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Although lots of folks have received the update for the Samsung Omnia 7, officially at least it's still not available--or rather the firmware that's tied into it is not as easy to get (you can still force-update to Mango, but not get the firmware).

We got word now that Microsoft has updated the "Where's My Phone Update" list and whereas before it said "Except Samsung Omnia 7 models" it has now changed to the more favorable "Except Samsung Omnia 7 models, which are Testing at this time."

Hey, baby steps. At this rate, we're thinking by the end of October sounds like a plausible date for actual release. We'll keep an eye out. Thanks, Gary M., for the heads up!

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We've covered the Jil Sander E906 handset, which is a Windows Phone handset with a minimalistic design, with press photos and passing through WiFi Interoperbility certification. Powered by Mango and a 1Ghz processor, this Jil Sander handset is perfect for anyone who's either a fan of simplistic fashion or follows the trend of the this designer.

A quick recap on some other features include a 3.8-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p. A Jil Sander app is bundled with the device which allows users to browse clothing collections and more. The handset is set to go on sale in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the UK on October 7th.

Update: Today's the day, the handset is featured on the Jil Sander website (Mobile > Phone) and check out the official video below:

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One of our readers, David (aka SilverSharkDev), as informed us about a Mango app he’s been working on called Content Shield. The purpose of the app is to store various kinds of data and protect it should someone else get hold of your phone.

Content Shield stores the following kinds of information:

  • Passwords – Store various kinds of passwords so you don’t forget them. Categories include Facebook, Twitter, etc. Passwords can be copied and then pasted directly into the phone’s web browser.
  • Jokes – Add text jokes of your own or download them from the developer’s Twitter feed.
  • Agenda – Add items to your to-do list, categorize them, and then move them to the Completed page when done. To help remind users of uncompleted tasks, the most recent task appears at the top of the Content Shield Main Menu. Tapping on it jumps straight into the Agenda. The number of incomplete tasks also appears on the app’s Live Tile.
  • Shopping – Create shopping lists in various categories, including groceries and birthdays. Any item in your list can be instantly searched for in the web browser. Don't forget to buy Christmas presents for the WPCentral staff!

The protection aspect of Content Shield comes down to password protecting individual sections of the app. Create a password and a reminder, and then assign it to anything or everything so that other people can’t view or change things. Me, I simply rely on my phone’s lock screen password to protect my stuff, but this could be useful for people who share their phones for whatever reason.

The developer promises to add more features over time. Content Shield will appear on the Marketplace soon, and it will be free.

Head past the break for a second video preview that demonstrates Content Shield’s Agenda and Shopping functions.

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Looks like the "short but sweet" version of some new Windows Phone ads have been put up by Microsoft. The spots, timing in at about 15 seconds each, demonstrate various features of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, including:

While just shorter versions of that nice, long commercial we saw a few days ago, hopefully we'll start to see these play...you know, on TV or on the web somewhere so that folks can actually see the phone.

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Samsung AllShare DLNA workaround patched?

Just a few days ago we published a how to that allows Samsung Windows Phone owners to use AllShare, the OEM DLNA app, even though it may not "officially support" the handset (Focus and Omnia 7). It involves exiting the app just before an error appears on-screen and then resuming the app via multi-tasking control.

We've now received reports from readers that this workaround no longer works, thus meaning Samsung has released a patch to prevent use of the app on unsupported handsets. I've attempted to perform the steps in our how to after re-installing AllShare and it does indeed still work, but the time limit we have to press the home button seems shorter. As soon as the transition effect appears on screen when you open AllShare, this is when you must press the home button, before the splash screen.

Let us know if you're hitting a brick wall or can still get around the stupefied error message. Before I forget, here's AllShare for the PC, should you have require the software. As an alternative, may we suggest onePlayer for your DLNA musings? It works exceptionally well for us and has a free trial.

Thnaks everyone who has tipped us on the issue!

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Global research firm comScore has released a new market share report that show Android increasing its lead from Apple, which remains in second place. Looking at the figures above, we can see Android almost hitting 44% of the U.S. market, with Apple on 27%, RIM at 19% and Microsoft at just under 6%.

RIM experienced a massive 5% drop since the previous report earlier this year. Microsoft (combined OSs) has fallen .1%, which shows the continued extinction of Windows Mobile and the rise of Windows Phone. August, being the month before Mango will hopefully show different results to what we will see in comScore's next report. Let's see a rise in market share for the software giant!

Source: comScore, via: SlashGear

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Summarizing our iPhone 4S summary - the handset lags in terms of innovation and improvements that many Apple fans were hopeful of, especially a new design. What's positive from the keynote is what this means for manufacturers on Android and Windows Phone (as well as other platforms). HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Acer, Dell and the rest now have the opportunity to push forward beyond the reaches of the iPhone in this brawl.

