support

Nokia has been a busy bee with bringing more big brand support to Windows Phone. We recently covered the manufacturer creating partnerships with a number of companies for new official Windows Phone apps to be developed, and to add one more name to the list we have Six Flags. For those who aren't familiar with the brand; Six Flags is an entertainment corporation that owns and runs multiple theme parks across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Lumia Windows Phone owners will be able to enjoy a custom app, which will be available for all U.S. states, and Nokia will embark on a marketing partnership with Six Flags -- providing opportunities for the Lumia 900 to be advertised in amusement parks. Additionally, both companies will partner on national sweepstakes and retail promotions.

What about the app itself? The Six Flag app will sport unique content for each theme park, including an interactive map, attractions / ride information, cuisine and shopping, as well as special event listings. A customisable day planner enables visitors to plan their day ahead and check out rich media from Six Flags TV. Nokia will also provide discounts each night on select in-park retail, restaurant or games locations with Nokia Nightly Offers.

Check out the press release after the break. Source: PRNewsWireThanks Brian for the tip!

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Nokia: "We have identified the issue and will be addressed through a future SW update."

While we haven't heard any official details, Nokia support via Twitter is reporting that they have identified the purple-hue problem that is occurring on some Lumia 900s. The screen irregularity is very obvious and easy to induce: simply disable automatic brightness and turn the screen down to "low" in Settings. Doing so on some devices will cause the grays to look purple throughout the OS.

We reported on this and other minor issues for the Lumia 900 a few days ago and even polled to see what percentage of you are affected. The information and poll were passed onto Nokia engineers along with our defective glossy-white Lumia 900 (we received a perfect replacement in return). Curiously, only about 10% are having the problem which is still quite high but we actually expected the number to be higher.

Anecdotal evidence suggests than many have this problem but are unaware. For instance, reader Jordan M. had a friend try to find a Lumia 900 without the purple hue. In three corporate AT&T stores in Wisconsin, twelve out of twelves phone had the problem though no AT&T reps were aware of the defect. That could mean either the problem is more widespread or this issue is the result of some bad batches of phones during production.

Though we still don't know the exact cause, the problem can evidently be fixed through a software patch according to Nokia, which sounds reasonable. After all, the screens can do grays accurately, just not on low-brightness. That tells us it is probably due to a calibration issue with the AMOLED display or something similar.

No word on an ETA for the patch but since it's not a dire issue like the data-connection bug, we imagine Nokia will want to roll it up into a comprehensive update that also fixes other things like the non-functioning camera button when the screen is off, unresponsive capacitive keys, volume issues, etc.

We'll keep you posted.

Source: @NokiaCareUS; Thanks, Alex, for the heads up

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We're going to batten down that hatches on this one for the comment storm that is sure to follow, but at least according to an AT&T Community Manager, the company is not planning on supporting the famed 8107 Windows Phone OS update. That's the one that fixes the super frustrating "disappearing keyboard" bug as well as some other security fixes.

The word comes from Jamileh, a Community Manager on the official AT&T support forums. In response to an ongoing discussion about the update and whether or not it will be coming, Jamileh finally chimed in today with what sounds like a definitive answer:

"I got some news about the Windows Phone 8107 update and wanted to share it with you all. We are not currently planning to offer the Windows 8107 update. I don’t have any additional information right now. If and when I get details, I will update the thread."

While we can leave some wiggle room here for the company (Jamileh does work for AT&T but obviously is not an official PR person), her response does sound like a fairly black and white one with little room for reinterpretation.

Of course this raises all sorts of questions e.g. is it because they are opting for the bigger "Tango" update which would be a legitimate delay (why role out 8107 when you you have build 87xx coming in a a month?) or is it because they just don't have any immediate plans to update their current lineup? For now, we're going to assume that AT&T won't be supporting 8107 but we're not ready to get the pitchforks out yet either.

Hopefully AT&T will chime in sooner than later to give some respite to worrying customers who have a lot invested in their Windows Phone.

Source: AT&T Community Forums; Thanks, Sheeds (WPDownUnder) and Bill J., for the heads up

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Robert Scoble is at it again, name dropping on his interactions with the tech glitterati at CES. Most of his Google+ discussion can be written off as his usual "Why Windows Phone will fail" riff (answer: not enough apps), but in the garrulous post he does bring up an interesting discussion he had with Tom Conrad, the chief technology officer at Pandora.

