rom

The Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone 8 smartphone is favoured among many, including ourselves. We rated the handset highly in our in-depth review and rightly so - it's a top notch device. If you've been wanting to hop on the custom ROM path with the ATIV S, now's your opportunity with a new solution released over on XDA Developers.

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Nokia and Microsoft are slowly (but surely) looking to roll the GDR2 + Amber update out to consumers with a Lumia Windows Phone. Those with a Lumia 928 and who are anxious to get the update will be able to get dirty by manually applying it to their device. Windows Phone Central member tungha has published some links on the forum that contain files for the Nokia Amber update.

Fancy some flashing? You can now update your Lumia 928 manually, should you know what you're doing of course.

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The Focus gets some life breathed into it

The other day we gave you folks a quick tour of some bits of Windows Phone 7.8. The upcoming OS update is not yet finished but pieces of it are being incorporated into custom ROMs and are hitting all generation 1 and 2 devices, including the HTC Arrive, Titan and even now the Samsung Focus.

The Focus is considered by many to be the “classic” Windows Phone as it had a great design, sold well and many are in fact still using it. For that reason, it’s kind of neat to see it get this cobbled together 7.8 ROM, which has some other nice bonus features like some Nokia apps and USB Video out.

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File this under shocking, but wonder hacker Dotcompt has gone ahead an managed to port over Windows Phone 7.8 (early build) from a Nokia phone to a the venerable HTC HD7.

The ROM is now live and ready to be downloaded though like all ROMs, there are some caveats and things to pay attention too, including the fact that this has not yet been widely tested. For the most part, it looks like you just get a new Start screen but it's too early to tell.

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The brains over on the XDA Developers forum have cooked up another custom ROM for the HTC TITAN. The Deepshining custom ROM bundles a number of features and improvements on top of the already butter smooth operating system. We previously looked at the Deepshining custom ROM for the HTC HD7, which introduced custom themes among other tweaks.

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One of the “forgotten” phones on T-Mobile seems to have been the awesome and site favorite HTC Radar. We say that only because it has yet to receive the 8773 ‘Tango’ update like a lot of other Windows Phone, including its non-branded international counterpart.

We’ve now had two reports coming in noting that replacement phones for the Radar have ‘Tango’ in ROM:

  • OS version: 7.10.8773.98
  • Firmware revision number:1750.0602.40602.531

There’s no word of course when or if T-Mobile will push out the update for the rest of you who still have working Radars but we think it’s a positive sign that fresh-from-the-factory versions are coming with a T-mo approved new ROM.

Although Tango is a minor update, it does feature such things as multiple MMS messaging and other minor improvements to the user experience in addition to the optimized new firmware from HTC to fix any other performance issue that may be nagging users.

We checked our Zune Desktop and did not notice any awaiting updates (even when we “forced” it using the Wi-Fi trick) so don’t get too excited yet. We’ll try to find out more though so keep your fingers crossed in the meantime. Thanks, Andre for the photo and ICMIAMI05, for the info

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…and when we say "borrow", we’re being generous. As it turns out, the HTC Titan over at XDA has been getting some custom-ROM-love and a new one called 'WPV 8779 Nokia Edition v3' has certainly raised the bar.

The ROM of course requires a full-unlock, something that was achieved a few months ago for those who want to go through the somewhat arduous process. But what makes this ROM interesting is the inclusion of some of Nokia’s platform exclusive apps made to work with the Titan.  Such apps include Camera Extras, Counter and Contact Share. That is a fairly nice start even if Nokia would frown upon such practices.

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Windows Phone 8773 still has a few hidden things in it

While users around the world are slowly getting the Windows Phone Tango 8773 update, a few under-the-hood changes are being noticed by users. We forced manually installed the update onto our Focus 2, Titan II and Lumia 900 with the Focus 2 (review) being our main device these days. As a result, we have had some experience running Tango and noticed a few little nuggets which we'll share below.

  • New wallpapers – We first noticed this on our Tango-fied Lumia 610 but Microsoft is now including those new “nature” themed wallpapers in the Tango ROM
  • Faster numeric PIN response – At least on our 8112 devices (Titan II, Focus 2, Lumia 900), when we would attempt to unlock our PIN on our phone it would sometimes be very slow and not register, requiring you to re-enter the number. While minor, it was annoying. That was fixed by updating all our devices.
  • Send ringtone via MMS – We can now attach and send ringtones to others via MMS. You can only send custom ringtones though and nothing that is “in ROM”. This in addition to the new "send voice note" and attach multiple images in an MMS that's found in Tango too.
  • Letter indexing – On Windows Phone 7.x after a user installs 45 apps, the app list will automatically index, giving you the “letter picker” to jump to find your favorite app. The problem, albeit minor, was if you went below 45, the “letter picker” would not disappear. It was odd behavior and nothing we ever experienced but Tango evidently fixes this. [Forum]
  • More reliable notifications – Many users are reporting better notifications, both Tile and Toast, with the Tango update. To be honest, we feel this has more to do with “flushing the system” than any actual optimizations, though perhaps there are a few.

