Monday, December 26, 2011

Developer Movement - Canada Only

Just when we thought Microsoft has forgotten the Great White North's love for WP7, WPCentral has posted a link to something called the Developer Movement.

The all too weird part of this is that it is for us Canadians developers only.  First 200 to sign up gets their AppHub fee waived, only if you are not already registered as on AppHub.  You can still join the movement for a chance at the other prizes (provided that you submit a quality app - whatever that means) up until May 20, 2012

More information on the website but here are some information:

The first eligible 200 people to sign up may have their App Hub fee waived.* Plus, students can register for free through DreamSpark
Publish 1 quality AppSelect a reward below:
  • A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360®
  • 10,000 Microsoft Points
  • Monster® BeatsHeadphones
  • A 1TB External HD
Publish 2 quality appsSelect a second item below:
  • A Windows® Phone 7
  • A $500 Gift Voucher
  • 35,000 Microsoft Points
  • An Xbox 360® with
    Kinect Bundle
Publish 3 quality apps Your apps will be considered by our judges for publicity across:
  • The Xbox Newsletter
  • The Xbox Live Dashboard
  • MSDN Website
  • MSDN Flash Newsletter
  • Canadian Developer Blog

Source: good folks at WPCentral
Development Movement link here

Good luck! and Happy Coding!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to enable Local Scout in Canada

Ok, so you have updated to WP7.5 'Mango' (According to i'm a wp7 app, 51% of you who are using their app in Canada are using Mango).  There are bunch of cool features that you like and you keep reading about this 'Local Scout' WP7 feature on American websites but for some odd reason, you still cannot find how you can access this magic.

As with a problem with the Bing Map Search I have outline on this blog before, once again Canadian found themselves (probably some non-US countries as well) short changed on this feature.  But there is a way to enable it.

1. Click Settings
2. Click region+language
3. At the bottom, you should see "Browser & search language", if it reads "English (Canada)", well, change that to, you guess it, "English (United States)"
4. The unfortunate side effect is that the distances will be in miles (the locale and region formats are ignored)
5. Press the Hardware Search button and magically you will see this little icon appear to the 3 normal buttons you are used to getting.
6. Another place that you will see this magical little icon is when you start your Bing Map App (also added to the left of your regular 3 icons)

One of the cooler way to use Local Scout is you can pan to an certain map area (For example: say you live in Surrey, BC but you want see what's restaurants are in downtown Vancouver, pan to the downtown area) press the Local Scout button and the the restaurants and activity information will show up for that area.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Couple of new Free XBOX Live games now available

Like games?  how about XBOX LIVE games for your WP7?  Don't like paying for games?  Microsoft has kindly release 2 new titles with the XBOX LIVE titles for FREE.

The first one called Shuffle party and it contains different variations of playing shuffle board - including a bowling type game mode.

- Shuffle Party brings the classic table game to Windows Phone with a twist. Knock down spares and strikes in Bowling Mode with easy to use touch controls. Perfect your skill shot in a series of puzzles in the exciting new Challenge Mode! Earn cash for your high scores to spend on custom pucks, pins and tables. Play traditional shuffleboard solo or get your friends in on the action with pass and play multiplayer. Your Avatar can even join the fun as you unlock Achievements for your Xbox LIVE account. Shuffle Party will bowl you over.

Second game is called Breeze.
- Breeze puts you in control of the wind as you gently blow a flower towards the goal. Master both tilt and touch controls to guide the flower across 60 seasonal themed levels while listening to Breeze's smooth, relaxing soundtrack. Add to your Xbox LIVE account's gamerscore by earning achievements. Breeze is light entertainment for all ages.

Both of these games are Ad driven but the ads don't really get in the way. Both have XBOX LIVE achievements for you XBOX Achievements hoarders out there.  Ratings are in the 4.5 stars range so others (including myself) seem to be enjoying them.

