Installed Mango on my Samsung Omnia 7

Just after I succeeded to upgrade to 7392, Microsoft announced to possibility to upgrade to Mango if you were a registered Windows Phone Developer.  Best spend $ 99,00 !

Below are my findings so far, after toying around with Mango.

User Experience: Finally we (in Belgium) have the “Marketplace > apps” link in Zune ! We already had the Marketplace on the phone, but never in Zune.
I tested on the way home from the supermarket how the turn-by-turn guidance works in the Maps application, I was impressed… of course the phone speaks English instead of dutch to me, but hey, you can’t have it all, can you ?
Shortly after the upgrade I sent a text message to my wife, stating that I love her, without touching the phone – that texting by voice is pretty impressive, actually I’m blown away by that… I wonder if that works in other languages than English too… I’m thinking about French, since my wife is francophone.

Developer Experience: after installing Mango, my phone is locked again ?  Strange.  But thanks to the “Windows Phone Developer Registration” not a big problem.
I just read that the XNA games are no more limited to 30 fps, that sounds great.

I think this is pretty much it from the updating my Samsung Omnia 7 front until the official release of Mango at least.
I will start an XNA tutorial series for the Windows Phone soon, much like a twitter friend of mine Jo De Greef who wrote a “Making your own WP7 Angry Birds” series.

Updating my Samsung Omnia 7 to 7392 – YES, finally !

After another night of research and trail and error to find a reason why my phone wouldn’t want to update to 7392 – especially now that I can force my phone into “download mode” – I found out that it wasn’t the phone anymore that was the blocking issue, but Windows 7 !

If I connected my phone – which was in “download mode” – to my laptop while the Samsung USB update tool was running, the “Start” button of the Samsung tool never got activated.  This was because Windows 7 didn’t see the phone in “download mode” as a “new” device.  That is also the reason why the Samsung tool first installs some USB drivers on your system… so that when the phone in “download mode” is plugged in, it can find those USB drivers.

To fix this issue you first have to uninstall the “Samsung USB Drivers for Mobile Phones” using the normal Windows uninstall procedure (Start > Control Panel > Programs and features > Samsung USB Drivers for Mobile Phones > Uninstall > Say : “bye-bye !”).  Also make sure you delete the Samsung directory under your “Program Files”, just to make sure everything is gone (probably not really necessary, but hey nice and tidy, no ?).
Then I installed the latest Samsung USB Driver for Mobile Phones which can be found at XDA Developers.  But I’m sure that is not really necessary, I’m sure the drivers which come with the Samsung Omnia 7 update tool will work fine too.
Then you have to download and run the “System Update Readiness for Windows 7” tool provided by Microsoft Support.  In the middle of the page is a matrix so you can select the right version of the readiness tool for your Windows 7 system.
If you run the tool, a Windows Update window appears, which asks you if you want to download a certain hotfix.  Do so, it’ll fix things !
Open your device manager (Start > Control Panel > Device Manager) and expand the node labelled “Universal Serial Bus controllers” to see the magic happening (not necessary but it’ll give you more confidence that things are happening indeed).
Put your Omnia 7 into download mode – either by the key combination or like me by using a resistor or a JIG and connect your phone via the USB cable to your Windows 7 machine.

All of a sudden you’ll notice that Device Manager will flash a few times and a “Samsung CDMA device” will appear in the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and like with all USB devices plugged into Windows 7, you’ll notice a toast stating it’s installing new hardware…

If you installed – like me – the USB drivers separately, unplug your Omnia 7 again after you noticed that Windows 7 installed 3 devices.

Then, I ran the Samsung update tool, and this time, my phone which was still in “download mode” was recognized without a problem, and I could finally press the Start button of the tool to complete the update.

Once the Samsung tool was finished, I unplugged my Omnia 7, and ran Zune to update my phone to OS Version 7392 without a problem !

Finally, no more nag screens when I update podcasts or music on my phone !

Updating my Samsung Omnia 7 to 7392 – Download Mode failed

A few weeks ago, a lot of people updated their Windows Phone 7 to OS Version 7392 – also known as the certificates update.

If you have a Samsung Omnia 7 you were either:

  • very lucky : it is to say the update passed without hiccups via Zune.
  • just not that lucky – but still a winner : meaning that after you performed the update Samsung provided, you could update via Zune.
  • a looser that risks to be left behind, because Samsung doesn’t seem to care.

I’m fearing to fall in that last category, and this is why:

To update to 7392 via Zune, you first had to update your phone with a tool that Samsung provides.  This is where the headaches started for some of the Omnia 7 users.  The tool that Samsung provides instructs you how to put your Omnia 7 into (Samsung) “Download Mode”, however if your Omnia 7 has bootloader the key combination that you need to press to put the device into “Download Mode” isn’t implemented in the bootloader yet – oops !
You can find tons of articles on the Internetz about how to put your phone into Download Mode with a so-called “jig”.  This is either a small micro-usb port that has a resistor of 301 K Volt soldered on the 1st and the 2nd pin, or just some resistors bound together and some tape around it.  I bought a 301 K Volt resistor and a micro-usb port which makes finding and touching pin 1 and 2 a whole lot easier.
Anyway for a lot of people forcing the phone in download mode seemed to be enough to proceed with the Samsung tool.  But after having forced my phone in download mode, the Samsung tool doesn’t recognizes my phone – so I can’t press the start button to proceed with the USB driver update of the phone itself.

And so, it looks like I’m kind of stranded now… because promises of @SamsungMobileNL that a tool is being built to fix the problem seems to be more like a “stop nagging us about it”-way to get rid of wining customers – like myself.
@SamsungMobileNL told us that on may 19th that Samsung is busy with a solution… now more than 40 days we’re still waiting for any signs of this tool… even repeated questions on the progress of that tool on June 5th and June 16th to @SamsungMobileNL were ignored and never answered.
So far customer support !
I admit that I really do like my Omnia 7 – I love the colours and the robustness of the phone – it already fell a few times and it’s still working properly.  If it weren’t for the crappy bootloader and firmware I wouldn’t even complain about it… it’s one of the best phone’s – if not THE best phone I ever owned.
It is also the only phone for which I really started programming, before I always had the best intentions, but never did so.

Look like the only thing I can do now is to call the Samsung Service Center and hope that they will be able to update my phone… I could try to do a hardware reset too I think, that once worked fine with the pre-nodo update… so say “sayonara” to all settings, pictures, installed apps and games and last but not least, to the link between your PC and your phone… so here we probably go again… but not tonight…