tango


Today we have an in depth good look at the Alcatel One Touch Windows Phone handset, designed to compete in the lower cost segment it looks to come in around US $226.36.

While much of the attention is understandably on the higher end Windows Phone 8 devices there remains a pressing need to get lower cost devices into the hands of consumers. The Alcatel One Touch brings with it a good specification at a lower price point but stands out as the first Windows Phone without a dedicated camera button. Read on past the break to find out more.

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Listening to podcasts on the go is one of my favorite pastimes, a great way to catch up with the latest news or a special interest. For those of us who reside outside of North America, podcast support has been a bit limited to say the least. Unlike our pals in the US, we cannot subscribe to podcasts through the marketplace on either Zune desktop software or directly using the phone. Annoying, but Mango at least introduced a half-workable solution. Unfortunately, after the Tango update it’s no longer possible to use that either.

To subscribe to podcasts prior to Tango, first we needed to set them up in the Zune desktop suite. Once subscribed, simply plugging in the phone and synchronising would pass the podcast to it. Podcasts would the automatically download without further PC interaction. Alas, this is now not the case. What’s going on?

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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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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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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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AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 with the 8779 Tango update

Well after biting the bullet and factory-resetting our Lumia 900 with a ROM flash, we managed to update our glossy-white AT&T Lumia 900 to the official Tango update. That update is sitting in stand-by on Nokia’s servers, presumably waiting for AT&T to give the go to push out to the Zune servers so the rest of you can update.

Although you can manually do this yourself using a third-party program called Nokia Care Suite, you will factory-flash the phone meaning the device will be completely wiped—no saved games, no saved photos. In that regard, you may be best served by just waiting a few days (weeks?) for it to hit Zune where you can just update the phone and keep everything.

In the meantime, we sacrificed for your knowledge. In turn you can watch our video hands on after the break for our thoughts on the update in addition to our mini-review...

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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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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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Just as we reported two days ago, Verizon has opened the flood gates for the Windows Phone Tango update. Customers who own the HTC Trophy will be able to update their device(s) once the notification of updateable-goodness has appeared on-screen or through Zune. We've already received word from a number of Windows Phone Central readers confirming the update is indeed rolling out.

To recap what's included:-

  • WiFi Hotspot / Internet sharing now available
  • Enhanced multimedia messaging capabilities (multiple photos, videos, ringtones)

The Tango update will push Windows Phone owners to 8773 and will set the path for Windows Phone 7.8. Be sure to plug in your Trophy when possible to receive the update and inform us when you do in the comments below.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Verizon have returned with an announcement that the Windows Phone Tango update is almost ready to fire up for their HTC Trophy handsets. Customers will be able take advantage of new features and functionality in the next version of Windows Phone. This will begin to prep consumers for the Windows Phone 7.8 update which is sat on the horizon.

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Man, you guys are quick! It's only been a couple of days since our Tango carrier roundup and already we have another list of carriers and phones that are reportedly getting Windows Phone Refresh (aka, Tango). The Tango update shows up as version 8773 or 8779 and, for most devices, brings minor enhancements, bug fixes and features. But for those of you with any of Nokia's Lumia line of phones, you should see some bigger changes.

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We'll be honest, we get a lot of email here at Windows Phone Central. And we love it. We seriously try to read every singe one.

One area though that has been tough for us to triage is the Windows Phone "Tango" update aka build 8773 (or 8779) which features some minor fixes and enhancements for some phones, or big changes for others (like the Nokia Lumia range).

Every day we're tipped on such and such carrier now delivering an update and to be honest, it's overwhelming. To the point that we'll need to start an Excel sheet to just keep track of it all. Seriously. And we hate using Excel.

Anyway, we figured we would just post a list of the "tips" we've had on what carriers and phones have been getting Tango in the last few days. We don't doubt we've probably even covered some of these before, regardless we don't want to ignore your news either. So head past the break to see what we have from the last 5 days! 

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Seems as though we are finally seeing the rollout of the Tango update for Lumia devices. This morning my carrier unlocked Lumia 800 received the notification that an update was available. On plugging in device the update is listed as OSVersion 7.10.8112.7, which has been reported to be the first of three updates for the device (second is Tango 8773, and third is firmware). Whilst Tango has been seen going out elsewhere and onto other devices. Looks like the Lumia 800 is finally get to have a go with Tango.