Best of all, it IS available in the Canadian Marketplace (For some odd reason, Zune Desktop cannot find it but just search for it on the WP7 handset marketplace).  Or you can just bing vision these QR codes to start your download (click on the QR codes from your WP7 handset also takes you to the marketplace).  Enjoy!
Shuffle Party

Friday, December 9, 2011

XBOX Companion now available for WP7 and iOS?

Unless you haven't used your XBOX360 for awhile or for some reason your XBOX360 isn't hooked up to the Intertubes, you might have already noticed that this pass Tuesday night, your XBOX dashboard has been given a complete Metro makeover for the better (well, this is a WP7 blog afterall).

What was unsure was this rumoured XBOX Companion app might not make it outside the US.

Well, at least in Canada, it seems like Microsoft have unleashed the XBOX Companion app for both WP7 and iOS (Universal App).  Yes, you have read correctly, an iOS universal app.  It's an interesting move on Microsoft's part when I tried out the iOS version on my iPad (Windows 8 tablet, where are you?) and my friend's iPhone, they both employ the Metro UI philosophy which is very good to see on the iOS.  I guess Microsoft's hope is not only to give XBOX360 owners a nice and richer way to see XBOX live activities (i.e. stalk your friends, message your friends about why aren't they hording with you in Gears of War 3), they probably took this opportunity to give the iPhone users a taste of Metro.

The WP7 version is richer is every way possible as you can even control your XBOX360 via 3G.. yes 3G!!!  I have not tested it thoroughly but it could play zune music, rent/purchase/play videos from zune.  It also gives you a virtual control pad for you to scroll through the menus.

The control responses are of course faster if you are controlling your XBOX360 via WiFi, but even through 3G it was pretty awesome and cool.

Check it out here. It's FREE!

or use your WP7 Bing Vision on this QR code:

LG Optimus 7 Holiday Offer!

The LG Optimus 7 is generally regarded as one of the better WP7 generation 1 phones.  If you are tired of waiting for the 2nd gen wp7 devices to make it slow craw into the Canadian market, you might want to consider getting the LG Optimus 7.

Microsoft has now sweeten the deal by including a 12 month XBOX Live Gold subscription ($59.99 regular price - but often you can get it for around $40 to $50 range)

It is currently available at Telus for $0 with the usual chain and ball 3 yr term.

The offer is valid if you purchase the LG Optimus 7 between December 15th, 2011 to January 31, 2012, offer valid in Canada only.

If you are still unsure, here's a pretty detailed review from the good folks at

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Win a Nokia Lumia 800

You now have a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 800.  Not sure when the draw date is going to be but if you head over to the Nokia Facebook page, you can enter for a chance to win one.

I have scanned through the very tiny fine prints and it did not seem to contain any information as to which country is eligible (and which ones are not eligible).  So  head on over to the Nokia Facebook page and click "Like" and enter for a change to win!

Source: WPCentral

Update - the official Nokia contest over at their facebook page is over folks! Good luck to those who entered.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Problems with accessing documents on WP7?

If you were trying to access on your documents on your WP7 phone today via Skydrive, you will end up getting a "Page not found" error.  This was pretty annoying but it is fixable.  Your documents are still intact in the cloud.  It's just that the new Skydrive feature launch yesterday caused some issues.

Microsoft has realized this and have issues a work around for the problem

But before you go crazy with this fix, there are of course some "catch".  MAKE SURE IF YOU HAVE LOCALLY SAVED COPIES OF YOUR DOCUMENTS, MAIL THEM TO YOURSELF FIRST.

I lost one of my OneNote document so I am a bit pissed about that.

From Microsoft: 

Important note: When you reset Office, it will delete your local phone documents. It will also remove any pinned items from your home screen, so you’ll need to pin them again afterwards.
  1. Go to the Office hub on your phone, and if you don’t have copies elsewhere, email any existing documents on your phone to yourself, so that you have a copy.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Go to the Applications pivot.
  4. Select Office.
  5. Tap the Reset Office button. (If you get a message that Office could not be reset, reboot your phone and try again).
Once Office is reset, your files and notebooks should open properly from SkyDrive.