Users can now share custom ringtones over MMS

Another anecdotal fix may be related to "the Internet Sharing bug" which sometimes causes normal WiFi to stop working, then forces users onto cell data unknowingly. This only occurs if you've enabled internet sharing at some point on the device. We've seen this on our Lumia 900 and so far it seems better to us under Tango, though we're still evaluating. 

Things not available that were thought to be:

  • Static IP for WiFi- We haven’t seen this but you can reportedly enable it via a registry hack. Bad news is you need a rooted phone to do that. Some Nokia users supposedly have this though we assume it’s tied to the firmware [Forum]
  • Location icon – This actually not a part of Tango (8773) despite previous reports, but is part of 8779+, so don’t look for it or expect it
  • Export contacts to SIM – Not available though you can enable it via a registry hack, assuming you have a routed device [Forum]

Did we miss anything—specifically any new features or options? We get a lot of “this is now faster” reports but those are near impossible to verify, so we’re only looking for actual new additions to Tango 8773. If you have some, let us know in comments.

New nature-themed wallpapers are now included in "Tango"

Finally, we have not seen a Tango update for any of our AT&T phones, including the Focus S, despite some isolated and unverified reports. Sorry, folks. Thanks, rockstarzzz, for the forum links

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While those of us on AT&T in the States are evidently sitting out the great Tango push for June, those up north are having better luck.

We've had two reports from users on Rogers that Windows Phone 7.5 Tango aka 8773 is now being pushed for their Lumia 900s. The update comes in two parts with 8112 going first followed by 8773, meaning users will have enough time to catch their favorite show while their phone backs up and applies the two updates.

Windows Phone 7.5 Tango only brings some minor fixes to the OS with some MMS enhancements but the Nokia firmware is the real juicy stuff. Bringing WiFi tethering and "flip to silence" for incoming calls, the firmware should go a long way in making sure users' phones are running in tip top shape.

For those not wishing to wait, they can take matters into their own hands and force the update manually. Otherwise, if you're on Nokia with an 800 or 710, you can check your device status here.

Thanks, Derek N. and Erik, for the tips and images

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File this under: Experienced users only

Warning:  We’re just going to say that Windows Phone 7.5 Tango is not that big of a deal. It’s a tiny update with a few MMS enhancements and some minor tweaks (most of which are undocumented, but see our hands on video to get an idea). So we’re not sure that trying to manually update your Windows Phone with Tango 8773.98 is a high priority. Nor is the risk of damaging your phone and blocking the upcoming 7.8 update.

And let's be honest, a lot of "fixes" and "tweaks" for your Windows Phone will come from the OEM firmware which this does not provide. Finally, this does not provide the new Start screen. That's Windows Phone 7.8 this is still 7.5.

Having said that, user bobzero on the XDA Forums has posted the Tango OS cab files direct from Microsoft and the needed language files to get the update started. It will break inter-op unlock (for the tiny few of you who have that) but you can go through the process again re-enable it.

The big question for many of you will be How do I do this? It’s not Android-custom ROM hard, but it does require a little prep work and some careful reading.

Luckily for you we wrote a nice little tutorial on how to manually update your phone to 8107 to get the much needed “disappearing keyboard fix”. That same process should work here so long as you replace the 8107 CAB with the 8773 one, obviously. Likewise, you’ll need the language packs too which bobzero has given you.

We haven’t done this yet ourselves but we do have our trusty Samsung Focus 2 and a bottle of Wild Turkey that says we’re going to try it soon.

As usual, sound off in comments on your experience and please, don’t blame us if you damage your phone. Remember: read, ask questions and take your time. And if you're on OS 8107 you need to go to 8112 first.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, bobzero for this tip and your past ones ;-)

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A non-working, magenta Lumia 900 for Italian Nokia stores

For a few months now we've been teasing the Magenta variant of the Nokia Lumia 900. We first reported that it was scheduled for a Mother's Day release, which would have seen appropriate but alas that never came to be. Since then we've seen the Magenta device show up worldwide a few times including Nokia's own Facebook page but it has yet to be released anywhere.

Now, if you load up NaviFirm Plus and check Nokia's servers, you'll see a Magenta ROM for the Lumia 900 looking pretty. The listed file name is RM-808 VAR ATT MAGENTA (059N3B9) and it corresponds with the same ROM and firmware available for the current cyan, matte black and glossy white versions already available on AT&T.

A snapshot from Navifirm clearly showing a Magenta Lumia 900 ROM for AT&T

While there is no word on availability we're going to take this as a major sign that AT&T is gearing up for its release and it is rather close too. 

