mango

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Samsung Omnia W priced in Italy at €349

We've just got word of pricing information for the Samsung Omnia W in Italy. We previously reported a leak that saw the handset to be priced at $569. TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) has the Omnia W up on their website for €349 ($480/£305), which isn't too bad considering the device comes packed with a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera.

India has also launched the Omnia W at Rs 19,900, only slightly cheaper than Italy's pricing, so this could be a good indication for us Euorpeans.

Source: TIM, via: Windows Phone Italy (Google Translate)

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A number of Windows Phone users running Mango have complained about their keyboards performing a disappearing act and I can confirm that mine too vanishes on the rare occasion. An active thread is accumulating posts over at the XDA Developer forum with experiences and complaints. Microsoft has since confirmed that they are looking into the reports with a reply to a Twitter user who tweeted about the issue. Mary Jo Foley, of ZDNet, received a statement from the software giant:

Customer support is working with the individuals reporting changes to their experience. We are investigating these reports to determine the root cause of any issues users are having.

Have you come across this problem?

Source: Twitter, ZDNetXDA Developer forum, via: WinRumors

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Anyone who's used the Dell Venue Pro know its a love-hate relationship. And  just as things were looking up for the device with Mango and some new firmware, a new issue has cropped up, one that has been bothering us too.

The compass doesn't work. For any app. No Stars 3D, no compass, no augmented-reality, nothing.

The compass drive and API are up to the OEM to provide which is why when you update to Mango you get two updates: the OS and the firmware. And while Dell did deliver the firmware (jumping from 212 to 219) they evidently botched it with the compass driver, as is becoming obvious for many users.

Now at XDA, some sleuthing has in fact shown this to be the case. Mitchell S., has taken a look at the log during the Mango setup and found this:

**** Starting IMGFS Update @ 16:46:58 ****

Deleting file compassDrv.dll.  &$^4?!

CustomSettings.cab.pkg->5E542BF4-046F-41AA-8BB7-FFB031E0F024.rgu @ 16:46:59

Setting invalid OS state

QC_8x50_OS_SHIP.cab.pkg->D3F0E60E-DE7C-11DF-930A-3D26E0D72085.rgu @ 16:46:59

CustomIcon.cab.pkg->05E12A31-F993-40A4-8A58-136879E5CCEC.rgu @ 16:46:59

Even if that wasn't the reason, it still doesn't explain why our compass is locked at 100 degrees. What say you, Dell? Are we going to have to wait another six-months for this to be fixed?

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There has been some confusion surrounding tethering (Internet sharing) in Mango, but a list of supported handsets has been compiled over at the XDA Developer forum. OEMs and carriers have the choice to enable tethering for customers should firmware allow it, for example Orange has recently alerted customers to a tethering add-on, but work has begun for workarounds in enabling the feature. Unfortunately, tethering depends on LAN chipset used and we have bad news for Venue Pro owners.

In one hand we have the handsets that run on the Broadcom 4329 chipset and have tethering functionality, whether it be via OEM activation or by third-party hacks. In the other we have handsets that sport the same chipset but require either the carrier to enable tethering, OEM to support the feature or for workarounds to be posted. So, what devices are able to use tethering and which are still pending?

Supported

  • Samsung Omnia 7
  • Samsung Focus
  • HTC Mozart
  • HTC Titan
  • HTC Radar

Waiting

  • HTC HD7
  • HTC 7 Pro
  • HTC Surround
  • HTC Trophy
  • LG E900

You may have noticed we mentioned the Venue Pro in the title and above, this is because the Dell handset sports the Broadcom 4325 chipset, which apparently doesn't support AP mode. There is light at the end of the tunnel however, as reports suggest that the Mango USB tethering hack works.

Source: XDA Developer forum, via: WPSauce

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According to an interview with the Economic Times, D Shivakumar, Nokia India managing director, has said that the Finnish manufacturer is looking to launch their first Windows Phone handset in India by March 2012. For now it seems Nokia is focusing on Europe to kick-start their advancement before tackling the US and Asian markets.