**Update** 1st Stage updates 8112 - 2nd Stage Shows Update to Version 7.10 8773.98 3rd Stage NOKIA Update for Windows Phone

Results of fully updated phone as follows

OS Version          7.10.8773.98

Firmware            1750.0805.8773.12220

Radio S/W          1.7.50.08

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Australian carrier Telstra has approved the Windows Phone Tango update for its arsenal of smartphones. We previously covered Telstra's efforts in testing the upgrade last month, so the carrier is indeed making good progress with getting the update to consumers in a speedy fashion.

The upgrade will be available for Telstra customers with a Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7 or Samsung Omnia W. The LG c900k (Quantum) is reportedly still undergoing some tests before the update is rolled out. The expected dates are still frozen at mid-July, so we should be able to see some notifications pushed out shortly.

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the status of the rollout over on the Telstra website.

via: Peter's Kitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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Chrome finish and sleek lines come as standard

O2 UK have announced via their coming soon page that the Nokia's Tango-flavoured Lumia 610 will be arriving this month. Availability is simply set as July so that should be any time now.

The 610 has been built from the ground up to adhere to the new lower specification requirements made possible with Tango. The new lower spec devices have courted some controversy due to a lack of 100% application compatibility. The Lumia 610 represents Nokia’s attempt to bring the price of Windows Phone down sufficiently to allow it to be sold on great value monthly contracts or the ever-popular Pay-As-You-Go. I think its great Nokia are endeavouring to get these phones to as many people as possible. In my opinion, based on some limited time with the device, they have done well to keep the quality up. I would be surprised if it’s not a popular choice for Pay As You Go consumers.

The Lumia 610 being a Tango spec device means it’s not quite as compatible with the full range Marketplace apps as other Windows Phones. Still, it should still give users who are on a budget a far better app compatibility experience than the lower spec Android devices, which compete at the same price. I would expect with Nokia behind the push on this for the remaining apps that do have issues running to get a update to allow operation shortly. After all, getting more Windows Phone users on board and into the eco system is imperative for the future of the platform.

O2 Showing Windows Phone some Love?

Windows Phones - Three Models Available (including the 610)

Its good to see O2 continue their support of the platform. I would however like to see their website list Windows Phone as a category in their hot links. They also still list Windows Phone as simply "Windows" which is not that helpful. O2 currently only stock three Windows Phone handsets, the Lumia 610, 710 and the 800. Last time I checked their O2 Priority moment’s customer incentives app is still unavailable for Windows Phone also.

Still the arrival of the Lumia 610 is positive, think you might grab one?

Source: O2 UK; via The Register

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In addition to announcing the availability of the new Pink Lumia 900, AT&T today have also confirmed that the Tango update (either build 8773 or the slightly newer 8779) will also be coming to the Lumia 900. From the AT&T blog:

“Nokia is also bringing a lot of new enhancements to the Lumia 900. Nokia Lumia users will begin to see software updates for Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh in the coming weeks, which will add several new capabilities to their devices including flip-to-silence.”

We detail some of those new capabilities here in a previous post--in short, enhancements to MMS including multiple messages, voice notes and some minor fixes are included. In addition, AT&T reiterated that Nokia will be bringing a usage tracking counter and a new contact sharing feature in the near future as well, continuing Nokia’s trend to “fill the gaps” in Windows Phone for its customers.

Finally, it has been confirmed that those super popular Zynga games—Draw Something and Words with Friends—will be coming this fall exclusively to Nokia Lumia phones for the first 60 days. While these exclusivity agreements often annoy non-Lumia owners, the 60 day wait should not be too bad of a wait and seems fair to us (assuming Nokia was vital to the deal and assisted Zynga financially).

Overall, not bad news at all and it at least the Lumia 900 is continuing to get direct support from Nokia. 