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Continuing that trend of providing the best customer experience on Windows Phone, Nokia has put up a page where regular users can check to see if Windows Phone 8773 aka "Tango" has been released yet, or even just the status of the update.

Located at www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/lumia/software-update-for-nokia-lumia/ uses can select which region they are in and the drill down to their carrier or Lumia version number.

Interestingly enough, the AT&T Lumia 900 is not even on the list for North America which strongly implies that the carrier is skipping the update and heading right for Windows Phone 7.8 which will include the few Tango features. We're not sure if that's good or bad as Tango doesn't really bring much more than a few MMS enhancements to the 900 but still, it would have been nice to see it as there is no ETA on 7.8.

For T-Mobile, we just posted that the Tango update for the Lumia 710 should go live tomorrow, June 27th, after a delay of a week. We'll be keeping an eye out for that one.

Edit: Some readers correctly point out that Nokia specifically mentions this update is only for the Lumia 710 and 800, so we shouldn't expect the 900 to be listed. This is partially true but only because non-North America (AT&T, Rogers) Lumia 900s shipped with "Tango" pre-installed already, so they don't need the update. Only AT&T and Rogers (as far as we know) and a handful of smaller countries don't have 8773/Tango pre-installed. 

Source: Nokia; Thanks, bilzkh, for the tip

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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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If you're on the cutting edge of Windows Phone hacking and homebrew then you probably have a fully unlocked device with a custom ROM running "Tango" 8773. If so, then you may want to take a look at this latest creation from Zealson over at XDA.

The simple XAP file will launch a mini-app to allow you to change the battery meter to a custom version. The meters have four options available: default, horizontal, vertical and circular with the latter three having a percentage number for a semi-accurate reading of your remaining battery life.

We say semi-accurate as the percentage doesn't get down to the 1% range and instead looks to be at 10% increments. Such a limitation is due to the API though who knows what magic these devs can whip up, so there may be hope for 1% changes too.

Of course as we mentioned at the beginning, only fully-unlocked ROMs can install this and luckily the Titan and Radar are now in that camp too

Source: XDA Forums

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RainbowMod? Sounds familiar, right? We previously covered a custom ROM for the Lumia 710 sharing an identical name, and now it's out for the Lumia 800. Built on Windows Phone "Tango" (7.10.8773.98) and based on Chinese firmware, RainbowMod is shipped with both English (US) and Russian languages.

It's required that the owner has configured the Qualcomm boot loader on their Lumia 800. So what's included in RainbowMod?

  • Full Unlock from UltraShot
  • Removed OEM applications (Nokia Drive, Maps, etc.)
  • Search key remapping
  • QuickLaunch menu for quick switching state of WiFi, 3G, Flight mode, Power save, etc.
  • Ability to access file system via WiFi/USB
  • Integrated Live ID, DppImplant no longer needed, but new key can also be banned
  • Orientation locker
  • Added multiple colour themes
  • Easy installation xap from browser or file manager
  • Unlocked Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts (limitation of Chinese firmware)
  • Added Google and Yandex search engines
  • xb0xmod cert for cab-updates
  • Cab-updatable
  • Lots of minor changes
  • Updatability via Zune (not guaranteed)

It must be noted that the ROM creator does not own a Lumia 800, and thus this may well bust a cap in your Lumia's ass. Windows Phone Central takes no responsibility for any damage caused to your device. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. Head on over to the XDA thread for more information and support.

Source: XDA; thanks Maersk for the heads up!

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Metro^7 is a custom Lumia 710 ROM built on the Tango release, and is now available over at the XDA developer forum. The author, XDA member vova1609, states that you need to have your Lumia 710 interop unlocked, but then you should be good to go with flashing. 

Some highlighted features:

  • Fully unlocked
  • Install XAPs using Internet Explorer
  • Bazaar pre-installed
  • Bluetooth File Transfer by DFT pre-installed
  • Exclusive wallpapers "metro ROCK"
  • Added tethering functionality
  • Deleted Nokia's apps (Nokia Music, etc.)
  • Added Google and Yandex as available search engines

As well as the ROM and included functionality, an exclusive pack of 'metro ROCK' wallpapers are included, featuring multiple designs to match the system theme. Please note that Windows Phone Central does not take any responsibility for any issues your device may develop using this (or any other) available ROM. Use at your own discretion.

Source: XDA, via: Plaffo

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A lot of hay has been made over Windows Phone "Tango" aka CR3/build 8773 of Microsoft's mobile OS. The update contains a lot of minor things and is mostly focused on compatibility with 256MB devices for emerging markets and low-cost Windows Phones.

Nokia is hard at work with updating their ROMs for all Lumia phones and in fact if you use Navifirm to check, the Lumia 710 and 800 are getting heavily populated with new Tango updates, presumably being readied for roll-out in June.

