How To

Mango not only promises to bring 500 new features for regular users but also numerous other languages for the rest of the planet. For those who want some Japanese on their Windows Phone now, or perhaps those looking to explore how to add other language, a neat little hack has appeared over at NanaPho.

The trick requires a registry edit before you upgrade to Mango (you can't yet edit the registry on Mango devices, as far as we know) and may be good for those playing with DFT's custom ROMs. While in NoDo or earlier, simply launch the registry editor and make these changes:

1. add this entry on your NoDo (7390 or 7392) phone.

key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MUI\Available

name: 0411

value: Japanese

2. update to Mango Beta 2 Refresh

3. you will get Japanese language

Of course the potential is there to add other languages, though it has to be verified. Other language packs which are made available with the Mango release include 0413 (Netherlands), 0419 (Russian), 0804 (Simplified Chinese), 0404 (Traditional Chinese) and in theory, those should work too. Looks to be a cool trick for those not wanting to wait the extra month or two for the RTM Mango to hit.

Source: NanaPho

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We've seen some "epic" style Captain America wallpaper a few weeks ago, but how about some custom "cute" styled ones? In the traditional Chinese style of taking all things menacing and making them freakin' adorable, those cats at IHeartWindowsPhone have made two versions of Capt. America that are pretty slammin'. Or just cute. Whatever.

We're not even comic fans but have to admit these are pretty great and since their free, why not just grab them here. A big thanks to IHeartWindowsPhone for sharing.

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The Microsoft team updated us awhile ago on how custom ringtones, a long sought feature, will work in Mango. And while quite a few of us (mostly devs, a few who are not) are running Mango with a beta Zune client, even we don't have the automatic ringtone maker on board.

Over at Mobility Digest, James Schneider has figured away for those running Mango now to make custom ringtones. All in all, while not as easy as the official version (when it arrives), it's not too hard either. In essence you'll need Audacity, a great freeware audio mixer (we use it for the podcast), some music and a few seconds to cut and export the file following those guidelines

  • 39 seconds or shorter
  • smaller than 1 megabyte (MB)
  • saved in MP3 or WMA format
  • not copy-protected (i.e. DRM free)

By simply adjust the HZ rate, mono/stereo, etc. you can alter the size to keep it under 1MB. Then you just drag-n-drop the file through Zune, creating a new category in your Collection called 'Ringtones' and walla, you're done. Check out the entire guide with screenshots at Mobility Digest.

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You should know by now that Windows Phone "Mango" has Facebook Chat built in to the Messaging app (see our full Mango review). Turning it on is actually pretty simple: navigate to the Messaging (SMS) app, hit Setting and enable. Or you can do it under Settings --> Applications --> Messaging. Easy enough, so why the how to? Well, this is more a "troubleshooting" thing i.e. you're one of the very few who can't it to work.

See, since I've been running "Mango"  (nearly a month next week), I could not get Facebook Chat enabled. Yup. Every time I'd throw that lil' switch, it would ask me to setup Facebook Chat, it would then open what looks like an embedded IE window where it would return with a "Page cannot be found". Seriously. It did this dozens of times and I just thought "welp, it's not enabled yet".

Long story short: I didn't have my Facebook account linked to my Windows Live one. Who knew it was necessary? It would have been nice for an error message to explain that but alas, I was lost till I ran across Mobility Minded's excellent step by step guide on setting this up. The guide was perfect right up to the point when I had to enable the feature and bam...it still didn't work.

The solution was an extra step not in Mobility Minded's otherwise great write up: delete the Facebook account on the phone and set it up again (just name and password). The next time I headed to Messaging --> Settings, Facebook Chat was magically enabled and all is good. Of course the funny part in all of this is I don't use Facebook or Chat period, except for testing. Still, this issue was nagging me and hopefully if any of you have something similar, it'll help too.