DigiTimes has learned from industry sources that the iPhone 4S is now lagging behind mainstream smartphones:

"The iPhone 4S comes without a larger display and with a download speed of only 14.4Mbps for HSPA, and does not support LTE and NFC technologies although it is powered by a more powerful processor and comes with more advanced camera and video functionality, the sources pointed out.

Although Apple also launched an entry-level 8GB iPhone 4 and cut the price of its iPhone 3GS, the effectiveness of such tactics will be limited as iPhone fans will still prefer to buy new models and the low-priced iPhones will not be able to compete with Android phones in the entry-level segment, commented the sources."

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Once again, Occasional Gamer's phone stats page reveals a few new Windows Phones.

This time around we see the Nokia 800--a device still shrouded in a bit of mystery--get a nickname: Lumia. Not much is known about the 800/Lumia series but it could very well be SeaRay with a different name--in fact, it jives nicely with the Nokia Sun on Orange, since Lumia="Art from light", ergo Sun . We're only expecting two, maybe three, Nokia Windows Phones this year meaning we could be seeing variants of the same core device (we're not even clear on the Sabre/SeaRay distinction yet). See also the Nokia 703.

The other phone is the Samsung Monument, which like the HTC Ultimate, sounds like an epic phone. Then again, Samsung's big device these days is the Galaxy SII which takes the form of the Focus S for Windows Phone. Could this be the Focus S for another carrier or just a whole new device? We're betting on the former but we'll look for more info.

Source: Occasional Gamer

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Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011

Sadly, one of the greats of our time and a revolutionary of this technological world, Steve Jobs has passed away today. Apple sent out the following press release to confirm what the public was not looking forward to hearing:

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."

While the news may not specifically be WP7 related, we would be remiss to forget that it was under his leadership that the entire mobile tech world was flipped over with the release of the original iPhone in 2007. Without Steve Jobs, we may not have made the amazing advancements in technology that we've had, and for that, we thank him.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. You fought well and hard to your very last days. Here at WPCentral, we will remember your contributions for a very long time to come. Cheers to the foundation that you laid before us, and to the bright future that is still ahead because of your work.

Source: Apple; via TiPB

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This is interesting, yet saddening, news for our student developers in the community. According to a statement from the Windows Phone Marketplace support team, student developers will have to close their DreamSpark accounts once their studies have finished, unpublish apps on the student account, open a paid developer account and re-submit apps due to no migration facilities being available.

The official statement:

"You'll have to wait until the App Hub account expires, then renew your Live ID with DreamSpark. App Hub gives you a 30 day grace period to renew, so don't worry about your published apps.

To re-verify as a student, go to www.dreamspark.com, sign in with your Live ID, click verify on the left-hand side of the screen (if there is a tick mark next to it, your subscription hasn't expired yet).

There is no way to change the account type. The only way to renew is with an active DreamSpark account. If that is not possible, you will have to create a paid account, unpublish the apps from the student account and submit them under the new one. The app IDs will be different as there is no way to migrate data."

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File this under interesting, but it looks like Orange may be one of the first confirmed carriers to be getting a Nokia Windows Phone. The phone is the unheard of Nokia "Sun" (S46) which in this case, we're thinking is a re-brand of the Nokia Sabre or SeaRay The information comes by way of MonWindowsPhone in what appears to be an internal-Orange release list.

The phone has the following specs:

  • Windows 7.5 Phone Mango
  • Availability for week 46: 7-13 November 2011
  • 1.4Ghz Processor
  • Unibody shell polycarbonate
  • 16GB Memory
  • Photo 8Mpx
  • 3.7-inch AMOLED screen
  • Micro sim card

The one new feature appears to be confirmation of a 1.4GHz CPU, which should give the device some ample horsepower. The design, including the 3.7" screen and micro SIM card matches with what we've heard the Sabre's specs to be but could also be the SeaRay. But perhaps the most exciting news is the availability--the second week of November, just two weeks after Nokia World. It's at Nokia World where we expect the company to finally unveil its Windows Phone lineup in full detail--and of course WPCentral will be there to cover every aspect. Stay tuned...

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With the news of on-demand TV content for Xbox 360 officially confirmed, Windows Phone owners might be feeling a little neglected. Don’t worry, guys, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about us. In fact, watching TV on the 360 will be even more convenient for people with Windows Phones. That’s because Microsoft just announced the Xbox Companion App for WP7!