Click here for the full rundown

Not sure about WP7? Try this out!

If you or your friends and family who wants to try out the Windows Phone 7 experience on a device but all they have right now are Android phones and iPhones? No worries, Microsoft have that covered.

From your Android device or iPhone navigate to here and get a demo of what some of the WP7 UI feels like.  Of course keep in mind that it's a HTML5 page so it's going to be a bit slow (I had my friend's Motorola Atrix go to this website and it was fast but the real devices are of course going to be faster).  It also works on iPad pretty much any browsers that supports HTML5.

But with Microsoft and the Canadian carriers dragging their feet for year end, it would be at least sometime next year until we see some gen 2 wp7 devices.

Demo link

Additional note:
if you are a commuter around the Vancouver/Fraser Valley region, I have just submitted a FREE app into the marketplace which could help with your daily commute.  I will post the information on my new app as soon as it is released in the marketplace.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Windows Phones 7 for Canada this Christmas?

It's nearly Christmas time and normally that's where most smartphone vendors pushes their wares.  Last year, WP7 was released around the November timeframe.  But this year, none of the big 3 or the little 2 even made a peep about the generation 2 of the WP7 devices.

What gives?

Have tweeted Windows Phone (@windowsphone) and nothing, I have even tweeted the program manager at Microsoft and... nothing.  Have tweeted the larger telcos here in Canada and still, nothing.

Has Microsoft abandoned Canada or are they just concentrating their firepower on countries with larger population (i.e. Taiwan, Hong Kong).  This is definitely getting ridicules.

This silent treatment is just bullshit.  All we have heard so far is that Nokia Canada is bringing a number of devices to Canada sometime next year.  It looks to me that if you are waiting for gen 2 WP7 devices to gift or to receive this Christmas, sad to say this but it does look like the iPhone is the other alternative for a polish UI experience.

If abandoning Canada this Christmas is the strategy for WP7, that's a real shame.

It is also very difficult for me to show the awesomeness of WP7 to my Canadian friends when they do not have a way to acquire one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tango VOIP App now available!

Tango is now available for your WP7 devices, chances are it is Mango only so if you haven't updated your phone, what are you waiting for?

Anyhow, for those of you who are wondering what Tango is, it is a cross platform voip app that works on iOS, Android, and now, WP7.  You can chat with your friends over 3G/4G/Wifi for free!

It works best if you have a front facing camera but it works none the less.   I have tried it with my friend on an iPhone 4 and aside from the video being a little laggy on 3G (understandable), it worked quite well.

Download it here!

Tango Features:

• Free calls between Windows Phone, Android and iOS phones and tablets, and PCs
• Save money with free international calls to other Tango members
• Start a phone call with Tango and switch to a video call when you have something to show by tapping the camera icon
• We automatically find the friends that already have Tango
• No log in and password - create an account in less than five seconds
• Invite your friends by Text and Email
• Simple and easy to use
*UPDATE* - apparently there are Samsung and HTC versions of the Tango app, not sure what the differences are.  I have the original Tango app from Tango and seems to work for me so if you have a gen 1 device like I have and the HTC/Samsung version doesn't work for you, just use the regular version

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HTC Titan.. Sort of... If you don't like using any 3G in Canada

*WARNING* Stay the hell away from buying this phone from NCIX if you want to use this on ANY 3G networks in Canada.

Don't care about 3G? Then read on...

That fun and wacky online computer store NCIX.COM should be very familiar to a lot of folks in BC and some folks in Canada. is currently selling the HTC Titan on their website for a cool $739.99 Cdn.  If you are interested in using with any kind of 3G speeds in Canada, you are out of luck as this lacks both the 1900Mhz (for you Rogers/Fido/Telus/Bell folks) and 1700Mhz (Wind/Mobilicity folks) so really, if you are crazy enough to get this, you are going to be stuck on the GSM bands (quad band).