We grabbed one of those ROM, OS 8773 with firmware 12120 from Mexican carrier Telcel to see what it has on board. Presumably, these changes you see in the above video will also be on the Lumia 800 and 900 ROMs as well, so consider this a sneak peek. Here is what's new:

  • Call forwarding - forward your calls to a designated number for (1) all calls (2) when I don't answer (3) when I am busy (4) when my phone is turned off
  • Call waiting - enable/disable
  • SMS delivery confirmation* - on/off
  • MMS delivery confirmation* - on/off
  • SMS Character set - Reduced (no accents, standard SMS) or Full
  • Send MMS acknowledgement* - on/off
  • Internet Sharing (aka WiFi tethering)
  • Enhanced MMS - Send voice notes, multiple images, video
  • Nokia branded Marketplace icon

As you can see, some of those features are pretty great (especially Internet Sharing) but they're also not necessarily "must have" items either, making Tango a minor update, something we've been emphasizing for some time now. Still, Nokia has done a nice job here and we expect T-Mobile to roll this out sometime in June officially (just a guess).

Some of you may wonder if the OS feels any different (faster, smoother, etc.) and to our eyes, no, it feels exactly the same. Perhaps there are some optimizations here and there but we really didn't notice it. We should also note the MMS issues we had in the video are probably due to this not being a T-Mobile ROM and more over, Nokia pulled their Network app to be fixed  (it'll be back soon) so we can't configure our MMS gateway for T-Mobile.

If you have any questions, ask away in comments. And yes, we'll see about whipping up a tutorial on how loaded Tango on our T-Mobile phone for you 'leet hackrz out there.

* Items with asterisk were not covered in video

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Windows Phone "Tango" aka CR3 is the OS update everyone wants though very few know why. Indeed it brings only a handful of updates, mostly revolving around MMS options and geolocation icon. The OS update is mostly aimed at the low-end 256MB devices that are now hitting the market though it does give companies a chance to tie in precious firmware updates with the OS.

While the AT&T Lumia 900 sells with 8112 (CR2), everyone is anxiously anticipating 8773 (CR3). That OS update won't actually do much but the accompanying firmware presumably will (read: bug fixes).

Having said all of that the Finish Tango ROM (8773 with firmware 12140) popped up on Navifirm this morning and yes, can be downloaded. Does that mean it can be flashed to your AT&T Lumia 900? We wouldn't recommend it as down-grading the ROM to the proper one is not guaranteed. Still, we know many of you are anxious on this end so we'll see what the more ambitious folks have to say if someone dares to flash.

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We've reported twice on Nokia getting ready to serve up some Tango ROM updates along with new firmware for the Lumia 710. First was a planned update for China and it was followed by an update for the carrier Proximus in Belgium.

Both ROMs contained  OS 8773 which is known as Windows Phone Consumer Refresh 3 (CR3) or just "Tango" and will have either 12111 or 12120 firmware on board to coincide with the pushed update. But what a lot of folks were wondering is if the firmware enabled Internet Sharing aka Tethering, a feature long missing from the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800.

Indeed we can now report that at least some of these software updates will have this on board as site WP7.nl has installed and verified that this feature in present. Of course, we don't necessarily expect all updates to contain these as it will technically be up to the carriers but a good portion will opt for the pay-in service of wireless tethering.

We expect Nokia to begin pushing these update for both regions and more in a few weeks presumably June, if an earlier report is correct. In the meantime, Nokia will probably begin to populate their servers with more updates for other carriers for the big OS refresh. We'll keep you posted.

Update: Interestingly, Nokia has pulled the 8773 ROMs from their servers. Thanks, Francesco

Source: WP7.nl; Thanks, Niels, for the tip

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Just yesterday we reported that China was destined for some Tango ROM goodness for the Nokia Lumia 710. This was verified by peeking in on Nokia's own servers where they like to toss up the ROMs before they're pushed out (yet another reason to like the company, we suppose).

Tonight, with a quick cache refresh of our NaviFirm software we were able to seen yet another Tango ROM show up, this time destined for Belgium operator Proximus. This ROM has a slightly different firmware as it's labeled 8773.12120 versus the 12111 we saw for China.

We haven't loaded this one up but we feeling a little safer about English being on board. The big question everyone is wondering is Will the bring tethering to the Lumia 710? Our hunch says yes, at least for those carriers who want it.

It was speculated that Nokia did not tie the battery-saver update in the Lumia 800 (and 710) to the tethering feature for fear it could limit adoption by carriers. By separating them, Nokia could get the important battery fix out to the most users while it separately delivers the tethering update.

We imagine we'll find out soon enough. At least it's a good sign that Nokia is pushing out these updates on a wide-scale and we imagine the Lumia 800 will follow soon too.

via: Mi Movil Windows; Firmware image via Francesco S.

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