firmware

With Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 devices, including the Lumia 620, Lumia 810, 820, 822 and of course 920, one feature that was previously available on earlier Lumias went missing: Flip to Silence. Part of that reason may be due to the curve screen on the Lumia 920, but it doesn’t explain the 8xx series or 620 as those are flat.

New firmware found on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 620 hint that this feature is on its way back. The firmware (1030.6402) looks to be still experimental and it is difficult to download but one of our readers did manage to grab the files and flash his Lumia 620 (we tried but received some errors).

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Good news for those of you on T-Mobile US with their exclusive Lumia 810 Windows Phone 8 device, starting today at 10AM PST/1PM EST, users can begin to get OS and firmware updates for their phones. This follows a few weeks after T-Mobile rolled out a similar update for their HTC 8X lineup.

The update will bump the OS to version 10211 aka 'Portico' and the firmware to 1249.

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We just reported this morning that the OS and firmware update for the AT&T Lumia 920 is sitting on Nokia’s servers, presumably getting ready to be rolled out. When software appears via Navifirm, it’s the finalized version and is handed off to the carriers for testing, meaning this update is near.

While we have detailed the OS update ‘Portico’ before with the HTC 8X (and it’s the same feature set here) it’s the firmware that we’re interested in. The firmware update (build 1249) will fix and adjust a few things on the phone but it’s the camera fix that most are curious about. It’s not secret that currently the 920 is a bit “soft” during daylight shots and so Nokia has fixed it up with this update and we have the evidence.

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Looks like AT&T is also getting in on the game for updating their Lumia 920 flagship phone. A new update has just popped up on Nokia's servers, viewable by the third party Navifirm software.

The update is simply labeled PR1_1_V3, which to us sounds a lot like the update detailed yesterday by Engadget that fixes the soft-focus on the Lumia 920. But there is reason to believe that this is more than just an update for the camera as it will presumably address other minor issues with the phone and tweak some settings.

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The Lumia 920 has impressed many with the PureView camera technology Nokia has installed inside the Windows Phone. The optical image stabilisation (OIS), software enhancements and Carl Zeiss lens are just a few features that work together to create some truly astonishing magic when taking shots in low light. 

However, there's an issue with photographs taken in good amounts light. Lack of detail, sharpness and while it's not a deal breaker, it does cause alarm especially when low light shots are that good. Thankfully, Nokia is set to release a firmware update to address problems raised by consumers.

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The new firmware has brought at least one new feature: automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspots, part of Microsoft's initiative to help users save on data.

HTC and Microsoft are now pushing a firmware update over-the-air for the 8X Windows Phone (unbranded and unlocked). We reported just two nights ago that the OS was being updated to ‘Portico’ aka build 10211 but what was curious was there was no firmware change. That appears to have been remedied tonight. 

We had the phone check for an update manually and sure enough, it began to download and prepare the device for installation (this time it was much quicker). Another screen was presented this time indicating that this was an ‘HTC Update’ referencing the firmware changes.

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Nokia released its DLNA app Play To for Lumia Windows Phones earlier this year, but it has been missing for those who have made the move to Windows Phone 8. According to Eero Penttinen, Lead Programme Manager of Nokia Windows Phone Management, the app is well on its way. The unfortunate matter is it requires DLNA components that still need to be delivered.

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If only backing up was this easy

Continuing on with our series of Windows Phone how tos for those who are new to the platform, today we'll be looking at how to backup and restore our smartphones. Backing up is a chore than many have to undertake on their PC, whether it be apps, documents or photos from a memorable vacation - it's always best to have more than one copy of everything. The same goes for contents on your smartphone.

Should anything happen to your Windows Phone, or if you’d like to revert to an earlier snapshot, you’ll need a backup at hand to get everything working in perfect order. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t currently offer an official facility to manually backup a Windows Phone (not even in Zune), but luckily there are alternatives thanks to an active developing community.

