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Verizon Trophy for a penny at Amazon

If you have been holding out on getting a Verizon Trophy, wait no more.  Amazon is selling them for a single penny with free shipping when you open a new line of service.  This deal is part of a larger Verizon "Penny-pincher"  promotion on Amazon that features all of their Verizon handsets for one cent.  The offer runs between 5:00 p.m. PDT October 11, 2011, through 11:59 p.m. PDT October 17, 2011, or while supplies last.

Source: Amazon

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Omnia 7 on SFR in France now getting Mango update

Omnia 7 users in France and who are on SFR will be happy to note that you should be getting your Mango update today. As noted on the official Windows Phone Blog, Eric Hautala details a bit about the update and tries to reassure others who own phones that are still "in testing" to sit tight, your update is coming too.

Not much else to say on the matter outside of plug in your phones and check for that Mango!

Source: Windows Phone Blog

Side note: Doing a Bing image search for "france sfr" results in some interesting finds.

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Official WordPress app updated to fix previous bug

If you will recall, the official WordPress app for WP7 was updated to version 1.3 to support Mango, but was quickly pulled from the Marketplace due to a bug that the developers found.  WordPress has made its way to version 1.4, which has resolved the issue and still also sports the Mango support of its predecessor.  Along with fast-switching, the updated WordPress also has the following new features from 1.3:

"You can now share pictures directly from your photo album to a new post in the app, as well as pin your blog to the start screen for quick access."

You can download WordPress 1.4 here.  Happy blogging!

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Assuming LG Germany isn't fibbing here, users of the Optimus 7 can expect sometime in the (near) future a small firmware update to enable internet sharing aka tethering. We know the phone's chipset supports the function but since it was a late-added feature to Mango, most OEMs have had only a little time to play with the drivers. Looks like LG though is prepped to enable this for its users, which will involve updating the firmware in a quick and painless fashion.

Lets hope it comes this year.

Source: @LGBlog; Thanks, Cyruss1989, for finding out!

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Official Windows Phone UK review competition

I'm sure we're all aware of (and are actually fairly stunned by) how committed Microsoft is to customers with Windows Phone. I think it's fair to say that we have the best support of all products in the software giant's portfolio, and now the UK branch of the platform has set up a customer review section on their website and Facebook page. Should you love your windows Phone dearly, or have a few suggestions on how the operating system can be improved, then leaving a review of your experience and thoughts will be worth while. There's a prize involved too!

Phones that can be reviewed are; HTC 7 Mozart, HTC HD7, HTC 7 Trophy, HTC Radar, HTC Titan, Samsung Omnia 7, and LG Optimus 7. The team has kindly asked WPCentral to take part in the judging process as well as Stuart Miles from Pocket-lint. Entered reviews will be collected and shortlisted for a winner to be chosen from a handful of well written submissions. I'm sure you're wandering what the prize is? It's a Windows Phone-themed goodie bag including:

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Pictures Lab is one of the top photo editors for a reason on Windows Phone. It's also one of the oldest, now coming up on its first birthday. As a celebration of that milestone and for hitting v3.2 in the last 24 hours, the app is on sale for $0.99, down from its original $1.99. The app went all Mango on us with v3.0 and you can see it in action here.

If that seems like a good deal or you just want to try the trial, head here to the Marketplace.

via @rschu

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It's been awhile since we talked about DFT's custom ROMs for Windows Phone 7, specifically those ROMs for Gen 1 HTC devices. Part of that is because most of us are pretty happy with our ROMs and the other is most of us have the latest version to boot. Still, the appeal of having a completely unlocked OS with a few bonus features is appealing.

DFT is hard at work with the follow up to their original release and in a threat at ol' XDA they have an informal poll about how to support languages (keep the same, go back to an older style, WWE + one language).  But in a small P.S. to the users, they drop the fact that they've figured out WiFi tethering/Internet Shaing for HTC devices--something that's been tough for 1st Gen HTC phones to hack on as of this moment.

And as a nugget of hope for our CDMA friends, when asked about future CDMA support which so far has gone missing, they chime in with "you will get it soon". Sounds good to us and certainly makes the idea of a custom ROM a little more tempting. Then again, you'll still have to wipe the device clean to do this, a hurdle which won't be fixed in #2, so maybe not.

