OK I am so excited that I got the 'Mango' (Windows Phone 7.5) release on my phone today. I am absolutely loving it! I believe that Microsoft finally has a phone that not only can compete but can take market share from iPhone and Android. I really should be working right now but I can't stop playing with my phone. Let's get into some features:
What I Like:
- Battery Saver - Anyone who has the HTC Arrive running Windows Phone 7.0 knows that battery life is less than optimal. I was draining my battery daily since I first got my phone back in March. With Battery Saver, I can preserve my battery life because the phone will automatically turn off services when the battery gets low. You also have to option to run Battery Saver until the next time you charge your battery. Loves it!
- Web Marketplace - If you read my last blog I complained about having to manually reinstall apps that were purchased using my phone and what a pain that was. Well Microsoft has solved that problem. Just visit http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/marketplace and sign in with your Windows Live ID, and select 'Account' from the drop down menu under your name and voila! Every app you have purchased is listed and available for you to reinstall. No need to search through the phone-based Marketplace ever again to get your apps back. Score!
- Custom Ringtones - You can turn any MP3 or WMA file into a ringtone as long as it's not protected with DRM - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/start/create-ringtones.aspx. Awesome!
- Conversation View - If you have been using Office 2010 then this will be familiar. I can manage conversations as a thread and cut down on inbox clutter. Now all I need is the 'Ignore' function from Outlook 2010 and I'll be totally satisfied.
- People Hub - I can now organize my contacts into groups and interact with them in various ways - e-mail, text, Facebook, etc. I can also pin groups to my Start Screen. Sweet!
- Search - OMG does it get any better than this? Visual Search, built-in Shazam, Local Scout, Deals, App Connect - where do I begin? The search experience is phenomenal.
- Snooze - One of my biggest complaints about Windows Phone 7 was that there was no way to modify the snooze function. The default was 5 minutes and you couldn't do anything about it. Now you decide how long an alarm or reminder should snooze, not Microsoft. Finally!
- Video Upload - Another big complaint that I used to have. You can finally upload video directly to Facebook or whatever services your are using. What took so long?
- App Switcher - Just press and hold the 'Back' button for a few seconds and you can quickly toggle between apps that are running on your phone. Cool!
- Hidden Wi-Fi (SSID) Connect - The SSID of my DSL router is hidden and because of that I could not connect to it. Mango has solved this problem. Yeah!
- Contact Cards & History - I can see the history of e-mails, texts, calls, FB, etc. with every contact I have. Wow!
- Facebook Integration - Notifications and Chat are now built in. Also, Facebook events are now integrated into your phone's calendar - color coded of course. I'm not fond of all the changes to Facebook's website. However, the experience from the phone just keeps getting better and better. The newsfeed is still in chronological order which I love - me no likely Top Stories. All I need now is the ability to like individual comments and to share links and I guarantee that I will never visit Facebook from a browser again.
- Windows Live Messenger - The integration is seamless. Just set your chat status in the 'Messaging' tile and away you to. Loves it!
- Mall maps - I'll always be able to find the Charles David store now.
- Speech to Text - I can have a whole text convo using my voice. This will totally come in handy when I'm driving. Can't get a ticket for talking :-)
- More Features - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/start/whats-new-in-windows-phone.aspx
What I Don't Like (As Much):
- LinkedIn & Twitter Integration - OK let me preface this by saying that having Twitter and LinkedIn fully integrated is great. From what I've read on blogs, news articles and Twitter, people love this feature. What I wasn't so jazzed about is the fact that if you want to take advantage of this built-in functionality, you have to link both accounts to your Windows Live ID. While I agree that most people don't or won't care, I prefer to keep my accounts separate. I just want to sign into LinkedIn and Twitter on my phone they same way I did with Facebook. This is just my personal preference. For now I'm going to keep using the Twitter app that I love and I'll save LinkedIn for when I'm using my laptop a traditional browser.
- Still no Yahoo Contacts integration. Minor irritation, but if Google contacts and calendar can sync to my phone, why can't Yahoo? Yes I know I work for Microsoft, but I had my Yahoo account way before I got here. Yahoo mail access works great in Mango, but I would love to have my Yahoo contacts too.
What's Missing from the HTC Arrive:
- Internet Connection Sharing - Just verified that this feature is not available for my phone. Cool feature but not necessary. Check with your carrier to see if this update will be supported on your particular phone.
- Visual Voicemail - Another nice to have feature but not a need to have. Again check with your carrier to see if your phone will support this.
A Few Words on Lync & Skype:
- Lync Mobile for Windows Phone 7.5 isn't available yet. I can't even get access to it internally. http://lync.microsoft.com/en-us/Product/UserInterfaces/Pages/lync-2010-mobile.aspx
- Microsoft doesn't own Skype yet. Our acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. For more info please visit http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2011/may11/05-10CorpNewsPR.mspx
All in all this is a solid release and I'm so happy about what Microsoft has accomplished. Today I went from really liking my phone to totally loving it.
What say you TechNet? I would love to here your feedback on Mango - Windows Phone 7.5. Please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail from the 'Email Blog Author' link.