There’s no word if other AT&T Windows Phones will be getting Tango as well but seeing as the Focus S, Focus Flash and unlocked Dell Venue Pro already are we’re confident that the HTC Titan II and Titan I will as well. If you haven't received an update for your Samsung device, you can try our guide here to get it now.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, Alexander, for the tip

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Browsing Bild.de can be hazardous to Tango's health

With Windows Phone Tango rolling out it is perhaps not a surprise that some isolated bugs may be discovered along the way. So far, not too many have cropped up but there is one that is interesting though seemingly rare.

Users have found that navigating to the German news site Bild.de on their phone, with “Desktop” enabled can result in the browser locking up the device. The site Bild.de does default to a mobile WAP version and there is a Windows Phone app too but users are free to use their IE9 in desktop mode to view the site “as is”.

We’ve tested the scenario on our Tango phone (Focus 2) and sure enough, upon loading the page the second time it does lock up the device. Since Internet Explorer is a native app, native apps can crash the OS whereas third-party apps should not be able to do so.

The theory seems to revolve around the idea that Bild.de is very graphic intensive with a lot of photos being pushed to the browser. Combined with Tango's low-overhead for 256MB devices and it seems to zap all of the available memory on the phone (of course we can’t rule out javascript errors or something else, either). You can replicate the crash yourself by following these directions:

  • Turn “Desktop” mode on in the browser
  • Navigate to Bild.de, it may load just fine
  • Navigate to another site then go back to Bild.de
  • Browser should crash when loading

The resulting crash means you would have to pull the battery (or hold the power button for 10 seconds) to reboot the phone. We tried this on a Windows Phone Mango device (HTC Titan) and could not replicate the crash. We also had no issues with a Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.1 meaning this most certainly seems correlated with Windows Phone “Tango”.

Is it a dire bug? Certainly not but it could be used as a browser-exploit by some nefarious people out there, even though that seems remote to us. Still, hopefully Microsoft will see this and patch it up for their next OS build.

Update: To make things even more confusing, it's not all devices. Our Lumia 900 with Tango is okay, but reports at XDA of the Radar, Omnia 7, Lumia 800 and our Focus 2 do have the crash.

Source: XDA; Thanks DerAusgewanderte, for the tip

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Nokia is keeping up with developing OS updates for its Lumia line of devices or at least they keep priming them for release. The latest update, found on the NaviFirm servers, is for build 8779 which is just slightly ahead of build 8773 aka Tango. Tango just started rolling out by various carriers and OEMs last week (see out documented features list for Tango here).

What’s new in 8779? We’re actually not sure. Support for the location-based alert icon is thought to be one, but we’ve seen it on a Lumia 610 with specific firmware (not ours though). Due to the regions where this is being prepped for—Thailand, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Tunisia—we’re going to guess that better support for specific markets could be another feature.  Other features like static-IP for WiFi and more SIM options may also be available are other possible options.

Windows Phone 8779 showing up in NaviFirm Plus for the Lumia 710 & 800

The OS update is unofficially available for the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 (nothing for the 900 just yet) and can be downloaded using NaviFirm Plus and flashing your device. It’s a tricky process but technically legit as it uses Nokia’s own methods. However, there are still risks involved including not being able to flash back and due to the language issue (we’re not sure what language packs are onboard) you may not be able to read your device again.

For that reason, we can’t recommend trying this out but we’ll keep an eye out if and when more region- or carrier-specific versions pop up. Thanks, Melicaster, for the tip

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With all the Windows Phone "Tango" update madness that's currently underway, whether you're forcing the upgrade or receiving it from the carrier, there's a number of networks pushing out the latest version of Microsoft's operating system. Vodafone Germany has joined this list with Windows Phone Central reader EvilEls sending in a screenshot of the Zune update process.

The updates are for the first generation Samsung Omnia 7 smartphone. The first being a firmware update, with the follow-up presumably the Tango upgrade. Device changes reported are as follows:

  • OS: 7.10.7720.68 => 7.10.8773.98
  • Firmware: 2424.11.8.5 => 2424.11.11.2
  • Radio Software: 2424.11.7.2 => 2424.11.9.1
  • Bootloader: 5.8.1.9 => 5.11.1.8

Have you been Tango'd yet? Let us know in the comments if you've received the update or have forced it through Zune.

Thanks EvilEls for the tip!

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