Thanks, Chris P., for the tip using our app!

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Windows Phone Internet Sharing put to the test

In a great write up at WP Down Under by guest contributor DZX, the Windows Phone Internet Sharing option is put to the test on a Samsung Focus (using the same methods we used to load it up on ours). Our experience with Internet Sharing is like many others: simply great. It's fast, easy to use and works every time. But that's a non-critical, non-scientific opinion. What do the numbers say?

DZX looked at three important areas in testing Windows Phone Internet Sharing: speed, battery and range

On speed, it was noted that there was no difference between the speed of the Focus itself versus when being used as a modem. What that means is that you'll experience no loss is 3G speeds when tethering--it's as efficient as you can get with not a drop of bandwidth wasted. Win.

Probably the biggest concern with tethering is the battery. Traditionally, using your phone as a modem drains the battery extremely quickly and while the temperature increased 5°C from idle, it was well within the limits of the device. So how'd the battery do? Turns out, very well. After about 30 minutes of browsing the web on the laptop (consuming 26.6MB and uploading 3.41MB of data), the battery was down 3% or about an hour of 'estimated time remaining'. Translation: Battery life is not significantly impacted by tethering. Win x2.

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iOS 5 vs the Windows Phone Mango update

We'll just leave this funny little result here from Engadget. Looks like Cupertino has some problems on their hands with lots of "issues" going on tonight. See TiPB for more. (Of course we can't gloat too much, after all, having your servers hammered that much isn't necessarily a bad sign for your market share, is it?)

Oh and if you want, go vote now.

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In another great publicity stunt, Microsoft, via Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph, is giving away 25 Windows Phones to those with the best BlackBerry stories of why they are frustrated with the company and their phones.

In case you didn't know, RIM is undergoing some serious issues right now with their BES Email and BIS service, where customers are experiencing major issues world-wide. It's been so bad that the company had to hold a press conference to address that matter (and which did little to alleviate any concern). Needless to say, this is doing nothing for RIM's image nor their plummeting market share and stock.

So it's nice to see Microsoft taking a dig by trying to get a few users to switch over. While 25 is nice, we say Microsoft should aim a little higher though, to really drive the nail in. But that's us.

Read all the coverage on the RIM outage here at our sister site, Crackberry.com

Source: @BenThePCGuy; via @BillCox/@manan

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Board Express gets a major update to version 2.5

For those of you who use Board Express, the Tapatalk client (site) which enables you to effortlessly browse and post to forums, you'll be glad to know that after an eternity, they've finally released a major update with bug fixes galore. It's last major update was in February with 2.0.The bad news, as seems to be the theme today, is it is not Mango-ready.

Still, lets not knock all the major fixes that are on board, which will hopefully resolve most of the problems some folks have been having:

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IM+ v1.7 now available but still not Mango ready

The good news is an updated version of IM+, version 1.7, has just gone live in the Marketplace. The bad news is this is not the Mango-updated version, despite earlier reports from SHAPE Services themselves on the matter.

So what is new?

  • Fast start, scrolling and contact searching;
  • New Yahoo features: "Show address book contacts" and "Logout from all location".

"Fast start" sounds a bit promising and indeed, the app does start and load a tad faster, though we can't help but imagine a Mango version would, you know feel even better (plus that fast-app resume is desperately needed). The contact searching feature is also a great option and scrolling seems a bit smoother to us as well.

We'll reach out to SHAPE Services and see what they have to say about the missing-Mango version. Grab the Pro version here in the Marketplace.

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WiFi Tethering on handsets and the Dell Venue Pro

There has been some confusion surrounding tethering (Internet sharing) in Mango, but a list of supported handsets has been compiled over at the XDA Developer forum. OEMs and carriers have the choice to enable tethering for customers should firmware allow it, for example Orange has recently alerted customers to a tethering add-on, but work has begun for workarounds in enabling the feature. Unfortunately, tethering depends on LAN chipset used and we have bad news for Venue Pro owners.

In one hand we have the handsets that run on the Broadcom 4329 chipset and have tethering functionality, whether it be via OEM activation or by third-party hacks. In the other we have handsets that sport the same chipset but require either the carrier to enable tethering, OEM to support the feature or for workarounds to be posted. So, what devices are able to use tethering and which are still pending?