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Should you have multiple Google calendars set up and used frequently you'll smacking your head against a brick wall when it comes to adding them in Windows Phone 7. Luckily, with Mango, Anthony Chu (lead developer of Wonder Reader for WP7) has posted a tutorial on how to enable multiple Google calendars. It's actually really simple and takes no more than five minutes (unlike attempting to use other Google services).

Requirements for this are as follows:

  • WP7 device running Mango
  • More than one Google calendar set up
  • Safari (for Windows/OS X) 

With the above requirements met, what we need to do is get to the section on the Google website where you can select which calendars to synchronise with devices that are connected to your account. By default, this seems only viewable to iOS devices and presumably Android handsets. We need to change our user agent in our browser to fool Google into believing we're Safari on iOS.

In the walkthrough below, Anthony uses Safari as it has built-in ability to manipulate the user agent easily and quickly. Any desktop browser will do so long as you can alter the UA. Head on past the break to view the steps. 

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Kik is here, but there's a slight issue that we picked up on a while back when it was released. Being in the UK I attempted to use my .co.uk email address. Unfortunately Kik seems to have a slight issue with registering email addresses using this country code.

Fortunately, after much frustration, I used my GMail address and of course it worked. I don't really use my Google account for email so I decided to have a good look through the settings within the app and sure enough there's an option to change the account email address. Entering my .co.uk address seemed to work and I received an email from Kik confirming the change.

It seems as though it's limited to registration only, so use a .com email for signup and then simply make the change in the app settings. Job done! Kik have said they are working on the fix. Are you using a country code which is not .com and are experiencing the same issue? Let us know in the comments.

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Using the Windows Phone 7 Connector for OS X can prove to be a drag when attempting to transfer a movie from iTunes to your handset. The progress bar gives the false impression that it's stuck and one tends to get frustrated, especially if you're like me and only synchronise your device just before you leave the house.

OS X user Marin got in touch with us to let everyone in on a more efficient way to transfer movies to your WP7 handset and not having to wait 20 or so minutes. Should you have an avi copy of the movie at hand with an mp3 soundtrack, you can use software such as MP4Tools to convert and then import into iTunes. Windows Phone Connect should then pick up the movie and be able to transfer it to your device with much more efficiency.

Unfortunately, Marin noticed a drawback to this method (which I can confirm). The movie wont be playable in iTunes (as well as Xbox 360 consoles) and a stand-alone media player (such as VLC) will have to be used. But this should be no problem if you have a separate m4v copy. Let us know if this guide works for you and how it compares to transferring m4v movies to your device.

Thanks Marin for the tip and guide!

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Organizing your Live Tiles and Live Tile generators are nothing new (see our earlier post on the topic). Heck, our own Rich Edmonds created a pretty swanky one on his blog for everyone. In that regard, MyLiveTile is not exactly ground breaking, but it is designed well enough and perhaps this post will serve as a reminder on how to do this or even that you can do this.

All this site does is create a perfectly sized square that you can "pin to your start screen" using Internet Explorer. The effect is spacers between your Live Tiles to give a better sense of organizations e.g. separate your games from your contacts from your apps. Pretty cool and it's actually quite handy, once you have 20 or more tiles on your device.

So navigate to http://www.mylivetile.com/ using IE on your device, follow the directions and walla, you're done. Now go organize your clothes closet already and no, we're not helping with that one, so don't ask.

(Thanks, Ramiro, for the heads up!)

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Yesterday we saw the developer release of "Mango" for Windows Phone 7. The method requires a $99 AppHub subscription and for you to make a backup of your phone before the flash. It also voids your warranty.

Today, of course, people have already figured out ways around having a developer unlocked phone to flash Mango to it. We want to stress a couple of things first though:

  • This voids your warranty
  • You can't upgrade to the final Mango from this build, so you MUST back up
  • If you loose your backup, your phone is permanently in preview-Mango mode--no going back, no going forward
  • If this flash doesn't work and you brick your phone, it's your fault. Remember, even the offiical method has some issues (see here).