So if you are that desperate for this piece of 4.7" inch of WP7.5 awesomeness, you can get your taste of the HTC Titan now.  I guess if you just want a GSM quad band WP7.5 phone like right now, and you don't care about data plans because WiFi is where it's at, you could pick this up now as it is unlocked.

I'd rather wait for the carrier subsidized ones.

*UPDATE* Turns out NCIX is not full of crazies.. is selling for $799.99 US

Monday, November 7, 2011

How the Biggest WP7 Phone was built in NYC

Microsoft is currently holding a big Mango Phone launch event in New York City. There's also a 6 story Windows Phone on display.  Check out this cool time-lapsed video on how it was built.  If you happen to be in the area (Herald Square), be sure to check it out!

Source: Windows Team Blog

Friday, November 4, 2011

WP7 Gen 2 Devices Roundup

With the launch of the Mango update for the Gen 1 WP7 phones, there are also WP7 generation 2 devices releases launches around the world but being in Canada (you know how it goes), we have zero idea of when the big 3 are getting these new devices, and of course, not even a peep of information for the little carriers on the AWS band (Wind and Mobiliticity among the smaller players)

In this post I will attempt to compile a list of the known generation 2 WP7 handsets and the likelihood of Canadians getting our hands on them and of course the ones that we have no chance of getting unless you are getting it unlocked.  I'll also try to list out some specs for these phones.

Note that some specs may not be entirely correct as I am gathering the information from manufacturers' websites as well as places like GSM arena.  Please also note that this "Likely Carrier" thing I have for each phone is my personal opinion, I am only guessing based on history of the manufacturer's relationship with the carrier.

Read on for more...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zune Music Pass now available in Canada!

Over the years, we Canadians have envied our neighbours to to south in terms of the contents they get online vs. the shit we get online (i.e. vs.  One of such things is the Zune Music Pass where as long as you are subscribing to the service, you can download as many songs and play on your WP7 phone, Zune players, Xbox, etc.

Well, the day has finally come where Canada can finally get a piece of the music selection in Zune Marketplace.

As far as I can tell, you can stream/download as many songs you like as long as you subscribe to the Zune Music Pass which can be had for $9.99 (plus tax) per month or you can purchase 12 months of subscription for the price of 10.  As far as I can tell, the library isn't as big as the iTunes store but hey, you can stream/download as much as you want.

If you cannot find the music marketplace on your WP7 handset, have no fear, all you got to do is connect your WP7 device to your Zune Desktop and music marketplace magically will appears on your handset.

Still not convinced?  There is also a 14 day free trial

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Forcing Mango

Over at WPCentral, they have a good article on how to force the Mango update to your phone if you have not received the update notification.

force installing mango

If you have done this before with the NoDo update (like I have done before), the steps are very familiar.

Once I get home tonight and give it a go.

*Update* - Updating right now, had to force it.. stay tuned...

Mango is here!

The Windows where is my update page have be updated with the where about of Windows 7.5 (or Mango) for carriers across the globe.

I have also put the information for the Canadian carriers down below.  Telus is claiming on their website that they are rolling out the update for LG Optimus 7

Just tried connecting in my HTC Surround to my Zune Desktop... nothing... still nothing...

Post a comment if your device manage to get you a update notification or you have installed/updated your phone and just want to rub it in.  Try to be patient if you haven't got your notification yet.  From the Nodo update experience, most of you should know how to this is going to work.

For those who don't, Microsoft staggers their update over several weeks to different carriers, different devices, if you came from the Android camp, you will get the update within the next few weeks (rather than a year later), if you came from the iPhone camp, well, at least you will know that it is unlikely to brick your phone.

Good luck!

I'll be posting information on new mango handsets as they become available in Canada.  I would like to get the HTC Radar on Wind so I can tell Fido to shove it :)

via MobileSyrup

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whatsapp is now available (Mango devices only)

If you have come to the Windows Phone 7 camp from the iPhone realms (like myself), there isn't that a whole lot of apps that I tell myself that I wished WP7 had that.

