tango

While the Dell Venue Pro has been discontinued, we were surprised to see the Windows Phone receive the 8107 update pushed out to the phone.  It was equally surprising today to see the Tango update hit the unlocked Venue Pro. While forcing the Tango update on the Samsung Focus S, we connected the Dell Venue Pro up to the computer and sure enough, the update notices appeared on the screen.

There was no need to force the Venue Pro to recognize the update and the previous updates to Tango (7740, 8107, etc) were installed first. Needless to say, it has been a while since my Venue Pro had seen the light of day...

When all was said and done the OS version on the Dell Windows Phone is 7.10.8773.98 and the firmware version is 2250.1800.7720.219. Because the process dealt with several updates, for me, the entire process ran about ninety minutes. If you have been using your Dell Venue Pro more regularly than I, the process may be shorter.

The Dell Venue Pro is a decent Windows Phone (still can't get used to the buttons) and it's nice to see the Venue Pro getting a little update attention.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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Samsung has the Tango update but AT&T is not pushing it

Although AT&T itself is not pushing out any Tango-8773 updates for its current Windows Phones, the OEMs evidently have it on tap, or at least Samsung does.

We’ve had isolated reports that the Focus S was getting two OS updates (some are reporting new firmware, we’re still at 2103.11.10.1). However, whenever George Ponder or I would plug in our Focus S devices, it was always reported back to us that we had the latest update (7740).

The trick is to rig the system—basically use the same trick many of you did for Mango where you put your phone into Airplane mode (disable all radios), plug into Zune and check for an update. You then navigate away and go back to “Check for update” but as soon as it starts to look (about 2 seconds) you kill your internet on your PC. Now you wait about 30 seconds and an update will be shown. For more info on how that works, read our tutorial here.

You need to do that at least twice—once for 8112 and again for 8773 (Tango)—but yes, it does work and it’s officially from Samsung. We manually installed 8107 back in the day, so our phone was already on that OS version. The majority of you will need to upgrade to 8107, then presumably it will go to 8112 or 8773.

The changelog for Windows Phone 8112/8773 on the Focus S

So why is this happening? We can only speculate that Samsung has delivered the update to AT&T but the carrier is either holding it, still evaluating it, not releasing it or maybe they’re waiting on HTC and Nokia to do a universal roll out. Honestly, your guess is as good as ours.

We also have heard this works for the Focus Flash and possibly the Focus 2 (we manually installed Tango on our Focus 2 so can’t really verify). In other words, for all of you Samsung users who are on AT&T (and even non-branded versions), feel free to try this method to grab some updates.

We’ll keep you posted if anything official happens in the meantime.

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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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In a somewhat surprising move, Nokia and Vodafone New Zealand have released the Lumia 610 for $449 (off-contract) and it is now available on that carrier for purchase.

The somewhat low-cost Lumia 610 features a 3.7” non-ClearBlack LCD display, 256MB of RAM and a 800Mhz CPU with 8GB of storage. While not the most exciting device in terms of specs, the build quality is quite high—at least higher than anything LG has put out recently (Quantum being the exception).

We say "somewhat low-cost" only because while the Lumia 610 is affordable (we bought ours unlocked for less than $300 US), some would argue that it’s still not cheap enough when up against some Android devices or even up against the superior Lumia 710.

But at least according to Nokia ANZ's sales director, Steve Lewis, the company was seeing "real momentum" with their Lumia phones. Of course Steve may be a little biased here and it’s certainly not enough to boost Nokia’s stock but hey, we kind of like the 610 and what Nokia is doing, so let’s hope it sells in New Zealand.

Head to Vodafone's page to grab it for $449 off-contract or free with a SmartData $90 plan.

Source: PCWorld; via Stuff; Thanks, CE7, for the heads up

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While Samsung has not exactly wowed many with the Omnia M announcement a few weeks ago, the low-end Tango phone is important for the company and the platform as it allows them to compete with Android. Such is the reason why their launching of the device China Mobile and China Unicom is quite inspiring (China Telecom is supposed to get one too, but it was not yet announced).

The phones are slightly different due to the radio difference and they also vary on memory, with the Unicom version have 8GB of storage while Mobile gets 4GB. Other than that we're talking about 1GHz CPUs, 4" 800x480, 5MP rear and 0.3MP front facing cameras and everything else we expect from a Windows Phone these days. Interestingly, these are not technically Tango phones as they have 384MB of available RAM though they will run the Tango OS.

No pricing or release dates were revealed by either carrier, which is unfortunate. It should be interesting to see how Samsung prices their device against the even more low-end Nokia Lumia 610.

