How To

7

Easy fix for lock screen bug [How To]

It's not really news as such, but a temporary fix for the issue some of us have experienced (and still are). As you can see in the video above this issue is a lock screen bug where should you wake up your screen once the device is locked you will see a quick glimpse of your home screen. Not really a security risk and you can't manipulate the home screen but an extreme annoyance when experienced for months. It seems to be affecting not only the Samsung Omnia 7 handset, but other devices too.

There is an easy solution, well setting reversal if you will since it requires you to turn back on a default setting. It's not one you'd expect either, prepare to be astonished. Auto-brightness. Yeah, you read that correctly, having auto-brightness turned off can cause this bug to occur. Should you be like myself and prefer to turn off any kind of automatic brightness balance in favour of a more constant and brighter screen then we're hit by this insane annoyance that prevents us from enjoying the experience of using the handset as we'd like to.

"You can toggle the auto-brightness by going to Settings > Brightness."

There's been no word on a fix in the works (we held off covering this in the hope that one of the previous updates would contain the solution), hopefully Mango? If not, I may just wander into the stores and see if the future Nokia handset(s) has the same problem. I'll be buying one anyway.

Have you experienced this bug?

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11

Organise your start screen live tiles [How To]

We have come across some seriously awesome images that have been pre-made and are ready to rumble. One can save these images on their Windows Phone 7 as tiles and then organize them in such a way that tiles could appear to be grouped. A simple idea and quick edits that can make a huge difference. The default template is provided by David McCanless and Roger Peters.

This follows on from our tutorial on how to save pictures as seperate tiles on your device, along with coverage on apps in the Marketplace that perform this operation without any manual editing. If you check our tutorial you could even take this one step further with the arrangement and categorization of your home screen with changing the text, colours and whatnot.

To make things even more "OMG THIS IS L337!" for you, we have edited the images and added colors to the text which match themes loaded on the platform. Feel free to download the live tool separators and go wild.

Source: IQ

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A few weeks ago, we covered those sweet Portal 2 wallpapers which combined the awesome transparency effect with an awesome game. Now, thanks to the site Conflicting Gamers, you can go further with that whole Portal 2 look.

There are two parts to this theme:

  1. Pin a favorite image (from a website) to the Start Menu
  2. Set background image for your Photos hub

The first part we covered in our tutorial here--basically you zoom on an appropriately sized image, pin to Start screen and you now have a pretty pic on your phone. The second just involves setting the default pic as your background image for the Photo hub, also covered here in the past (neat trick that many don't know about).

The downside of this? Well, at least for part 1, you're basically creating "dummy" tiles that don't do anything except look cool. For some of our more OCD-inclined readers, that's a no-go. But hey, if you can look past it this one time, your phone will look as snazzy as the pic above. The second part has no side effects outside of making you look like a gaming dork, but we're okay with that.

After the break, check our Conflicting Gamers video on how to do the Start tiles. You'll want to have their article on the topic opened on your phone to play along (linked here and below).

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2

Phonealytics Live Tile [How to]

Whether you're a web developer with multiple websites or an avid blogger who enjoys stalking your readers, Analytics by Google is a fantastic offering for statistical analysis. Phonealytics for Windows Phone 7 is a great tool to use while mobile and no computer is at hand (since WP7 doesn't support flash to render graphs etc.)

I've been using this app since late last year and I really enjoy the features and UI - it's really intuitive with the Metro usage. Not only this, but it features live tile support (yay!), which I use very heavily for quick glancing at any set website profile I wish to keep a close eye on. Sometimes the tile doesn't work or update properly and I had a hard time understanding why until I pinned the problem to my Google account not signing in. Should the live tile cease to work, have a look at the in-app settings to see if you're logged in to Google.

An easy 3 step guide to configuring the live tile:

  1. Open Phonealytics, press the cog icon (settings) in the menu bar. 
  2. Check "Login Status" to make sure your account is logged in.
  3. Swipe to the left to configure the live tile and turn it on.

Should you need to check your login status if the tile isn't updating or working, simply go to settings and press "Login" if your login status is reporting "not logged in".

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11

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!