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We gave you a sneak peak a few days ago of the AT&T-Nokia update for the Lumia 900 which features and OS update (‘Tango’ build 8779) and new firmware (build 12223) and now that update is live for all to download (or should be very soon).

Starting today, plugging your AT&T branded Lumia 900 into Zune Desktop should prompt you for an OS update, which will then walk you through the short process. A hard-reset is not required and users will not lose any information.

According to Nokia, this update has many new features...

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Can it be improved? Yes it can.

If you’re a regular reader (and listener) of this site you know by now that myself and fellow camera-enthusiast George Ponder have been…harsh…on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900’s camera.  We rated it as one of the worst we’ve used in quite some time (though not as bad as Dell’s) and it often prevents us from using the phone as our daily driver. The Titan II though easily blows us away.

We’ve staked our position that it’s the hardware that is the problem on the 900 and while we still believe that to be the case it does appear Nokia has finally figured out how to best optimize its software. Of course we’re talking about the un-released Tango OS and firmware update which we detailed yesterday.

For the last 24 hours we’ve been pouring over the camera, snapping pictures in different environments and we have come to this conclusion: this update dramatically fixes the Lumia 900’s camera…

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Nokia has finalized the Tango ROM + firmware for the AT&T Lumia 900

We’re in the finally stages of waiting for AT&T and Nokia to push out the much anticipated ‘Tango’ update for the Lumia 900 Windows Phone. Windows Phone ‘Tango’ will feature improvements to MMS including multiple messages and audio file support in addition to other minor changes. In addition, the inclusion of new firmware from Nokia should allow some of Nokia’s exclusive apps like Counters and Contact Share to finally work as well as flip-to-silence and other bug fixes and enhancements.

The information comes via Navifirm+ which shows uploaded files to Nokia servers. There we can clearly see the 8779 update (slightly higher than the 8773 OS on some Windows Phones) with the AT&T naming in the files.

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Last night we revealed that Nokia had some 8779 OS updates with presumably some new firmware on their servers for the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800. At the time, we didn’t know what the updates included as 8779 is just slightly ahead of the just released 8773. Looks like we got Nokia's attention as they just gave out the details on the forthcoming update.

Technically speaking, we still don’t know what it’s in the OS as far as changes go (they're expected to be minor) but we now know what is coming with the bundled firmware. What’s more, it looks like the Lumia 900 will be getting the update too (although no word about AT&T, specifically). In fact, we’ve heard that the Lumia 900 in Germany already had 8779 on board so this is probably ready to rollout. Also, instead of the Lumia 800 we have info on the Lumia 610 instead.

On the Nokia Connects blog, details about the forthcoming updates were posted and it looks to be quite solid:

  • Lumia 900 version 2175.2101.8779.12201: Enhanced sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improvement to your phone’s screen colours in low light conditions
  • Lumia 710 version 1600.3031.8779.12180: Internet sharing (Wi-Fi Hotspot) — Share your phone’s internet connection over Wi-Fi with up to five other devices or computers and Flip to silence — Silence incoming calls by turning your phone face down.
  • Lumia 610 version 1066.0000.8779.12201: Enhanced sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improved sound level for alarm tone during voice calls.

From the sounds of it, these updates are very close to being releases so you’ll have to check for availability (or just watch our site). You can get more info when it’s made available at http://www.nokia.com/support. You do have to give Nokia some credit though, they're on top of these updates.

There was no mention of the post-Tango 8779 for the Lumia 800 though, which is curious because we did see those on Nokia's NaviFirm servers. Perhaps they're not ready for prime time just yet. We'll keep you posted.

Edit: As some users are pointing out, Nokia Connects may have the firmware numbers wrong. The latest firmware looks to be 12221 and not 12201 and some of those 710 new features came out with the 8773 update. So this is still a bit murky.

Thanks, Giovanni, for the heads up and Mark T. for the Germany info

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Samsung has the Tango update but AT&T is not pushing it

Although AT&T itself is not pushing out any Tango-8773 updates for its current Windows Phones, the OEMs evidently have it on tap, or at least Samsung does.