Ben Rudolph at the Windows Blog shares his experiences with the app:

  • "Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

Microsoft has been promising stronger Xbox 360 and Windows Phone integration for a long time, and now it’s finally happening. The availability of the app, provided Microsoft advertises it a little bit, should help promote Windows Phones to Xbox 360 users, which can only be good. Speaking of availability, the Xbox Companion App doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it should materialize sometime shortly after the Fall 2011 Dashboard update, which lands in November. It will of course be free.

Make the jump after the break to see video highlights of what's coming to the Xbox consoles. Around the 1:00 mark you'll see the new Windows Phone app in action.

Source: Windows Blog

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Ringtone collection building in the Forums

One of the 500 features included in the Mango update included that ability to import custom ringtones on your Windows Phone. We've already touch on how to get the ringtones on to your Windows Phone. We've also looked at a few of the ringtone apps available on the Marketplace (Pimp my Ringtone, 1,777 Ringtones and Ringtone Maker (which isn't really a ringtone maker)).

The last piece of the puzzle, so to speak, is that a decent collection of ringtones are being gathered over in our Forums. In this discussion, you can find ringtones from Kid Rock, Dean Martin, Beastie Boys and Metallica. You can also find Homer Simpson and the theme from Rawhide.

All you need to do is download the attached file, make sure the genre is "ringtone" and import it to your Windows Phone (through the Zune software). The tone will appear in your Ringtone and Sounds settings as custom.

If you've got a favorite ringtone you'd like to share or one your looking for, feel free to join in on the Forum discussion.

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For the first time ever, annual spending on mobile advertising is expected to exceed $1 billion in the United States.  Market research firm eMarketer predicts that the total will reach somewhere around $1.23 billion by the end of the year, nearly double 2010's mark of $743 million.  EMarketer credits the immense growth to increased confidence in the medium, which has been bolstered by more bang for their investment buck in the fast-growing mobile market.  With 38% of consumers using smartphones to access the internet at least once per month, it's no wonder.

EMarketer used three kinds of advertising for their calculation: display ads, search ads and message-based ads.  While spending on display advertising (rich media, banners) saw a big jump from $202 million to $376 million, it is video ads that skyrocketed 100% from $28 million to $56 million.  Messaging-based ads, which make up the largest chunk of the bunch, actually saw the smallest increase in spending, from $327 million to $443 million.

$1 billion dollars is just the tip of the iceberg.  According to eMarketer's forecast, that number will nearly quadruple in the next four years to $4.4 billion in 2015.  The numbers are staggering.

Source: eMarketer; Via: Moconews

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Memory Cube - App Spotlight

Memory games can be challenging, especially when the playing field is three dimensional. Memory Cube is a Windows Phone game that does just that.

The game follows the traditional memory/match game style. You have a series of symbols, letters or numbers concealed beneath tiles that form a three-dimensional cube. Your job is to identify the matching tiles as quickly as possible. It's hard enough to find matching tiles on a two-dimensional board but with Memory Cube, you not only have to remember what is hidden beneath which tile but also which side of the cube the tile is located.

Memory Cube has thirty levels of play and includes ten different types of images. With each level the cube gets large and more challenging. All in all, if you like memory games Memory Cube is worth checking out.

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LG LS831 passes FCC

We first caught wind of the LG LS831 the last week of August when it made an appearance on WP Bench and I'm A WP7, but we didn't know anything about it.  Well, this mystery phone has just made it past the FCC and it looks like it's a CDMA phone with WP7.5 on it.  The LS831 was tested in the Baltimore area and could be coming to Sprint or Verizon in the near future.  It has also popped up on WP Bench again:

It's good to see some handsets slated for the CDMA carriers, as it looked like Windows Phone was being shown much love.

Source: BlogOfMobile; Via: Nanapho

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Full House Poker updated to Mango

Good news for players and especially those who managed to grab this title when it was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week not so long ago. Full House Poker has been updated to Mango, which brings the usual goodness with fast-app switching and more. But the interesting feature that's now included is unlockable ringtone achievements, which is something we haven't seen yet in a game on Windows Phone.

You can download Full House Poker from the Marketplace for $2.99, be sure to check out our full review!

Thanks Will for the heads up!

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Cocktail Flow updated to Mango v3.4

Cocktail Flow is an app that allows users to find and try new cocktails with combinations of alcoholic beverages. You can input into the app what ingredients you have in your bar and cocktails are then identified that can be created for any event or occasion. We covered the app just before MIX'11 when a pack of cocktails named after Microsoft products was released.

We're now back reporting on version 3.4, which has just been pushed out. This update brings Mango goodness including pinnable tiles for individual recipes, live tile, push notifications and performance improvements. Cocktails can also now be rated and users can upload photos to the database. The app is continuously updated with new recipes being added and is often cited as the pinnacle of Windows Phone app design.