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21

Raise AT&T upload speed on Samsung Focus [How To]

If you have experienced your upload speed being restricted on AT&T, which can occur after you've (finally) updated with official NoDo, there are some simple steps you can take to increase speed:

  • From the number-dial screen:
  • Enter ##634#
  • Diagnostics screen should open.
  • Enter *#32489#
  • Test mode screen should open.
  • Press back at the bottom (bottom right, not the phone's back button)
  • Press 5 for RRC (HSPA) control
  • Press 1 to view what yours is set at (Kyle's was Release 5 HSDPA only)
  • Press 2 to change it.
  • Press 3 to change to Release 6 HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Press [end] to confirm.

This will install a Diagnostics app on your device (that will be displayed on the installed app list), we are not currently aware if uninstalling the app will cause issues with the diagnostics tool itself. And if you need to know your speeds, there's an app for that: Bandwidth 2.x in the Marketplace. Hit us up in comments and let us know if this worked for you, we're still experimenting ourselves.

Thanks Kyle for the steps!

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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

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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

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10

Paste multiple times on WP7 [How To]

Handy tip that will prove useful for anyone who requires to paste copied text more than once in a single instance or across multiple apps. A hidden icon located on the predicted text bar, which pops up with the keyboard when typing in a supported field allows one to quickly paste the contents of the clipboard multiple times.

To view this icon when typing (and predictions are present in the bar), or when not typing (and the bar is empty), simply swipe your finger to the right and the paste icon will be displayed. Not too sure why this function is hidden as the average user wont know how to paste the clipboard more than once.

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70

Easy hack forces NoDo update

For those of you who received the February pre-NoDo update but are still waiting for the big important March one to hit, there looks to be an easy way to make it happen now, without using the "VPN" trick discovered earlier.

In essence, the earlier VPN trick forced your computer to connect up to Hungary where, for some reason, the NoDo update was residing for certain phones. Now that NoDo is being pushed out large-scale, well, it's on more servers including more local ones. Still, how to get it to your device is proving to be a little tricky.

On devices listed on Microsoft's website as "delivering update" this should work, including T-Mobile HD7's:

  1. Start Zune
  2. Turn off Data connection and Wifi on the Phone
  3. Connect the Phone with the PC (USB)
  4. Start the update search in Zune
  5. About 3 seconds later, disconnect your PC from the internet (Turn WLAN off).
  6. Zune finds NoDo-Update. Press OK.
  7. Connect to the internet again and install the update.

Although some people are reporting that they had to try this multiple times, specifically the "timing" aspect in step 5, lots of folks are successfully getting the NoDo update. Share your experience in comments below and what you did to finally get it to push through. By the way, you do need the February update to get this to work.

Update: For laughs, we tried it on our "de-branded" AT&T LG Quantum (w/Feb update). Result? NoDo success!

Source: XDA (Dwight2001); Thanks to everyone who sent this in

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So long as the carriers delay the NoDo update, it looks like people will find a way to force it to happen. Earlier we showed you how to do it on the T-Mobile US HD7, now some folks have figured out how to force it on unbranded/carrier unlocked devices, including the Omnia 7 and 7 Pro. [Update: but others are reporting it not working on the Surround or Mozart, in short, your mileage may vary]

While not hard per se, it is a bit tricky and involves evidently spoofing the Zune server into pushing you the update. One thing is certain, timing is everything as you need to make sure your data connection is turned off at the right moment.

We obviously haven't tried this ourselves, so we encourage you to be careful, but it at least appears many are having success in using this method. Check out the directions after the break and read what others are saying at XDA about it here.

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For those who just can't wait another 2 weeks or so, you can go the guerilla route and just directly flash NoDo (7389) on your T-Mobile HD7 today, if you wanted. The process is actually quite simple: you download two ROM files (the old school "ROM Update Utility") and simple flash one, then flash the other.

The first ROM puts a signed Telstra version on your phone, the second, which is much smaller, NoDo (7389). The difference here is the Telstra ROM has the T-Mobile US radios on board, keeping the important part the same and since NoDo doesn't touch the radio, the second ROM is just an OS upgrade.

