Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Review
A few days ago, I was up after midnight happily coding away on a major update to my CascadeSkier application, when my phone said it had an update available. I didn’t think twice about what it could be and hit update. It updated through a few minor fixes and then BAM I was getting Mango!
Major kudos to the Windows Phone team for managing expectations appropriately for this release. In my mind, I was expecting this to take a few more months as the carriers dragged their heals. Not this time! All major carriers are currently deploying the update in waves to their customers.
So what’s new in 7.5? I’m just beginning to learn all the new features, but here are some of my favorites:
- Outlook Conversation View – Emails combined together in threads
- Twitter integration – Tweets integration into people hub
- Bing Vision – Scan QR, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs and DVDs
- Bing Audio – Similar to Shazam, will identify songs
- Facebook Chat integration – Integrated into the people hub and messaging hub
- Contacts grouping – Create groups of contacts to send messages to
- Internet Explorer 9 mobile – HTML5 support and hardware acceleration
- Multitasking support – switch quickly between apps
- Fast application resume – quickly resume recently used apps
- Turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps - voice guided directions and turn-by-turn
- SMS dictation – Talk to your phone and send a text message, great for in the car!
- Ringtone support – third party ringtone support
- Background audio – apps can run audio in the background
- Pin app features – Users can pin live tiles of deep app features in third-party apps
- Zune Smart DJ mix – allows users to discover new music and save/create playlists
- Camera sound toggle – users can now disable the camera shutter sound
Some of these are “why didn’t you have this before” features but a lot of them are huge wins for the platform. With a couple quick demos, I can show you why Windows Phone makes iPhone and Android look like nothing more than a bunch of icons on a screen. Windows Phone takes it in a whole new direction and actually combines a bunch of apps and built in features to provide an immersive experience. For example, search for nearby movies, book tickets, find a restaurant nearby and book a reservation all without ever starting an app!
Obviously I’m biased so take this for what it’s worth, but if you’re in the market for a phone, you need to check out Windows Phone. At least give it a fair look before making your decision. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.