Features and Tweaks for AT&T Update, App Roundup

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Microsoft finally began rolling out the latest update for AT&T Windows Phones last week that included new and undocumented features. It also reduced the upload speeds on the Samsung focus, with various blogs posting a fix. And this week I'll again point you to PocketNow's latest app roundup.

Microsoft and Nokia Finalize Agreement

Last week Microsoft and Nokia posted an announcement that they had finally signed on the dotted line — 10 weeks after first announcing their intention to form a partnership. Also reported last week was the news that Nokia's market share fell below 30% for the first time in over a decade, so it's clear that this partnership is crucial to Nokia's future success.

AT&T WP7 Update Begins Rolling Out

Also last week Microsoft began rolling out the latest Windows Phone update for the AT&T phones. And for those who were impatient and jumped the gun via the ChevronWP7 hack, Microsoft said last week that those Chevron-updated phones would never again be able to install an update. Uh oh. I wish I hadn't pointed to this hack in an earlier column.

While the update was welcome news for AT&T users looking forward to getting the speed bump, Marketplace search, and copy/paste, apparently some Samsung Focus owners found that their upload speed had been reduced. You can find a fix on Windows Phone Thoughts.

Unique Features for AT&T Devices, and Undocumented Features

The update for AT&T Windows Phones has two additional features: 1) your phone's data connection will automatically switch to Wi-Fi if you enter the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot, and 2) the ability to sync with an AT&T's online Address Book.

(Speaking of AT&T, note that They're now selling Microsoft-approved MicroSD cards. Read more on Engadget.)

In addition, users on a variety of devices are finding a few undocumented features. One is a new setting that lets you set an image from a social network of album as a contact picture. TheNextWeb has a list of the features.

Details on Forthcoming Multitasking

One of the important features of the Mango WP7 update scheduled for later this year is multitasking. Everyone is looking forward to that, but note that multitasking is typically implemented differently on phones than on desktop computers, in order to save battery life and memory. You can read more on PocketNow about how it will work on Windows Phone 7, and how this compares to the iPhone and Android.

Weekly App Roundup

PocketNow's weekly app roundup from last week demoed, as usual, five apps in 30 seconds each. The apps included the free Burglar Alarm (to prevent the theft of your phone), Parchment Tools (a set of utilites), PocketWiz (a guide to improving your photo quality) and two games.

Also, Windows Phone Thoughts posted the helpful tip that it's better to buy apps via Zune Desktop. That way, if you need to hard reset your device, or if you purchase a new phone, your apps will automatically reinstall themselves.

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