We’ve had isolated reports that the Focus S was getting two OS updates (some are reporting new firmware, we’re still at 2103.11.10.1). However, whenever George Ponder or I would plug in our Focus S devices, it was always reported back to us that we had the latest update (7740).

The trick is to rig the system—basically use the same trick many of you did for Mango where you put your phone into Airplane mode (disable all radios), plug into Zune and check for an update. You then navigate away and go back to “Check for update” but as soon as it starts to look (about 2 seconds) you kill your internet on your PC. Now you wait about 30 seconds and an update will be shown. For more info on how that works, read our tutorial here.

You need to do that at least twice—once for 8112 and again for 8773 (Tango)—but yes, it does work and it’s officially from Samsung. We manually installed 8107 back in the day, so our phone was already on that OS version. The majority of you will need to upgrade to 8107, then presumably it will go to 8112 or 8773.

The changelog for Windows Phone 8112/8773 on the Focus S

So why is this happening? We can only speculate that Samsung has delivered the update to AT&T but the carrier is either holding it, still evaluating it, not releasing it or maybe they’re waiting on HTC and Nokia to do a universal roll out. Honestly, your guess is as good as ours.

We also have heard this works for the Focus Flash and possibly the Focus 2 (we manually installed Tango on our Focus 2 so can’t really verify). In other words, for all of you Samsung users who are on AT&T (and even non-branded versions), feel free to try this method to grab some updates.

We’ll keep you posted if anything official happens in the meantime.

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We've got some good news for those who reside in Australia and own either the Nokia Lumia 800 or HTC Trophy. Vodafone AU is rolling out Windows Phone "Tango" to their customers in a staged release, which will cover a 24-day period until the flood gates are opened for all to receive the upgrade.

Should you not see the update notification immediately fear not as you're probably sat in line for the next tier of the rollout. Peter Skitchen reports that the following represents the release schedule Vodafone AU (and Microsoft) is sticking to.

  • Day 1-6: Available to 10% of devices
  • Day 7-20: Available to 25% of devices
  • Day 21: Available to 40% of devices
  • Day 22: Available to 60% of devices
  • Day 23: Available to 80% of devices
  • Day 24: Available to 100% of devices

In other Australian Windows Phone news, the HTC TITAN on Telstra has received a firmware update after being available for just under a month. No word currently on what has been included in the minor update.

Source: Peter Skitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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Back in early June, we noted how a factory-shipped Lumia 710 on Rogers was sporting Windows Phone "Tango" aka build 8773. At the time, we speculated that Nokia and the Canadian carrier were getting ready to push out the update to all and sure enough that day is upon us.

Reader Gurpreet just notified us that plugging in his Lumia 710 to his Zune Desktop prompted him to update his device. That means the rest of you up North should be able to do the same.

In addition to having Windows Phone Tango and it's new messaging features, user should also have some bundled fixes with the new firmware. We don't have that changelog, though it may have a lot of similarities with T-Mobiles latest update for the same phone.

If you're getting the update, hit us up in comments and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks, Gurpreet, for the info

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Good news for those on AT&T with the Lumia 900, Nokia in conjunction with Microsoft are now pushing out a firmware update to fix numerous lingering issues with the premier phone. 

The following are the main changes:

  • Fixes purple display issue - In short, when the screen would dim down to "low" greys would become purple across the whole display, including on graphics and photos
  • Proximity sensor - minor adjustments to the sensitivity of the proximity sensor should make phone calls more pleasant when the user puts the phone to their face
  • Others - We're still getting details but there are also a multitude of other smaller fixes that will greatly enhance the user experience

The update went live 10 am PDT and users should be able to plug their devices into their computers (Desktop Zune) and pick up the new firmware. Note, this is NOT an OS upgrade and it does not contain "Tango"--this is simply a maintenance release for firmware. However, Nokia does note:

"...we’ll be rolling out new updates and surprises in the near future to all Lumia 900 users, so stay tuned!"

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