Source: MyDrivers; via Unwired View

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We've got some good news for those who reside in Australia and own either the Nokia Lumia 800 or HTC Trophy. Vodafone AU is rolling out Windows Phone "Tango" to their customers in a staged release, which will cover a 24-day period until the flood gates are opened for all to receive the upgrade.

Should you not see the update notification immediately fear not as you're probably sat in line for the next tier of the rollout. Peter Skitchen reports that the following represents the release schedule Vodafone AU (and Microsoft) is sticking to.

  • Day 1-6: Available to 10% of devices
  • Day 7-20: Available to 25% of devices
  • Day 21: Available to 40% of devices
  • Day 22: Available to 60% of devices
  • Day 23: Available to 80% of devices
  • Day 24: Available to 100% of devices

In other Australian Windows Phone news, the HTC TITAN on Telstra has received a firmware update after being available for just under a month. No word currently on what has been included in the minor update.

Source: Peter Skitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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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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The Windows Phone Tango update started rolling out to the Nokia Lumia 710 in Canada from Rogers last week. We expected a more global roll out to start today for the Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phone and sure enough, we've received several tips confirming that today is in fact the day.

It appears that Europe, South American and the U.S. are reporting that they are getting the alert to update their Windows Phone to Tango.

The Tango update includes internet sharing capabilities, a fix for the disappearing keyboard and a handful of other improvements. You can follow along with the global roll out here at Nokia's Tango Update page.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips.

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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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According to a second leaked internal memo, T-Mobile US is set to kick off the Windows Phone Refresh (aka "Tango") rollout tomorrow, on June 27th. We previously received word from sources that June 20th was the destined date, but it seems as though the upgrade has been delayed slightly. 

The Nokia Lumia 710 is the Windows Phone that will benefit from the update that will be installed via Zune (or the Mac Connector). Internet sharing capability, disappearing keyboard fix, as well as a number of other improvements, are bundled with introduced features which will please those who have been waiting patiently.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the lookout for any update notifications.

Thanks, Jacinta, for the tip!

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E-Plus in Germany is currently preparing to release the Windows Phone Tango update to consumers, according to reports. Much like Australia's Telstra, the update is set to hit Lumia 800 owners. "Tango" introduces a number of new features and improvements to the experience, including added MMS functionality and WiFi tethering (depending on carrier restrictions and firmware versions).

Be sure to keep an eye out for any update notifications and let us know when you receive the release.

Source: Mobile Professionals, via: WP7App.de; thanks, Tali, for the tip!

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The Windows Phone Tango update is currently in testing by Australian carrier Telstra. What is being referred to as the Mango Commercial Refresh 3 update is being tested for release to the Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7, Samsung Omnia W and LG c900k.

Speculation has the Tango MCR3 update being pushed out sometime in July. The update will bring these older Windows Phones current with the HTC Titan, Nokia Lumia 900 and 610 which are shipped with the updated version of Windows Phone.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Peter and Sheeds, 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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A leaked internal T-Mobile memo shows that the carrier will begin pushing out the Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) update for the Nokia Lumia 710 in two short days. Windows Phone update 7.10.8773 will begin rolling out on June 20 and will continue in a staggered fashion through July 31.

Users will be notified over the air and through Zune that an update is available. The memo describes the following fixes and improvements:

  • Enables tethering hotspot
  • Resolved keyboard disappearing
  • Resolved unlock screen getting stuck
  • Improvements to uplink speed
  • Improvements to camera quality
  • Improvements to proximity sensor
  • Improvements to software stability

The memo itself also states that Microsoft is responsible for pushing the update and that T-Mobile has no control over who gets notified when. So even if you are feeling antsy and try to call them, T-Mobile customer service will not be able to help you out.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Jacinta, for the tip!

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Windows Phone Refresh, also known as Tango, is expected to be heading to consumers pretty darn soon. Hopefully, as proof of that, Microsoft has updated some of their Windows Phone update history pages to explain upcoming changes that Tango will bring with it. Among them, is improved messaging features, including the ability to attach multiple images, videos, audio notes and tones to text messages. In addition, Windows Phone Refresh will let users export contacts from their phone to SIM card and vice versa.

That is all for specifics, but the site also says that the update will bring "other improvements in quality" and  "enhancements for Windows Phone." There's no timetable listed, but presumably, those countries showing the updated webpage are likely to be seeing the update rollout sooner than others.

