. The big question we have is will the 500 per week number ever increase? (Oh, regarding the image...it's a silly 4Chan meme. 'Aww Yeah Guy' will be back in two weeks)

Fan-Made Windows Phone 7 Ad Better Than Official Ones


We've seen quite a lot of Windows Phone 7 ads, some of which people liked, some of which they did not, but it's not every day we get the chance to see a professionally-looking fan-made ad for Windows Phone 7.

Digital Artist Brandon Foy has made a really great looking Windows Phone 7 concept ad, showing off the tiles, panoramas, all the good stuff in Windows Phone 7. We believe it might even be better than some of the official ones. Check it out below and let us know of your thoughts!

United States & the HD7 dominate app stats for Windows Phone 7


mtiks is a mobile analystics company who monitors app usage as well as piracy on various platforms, including Windows Phone 7. They just released some numbers for February that they've collected and while it is a limited selection, the trend seems to be clear: HTC and the United States dominate Windows Phone 7 app usage.

That's probably not too surprising--the U.S. is the home base for Microsoft and AT&T and T-Mobile did push out five devices in 2010 supporting the OS. On the other hand, the U.S. also launched WP7 a month later and is missing on two carriers (CDMA).

IE9 With Silverlight Support To Hit Windows Phone 7 Before ManGo?


We already know from the Microsoft Keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year that Redmond id planning on bringing Internet Explorer 9 to the mobile platform, among other great stuff, like Twitter integration and fast app switching.

According to WMPowerUser, Internet Explorer 9 could hit Windows Phone 7 devices as a separate update, or, as part of a separate update, before the rumored ManGo refresh. IE9 would also add Silverlight support as well as HTML5, making Windows Phone 7 a really competitive platform browser-wise.

Microsoft loaning 50 Windows Phones at CeBIT for the day


While CeBIT is no Mobile World Congress, it is nonetheless a pretty big tech show focused on digital technology. While it is not shocking to find Microsoft there demoing Windows Phone, it looks like they came up with a unique way to get people to try the devices: lend 50 of them out for the day. (They're also giving away 10 in a contest)

Yup, evidently you can sign up (and we imagine exchange some kind of collateral) to carry around and use a Windows Phone all day at the conference. Gives new meaning to "hands on experience" and we think this is a great way to spread the word, because if it's one thing we know, when people actually try Windows Phone 7, they always walk away impressed.

Windows Phone 7 going to Japan by year's end


We already know that one of the big goals of Windows Phone in 2011 is expansion: more languages, more markets. In fact, it was stated by Andy Lees that they want 88% of the languages covered this year. Japan is obviously a huge part of that market, so it is not too shocking that Microsoft plans to launch there this year.

Angry Birds headed to Windows Phone 7 in spring


Rovio's hit game Angry Birds is landing on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform in "late spring," along with five other titles beginning on a weekly basis.

Microsoft announced the title's inclusion as part of its Spring Showcase event, taking place today in San Francisco.