I could never play games on these iDevices or touch screen devices properly (although I love the ilomilo puzzle game on WP7).  I am a big gamer (own ps3, own an xbox360, sold the Wii for a Kinect sensor), so I do enjoy hardcore games as well as casual games. The lack of buttons on the touch screen devices is one of the problems so I don't miss any of the games.  Apps that suits my needs?  I'd rather one that I could use well rather than 300,000 fart apps.

But one app that I wished WP7 had all this time is of course the cross platform communicator app, Whatsapp.  It should allow you to finally get back in touch with your iPhone/Android buddies that you have abandoned for the greater good :)

Luckily, that wait is almost over, I know it is now available on the Zune store (link - opens zune).  For most of you who are waiting for Mango to drop, you have wait a little bit longer.

Another good news is that it is currently FREE.  If you have Mango already, what are you waiting for, go get it like yesterday...

If you want to know what whatsapp does, it sends text messages, let's you attach pictures, etc, through your data connection meaning that if you have one of those 125 outgoing message so-call "deals", and it costs you extra for sending MMS, you can now use whatsapp to do this provided you have free Wifi or if you have a data plan

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sept 27 maybe very fruitful

All fruits are pointing to September 27 as "Mango Day" worldwide.  Would Microsoft learn from the way they rolled NoDo out, I like the cautious way they did it but it just took a long time for people to get them.

Seems like the tweets, mobile carriers websites from around the world are all pointing to Sept 27.  Will have to see..

But folks, looks like the wait is over (or will it?) on Sept 27.

On another note, the popular and often missed cross platform instant message app WhatsApp appears to be in beta testing.  Loved it from my old iPhone days.  Looking forward to it releasing on WP7.

... Fingers Crossed ....

*Update* - I will be bringing a review of Mango update for us Canadians WP7 users once I get the *proper* release in my phone (via a Zune update).  Beta is great and all but I want to know what kind of stuff we Canadians will be able to see in the official Mango release.  I will go over some of the bugs that we have discovered in Nodo (i.e. bing map workaround), another one is the Push Notification problem that could only be resolved if you have a dev unlock device and see whether or not Microsoft manage to be nicer to us Canucks.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dell Venue Pro Unlocked for Cheap!

After waiting for Fogellus to release the Dell Venue Pro, it doesn't look like it will be coming after all the rumours and shit.  However, if you have a friend in the US and or a shipping address in the US, here's the next best thing.  The Dell US Ebay store is currently *still* selling an Unlock Dell Venue Pro - 16GB storage version for a really good price of $299 US (that's under $299) Canadian.  State taxes are of course required and HST/GST/PST when you bring it back across the border.  Yes, the Dell EBay site only ships to US addresses.

Linky here

Both the AT&T and the T-Mobile versions are available for the same price unlocked.

If you are on Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, you will need the AT&T version
If you are on Mobilicity, WindMobile, you will need the T-Mobile version (1700Mhz 3G band)

Before you go crazy and order this, note that the Generation 2 "Mango" devices are coming in September to wage battle against iPhone 5.  Still a great price for a good WP7 phone with a slide out vertical keyboard.

Source: Ebay

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mango has been RTM'ed

According to the fine folks over the the Windows Team Blog, Mango build has been RTM'ed or released to manufacturing.  Which means that the new Gen2 WP7 handsets will be able to start testing on this official WP7 release build and get ready to release to market.

This of course also means that the old G1 WP7 will receive this update soon once our Canadian telcos should be getting this build so that they can start testing on their network and the existing handsets.

Can't wait for Mango?  At least it's now a matter of Rogers/Telus/Bell/Sasktel getting their act together and start testing this build on their network.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Canadian Marketplace news

With Mango on the horizontals, WP7 is finally gaining a lot more attention around the gadget community. 

