All posts by l3v5y

Olly is an Electronic Engineering student and a Microsoft Student Partner. He is currently using a bright yellow HTC 8X.

IM+ now has a free, ad-supported version

Instant messaging client IM+ – which earlier this month halved its asking price as well as adding Windows Live Messenger – now also has a free ad-supported version. The existing paid IM+, without adverts, is now called “IM+ Pro” in the Marketplace; those who already own the “Pro” version have received an update to version 1.2, which reportedly features improved scrolling.

via, thanks Steve, Simon and Philipp for the tip.

Synching multiple Google Calendars with Mango

Anthony of Wonder Reader has posted a useful getaround for synchronising results from multiple Google Calendar accounts with Mango. While the ability to use multiple calendars from Windows Live accounts is a known capability, by default it’s not possible to do this with Google…

So what’s going on here? As it turns out, Mango is perfectly capable of syncing multiple calendars from Google (as it is from any Exchange server). It’s just that, by default, Google only syncs your primary calendar with your device. On other mobile OS’s like iOS, Google allows you to select additional secondary or subscribed calendars to sync. The problem is that Google doesn’t allow Windows Phones to access this functionality. Are they doing this on purpose? Is it a conspiracy? I have no idea (but I really don’t think so).

Details of the ingenious trick (which involves convincing the Google servers that you’re using an iOS device, rather than WP7 – can be found on wonderreader here.

Thanks to Sachin for the tip.

Orange UK promotes WP7 with a free app every day

Orange UK – soon to be known post-T-Mobile-merger as Everything Everywhere – is launching a new promotion for WP7, in which Orange subscribers can install one premium app for free every day in July.

From the Orange press release:

Orange today announced that it is working in conjunction with Microsoft to give its Windows Phone pay monthly and pay as you go customers a free app every day in July.
For customers new to apps or simply wanting to extend their collection, the move will provide them with the perfect opportunity to try a series of premium pre-paid apps, spanning everything from games to travel information to sport.
All customers with an Orange Windows Phone can download the free apps from the exclusive ‘Orange Selects’ folder on Windows Marketplace. Here they will see a selection of the best apps, with the top app available to download for free – just for that day. This list will change every day, with the customer able to download a total of 31 individual apps worth more than £70.

via, thanks ivy for the tip.

Facebook to launch Skype-based video chat

According to rumour, next week Facebook is to launch a new in-browser video chat based on Skype technology.

The product has been built on Skype and will include a desktop component. It’s not clear to me whether that means it will just work if a user has Skype already installed on the computer, or if additional software will need to be downloaded even if the user already uses Skype. But it’s clear that there’s very deep integration between the products, and from the user’s perspective, the product will be an in browser experience.

Facebook and Skype have already been working together, including integration of various Facebook features into the Skype service.

But this is something else entirely. The partnership could substantially increase Skype usage. Facebook has more than 750 million active users. Currently Skype has just 170 million. And it will certainly help Facebook become even stickier for users as they start to have voice and video chat as an option to communicate.

Microsoft has long invested in Facebook, and closer links between Facebook and the now-Microsoft-owned Skype can only be a good thing. Skype last year became much more closely integrated with Facebook chat – perhaps in the near future the two will become one and the same?


No new colours or tile customisation in Mango

(Image by

While various hacks and custom theme workarounds for developer-unlocked devices exist, a broader range of colours for WP7′s tiles is a perennial request from everyday users, and rumours have circulated that more customisation would be available in Mango. However, Joe Belfiore today stated in a tweet that no such customisation is forthcoming – not in Mango, at least.

@necrovoid There’s not dramatically different color or visual tile customization in Mango.. sorry about that!


Background customisation for unlocked devices

While Mango may not be bringing more colours to WP7, the customisation options for developers remain broad. Saijo George, following on from several previous posts on custom themes, has posted a new tutorial on how to use registry edits to customise the background colour.

A caveat, of course, is that this involves playing around with the registry, and shouldn’t be attempted by novices. Unfortunately, this customisation only works on developer-unlocked phones.

