LG

File this under: Weird

Looks like some LG Quantum users, found mostly on AT&T, are getting a bit of surprise when they load up the Marketplace, specifically the LG App store is appearing in a foreign language (possibly Czech?). There's no real harm being done and users can still use apps from LG but it is a bit odd.

Makes you wonder if the LG App Store is hosted somewhere and there's a switch for languages/distribution that someone leaned on accidentally. Hopefully the foreign language intrusion won't last long. Anyone else having similar issues? (We're gonna test ours in a bit, she's in mid-Mango flash right now)

Update: Evidently not just Quantum users but Optimus as well :-/

Thanks, Mark W. and Travis O., for the tips and pics!

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LG Fantasy leaked

LG's fall roadmap has been leaked and while it mainly deals with Android devices, there is one lone Windows Phone listed. The LG Fantasy is being reported as a Mango device and looks a lot like the HTC HD7.

No specs were available with the listing but strong speculation is for a fourth quarter release. LG already has the side-keyboard Quantum in their Windows Phone lineup so a slab phone would help expand the companies Windows Phone offerings.

But will it have features strong enough to pull consumers away from the HD7 or HD7S? Maybe a Super AMOLED screen?  Front facing camera?

Source: Pocketnow.com

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We have learned that LG is planning to bring a new device to the table, running Windows Phone 7.5 (codenamed Mango). The device, LG E906, was WiFi Interoperbilitly certified earlier this year in May (see above image) and the browser stated in an XML document containing the handset specification is IE9. Not much more than this is readily available, we'll keep a look out for anything that should arise.

You can check out the XML document from LG for more specification detail on the LG E906.

Via: Nanapho.jp

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An LG Optimus 7 Prime WP7 device has been through the wars as can be seen above in the video. This particular handset was ran over by a car and while it may look shattered, it's still responsive and works as normal. The only downside is that you can't see the screen as well as you could.

The morale of the story is (apart from don't have your phone ran over by a vehicle) to purchase an LG device should you work in construction or any other practical careers.

Via: @EyeMen

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Where'd those free LG apps go?

Yesterday, mentioned about some OEM LG apps that were either added or updated and in passing, we remarked that there seems to be fewer of those free apps that LG was offering (see earlier coverage of the offer here).

As it turns out, we weren't the only ones as Michael Eggleston was wondering what happened to his Weave (review). Easily one of the most popular and stellar apps of the platform, Weave was offered for free to LG users. Not any more as our current app is "frozen" at v2.4 and is no longer listed (so you'll lose it after a hard reset). Michael wrote the developers, Seles Games and asked what the deal was and here is there response:

The LG campaign was a limited-time promotion where they offered 10 apps for free for 60 days. They should be making a 2nd set of 10 apps available soon. Since LG controls that version of Weave, we have no way of submitting an update. Until they give us back control of it, it will be stuck at version 2.4.

We want all our LG users to keep getting the latest version, so we are going to put the regular version of Weave on sale for the lowest possible price ($1) starting tonight at midnight.

We are also going to be releasing a free, ad-supported version of Weave soon.

Between the $1 price promotion and a free ad-supported version, we hope al our LG users will find that they still have a way to get the latest updates and don't miss out on features.

Thank you for your support and I hope you continue enjoying Weave!

Edit: SelesGames informed us that email was from a few weeks ago and no immediate sale is planed. Still, it's great app.

Companies like Seles Games are obviously doing their best to maintain customer support and kudos to them for their effort, but LG's offer of 10 free apps seems a little less genuine than before--or are we just being grumpy in these early hours?

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Although they seem to have lost some of their free commercial apps (not sure what happened there), LG continues to update/release new OEM apps, something we've always appreciated from them.

Their augmented reality app ScanSearch (see Metro Scanner too), which allows you to scan movie posters, CDs, books, barcodes or search for coffee, stores, etc. has received a bump to v1.4. No changelog is noted but it seems a little bit quicker to us and we've always been impressed by this app.

The other addition in LGHangul, which is a text entry tool for Korean characters, allowing users to enter text in Korean into SMS, email, Bing and Google search--something we think will make a lot of people's lives easier.

Of course both are only for LG phones and can be found under the LG Marketplace on your device.

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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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When people say LG and Windows Phone 7, one remembers the comments made about the platform by the device vendor, which explained how they had high expectations but were utterly dissapointed from a consumer perspective. Advancing months into the future and here we stand with Wired Italy awarding the LG Optimus 7 as best smartphone for value. Not bad, eh?

Stated on the article is an interesting claim that the device is a best-selling model. Are you an owner of the Optimus, and if so how are you finding the experience?

Source: Wired.it; via WMPU

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LG may be hot on Android, but we'll still go to bat for them by saying they offer the best free software of any Windows Phone OEM. We covered their Augmented Reality software (Metro Scanner)and Voice to Text earlier, and just a few days ago they pushed out four new solid titles:

  • Today - Local weather, forecast, news feed, Twitter and currency
  • Weather & Clock - Local weather, "away" weather + clock and world map
  • QR Reader - a live scanning QR reader
  • Post Note - note + cork-board

While a little slow to load, the apps are certainly gorgeous looking in our opinion. Sure, a Live Tile would have been nice, but we think the Today app beats out Samsung's and HTC's offerings easily. Likewise, the QR Reader with live scanning is certainly great and combined with ScanSearch (live scanning barcode), it's quite the powerful combo. Finally, Post Note just looks real pretty but similar to HTC's Notes.