As Canadians, one of the problems we have had with the Marketplace is that despite the high C$, we constant pay 10% more for our apps than our American counterparts.

Well, my fellow Canuck (the crazy kinds), when I was checking out the marketplace today, I notice that app prices are now EXACTLY the same as the America marketplace. 99 cents are now actually that, 99 cents.  (no more $1.09 apps).

Now if Microsoft can notify the automakers about this so what on-par Canadian dollar, we'd be all set.

Friday, June 3, 2011

E3 2011 is next week!

E3 2011 is next week!  I'll be bringing you WP7 games news or XBOX360/WP7 integration type news if there are any.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mango Press Event Summary

So damn early.. 7am Pacific start of this Mango Preview.  I'll be grouping these (hopefully not all 500 new features will be shown because that would be a really long event) into different categories so hopefully it will help you sort out your needs (i.e. business users vs. consumers). 

Just before you get too excited, remember that all these new features are targetted at the US market - most will make the International market but not all - anything that has to do with Zune or Xbox Live are doubtful for non-US markets.

Mango is coming this fall (early fall) - OTA update - really?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mango Preview Event - May 24..

In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is doing a big Mango Preview event tomorrow. 500+ new features for our beloved wp7 devices coming end of this year. There are also rumours that another 9 new Wp7 devices will be announced tomorrow but Nokia hardware might not be part of that lot. Nokia wants to announce their devices later on I their own event. Of course I will not be writing up all 500+ new features coming in Mango but I will sort through the list of new features and list out the significant ones. Rumour also state that there might be hardware announcements coming from Samsung, HTC, Dell and a newcomer, Acer. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Canadian AppHub Subscribers Refunds

Just check my credit statement this morning and by now, the AppHub subscription fee refund ($19+tax) should be hitting your accounts by now.

This is of course only applicable to the Canadian AppHub developers who paid $119 for a yearly subscription to publish wp7 apps to the marketplace as described in a previous post.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hot games incoming!

Haven't posted in awhile, got pretty sick and didn't feel well enough to write stuff on my blog.  I am getting better now so I'll start updating this blog with Canadian WP7 related news.  Apologies to my blog visitors.

Back in February, the Windows Phone Team were telling us that Angry Birds will be released May 24.  However, this is now pushed back to June 29.

The bad news is that it has been delayed but the good news out of this is that the highly fun/addictive game of Plants vs. Zombies is heading our way.  June 22 is the release date.  Cdn$5.49 is the price.

Angry Birds is priced at Cdn$3.49 with 195 levels of angry birding funs.

Source: Windows Team Blog

Monday, May 9, 2011

Venue Pro Spotted on website!

Sorry for not posting more lately but been busy with work and hockey playoffs.  I'll write up something about the WP7 event coming on May 24 with a crapload of Mango (or Windows Phone 7.5) features that are being thrown around tonight or tomorrow night.

What interests me is when I visited just now..  Take a look at this screen cap.

It's not the US site.. noticed the "Francais" link at the top.

With the Venue Pro launching on AT&T bands last week, it's only a matter of time (I hope) for Robelus to pick it up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Deal @ Rogers

If you are contemplating whether or not to get a Samsung Focus from Rogers, now is probably the best chance to do this.

Rogers is currently doing a promotion where you can get a PS3 by activating 2 smartphones on a couples & family voice and data plan.

It's the PS3 120GB with one controller.  The offer ends on June 30.

Click here for more information.

Guess if you must, you could get a WP7 phone with another Android phone.  I am quite sure that the iPhone probably isn't included in this deal but you are welcome to try :)

Interesting bit of news for Canadian Developers

Just got an interesting piece of news in my inbox from Microsoft stating that if you had previously pay $119 Cdn for access to the WP7 marketplace, Microsoft will be refunding the $19 since the price of submitting apps to the marketplace in Canada was changed to $100 Cdn at the end of March.