Supported

  • Samsung Omnia 7
  • Samsung Focus
  • HTC Mozart
  • HTC Titan
  • HTC Radar

Waiting

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The Guardian iPad app looks awesome like Metro

It seems that The Guardian has taken design elements from Metro UI after releasing their Windows Phone app and have applied them to their just-released iPad newspaper. Don't mistake this for a mere copy as the app looks superb on the big screen and does Metro proud.

I see this as well as future implementations with other apps on Apple's platform as a positive sign for Windows Phone.When Windows 8 comes along with the upcoming Xbox Dashboard refresh, we should expect to see more adopters for Microsoft's mobile platform with Metro making its way into competitor eco-systems.

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Those who are eagerly awaiting the Metro UI refresh coming this fall to the Xbox, now's your opportunity as Microsoft has announced a preview program which will be kick started soon. To refresh your memory of what's coming in the update, see a recent video (French). For now they will be collecting information from signups and we can make a safe bet that a large number of folk will register their interest.

Once registered and accepted, the update will be pushed to your console and you'll be able to enjoy the following select features:

  • New design with integrated Kinect voice and gesture controls
  • Beacons
  • Facebook Sharing
  • Cloud Storage for Game Saves and Xbox LIVE Profile
  • Other features as they become available

To register your interest, head on over to the signup process. Be quick and reserve your seat.

Source: Microsoft Connect, via: MajorNelson

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Nokia 800 in Airtel poster

This is interesting since we only just ran the story that Nokia will be coming to India in Q1 2012. We've come across an advertisement poster for Airtel that clearly features the Nokia 800/Sea Ray. Cool tagline too, "Welcome to the future of smartphones". Unfortunately, we're seeing the old logo and less squares, but it's something.

Source: SymbianTweet

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HTC Titan and Radar coming to Taiwan

Today HTC announced that its island home of Taiwan will be seeing the HTC Titan and Radar in the very near future.  The Titan, HTC's new flagship phone, is set to hit shelves later this month at a retail price of Tw$18,900 ($619.67).  The Radar, its lower price point counterpart, is expected in November and will fetch Tw$13,900 ($455.74).

Taiwan joins the expanding Mango marketplace, along with India, who gets official Windows Phone support today.  you can bet that both will see their fair share of the bump in marketing recently promised by WP7 phone manufacturers like HTC.

Source: AFP, Via: WMPowerUser

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Jerry Brown, Governor of California, has blocked passage of bill SB 914, which would require police to have a court order before viewing the contents of a cell phone carried by a detained suspect.  The bill was written by State Senator Mark Leno in response to a California Supreme Court decision that classified cell phones as personal property, the same as a suspect's wallet, bag, etc., which police can currently search without a warrant.  SB 914 was passed by the California legislature and had the support of the ACLU.

Brown clarified his position in a statement:

"This measure would overturn a California Supreme Court decision that held that police officers can lawfully search the cellphones of people who they arrest.  The courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case-specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizures protections."

What's especially alarming about this action is that SB 914 would have prevented police from obtaining private information such as email, texts, financial information and internet history.  All of these things would be considered off limits on a computer without a warrant, but somehow are allowed because they are on a phone.

It's unclear is whether a suspect would be required to disclose a password in the case that they have their phone locked, but to our CA readers, you'd better password-protect your phones, just in case.  Or better yet, don't go getting yourselves arrested!

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Nokia Windows Phones heading to India Q1 2012

According to an interview with the Economic Times, D Shivakumar, Nokia India managing director, has said that the Finnish manufacturer is looking to launch their first Windows Phone handset in India by March 2012. For now it seems Nokia is focusing on Europe to kick-start their advancement before tackling the US and Asian markets.

"Work for the Windows phone is on track and it would be launched in the first quarter of next (calendar) year."

Not long to wait. This goes with Nokia taking on Telstra, but we're unsure of a time frame for launch. Let's not forget that lucky developers in London will be receiving the soon-to-be announced device.