All can be grabbed for free in the LG app store but only on your LG phone, of course.

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Today was a big day for LG as they announced their LG Optimus 3D Android phone and 8.9" Android Tablet. Of course, you can head to AndroidCentral for that info. During the Q&A part of the press conference though, someone in the audience asked LG's President and CEO Dr. Jong-Seok Park what he thought of Microsoft's new alliance with Nokia and what it means for LG.

Jong-Seok Park's response was borderline non-answer, but he did emphasize that LG plans to continue with Microsoft and that won't change. And in more of a boast or challenge, Jong-Seok said about Nokia (paraphrasing) "Lets see what they can do".

The question was pointed but also significant. If we flash back exactly two years ago, it was here at Mobile World Congress where LG was named as a key partner for Windows Phone, with the promise of 50 phones at one point. Since then, LG seems to have scaled things back quite a bit, to say the least. In fact, Asymco has done a nice job of detailing the history of announced and celebrated "partnerships" with Microsoft that have gone to sour, dissipate or never realize their promise. The list includes Palm, Motorola, Nortel, Erricson and others. This now seems to the be the case with LG, who's Optimus 7 and Quantum, while both respectable phones, have failed to garner the attention that the Samsung Focus has.

What was even more telling was at the LG display section on the main floor--which included TVs, their Android Optimus-series, tablets and even "feature" phones, there wasn't a single LG Windows Phone on display. (Or if so, it was well hidden).

One thing that is evident from today is that LG are doing way, way more in terms of hardware with their Android line. The LG Optimus 3D has dual core, dual memory and a dual camera for shooting in 3D. With a 4.3" screen, the device is quite the achievement and believe it or not, the glasses-free 3D ain't too shabby.  Unfortunately when you see all the new "super" phones with Android, you realize how stagnant Windows Phone 7 starts to look--Microsoft is not yet in the business of pushing harware technology.

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Looks like things are a moving in Canada. They're getting the HTC HD7 on Bell in a week or two and now word is that Rogers is getting the Dell Venue Pro in March--no word on pricing though. The 4.1" AMOLED screen device with a sliding keyboard should be a big hit and what is unique is evidently Rogers may be selling the device directly, unlike here on T-Mobile. Such a move should result in higher sales for the already popular phone.

Perhaps making room for the HD7, Bell is reducing the contract-cost of the LG Quantum from $79.95 ($100 at launch) to $29.95 with a 3-year contract. LG has had some problems pushing its Windows Phone choices in the market and perhaps this drop in price is in response.

Source: BGR & Mobile Syrup

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Say what you want about LG but their custom Windows Phone software is hands down the best of all the OEMs today. Between offering $30 worth of apps for free (including the amazing Weave) and their homemade stuff like Voice to Text, ScanSearch and Metro Scanner (and a bunch of other tools, like panoramic camera), they really offer quite the one-two punch to HTC and Samsung.

ScanSearch and Metro Scanner are great because they are so-called augmented reality apps. Basically they take advantage of the phone's accelerometer, compass and camera to show you things you can't see, like bars, restaurants, or in the case of Metro Scanner, subway stations in your local city.

Metro Scanner works "world wide" and while we couldn't vouch for that it did a swell job in New York City. You launch the app, it grabs a GPS fix (can take a few seconds, though it has a progress bar, natch) and then it shows you where the nearest subway is in relation to you. Holding the phone flat  gives you a map with compass, holding it up uses the camera to show you where it is as if you could see through all the buildings. Tapping the station gives you directions.

Metro Scanner was just updated to v1.2 to fix a compass bug and all we have to say about the app is that it's pretty darn cool, LG. Our next hope? Microsoft releases those camera and compass APIs so 3rd party developers like Layar can join in on the fun.

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We covered LG complaining last week about the somewhat dissatisfying performance of the Windows Phone 7 platform, which was expected with iPhone and Android absorbing majority of the news. However, the comment made was still received with mixed feelings.

Contradictory feedback - reported by Yahoo! - from German carrier Deutsche Telekom, largest mobile provider in Europe and mother of T-Mobile:

"We are ahead of budget, Microsoft is very pleased."

Which Ingo Hofacker, Head of Consumer Marketing at the mobile giant, provided. It is a good sign that they are witnessing WP7 devices selling off shelves at speed, and one can only predict this trend to continue as updates come this year.

Thanks Philipp for the tip!

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We were just envying LG's amazing Voice to Text app, wishing it were on other Windows Phones and evidently others at XDA thought the same. Difference being they went ahead and they allegedly patched the XAP file so as to make it work on any unlocked Windows Phone.  (Similar case with Samsung's apps).