Canadian developers like myself have been bitching about this for awhile now and it's good to see Microsoft finally doing something about this.  What I didn't expect was the refund.

Way to go Microsoft!  Now let's see those app prices drop to match the US prices for apps.  If you haven't seen the latest exchange rates, Cdn$ > US$.  I hope that this change in pricing for the developers access to the WP7 marketplace is a precursor to MS finally lowering the price of marketplace apps in Canada to the same pricing as in the US.  Then again, I hope for a lot of things.

btw, if you haven't heard, build 7.0.7392.0 is out and is available to update your wp7 handset via Zune.  Nothing major, just a security upgrade.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Go Vote!

Not really WP7 related at all but today is Federal Election day!  Go Vote and shape Canada's future!

I think you can still register at your riding if you haven't received a voter's card.  Click here for if you don't know where to vote.

I know you don't have to vote but it is our DUTY as Canadians to vote!  Think of what's happening around the world, people dying, fighting for the chance to just vote!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Avatar Gadget is now free!

The Avatar Gadgets is now FREE!  It used to be a $1.09 app by Microsoft Game Studios.

Not sure why the sudden freeness of this app but grab it before it becomes a paid app again.

It pulls down your avatar from XBOX Live (if you don't have an XBOX Live avatar, it will just use a generic one)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Windows Phone Marketplace Developer Newsletter - April 2011

Just received an email from Microsoft regarding the status of the WP7 marketplace.  I won't bore you with the gory details but here are some interesting bits for us wp7 users.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Korean Input App from LG for LG Handsets only

LG has just released a LG only app that allows wp7 users to type in Korean.

It is DRM'ed to LG so no such love for HTC and Samsung users.

The app is called LGHangul.  Fastest way to find this if you have an LG handset is of course via the LG marketplace or just search fo LG in marketplace.

Source: WPCentral

Friday, April 22, 2011

Official Groupon App

The official Groupon app for WP7 is now available for download at the marketplace and of course it is FREE!  Looks like you can sign on to your Groupon account and access all your purchased groupons and deals directly from the app.

It claims that it is for US and Canada for some reason, I do not get the "Install" button (both on my WP7 phone and on Zune Desktop). 
I am trying to find out from Microsoft why this is the case.  (Probably they just published in the US marketplace and completely forgot about the Canadian one) All looking, no touching. 

I will keep you posted or you can try to install the app.  Let me know if you can actually install this and you have a Canadian WP7 handset.

*Update* - Time is April 25 around 10pm PST.  The "install" button is working now.  Go grab it!

Ovi Maps to Windows Phone 7?

One of the biggest news that was reported in Februrary was Nokia + Microsoft getting together in the smartphone OS fight against the likes of iOS and Android.  Many WP7 users (and even more potential users now that a lot them are actually just waiting for the first Nokia WP7 handsets) before finally taking the plunge. 
So what does this holy matromony (or unholy if you are an Symbian fanboy) brings to the WP7 ecosystem?  On one hand, we know that Nokia is getting 1 billion dollars over the next 5 years from Microsoft for this "deal".  Microsoft is getting a big player fully behind WP7, but what about other Nokia goodies?

In case you don't know but Microsoft and Nokia got together this past week and finally signed this agreement.  Now, more information are coming to light from the Nokia front.  There are some good news for the army of Symbian developers as well.

More Canadian Apps Released!

Well, not mine but I finally have one coming soon.. I think I'll make it another one of those free but you can buy me a coffee if you like it type paid apps (i.e. trial mode and purchase versions are exactly the same - you can purchase if it you like to get me a coffee type $1.09 app - like my Canadian Tips calculator).  I'll post that once I finished testing and is released on the marketplace.  Now back to this post..

SUN media, the publisher of such websites as and owner of the "SUN" newspaper chain in Canada has just released a shit load of WP7 apps in the available for FREE in the marketplace.