Source: The Economic Times, via: WPSauce

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High quality humorous wallpapers

Some humorous iPhone wallpapers have been cropped over at 1800PocketPC and are ready to fit any Windows Phone. As you can see from the above sample, they look superb and are well work checking out. Glenn is the freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand, who is behind the designs and sells amusing shirts, among other miscellaneous items. Check out his store for the free wallpaper downloads.

Source: Glennz, via: 1800PocketPC

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Some potential good news for those of you on Orange FR and who want to tether: evidently they have the billing plan now in place to charge you to use your Windows Phone as a modem/tethering. Users are being sent a text message that states (translated)

"Service Modem Orange Let's Go is available. Using his mobile as a gateway connection. From € 8 per month for the 200MB option."

Of course Orange France was noted earlier as either disabling this option initially with the Mango update, or perhaps like others, the OEMs just did not have the drivers ready. What this means, assuming it's not a mistake (and it could be just a general message sent to all phones), is that those on Orange should also expect a firmware update to their phone sometime to enable this much desired feature.

We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Source: Mon Windows Phone

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GPSTuner, developers of Turn by Turn Navigation (see GPS showdown), a popular GPS navigation app on Windows Phone are set to bring a new update that will feature Navteq maps with offline capabilities. Not only will the app sport offline usage, but it will be competitively priced to keep GPS apps on the Marketplace within most budgets.

The developer states via Facebook that the app for Europe and the US should be updated this week in the Marketplace (Hungary is already available). Australia will happen when they get maps for Australia, evidently. We'll keep an eye out, of course. Good news though for those who don't want to drop a ton of cash on Navigon, especially our European friends.

Via: Plaffo, thanks for the tip!

Update:  We've learned that this new version of Turn by Turn Navigation will be a total on-board navigation app (maps are downloaded to your Windows Phone) much like NAVIGON.  The difference being that you can choose which maps you download. 

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Here's some interesting statistics that jive nicely with that earlier Australian report on the HTC Mozart. At least on eBay in the UK demand, as measured by increasing prices, has been on the upswing for the last few weeks for certain Windows Phone models, specifically the HTC Mozart, Dell Venue Pro and HTC 7 Pro--basically the creme of the crop, if you ask us.

The measurements, as graphed above, show a steadily increase in price since early September, just when Mango-fever was picking up. The jump in price is also fairly significant, with the 7 Pro going from an average of £240 to £350 in just 30 days.

Sure, it could be coincidence and perhaps other factors are at play here, but to our eyes, this is starting to look like a trend. We should note though, not all Windows Phone are benefiting from the "Mango bump" as the HTC HD7, Samsung Omnia 7 and and HTC Trophy are all down. Thoughts?

Update: WPCentral reader Oli S. lets us know the same trend shows on Amazon.de too, with the HD7 increasing from 330 € to over 400 € now and staying steady.

Big thanks to Lorenc for the info!

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Live in London? Like zombies? Have a Windows Phone? Sweet, then perhaps you'll want to dress up like a walking dead flesh eater to participate in Chaos Created's film shoot next week for their upcoming Windows Phone game 'Zombies Ate My City'.

These are the same folks who created the live-action 'Timedancer' (Marketplace link) for Windows Phone and now they need your help to be a part of their next big title. Bonus: you get your name in the game credits.

Sound like a fun way to spend a few hours? Then head on past the break to get all the details...

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30% percent of Windows Phones now on Mango

It was just six days ago when we reported that Mango hit 20% of Windows Phones world-wide (17% in the US). The info came via the free app "...I'm a WP7!" which collected the data from its 83,000 users.

As of today, the number has hit 30% world-wide with Windows Phone owners in the U.S. following closely at 27%. The data sample this time is also much larger, with over 93,000 users now on board using "...I"m a WP7!", making it even more reliable and statistically significant.  At the current rate, Windows Phone Mango should hit a 50% adoption rate by October 22nd, less than 30 days after the update went "live" for a limited amount of users. Not bad, not bad at all for Microsoft's big-update.

One thing that is for certain, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can deploy such a large update to scale once Windows Phone gains more market share. So long as the number of different Windows Phone devices stays relatively small (compared to Android), we think it shouldn't be a problem.

Pick up a "...I'm a WP7!" here in the Marketplace to see for yourself, as well as other interesting user stats.. (Thanks, Judge Daniel & TheWeeBear for the tip)

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