To see if it works we tried it ourselves and sure enough, it does what it was meant to do. Most of you won't have a developer unlocked device to do this and the ChevronWP7 loop hole will be patched soon, plus there's the whole thing that this is technically stealing LG's software and one of their device selling points (though everyone seems okay with loading WP7 on their HD2s, with no concern there--double standard we guess). So you know, we don't recommend you do this, even if you could, which you probably can't.

Source: XDA

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Word has it that the LG Quantum (aka Optimus 7Q) will not be heading across the pond to Europe.  According to Pocket-Lint, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics Global, told them, “Unfortunately, the Quantum will not make it to Europe. It’s an exclusive handset for AT&T in America."  He did not elaborate much, simply attributing the move an "internal issue."

With the further delay of Dell's Venue Pro, It leaves our European WP7 counterparts QWERTY-less, with nothing more than hopes that the HTC 7 Pro manages to find its way over there in the near future.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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Although LG may be feeling some blues over the response to Windows Phone 7, one area they nailed was their awesome Voice to Text app.

We're sure Microsoft and their Tell-Me system will add this feature to all Windows Phone in the future, but for now, LG has it all to their own. That's because they're using Nuance Dragon Diction to do the actual speech translation and it works quite well.

Supporting Twitter, SMS, email and memos, the LG-only app is a shining jewel for their Quantum (see review) and Optimus 7 phones and something to consider when buying your device.

Bonus Tip: saying "period", "exclamation point" or "question mark" will do punctuation for you. So cool.

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In a recent interview, James Choi,  marketing strategy and planning team director of LG Electronics global, shared some thoughts on the Windows Phone 7 launch and at least they're honest. In short, they were expecting a bit more visibility of the launch and for it to catch on more:

From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected.

LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning. What we feel is that it is absolutely perfect for a huge segment out there. What we feel is that some people believe that some operating systems, mainly Google, are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use...

No one should necessarily be surprised at those comments.  The launch for Windows Phone 7 has been a critical success but publicly it is a bit on the down-low now, especially with Android and now the iPhone (once again) stealing all the news. But all is not doom and gloom for LG as they truly believe in Windows Phone 7 both as a vialble OS and a way to balance the plethora of Android devices in the market--something they say their vendors are looking to balance as well because there's just too much Android. As to the solution?

There is a lot of scepticism at the moment, but once Windows Phone 7 handsets that are mid-tier to low tier start appearing the market share will grow. Right now it’s only exclusively present in a high tier, because of its hardware requirements, and that’s limiting growth.

Sounds about right to us. Microsoft has the right pieces, just a matter of time.

Source: Pocket-lint; via Pocketnow

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If you own a LG Quantum, LG has updated it's Marketplace offerings with a handful of new, free, apps.  There are ten apps in all and they include:

  • Cocktail Flow - A cocktail recipe app
  • Doodle God - A civilization creation game
  • Color Sprouts -A drawing/coloring app
  • Envision for Basecamp - Project management tool
  • Krashlander - A gaming app pitting you against robots
  • Colorize - An image manipulation tool
  • Weave - A very good RSS reader(here's our review)
  • Talking Ragdoll - Novelty app to transform your pictures into talking rag dolls
  • Mobile Sommelier - A wine and food pairing app
  • Mr. Hat and the Magic Cube - An interesting looking puzzle game

LG is also offering a network setup app to help users configure their network settings (similar to what Samsung did a while ago).

What's interesting about this offer is that these apps (save the network setup) are all openly available on the Marketplace.  All totaled, these apps would run you about $30 but if you access them through your LG Quantum, they are free.  I guess it is LG's way to say thanks for choosing our phone.

To take advantage of these free apps, simply go to your Marketplace App on your LG Windows Phone and they'll be listed in the LG App Store.

Source: PocketNow Thanks to Mike and Just Visiting for sending in this tip!

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ElektricForest has created an insightful chart (click the image to enlarge) that outlines the more frequently observed features of any mobile for Windows Phone 7. Thinking on switching to the Microsoft platform but are having difficulty with deciding which product would best suit your needs? Take a quick (or in-depth) look at the detail of this chart. Also, you may wish to admire the pretty colours used in presenting the data in an aesthetically pleasing style.

There have been a slight increase in the amount of discussions on our forums that are created about switching to Windows Phone 7, but not knowing which product is the best solution for that particular user. Hopefully this chart can shed some light on any poor soul who simply can't make his (or her) mind up.

I see it as this – why read a financial marketing book, when you have a children’s book about money with huge pictures right next-door on the shelf?

Source: ElektricForest; via Windows Phone Secrets

Update: I have added the updated image with corrected Dell data.

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Review: LG Quantum

LG has joined the party! The LG Quantum is available over at AT&T to complete the wireless provider's initial Windows Phone 7 lineup.

The Samsung Focus's main features would be the thin size and Super-AMOLED screen. The HTC Surround's key feature would be the slide out Yamaha speakers. The LG Quantum's key features, the slide-out keyboard and DLNA compatibility.

Can the physical keyboard and DLNA give the Quantum a leg up on the competition? Or will the smaller form factor dampen the impact of the LG Quantum?

Ease on past the break to find out.

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