According to Scoble:

"I walked around the show with the CTO of Pandora. He told me he still isn't willing to support Windows Phone. Why not? We were walking around the new Ford car, which has Pandora support. Pandora was ALL OVER the CES show floor. You could see that a small company still has to decide where to put its development resources. Clearly, after walking the show floor, that's Android and iOS"

It's one thing for Pandora to hold off on Windows Phone in 2010 but to say in 2012 they still have no plans to support Windows Phone is a bit unbelievable. Even more so since we do have third party clients already doing their work (e.g. MetroRadio, Radio Controlled). Of course, we can relish in the thought that developers are making money off of Pandora and they're not seeing a dime from their continued disregard for Windows Phone. Still, that's cold comfort for the platform as a whole.

Source: Google+; Thanks, Amir, for the tip!

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Bad news for you die-hard Venue Pro users, Dell has seemingly confirmed that no compass-support will be coming to the device. It was  about a month ago after the unlocked and T-Mobile versions of the DVP received their Mango updates did we noticed that no compass support was on board. From Lionel Menchaca, Dell's chief blogger:

"@HotmailAlias The update hasn't yet happened on the AT&T version of the #dellvenuepro. The compass function will not be supported."

At the time, it looked like an error on installation where the driver was deleted. But now it appears that this is on purpose. As far as we can tell, the hardware should support compass but for some reason, Dell has opted to not enable it. We're unsure how OEMs make decisions on these matters and whether they have to license and pay for access to that hardware (much like back in the day with aGPS and Qualcomm), but between the Radar (see review) and Venue Pro, it's a bit unsettling to have a fairly basic smartphone feature disabled in our hardware.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Daniel R., for the tip!

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Windows Phone 7.5 users are reporting some quirks with how it interacts with Exchange 2003 servers.  Firstly, when replying to an email using an Exchange 2003 account on a Windows Phone, the original message does not get included in the reply.  What the recipient sees instead is just the header information from the original message (pictured above). 

Another issue identified by Exchange 2003 users involves forwarded emails.  When forwarding a message to someone, the original content gets sent to the recipient as an attachment (pictured below). 

It's unclear why exactly this is happening, but it's certainly causing people frustration.  It's likely due legacy technology Exchange 2003 , which has since seen two newer iterations, Exchange 2007 and the latest, 2010.  Still, given that Exchange 2003 is clearly outdated and that it behooves companies to upgrade, the fact of the matter is that a brand new Microsoft product should interact flawlessly with another Microsoft product.  To add some fuel to the already justifiable fire, let's consider that Microsoft's competitors, namely Android and iPhone, do not have the same bugs.  Microsoft, you have some explaining to do.

NOTE: One commenter on the user voice page says that they are using Exchange 2003 SP2 and they are not experiencing the issue.  The tests I ran where I did have problems were on the same version of Exchange, so perhaps there is some update out there that fixes this. 

The Exchange ActiveSync Client Comparison Table on Microsoft TechNet does not list anything prior to Exchange 2003 SP2, so if you have WP7 working with anything older, then a hearty congratulations to you.

ANOTHER NOTE: This issue is being reported in some places as an Outlook issue, which is not the case.  The problem here has something to do with how the phone OS itself and the Exchange server communicate, which does not involve an email client like Outlook.  Though to be fair, when setting up an Exchange account in WP7, the option you choose is called "Outlook."

Source: Microsoft (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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In an interesting follow up to the "beware if you install more memory to WP7!" advice from Microsoft, AT&T seems to have no problem with you doing so. If you recall, in the article, the responsibility was basically passed off to the carriers if they want to "support" such behavior. Microsoft had said that many of the microSD cards out on the market were unreliable and therefore may cause problems.

Over in the AT&T forums, user eshudnow emailed Jeff Bradley, Senior Vice President of Devices for AT&T about the issue and this is reportedly his response:

Thanks for your interest in our new Windows Phone 7 devices. We are very excited as well about this great new experience being delivered on some very cool devices on the nation’s fastest network.

