Windows Phone’s Metro UI is all about tiles and lists and because of this philosophy, the ability to puts folders on the Windows Phone homescreen is missing. So even if you just want a quick shortcut to a favourite app, you’ll have to pin it as a full size tile. However, Microsoft recently embraced the open spirit and let users deploy homebrew code if they so chose by unlocking their device via the ChevronWP7 labs and that has put the following hack into everyone’s hands.
The folder resembles a tile and shows you a preview of the apps that are inside, tap on it and it will present a list of the app in that folder. If there are more apps inside the folder than can be shown on the tile in one go, then it keeps flipping over to show you the others, copying the behavior of other ‘live tiles’ that may reside on your homescreen.
Create unlimited folders to pin to your start screen
Completely custom groupings (not restricted by categories of any sort)
Add Marketplace, homebrew, built-in applications, and websites to a folder
Automatic Marketplace look up
Automatic homebrew XAP parsing
Shortcuts to WiFi, Bluetooth, Flight mode, and cellular settings
Fully customizable with the ability to manually edit application entries
Folders. Something other Windows Phones don’t have. Gotta love homebrew, no?
If this is something you’d like to implement on your phone, the guys at Windows Phone Hacker have a full tutorial along with a complete video how to. You just need a developer/Chevron unlocked Windows Phone running Mango.
Windows Phone, with the latest Mango release has started supporting custom ringtones, however with a few caveats. One, the file must be a DRM free WMA or MP3. Two, it must be less than 1 MB in size and 40 seconds in length. This means that you will no longer be able to use just any file as a ringtone and that some amount of preparation will be involved.
Generally this means using a audio editing software such as Audacity, but like me, if you couldn’t be bothered with additional software there is a free website that suffices beautifully. Enter MakeYourOwnRingtone.com, its a free web tool that lets you upload your favourite track, crop it as you desire, add effects if you want, select the quality and finally create the ringtone. Then its a simple matter of downloading it, adding it to Zune or iTunes, setting ‘Ringtone’ as the genre and syncing it to your phone.
If you’re not using this website to create ringtones for Windows Phone, you can ignore the 1 MB and 40 second parameters and experiment even more.
Hit the upload button and upload the file that you want to edit.
It will show up on the website. You can then drag and select the part of the song you want as the ringtone. For Windows Phone, make sure it is less than 40 seconds. Next select the output format (MP3 is fine), and then quality. The higher the bitrate, the better the quality. If that’s all you want to do, hit ‘Make a Ringtone’ and jump to step 5.
Otherwise selecting the ‘Advanced Mode’ lets you use a bunch of tools to modify the sound.
Expert Mode gives you an even greater array of options. Once done, select ‘Make A Ringtone’.
Once you’ve hit ‘Make A Ringtone’ a windows will pop-up which will give you a download link. That’s it.
Once you have the file make sure it confirms to the requirements (less than 1 MB and 40 seconds in length), change the genre to ‘Ringtone’ in Zune or iTunes and sync it to the phone. Finally, select it from within your phone’s settings and set it as the ringtone.
A few weeks later I had followed that up with a video guide on how to tether your phone’s data connection to your computer on both NDTV 24×7 and NDTV India with versions in both English and Hindi.
Unfortunately, I had failed to record the episodes and thus never mentioned them here. However, The Handheld Blog reader and friend, Rahul was kind enough to send me recordings a few weeks ago and since 3G services have launched in India, now would also be a good time for you to check out Joikuspot, the application which I talk about on national television.
NDTV 24×7 (English)
NDTV India (Hindi)
In the videos above, I have also mentioned bluetooth tethering, but with high speed 3G networks kicking in, bluetooth is no longer enough to transmit the kind of speed you would enjoy with WiFi tethering.
We’ve just had news that Nokia is shutting down their ‘Comes With Music’ aka ‘Ovi Music Unlimited’ services in all but 6 countries. But since your current subscriptions are still valid, you might as well make use of the service as long as it lasts.
The one problem with downloading Ovi Music Unlimited tracks is that your subscription is tied to that one PC you authorized when you first activated your subscription. It is possible to change your ‘registered PC’ once every 90 days, but chances are you would like to be able to download music from any PC you could find, specially because the Ovi Music Store only offers low bitrate downloads over the air to your phone directly. This is where the ‘Ovi Music Downloader’ comes in.
The Ovi Music Downloader lets you download music from the Ovi Music Store on any PC using your existing ‘Ovi Music Unlimited’ subscription. You can also choose to download the 5 MB app if you would rather not deal with the Ovi Music Player.
If you haven’t changed the registered PC in the past and have Ovi Player installed, when you first connect your Ovi Music Unlimited device, you will be prompted with the above dialog box. But you can ignore this if you have no intention of changing your registered PC.
Visit music.ovi.com and sign in, you will now see a download button next to the music. Hit that and you will be prompted to down the ‘Ovi Music Downloader’. Download and install.
You will also be prompted to install the Microsoft DRM tool, install again.
Next hit the download button next to the albums/tracks and the Ovi Music Downloader will launch. Connect your device via USB and the app will start directly downloading the music to your phone.
This dialog box will apprise you of the content already transferred.
That’s it. The only drawback is that you will not be able to play the music you just downloaded on the PC, although understandably due to DRM issues. I have tested this app with the Indian Ovi Music Store, if this works in your country as well, please let us know in the comments section.
Meanwhile FRuMMaGe on the TMO forms has ported his shell script to work on the N900 which automates many of the functions of the aircrack-ng suite, making it much easier and faster than using aircrack-ng directly to compromise WIFI networks. He is also working on a GUI for the script which will make things even more easy.
PS: As FRuMMaGe put it, ‘Use at your own risk and only for legitimate purposes. (And no, desperately needing to check your facebook while in a local internet café without paying is NOT a legitimate purpose)!’.
The Ovi Store doesn’t let you download .SIS files directly to your desktop in order to manually install them on the phone. From the desktop website, the maximum you can can do is send yourself a link to the app via a text message. But if you need to download a large game and are without WIFI, you are pretty much out in the cold.
Fortunately, while looking at Ian Wallace’s Lapsed app, I came across a handy way to download SIS files directly to your desktop. The method works for free apps only and needs you be signed into the Ovi Store with a phone selected. Then simply add the words “/download” to the URL in your bar. The “/download” needs to be added after the numerical identifier.
For example, if you want to download NFS HD and see the following in the title bar:
That’s it. The best part is that you can even pause downloads and resume from where you left. Once you have the SIS file, transfer it to your phone via USB or bluetooth and install as you would any other app.