The Windows Phone marketplace may not really be as fussy a place as the iPhone App Store when it comes to accepting new applications. But again, not all the apps you may need are on the app marketplace yet. If you are looking for more freedom in this aspect, it is now possible to jailbreak your Windows Phone 7 handset with one simple application.
Called ChevronWP7 unlocker, this is a software that you should install on a Windows computer running XP SP2 and above. All it takes is for you to connect your WP7 phone to the computer and a couple of clicks on the application. Doing this will let you access any of the several experimental apps that may not be available on the App marketplace because they use private or native APIs.
Go ahead and check out the software and instructions in the ChevronWP7 website.
Microsoft and AT&T have teamed up to announce a nice deal for the holiday shopping season in the United States. Starting today, customers can walk into any of the AT&T stores and order one of the Windows Phone 7 handsets to get one another phone for free. The phones that are available in this deal include LG Quantum, HTC Surround and Samsung Focus. This is for a limited time and it is not clear when this offer will end. So get one quick.
That’s not all. AT&T is also independently offering a free entertainment pack to new WP7 customers. The entertainment pack will include ilomilo, a new 3D puzzle app, unlimited music streaming with Zune Pass for 30 days (including 10 free downloads) and a free video service to watch and download TV shows for 30 days. The total value of this offer is $29.97 so that is quite a lot.
Microsoft is without doubt the leader when it comes to enterprise productivity tools with Microsoft Office being the most popular application suite. Quite logically, Microsoft has tried to transform this success into their edge in their recent smartphone foray with Windows Phone 7.
As you may already know, the latest 2010 version of Microsoft Office lets users broadcast Powerpoint presentations. The presenter may set up their computer as the host and choose to broadcast their presentations. This will create a temporary session on the Microsoft server that is then available to be viewed on a shareable link on other computers in remote locations.
Apparently, this link is also viewable on Windows Phone 7 handsets with no set up required. Users clicking on the broadcast link are seamlessly taken to the Powerpoint show being broadcast – a great way to attend conference calls and meetings while you are away from the computer.
Windows Phone 7 devices have got some encouraging reviews since their release in the United States a few weeks back. However, none of the WP7 handsets are available on CDMA networks yet. That could change soon if a recently posted tweet from the official Windows Phone 7 Twitter account is anything to go by. In a response to a user who asked for WP7 to “get on some CDMA networks already“, the Microsoft representative wrote,
“WP7 devices will be rolling into Verizon stores this holiday season and more will arrive in early 2011”
The representative has quite clearly jumped the gun since the tweet has been pulled since then. But this revelation should be quite a consolation for folks on Verizon networks who are eagerly looking forward to laying their hands on a Windows Phone 7 handset.
Just a week after we first heard about developers starting to get successful at jailbreaking the new kid on the smartphone block – Windows Phone 7 – comes the news that the first WP7 app for jailbroken handsets has now been developed. This application is courtesy Kevin Marshall; a Windows Phone 7 developer. Marshall has created an application that is a rudimentary copy of the Augmented reality based Google Goggles app. It uses information pulled from the camera into a publicly-available Silverlight toolkit to render information on to real-world objects.
A similar functionality is already available on LG Optimus 7 phone. However, the tools necessary to build such an app is not available for third party developers. Consequently, similar apps can be installed only after a jailbreak.
Check out a demo of this app in the video embedded below
Given that there are not too many Windows Phone 7 handset models available in the market today, one may have assumed that those already out in the wild should be selling at a premium. At least that is how it looked when AT&T launched Samsung Focus on November 8 at a price of $199.99 along with a two year contract.
But perhaps in an indication that the device is not selling all too well, Amazon has now announced that this beautiful WP7 handset will now be available through their online stores at a price of just $49.99. Of course, this is along with a 2 year AT&T contract. But there are just two interpretations to make – Either that Amazon has a lot of more exciting hardware lined up for the holiday season and it wants to deplete their existing inventory (HTC Surround is already available at $0.01)or that the demand for the device has been lower than supply. The third alternative – that of this device being a dud does not simply arise looking at the excellent tech specs.
Folks at XDA Developers forum seem to have started picking the threads that could soon lead to a jailbreak package for Windows Phone 7 handsets. Apparently, one third party app from Samsung used a native code that was deviant from the regular Silverlight-managed code that is used on all WP7 apps and this has given away some interesting characteristics about the framework that could be used to effect a jailbreak.
Now, a software application that you and I can simply run to jailbreak our devices may still be sometime away. But given that the initial breakthrough has already been made, do look forward to a jailbreak announcement very shortly.
Microsoft had indicated prior to the launch of their Windows Phone 7 devices that they shall not be offering USB tethering on launch and that it will be enabled sometime down the line. But now it looks like at least Samsung Focus (or Samsung Omnia 7 outside the US) are in for some luck. Some users have discovered a simple trick that can bring USB tethering to their WP7 handsets.
If you are a Omnia 7 user, this is what you should be doing
Step 1 : From the phone’s dialer, key in ##634## Step 2 : You will be taken to the phone’s diagnostic menu. Here, key in *#7284# in the menu that appears Step 3 : Navigate through to the “Modem, Tethered Call” option. Follow the on-screen instructions to find the USB Tethering option.
Once activated, users will be able to use their Windows Phone 7 handset as a internet hotspot. Do note that some users do not seem to be getting it to work. So, if you do manage to enable USB tethering, don’t forget to write in the comments about how it went.
Earlier this week, we had reported about a problem with the recently launched Windows Phone 7 handset – Dell Venue Pro – that made it difficult for users to connect to secure Wi-Fi networks. Back then, we had noted that some users got unofficial acknowledgements about the issue from Microsoft Store execs. Now, in a blog post on the company website, Dell has confirmed the problem. A company representative writes,
“We have confirmed that the Wi-Fi connectivity issue that was reported in blogs like Boy Genius Report and Ubergizmo resulted from a software glitch during Dell’s manufacturing process. The issue affected some of our initial phone shipments and was not a hardware issue or a Windows Phone 7 one. Customers who purchased Venue Pro smartphones on Monday or Tuesday (November 8 or 9) at a Microsoft Store and who are experiencing the protected Wi-Fi network connectivity issue also have the option of bringing your phone back to the Microsoft Store for an exchange, beginning at the end of next week. Your new phone will fix the Wi-Fi issue as well.”
Read the last line of the above paragraph? You can take your problematic phone to a Microsoft Store starting the end of next week for an exchange.
If you are one of those 40,000 people to have got yourself a Windows Phone 7 handset on launch day, here is your chance to start watching TV on your newly purchased mobile phone. EchoStar, the owners of Sling Media have announced that their SlingPlayer Mobile software that lets users control and watch television from their mobile phones is now available for download on Windows Phone 7.
The application will not work independently however. The app will need the television to be connected to a SlingBox HD or SlingBox Pro HD via the internet that will let them manage the software using the mobile phone over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. You will be able to control channels, schedule recordings on DVR and watch TV over the WP7 handset.
The app is not free though. It will cost the user $29.99 in the US while the app is available in the UK and Canada at a price of £22.99 and CAD31.99 respectively. European users (outside the UK) may purchase the app at €21.10 plus local VAT.