The devices will support the addition of up to a 32GB class 2 (or higher) microSD card. You need to insert the card before you power up the device the first time so that the operating system can map it as available memory to maximize its utilization. This is outlined in the Quick Start Guide you receive in the box. I encourage you to read this before you launch the device the first time to have the best experience with a microSD card.

Thanks again for your interest. I hope you like it as much as I do. If you have a moment, please let me know your experience.

So there you go. The max (at this point) seems to be 32GB and AT&T has no issue with you doing this and in fact, they give you explicit instructions on how to go about doing it. Sounds good to us. Hopefully other carriers will take a more lenient approach. Though this still raises the question if there will be a "warranty void sticker" and if so, will AT&T still enforce that or not?

Source: AT&T Support Forum; Thanks, electricbopeep, in comments!

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14

Windows Phone 7 audio & media codecs


File this under "old, but we missed it" and since s2gordon asked about them in comments yesterday, figured we'd answer...

We're going to leave this to you folks to determine if this list of officially supported audio and video codecs in Windows Phone 7 is a good thing/bad thing, since to be honest we're not aficionados in that area.

Our off-the-cuff first take? It's basic and expected. Nothing extraordinary. 

Full list of WP7 codecs after the break.

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One question has been bugging me ever since the Windows Phone 7 reveal back a few months ago and the revolves around screen resolution and quality.

We know that the preferred resolution is 800x480, which today is considered on the high end but within a few months will be closer to the norm in smartphones. This raises the question: what resolutions will WP7 support say in 12 months or 24 months out? Surely 800x480 won't be the bees-knees in two years from now. Heck, the 4th generation iPhone ("iPhone HD") is dropping this summer with an expected resolution of 960x640

We're pretty positive that Microsoft have some sort of upscaling plan in the works and the first hint of this may have just been found from one of the recent WP7 ROM dumps.

Specifically mention of a DPI 262 (DPI= dots per inch). Historically, Windows Mobile has supported DPI 192, 120 and 96. Windows Phone 7 supports 96, 131, 192, 262 and according to Da_G, WP7 resolution is scalable to just about anything.

Now DPI isn't resolution, but rather effects how dense the image is--the larger the screen, the less dense the pixels, you up those and your screen image is smoother looking. With DPI 262, Windows Phone 7 can (a) look better on current screens if enabled (b) work on larger screens e.g. 5" tablets and up. (c) be easier to read, think fonts/text and smoothness.

Hopefully this a positive sign of things to come.

[via XDA forums]

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5

Sync Kinoma Play to iTunes with Salling Media

On my computer, you will find nary a sign of any Apple software as iTunes stopped being a "neat" app about, I dunno, 4 years ago.

But for those of you who still load that behemoth and want to sync with your trusty Kinoma Play on WinMo (see update), looks like your dream is now a reality due to some third-party freeware by Salling Software.

According to Kinoma, which is officially supporting this method, Salling Media Sync "...automatically identifies phones running Kinoma Play and syncs all the audio formats that Kinoma Play supports." 

The app is "free" for basic use but will cost ya' $22 beans for you heavy sync'ers and those wanting faster sync times (I'd imagine that would be everyone?).  Hey, if the Pre can do it, so can WinMo.  Hmph!

Update: Looks like Kinoma has rolled out a small update from previous v5.1.46 to v5.1.48.

Mostly looks like a "cleaning up" update after the big one just recently, as this tidies up some naming conventions, UI interaction, G-sensor adjustments and just general patches.  It also seems to be a bit speedier, though I still have to wait 2-4 seconds to go back to the launcher on my Treo Pro.  Hmm.

Other changes include:

  • More Home shortcuts — The last released introduced a super-convenient shortcut that lets you go Home just by holding the Center key on your 5-way. Now, you can press-and-hold the Back button as well.
  • Live365 — The “More” now works correctly for stations listings and presets, and we fixed an issue where audio scrobbling didn’t work for everyone.
  • Facebook Media — We updated the terminology to match the current Facebook style (i.e. “What are you thinking?”).
  • Get Apps — We improved the way screen shots appear on screen to make your eyes happier.
  • Improved press-and-hold feedback — Now when you press-and-hold on lists and grids to bring up the menu pod, a nifty icon appears to show when you’ve pressed long enough. Didn’t mean to do that? Just drag the screen to continue doing what you were doing.

Get the update now via

Menu --> Player --> Check for Updates!

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