The first method comes by way of WPSauce. In essence, it requires three steps:

  1. Reverting back to 7004 or 7008 (aka pre-NoDo) by using your backup in Zune
  2. Using ChevronWP7 to unlock your phone
  3. Downloading and installing the official Mango update tools

We won't link to the files here, but safe to say you can do a little sleuthing around to find them yourself. This method at least will create a backup of your device (which you should also backup) and allow you to go forward once the real Mango update comes out this fall. Of all the ways, this is the safest (though still risky).

The second method comes via Windows Phone Hacker. It does not require you to revert back nor have a developer unlocked device. It basically will "...provision your device to receive beta updates. It requires the Windows Phone Support Tools to be installed, and your device needs to be updated to NoDo or beyond". Note: it does not create a backup, but you can do it yourself.

Once again, we caution you to hold off on doing this, at least for a few days. Wait till others have tried it, wait till Microsoft responds, wait till we know more about what is happening here. The second method is certainly the most risky and no one wants to hear your story about how your phone broke because you did this, so patience is a virtue here.

Source: WPSauce, Windows Phone Hacker

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Import contacts from Outlook to WP7 [How To]

 

Should you be looking to purchase a Windows Phone 7 handset, or have just recently made the switch, you may be wandering if you can import your contacts from Outlook if you don't have an Exchange email account or have your contacts stored remotely elsewhere. Well, you can and it's fairly straight forward too.

Before we begin, you'll need the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector, a nifty little program which enables synchronisation and connectivity between the two services. Now, make a brew, get comfortable and let's begin.

For Outlook 2007:

  1. Open Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  2. Click Outlook Connector, then click “Add a New Account” and enter the information for your Windows Live account.
  3. Restart Outlook (close and open).
  4. Click Contacts and now you’ll be able to move people from your main Contacts folder to the new Windows Live account folder.

For Outlook 2010:

  1. Open Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
  2. Click File, then “Add Account,” make sure that “E-mail Account” is selected, and then enter the information for your Windows Live account.
  3. Click Contacts and now you’ll be able to move people from your main Contacts folder to the new Windows Live account folder.

Once the above steps have been carried out, you should be able to see your contacts on your Live account. Make sure you use a Live ID that you either already use or will use on your WP7 and after synchronising the account on your phone to import your contacts your People hub should reflect the newly added associates.

Source: IntoMobile

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We don't have arachnophobia per se, more or less just an aversion. But that's us. For all we know, you're a bunch of tarantula fiends who yearn desperately to have one big spider prominently displayed on your pretty little Windows Phone.

Well, tonight's your night as Downright Wireless has taken the Samsung Infuse 4G's spider (see commercial here for reference) and transplanted him to Windows Phone, ala transparent wallpaper for maximum effect. Like we said, it's not our thing, but darn it all...creepy or not, it is pretty awesome looking.

Grab the wallpaper and matching Tiles for your device right here with instructions.

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Since Evernote for WP7 appeared on the scene yesterday, there have been reports of a bug that causes a white screen that locks the application up.  This  will apparently happen after installing Evernote on some devices, then pressing the "Sign in" button.  And while it is both expected and disappointing that any highly-anticipated app has bugs in its initial release, it is good to know that a workaround has already been found.

If you experience the Evernote white screen of death, here's what you should do:

  1. Uninstall Evernote from your phone
  2. Turn on Airplane Mode
  3. Turn on your wireless and connect to a network
  4. Download and install Evernote from the Marketplace

If you make it to the point where you can log in and create notes, then you can safely turn off Airplane Mode and continue living your newly-organized life.

UPDATE: According to one of our readers, you do not actually need to turn on Airplane Mode, nor uninstall the application. If you can connect to a wireless network, log in, and do the initial sync, then you should be good to go.  Thanks for the tip, da4thrza!

Source: Plaffo

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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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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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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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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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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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