It's your typical news, weather, entertainment, magazine type apps in the marketplace.  To download it, click here (opens zune)

Now, if you happen to live in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and/or Ottawa, SUN media also released localized versions of the SUN WP7 app just for you.

Read on for the links in marketplace.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HowardForums WP7 App now available!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'd probably heard of  This excellent mobile phone/carrier related user community has just released a WP7 app.  It employs the familiar metro UI throughout the app, push notification (guess this is for forum messages - you need to log into to your howardforums account, don't think you can just create one from the wp7 app but you can go to the main website to register for an account).  It supports forum posting and from what I can tell, its pretty slick looking. You can create/reply to posts and etc.
 It did, however, crashed on me a couple of times for no reason. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dell Venue Pro Launching Soon?

I do this search in the once in a couple of days in hoping that there is news from Dell as to when Canadians will be getting their hands on this WP7 beauty.

From my past search, all I get is some garbage brochure on the phone.

I just did another search today and noticed something a little different.  The website is linking to troubleshooting and forums items which was not there before.

Could this mean that it is finally launching in Canada?  I certainly hope so.  I have gone through the Robellus websites and still nothing.
Here's a link from

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HTC Hidden WiFi app now available

For us WP7 users, one of the more annoying bits about the OS is that you cannot connect to a hidden WiFi.

HTC is continuing their assault on creating more WP7 apps for their loyal WP7 customer base.  Having recently released the Compass App, they have released another HTC only tool that allows you do connect to any hidden WiFi connections.

However, there seems to be radio firmware update that's should be coming down the pipe for us HTC users as when I try to start the app, it reports "This application requires the latest Wi-Fi software.  Please update your phone to the latest system software".

Maybe there are some of you who have received this HTC firmware update (via Zune Desktop - note that this is not the Nodo/March update) who will have better luck with this.

As usual with HTC apps, this cannot be found under the HTC hub.  Simply start Marketplace on your WP7 handset and search for "HTC" and it should be at the bottom of the list.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nodo (WP7 March) Update Review

So now that I have used my HTC Surround with the March Update (Nodo) for the past 1.5 weeks, how was the update?  Was it worth the wait?

I didn't want to rush into writing a review for this as I wanted to at least use it for a bit first before jumping to conclusion.

I'll go over the update process, the pieces in the promised updates, things that are not mentioned in the updates (i.e. battery life after update - I know because iPhone updates have a thing will killing your battery life) and whether or not some Canadian WP7 issues were addressed.

Skype is coming this fall

WP7 related news are coming out from MIX11.  One of the biggest ones is that Skype is coming to WP7 this fall.

So far, these kinds of 3rd announcements have been pretty accurate (unlike the firmware update "dates").

Source: Engadget

Friday, April 8, 2011

Prelude to Mango?

Hate to do this right now as some of you loyal wp7 fans still haven't received the official Nodo update notification yet.  Some of you have gotten around the delay.

Over at, there is this mysterious build 7.0.7753.0 of wp7 OS (Currently, Nodo or the March Update is on 7.0.7390.0).  Perhaps this a test build of Mango?  Perhaps it's something that's being considered for an update between now and Mango (as Mango has widely believe to be version 7.5 of WP7)?  Who knows.

Something that pretty interesting in the additional of a "search" icon to the right of the start screen right underneath the right arrow.

Speculate away....

Hit up this link to

Source: PocketNow

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trouble with Nodo updates? Microsoft has a solution for you

As Microsoft is rolling out this March update to the masses, from what I can see from various websites, things are going pretty smoothly for those who got pushed the official update or use this method to get the Nodo update.

But not all WP7 users are experience smooth sailing while updating their WP7 handsets.  Luckily, our Microsoft overlords has released some information to help those who are having problems.

Excerpt from Microsoft

"If you encounter 800705B4 while trying to install the February update, first try deleting the history files for Internet Explorer Mobile, Maps, and Search (this article provides step-by-step instructions). If you’ve tried that and still can’t install the update, then use the new Windows Phone Support Tool we’ve created."