All in all, the process takes about 10 minutes. You won't be able to backup anything, so this is a clean install, meaning you'll lose any pics or data not saved elsewhere. The other thing is you'll rock some Telstra branding on the bootscreen and a few OEM apps (that of course can be removed), however once you throw in your T-Mo SIM, you can re-download their OEM apps instead.

So how is it? Well, it's NoDo so it fast as heck and we haven't noticed any downsides (it does make the camera better, less pink; also Bing Voice now speaks the Queens English, no joke). On the other hand, it's probably best to just wait a few weeks for the official version. But, if you want to go ahead, read all the directions here at XDA.

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19

LG "debranding" hack; NoDo to follow?

As we reported earlier, the NoDo update started pushing out yesterday, starting with unbranded phones, and members of the ChevronWP7 Team (Chris Walsh and Raphael Rivera) posted a hack to "debrand" HTC phones in order to get the update early.  Now another hack has surfaced; this time for LG phones.  Unlike the HTC hack, LG phones do not have to be "dev unlocked."  So far, the hack has allowed users to get the pre-NoDo update, but has not yet been proven to result in getting NoDo. If you're feeling antsy, here's how to do it:

1. Enable the MFG application by going to the dialer and dialing ##634# then pressing call.
2. Launch the MFG application and enter 277634#*# when prompted for a password.
3. Select the Engineer Menu item.
4. Select the Other Setting menu item.
5. Select the Edit registry menu item.
6. Set the input boxes on this menu as follows:

    Select ROOT_PATH: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

    Input SUB_PATH: \System\Platform\DeviceTargetingInfo\

    Input KEY: MobileOperator

    Data Type: STRING

7. Select Query and write down the result in case you need to re-brand for some reason.
8. To debrand just enter the same information above and leave the input data field blank. The tool will say fail but it really did set correctly.

    You can now connect to Zune and check for updates.

Source: WMPowerUser

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25

Hack for unlocked HTC phones gets NoDo right now

We now know that Microsoft is doing a controlled, phased roll-out of 'NoDo', starting with unbranded phones evidently in Europe. That means a potentially prolonged delay for many users (and between us, we've just heard that AT&T users have a looong wait).

The good news is there is a 'hack' that can be done for HTC phones that will basically "unbrand" them allowing them to get 'NoDo', well, right now. Coming from some of team ChevronWP7 (Chris Walsh and Raphael Rivera) is a tricky edit that will enable this to be done:

Your device needs to be dev-unlocked for this to work. Sorry folks.

  1. Download this zip file and deploy the 3 xap files onto your device.
  2. Run the ChevronWP7.Ringtones.xap and wait till it displays “Ringtones added… and CustClear.provxml underneath”
  3. Run the TouchXplorer app, navigate to My DocumentsMy Ringtones click on CustClear.provxml and select Copy from the Application Bar.
  4. Navigate back inside TouchXplorer to the Windows folder.
  5. Select paste from the Application Bar, this should scroll right to the bottom and put a copy of CustClear.provxml in the Windows folder.
  6. Now run the Connection Setup application and click on the Ok button (it’s the one with the tick).

And now you’re done and free to re-connect to Zune and check for updates.

Now there is one caveat here we can think of: T-Mobile HD7 users may want to hold off. That's because that device has the special T-Mo bands and radio while the unlocked HD7 does not (or at the very least, could complicate things), so you may want to consider that if you're in that situation. Still, for the AT&T Surround users, sounds like you could do this, assuming you've jailbroken your phone for one last hoorah.

Update: Chris Walsh lets us know T-Mo HD7 users are good to go (hey, that rhymed); the update only modifies the OS, not the radio.

Update 2: Bad news is we're hearing non-Euro users are only getting the pre-NoDo update with this technique :-/

Source: My Coding Adventures (blog); via @ChrisWalshie

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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:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\TaskHost

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

The hack takes effect immediately and as can be seen above, it makes starting/resuming any task or game nearly instant as it disables 'Tombstoning'. In fact, this feels like multi-tasking, allowing you to "go back" to the last few apps, having instant access to them. Of course the downside is you can't shut down any app either--we imagine eventually the system will force close something. Anyways, it's easily undone if something goes awry, till then, we'll leave it on and see what happens.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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7

Google Apps and Services on WP7 [How To]

A good number of us are tied within the realm of Google, mainly for documents and emailing, but how can one explore the goodness of Windows Phone 7 when there is such a strong connection with the search engine giant (which makes Android a more feasible choice)?