"Work for the Windows phone is on track and it would be launched in the first quarter of next (calendar) year."

Not long to wait. This goes with Nokia taking on Telstra, but we're unsure of a time frame for launch. Let's not forget that lucky developers in London will be receiving the soon-to-be announced device.

Source: The Economic Times, via: WPSauce

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It was just six days ago when we reported that Mango hit 20% of Windows Phones world-wide (17% in the US). The info came via the free app "...I'm a WP7!" which collected the data from its 83,000 users.

As of today, the number has hit 30% world-wide with Windows Phone owners in the U.S. following closely at 27%. The data sample this time is also much larger, with over 93,000 users now on board using "...I"m a WP7!", making it even more reliable and statistically significant.  At the current rate, Windows Phone Mango should hit a 50% adoption rate by October 22nd, less than 30 days after the update went "live" for a limited amount of users. Not bad, not bad at all for Microsoft's big-update.

One thing that is for certain, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can deploy such a large update to scale once Windows Phone gains more market share. So long as the number of different Windows Phone devices stays relatively small (compared to Android), we think it shouldn't be a problem.

Pick up a "...I'm a WP7!" here in the Marketplace to see for yourself, as well as other interesting user stats.. (Thanks, Judge Daniel & TheWeeBear for the tip)

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SkyMap - Mango App Spotlight

Good news for the star gazers in the house. The Windows Phone app SkyMap was recently updated to version 1.5. The update adds Mango features into the mix including fast app switching and a point to sky mode that uses the Windows Phone's compass sensors.

For those not familiar with SkyMap (here's our review) it provides interactive sky maps for any time (between 1900 and 2100), viewpoint and location on Earth. The app displays the different names, coordinates, magnitude, astronomical rise and set times plus additional information for over 110000 stars, messier objects, planets, sun and the moon.

If you're an avid star gazer or just wanting to learn more about the stars above, SkyMap is worth checking out. There is a free version of SkyMap available (ad supported) that you can find here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace. An ad-free version is running $1.29 that you can find here at the Marketplace.  Remember, the update to SkyMap requires you to have Windows Phone 7.5 running on your phone.

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We've seen the new Windows Phone adverts Microsoft seems to be pushing out to their YouTube channel as well as other places and they've caught our attention for all the right reasons. Probably due to Brandon Foy being hired? The adverts and videos we've seen thus far have focused on highlighted Mango features. There was one thing missing - Bing.

Microsoft has solved this by releasing four new videos where viewers can enjoy a presentation of services including Vision, Local Scout, and web search. Still upbeat, still beautiful. Check out the video above and three more after the break.

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A support representative from Deutsche Telekom told users via a reply on Facebook that the Mango update for the Samsung Omnia 7 will not be coming until "early November."  It's not what Omnia 7 owners wanted to hear, but it's better than not knowing at all, right?  DT first pushed out WP 7.5 updates to HTC devices on September 26, with Samsung ones said to follow, but it was reported the next day that the Omnia 7 would not be included.  Deutsche Telekom and the Omnia 7 are no strangers to update delays, so the news is not terribly surprising, though disappointing nonetheless.

Thanks for the tip, Tobi!

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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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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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Windows Phone Mango update status

Eric Hautala returns on the Windows Phone blog with a big thanks to the community for the eagerness, patience and loyalty shown throughout the release of Mango. The updates that have been carried out thus far have all be successful and the team has decided to open up Mango to 50% of users ahead of schedule.

Remember that if you'd rather not wait, we have a quick guide to force Mango on your handset.

Source: Windows Phone blog

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Samsung launches Omnia W in India

Not so long after the announcement, Samsung are to launch the first Windows Phone Mango device in India, the Omnia W. Featuring a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera (with FF VGA camera) the handset is no slouch in terms of power and functionality. 

BGR reports that the mid-level Omnia W is to be priced at Rs 19,990 (about $400) and will be available sometime in November.

