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."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blast from the Past - brought to you by Telus

To do battle with Chat-r, for those of you who remembers it, Telus has brought back the name "ClearNet" from the late 1990s when Telus bought them out.  Currently ClearNet appears to be doing battle with Chat-r.
It is appear to be servicing Alberta and BC at this moment but from the specs of the phones (2 at the moment, another android phone coming soon), it appears to be a 3G network.  If you click through the site, there is a check for for "notify me when data add-on becomes available".

Rates starts at $45/month for province wide unlimited talk in BC and unlimited talk and text plans starts at $55/month

Hopefully they can bring along some reasonably priced data plans. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How To Copy and Paste Multiple Times

So now that you got your Nodo update, one way or another, first thing you probably tried is the copy and pasting text around.  For the most part it works well, until you asks yourself, how the heck do I paste the same text over and over again?

After your first "paste", the paste icon disappeared from view. EEEEEEKKKK!!!

Fear not, it didn't disappear.  It only "moved" off the little grey bar where it used to be.

Just swipe that grey bar (you know, where the suggested words are) to the right (or the other left) and you can continue with your pasting.

Now that you can only paste to your heart's delight until your lock screen kicks in (weird but that's what Microsoft claims)