Justin Willhite, of UK LifeHacker, has published a killer of an article that should help any avid Google fanboy (or post-Android owner) with the conversion process. It should be noted that the solutions provided by Justin (apart from native mail support, of course) do not support push-notification and must be updated/refreshed manually. So, how's it all done?

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Sharing images and web pages [How To]

Everyone loves to share, which is why there is a huge part of Windows Phone 7 that is focused on social connections and platforms. As well as engaging with your friends while on the go, you may find yourself browsing the web within Internet Explorer an feel the need to share an image you see on a website, or the web page itself.

While offline and browsing through our photo albums there is fantastic social integration with the ability to share images to your online profiles and through other services, but what about while online? Via email, you can send any image or web page straight from your browser to a recipient of your choice, which can come in handy should you be the sharing type and wish to save a good number of clicks (or in our case – presses) when sending some useful content to your contact(s).

Sending an image from a current web page is simple enough, simply press and hold on the picture you wish to share and a menu will pop up with a “share” option. Then select your desired email account to send from and an email composition window will then slide into view. If you wish to send the entire web page as opposed to just an image, press on the “…” at the bottom left of the browser and select “share”. Again, an email account selection will appear and then a composition window. 

Windows Phone 7 makes simple tasks easier and faster for people to complete and communicating in more complex ways is possible, rivaling with competing platforms. What do you share while browsing around; do you use this feature regularly?

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The question in re-installing applications and games on the Windows Phone 7 platform has be asked several times, and with good reason too. Picture the following - you buy a brand new WP7 handset due to your current one either being seriously damaged, or isn't meeting your requirements for daily use. You have attached your Live ID on the new device and you notice that you have no apps. Is there a way to download them onto your new phone? Good news in short - yes. 

It really is truly simple to get your apps back to their rightful place in your pocket (or hand for that matter), whether you are in the position explained above or you have simply removed the app for a reason and wish to re-install it. All that is required is for you to go through the purchasing process for that app buy selecting "buy" on the app overview screen and should you have purchased the app previously on your synchronised Live ID, you will be presented with the screen displayed in the photo above.

Clicking "install" will download and install the app (or game) again without charging your attached credit card. One must note, however, that you are unable to perform this within the Zune software. To re-download apps, you must carry this process out on your mobile device.

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If you have an HTC developer unlocked ("jailbroken") phone, then this trick may be for you: evidently you can convert PDF books into .PRC files that can then be sideloaded on the device and viewed with Amazon's Kindle app. The reason? As DominikZ over at XDA notes, Charles Petzold's eBook "Programming Windows Phone 7" which is 100% free, costs $22.53 on Amazon (we actually see two versions, one XNA, one Silverlight, but both do cost ~$20 for the Kindle edition). Through this trick, you can convert the free PDF version of the book to a Kindle compatible one.

The task is not too difficult, but hardly elegant. As noted, only HTC devices can do this right now because the trick relies on TouchXplorer, which doesn't work to well on non-HTC devices.:

  • Download MobiPocket Creator or any other Program, capable of converting pdf to prc.
  • When the conversion is done, apply the registry hack, so that your phone will show up in Windows Explorer.
  • Copy the newly created *.prc file to your phone. If not already done, install TouchXplorer and go to My Documents\Zune\Content\0400\03 and cut the newly created file (It will be renamed to*.z)
  • Paste it to Applications\Data\48195FB4-EE0E-9264...\Data\IsolatedStore\kindle
  • Now rename the file so you will remember the it (e.g. programming.prc).
  • Start up Kindle and the newly added book should be available.

Like we said, not easy but once you do your first one, the rest are a breeze. Conversion usually takes less than five minutes from our experience and this seems a great way to load school PDFs, free eBooks, etc. onto your Windows Phone.

Source: XDA

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