Source: BGR, Fone Arena

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HTC Hub gets updated and looks a lot better

We have received numerous tips today that the HTC Hub was updated over night. Sure enough, it was and the new version is v2.2.

The update brings a few Mango features into play and gives the Hub an improved appearance. For those not familiar with the HTC Hub, the old version offered you weather information and links to featured Windows Phone apps. The new version still offers the weather and featured apps but also adds news and stock information to the Hub.

The new version spreads everything out on multiple pages while the old version had a cramped, cluttered feel to it. You can add forecast cities to the main page (tap on a city to pull up a detailed forecast), customize your stock information on the next, access customized RSS news feeds on the next and then check out featured Windows Phone apps.

Another very nice feature of the new HTC Hub is Live Tiles for your forecast cities. Just tap and hold on the forecast city listing on the main page (you can also do this from the detailed forecast view) to create a Live Tile on your Start Menu. The Live Tile will display the current temperature and forecast high/low along with a weather icon for the current conditions.

All in all, the update vastly improves the HTC Hub. It's cleaner looking and better laid out. The Hub enjoys Mango's fast resume feature and the Live Tiles are really nice. If you're running Windows Phone 7.5 on an HTC device, you can find the HTC Hub here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace or check your HTC Apps listing in the Windows Phone Marketplace app.

Thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Here's one more ringtone app for your Windows Phone and it's a doozy. 1,777 Ringtones and SoundFx Ultimate is one healthy collection of ringtones and sounds that you can save to your Mango updated Windows Phone.

The app is laid out fairly simple. You have category files up top and the ringtones specific to each category appear in the bottom half of the screen. A preview button sits in the middle along with an "add to favorites" button and a repeat tool. There is also a keyword search field at the very top of the screen to make finding that special sound a little easier.

There are over 100 folders ranging from Baby Sounds to Funny Animal sounds to Rubber Ducky sounds. Each folder contains anywhere from two to three to more sounds. All totaled, the app offers you 1,777 ringtones and sounds to choose from. When you find a sound you like, just tap and hold to pull up the "save to phone" menu. The sound will be saved to your Settings>Ringtones and Sounds menu under Custom Ringtones.

1,777 Ringtones and SoundFX Ultimate has some decent sounds but the app also contains sounds I can't imagine anyone would choose as thier ringtone. Luckily there is a free trial available to let you preview the ringtones before you buy the app. In order to save the sounds, you'll have to fork over the $2.99 for the full version.

You can find 1,777 Ringtones and SoundFX Ultimate here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.

Wrapping things up, we've looked at three ringtone apps that range from a handful of ringtones to more sounds than you can shake a stick at (Pimp my Ringtones, Ringtone Maker (which really isn't a ringtone maker) and 1,777 Ringtones). When all is said and done I can't help but think the best way to get a custom ringtone on to your Windows Phone is to make it yourself.

The ringtone apps are an easy way to get custom ringtones but there's no guarantee they contain that ringtone that reflects your personality the best.

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It won't be too long before WP7 Mango is updated on every available device available, no matter which carrier they're on. According to an announcement on T-Mobile UK's customer support forums, the service provider is already working to bring Mango to the current lineup of devices.

The update isn't expected for a couple of weeks, but if you're a T-Mobile customer in the UK, at least you have something cool to look forward to. We're pretty happy with what Mango has brought already, and there's no doubt that you will be as well, in the coming weeks.

Source: T-Mobile UK Support Forums; Via: Twitter (@topleya)

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T-Mobile, for some reason (we bet they signed something), evidently insists on making Google the default search engine for their phones, including the HTC HD7. It's sort of annoying for many because Bing is actually really good at what it does.

In the Mango update for the HD7 for T-Mobile (in the US at least), users have an extra option under the IE9 settings--basically they get to choose Google as default or switch to Bing, which is migh-tee nice of them, no? Of course, you're probably wondering why the rest of us don't have that option to go in reverse, right? Yeah, we don't know either.

But at least for T-Mo users, feel free to switch back to Bing now and take a shower to wash the ick off. Thanks, Prakash G., for the tip and photo!