New French web adverts tout enterprise features, Must Have games

After reportedly lacklustre advertising efforts in the French market, Microsoft (in concert with Orange) has launched not one, but two new online advertising campaigns for Windows Phone 7: the first playing up WP7′s Xbox Live integration and “Must Have” games, the second aimed at business users.

The page linked to by the “Must Have” campaign opens with an advert for WP7 devices on Orange for a mere 19/month, and talks up the gaming features (translated:)

Keep the game beyond your living room with the Xbox LIVE Windows Phone!

Find your Gamertag on your mobile and follow the progress of your Gamerscore and your success at any time. You can also compare your performance with your contacts Xbox LIVE.

Changing your avatar on your phone like on your console. Personalize it, dress him and make him live in the palm of your hand.

Discover the best mobile games with stunning graphics and animations: Hydro Thunder Go – May 25, Doodle Jump – June 1, geoDefense – June 8, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I – June 15, Plants vs. Zombies – Jun. 22, Angry Birds – June 29

It’s time to upgrade to Windows Phone!

Meanwhile, the more soberly presented Windows Phone for Professionals sells WP7′s enterprise features (also translated):

Why settle for a smartphone designed for business use
when you can do so much more with Windows Phone?

Thanks to Outlook, go to your mail wherever you are.
View, edit and send attachments of your emails with Office.

With Windows Live Messenger on Windows Phone, please
and chat with all your friends at home or on their mobile.

With Internet Explorer, surf the web like on your PC to view
your accounts, book your travel or do your shopping online.

Discover the world of Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone: graphics and animations
worthy of handheld and an exceptional choice.

It’s time to upgrade to Windows Phone!


IM+ for WP7 will not support Windows Live Messenger

Following on from the announcement that popular all-in-one instant messaging software IM+ was today submitted to WP7 Marketplace, WMPU reader Tej Palladino Peters asked whether this app would contain support for Windows Live Messenger. The answer? No.

There have long been complaints about the “official” Messenger client, Messenger by Miyowa, and here, as with the removal of other Messenger clients, it seems Microsoft are actively preventing third party competitors. WLM users can look forward to excellent Messenger integration in the forthcoming Mango update; however, until Mango rolls out, it seems we’ll have to be satisfied with what we have.

Localised Mango unveiled by Microsoft Korea

Following on from the recent demonstrations of full Japanese support, on Friday 27th, Microsoft Korea unveiled the long-anticipated full Korean localisation on Mango at a VIP blogger event.

As with the Japanese support, this appears to be full localisation and integration of the Korean language rather than simply an alphabet switch.

Korean MSP Chan Heo (a finalist in the 2011 Imagine Cup) has an account of the event, and more pictures, on his blog here (in Korean.)

Thanks to Joon Hong for the tip.

Hacked HD7 supports Chinese text without Mango

Although full Chinese support, as with Japanese and Korean, is expected in Mango, Tezawaly has found evidence of a HD7 ROM which seems to give Chinese language support without Mango.

The OS build and firmware confirm that this isn’t Mango…

The device was bought by Japanese WP7 user @Pandora_Grani from Yahoo Auctions Japan. The seller claimed to have bought it in Shanghai or Hong Kong. While the phone appears to think it’s been set to English language, the text all over the phone (apart, strangely, from the Music & Video hub) is in Chinese. It’s suspected that this was made by ROM hackers at If this is an amateur effort, it’s an impressive one (though as I can’t read Chinese I can’t tell how well done or useful it really is).


Alternate IE9 search engine in Mango?

The eagle-eyed folks at have noticed that the options page for Mango’s IE9 as seen in this video above (skip to the three-minute mark for the options) includes a new field – “default search engine”. It seems with Mango Microsoft are broadening the choices available for IE9′s search bar – and, potentially, the one-press search using the phone’s hardware button.

Thanks to Clarkk for the tip.

Groupon UK for WP7 “coming soon”

While the official Groupon application launched last week, it sadly only works for users in the US and Canada. However, a WMPU reader dropped an email to Groupon and received word that a UK version is in the works. Quoting a Groupon spokesman:

Unfortunately the Windows Phone 7 Groupon app is currently only available for the US and Canada. We’re working on a UK version and hope to launch it soon. In the mean time, you can view the daily deals by pointing your phone’s browser to