At the end of January 2013, millions of Windows Phone 7.5 users were overjoyed with the announcement that their devices would finally receive the Windows Phone 7.8 update. The importance of this update to WP7.5 users is critical due to the fact that Microsoft had dropped the ultimate bombshell on them in Windows Phone Summit in June 2012: “Due to changing of the Windows Phone kernel from CE architecture to NT architecture, current Windows Phone 7.5 devices would not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8. Examples of these devices are 1st Generation WP smartphones LG Quantum, HTC HD7, Samsung Focus, Dell Venue Pro and 2nd Generation HTC Titan II, Lumia 900, Lumia 800. Instead these devices would receive the WP7.8 update that includes a subset of the WP8 features. These features are:
Start Screen: Provides resizable Live Tiles (small, medium, large) to provide for more customization options for your Start Screen.
Accent Colors: Increases the number of available accent or theme colors to twenty.
Lock Screen: Improves the lock screen performance with accidental wipe protection and rotating wallpapers provided through the Bing image of the day.
Marketplace and Xbox: Expands Windows Phone Marketplace and Xbox support to new countries and regions.
Fonts: Enhances the Chinese font and improves the appearance of Arabic and other languages.
Improved Apps from OEMS: Nokia will launch Cinemagraph, SmartShoot (previously WP8 apps only) on WP7.8 devices.
Live Tile Issues
However, soon after the 7.8 launch it was evident that the 7.8 update had two serious bugs. The Live Tiles were stuck in an infinite updating loop (draining battery life quickly) or they would not update at all. These bugs actually halted the release of the 7.8 Update as a fix was sought.
Well wait no more, the fix is here with the recent 7.10.88662.144
How To Update Your Device
All you have to do is connect your device to Zune, then navigate to Settings > Device > Update to start the update process. Zune will search for the update and notify that your phone need to be updated.
Then Zune will first back up your device (your apps, emails, SMS, etc) to ensure that your data is restored after the update.
Once the update has completed, the phone will go through a series of updates (the number of updates depends on the current version of the operating system your phone has). NOTE your phone may be restarted by Zune as it applies these updates.
One all the updates are complete, the OS version of your phone should read 7.10.8862.144. You can find this information in Settings > About > More Information
Using Windows Phone 7.8
The Start Screen.
The new Start Screen offers more customization than 7.5. The user can choose between small (1×1), medium (2×2) or wide (4×2) tiles. This allows one to really configure a unique start screen. For ideas and examples on how to configure your start screen visit the My Tiles website
With 7.8 we now get the same twenty more colors that WP8 users have, that allows us to customize our devices further. The following chart which colors are available on WP7.5 versus WP7.8.
You will now be able to automatically set your lockscreen to the Bing.com image of the day.
Improved Apps from OEMS
If you own the 1st generation Lumia devices like the 900, 800, 710, 610 and 510, you will now have access formerly exclusive WP8 Nokia apps like Cinemagraph, SmartShoot and Creative Studio. If you haven’t got any of these apps, you can get them here.
Please let us know how your Windows Phone 7.8 Upgrade goes.