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Thumba Photo Editor gets updated to Mango

The popular photo editor for your Windows Phone, Thumba Photo Editor, was updated overnight to version 3.5.0. It brings a handful of improvements to the table including the fast resume of Mango and it now appears in your Photo Hub/Camera menu under "apps" (more on this in a second). Additional improvements and changes include:

  • New icon with transparency
  • New before/after tool
  • Images can be reloaded by shaking your phone
  • Histogram display improvements
  • Manual saturation adjustment added
  • Gamma configuration added to exposure adjustments
  • Several bug fixes and performance tweaks

The updated version of Thumba Photo Editor has full integration with the Pictures Hub in that it is listed under the "Apps" menu option. With Windows Phone 7, when you pulled up the three-dot menu while viewing a photo there was the menu option "Extras". "Extras" listed every photo app installed on your phone and you could launch these apps from this menu. With Windows Phone 7.5, the "Extras" menu option has been replaced by the "Apps" option. It too lists photo apps installed on your phone but the developer must include this integration within their app. Not every photo app will be listed.

In just tinkering with the updated version of Thumba Photo Editor, it ran smoothly and the interface felt cleaner. I like the before/after button and the fast resume feature.  The fast resume brings you back to where you left, which is great feature when your photo editing gets interrupted.

If you are looking for a great photo editor with a lot of tools, Thumba Photo Editor is a steal at $.99. If you're not sure, there is a free trial available to let you try before you buy. You can find Thumba Photo Editor here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to entanianick for the tip!

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Ringtone Maker - Mango App Spotlight

Next up in our ringtone spotlight series is Ringtone Maker. While the app title leads one to believe it is a ringtone maker for your Windows Phone, it is another collection of ringtones that you can save to your Windows Phone.

Where Pimp my Ringtone has 21 ringtones, Ringtone Maker has thirteen categories of ringtones. Each category has anywhere from six to ten ringtones. The choices include animal, fart, jungle, WWE, TV Themes, video game and bollywood ringtones.

To save a ringtone to your Windows Phone, tap and hold on the ringtone of your liking to pull up the utility menu. From the utility menu you can save the ringtone to your phone, delete the ringtone, or add it to the favorites page.

Ringtone Maker has some decent ringtones but I felt as though the quality could have been better in some areas. If you like TV Theme Songs or a fan of WWE Wrestling, this one might be for you. There is a trial version of Ringtone Maker available to let you preview the ringtones. In order to save them to the phone, you'll have to buy the full version which is running $2.99.  Remember, you'll need to update your Windows Phone to Mango in order to run Ringtone Maker. 

You can find Ringtone Maker here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.

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Our friends over at PreCentral have taken notice of all the racket going on over here. Apparently all the ruckus over the release of the Mango update is making others take notice.

Tim Stiffler-Dean, who moonlights around these parts from time to time, has written up a very nice article and takes a look at the competition from a webOS point of view. It's not a case of a webOS site slamming a competing OS but rather a constructive observation on what Mango has brought to the table. For example,

Though these improvements are very good, they don't quite do everything I would have liked. The new multitasking feature is a great example of this: Hold down the back button to go into "card view" and see all of the apps you currently have open and quickly switch between each one. The limitations are seen when you realize that developers have to build their apps to specifically to take advantage of the multitasking APIs.

Kudos are also given to the speed of Mango, enhanced Twitter integration, and Live Tile improvements. All in all, PreCentral gives Windows Phone 7.5 a fair shake and sees it as a natural fit for webOS user should they look elsewhere for their smartphone needs.  While the article recognizes that it is hard to talk down on Windows Phone 7.5 for long, it also notes that there is still room for improvement.

No argument here. Windows Phone 7 was the first step in a long journey for Microsoft. Mango was the next step in this journey to build a great mobile operating system. And we'll agree with Tim that Mango is a big step (in the right direction) for Windows Phone.

You can read all of Tim's observations on Windows Phone 7.5 over at PreCentral.

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