You can download Cotail Flow from the Marketplace for $2.99. Thanks Argenys for the tip!

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DeepShining custom HD7 Mango ROM

Should you have a spare HTC HD7 at hand and feel extraordinarily adventurous, this is an interesting custom ROM for you. DeepShining claims to be the first ROM to feature nine different themes and lockscreen wallpapers with the addition of a black Nokia accent. Highlighted details and features:

  • Based on Shipped Mango ROM: HTC Europe 4.05.401.02 build 7.10.7720.68
  • Radio 5.69.09.29a
  • 1st Worldwide ROM with 9 Themes and 9 Lockscreen Custom Wallpapers plus Black Nokia Accent.
  • Dev/Introp Chevron unlocked
  • XBmod Certificates
  • Unlock Hidden option in ease of access settings
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega like HTC Hub, Notes, Attentive phone, HTC Location and HTC Connected Media

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for damaged handsets - use this at your own will. For more information, screenshots and flashing requirements/steps head on over to the DeepShining thread at the XDA Developers forum (link below).

Source: XDA Developers forum, thanks Joaquim for the tip!

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onePlayer - App Spotlight

A good number of households have a media server, whether it be a small setup with Windows Media Center on a desktop or a small dedicated server. The average user enjoys streaming movies, music and photos. Windows 7 performs well with the Xbox 360, but what about Windows Phone 7? This is where onePlayer comes in.

onePlayer allows the user to stream content (DLNA) to and from their Windows Phone, whether it be to a compatible TV, home server, media centre, etc. The app sports directory browsing, playlist creation and device discovery on the WiFi network.

Some highlighted features:

  • Stream pictures to the TV or PC.
  • Stream music (MP3) to your home stereo.
  • Stream and control video to the TV.
  • Listen your music on your windows phone, supporting background streaming.
  • Browse DLNA servers.
  • Mango/7.5 compatible

You can download onePlayer from the Marketplace for $1.99 (£1.49) with a free trial.

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Digitec pushing Windows Phone in Switzerland

We've received a tip that Digitec, a major online retailer in Switzerland, appears to be pushing Windows Phone quite hard according to their mobile prospect for October 2011. Giving two pages (at the front of the prospect) to the HTC Radar and Samsung Omnia W, which both look superb. 

The HTC Titan is also available should you dive into the carrier section (page 16 onwards). It's also featured on the front cover of the prospect itself, fantastic to see a retailer providing Windows Phone some room for promotion.

Source: Digitec, thanks William for the tip!

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Speaking of updates, WhatsApp not only updated their app description to reflect a future subscription fee, but also bumped the app to v1.2. So are we finally getting video support? Group chat? How about some avatars in the conversation? Nope.

Instead, under Favorites now, they ditched the letter-picker system, at least if you only have a few contacts. This makes Favorites much more streamlined. It also looks like the Task bar has been thinned out, giving more room on the main screens. Finally you get a  Favorites refresh button under Settings, which is good if you want to make sure you have all of the latest contacts showing.

Update: We've also noticed it now thankfully has landscape support for typing and better auto-correct. HTC Arrive and LG Quantum users, rejoice! (*Also note, you're not crazy--it will still say v1.1 under the About section as the developers forgot to update that part).

Grab it here in the Marketplace (Zune link) or the Web Marketplace.

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WhatsApp made its first big debut a few weeks ago and while the app is still missing a bunch of features, over all it works quite well on Windows Phone (nicer looking than the BlackBerry app at least).

Well, the other shoe has dropped as it looks like WhatsApp will charge for their services. Cost? A paltry $1.99 per year with the first year free. Now, before we all get in a hub-bub, this just makes the Windows Phone app on par with the other platforms (we know the BlackBerry version charges the exact same). And lets face it, if you're using the app regularly $2 a year won't kill you.

Still, consider yourself warned. You have 12 months to get save up for the big day. Thanks, Aljoša, for the tip

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iHeartRadio goes to v3.0 and is ready for Mango

Good news for those of you who use iHeartRadio, that radio-streaming app featuring "over 750 of America's favorite local radio stations", as it's now Mangofied. The app received quite a few new features and fixes including:

  • Background Audio Player
  • Live Station Tile To Start Page
  • Fast Application Switching Support
  • Facebook Fixes
  • Link to Feedback Page

We've seen a similar update with Slacker Radio recently and if Mango has done one thing right, it was making background audio and multiple Live Tiles an option for developers. Radio apps like these certainly show why Mango is such a great update. You can pick up iHeartRadio for free here (Web Marketplace) and check out hands-on video from late 2010 to see it in action. Thanks, ShipWreck, for the tip!

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