So far, we have seen Tango added to the French and Spanish Windows Phone sites, but sadly, not the U.S. one. It's likely made its way out to other countries' sites as well.

Have any of you seen it elsewhere?

While we all wait you can check our hands with Windows Phone Tango in our video tour on the Lumia 710 after the break.

Source: Microsoft; Via: MonWindowsPhone

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The official Foursquare app still focuses on Check-ins

A few interesting tidbits about the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone that you may be interested in on this lazy Sunday. Even though we swear by 4th & Mayor, some of you like the unique design of the Foursquare app even if it's a tad slow by comparison.

Today the app has an update to version 2.11 which is certainly fairly minor but still important. The first one is that it now runs on devices with 256MB of RAM aka "Tango phones" like the Lumia 610. While less than 2% of the apps of the Marketplace are non-Tango optimized they tend to be some big titles (mostly Xbox LIVE games), so it's nice to get that nod. 

The second update is the more vague "bug fixes" which will hopefully address some issues some of you may have had recently.

Perhaps the bigger news (and non-surprising) is the official Foursquare app has not been update to the new "5.0" system like Android and iOS. Those apps were completely rebuilt and re-coded from the ground up with Check-ins losing their primary status for the service. That's right, most users evidently weren't even using Foursquare for check-ins but rather recommendations of nearby locations.

Check-ins in the new Foursquare have been sidelined as the service expands to be more Yelp-ish with new features like Explore and Lists. Photos are also more prominent now as users are more likely now to document their experiences. Of course the much superior 4th & Mayor app already has all of these features built in but with the more original focus on check-ins.

No word on if Foursquare will bother scrapping and re-doing the current Windows Phone app to reflect these new changes. Our bet is they'll wait till Windows Phone 8 comes out to release the overhaul.

Pick up the official Foursquare app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can also grab the free 3rd party version, 4th & Mayor here instead. Thanks, Brian, for the heads up

    

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It would appear as though Lumia 710's at Nokia Canada HQ are powered by Windows Phone Tango - 8773 in this case. Reader Julio sent a Lumia 710 back to Nokia for repairs and found that they actually sent a replacement device, but it's running the latest versioin of the Windows Phone OS. Perahaps a sign of an impending update?

We previously looked at Tango on the Lumia 710 with our own Daniel taking the loaded ROM for a spin. We stated that Nokia is busy at getting Lumia Windows Phones updated with the Tango upgrade, and this is further proof that such efforts are taking place. We're still looking at an imminent release for Tango, so stay tuned for more information as it surfaces.

Thanks, Julio, for sending in the photo!

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It's no secret that there will be compatibility issues with some Marketplace apps running on Windows Phones with only 256mb of RAM (like the Nokia Lumia 610). Up until now, finding out which app is or isn't compatible with the 256mb Windows Phones was done by word of mouth.

Not sure when the switch was thrown but now Microsoft has added an asterisks under system requirements in the Marketplace (website) listing for any incompatible app or game. Any app or game that won't run on 256mb devices will have "*Not available for all phones" listed beneath the required operating system.

There will be a link for more information that explains,

Some processor-intensive apps have memory requirements, and won't work on phones with 256 MB of RAM.

Some developers (such as Rovio and Angry Birds) are working on updates that will optimize these apps and games for use with the 256mb devices. Hopefully the number of asterisks on the Marketplace will start to decline.

Still the notation is nice and may prevent a little frustration when shopping for apps and games.

Thanks, Alex, for the tip!

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As you may or may not recall, Skype for Windows Phone officially does not run on Windows Phone "Tango" hardware--devices with 256MB of RAM or less--like the Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit. But Justin Angel from Nokia called up our podcast from his Lumia 610 using Skype and it sounded great, what's more Nokia themselves seemed okay with it too.

Then two days ago, word came out that Nokia with withdrawing support for Skype and the Lumia 610, causing even more confusion i.e. so is it available at least for those who want to run it?

Truth be told it's not available to download. As can be seen in the image above, users are given a notice that they cannot download the app. However, if we sideload version 1.1 of Skype onto our 610, it works just fine as you can see in our video below.

So what's the deal? We'll take Nokia's word that there are performance issues (we tested over WiFi and it seemed fine) and that's the reason why users won't have access to it. However, to us Skype for the Lumia 610 appears to be okay, at least from our limited testing.

What we're hoping for is with a version 1.2 or later, Skype and Microsoft can hammer out any performance problems and get the app on to Tango hardware. Because to us, it seems like they're very close to achieving just that making this a temporary problem with the platform.

See our hands on and unboxing of the Lumia 610 here.

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