Deep diving into Mango
Not the fruit of course, ‘cause that would be messy but the new supercharged OS from Microsoft and Windows 7.5. I wrote recently how quickly it is being rolled out and fully supported on all Telstra handsets and then I got the Mango upgrade on my Mac through Windows Phone 7 Connector.
I had the good fortune to test out the first release device, the HTC Mozart, when we did the Social Review last year so I have had it for a while now. At first I must admit it didn’t really float my boat. However, now after some months on and trialling many different Android phones and of course my trusty iPhone 4, I have come back full circle to my Mozart and then BAM! I got the Mango update and that is it, I am in love.
Here are my thoughts as to why.
It is simply different. The Mango update has done a number of things that feel intuitive and easy to get stuck into from a usability perspective. Like the linked inboxes and conversation threads, or the vastly improved browser experience – I have never seen such brilliant crisp fonts which means clarity and readability.
Chat, texting, facebook chat are now all integrated and work together seamlessly and are swappable by simply sliding across the screen – it is a beauty to behold and really quite innovative. With threads you can start a conversation on facebook and finish it up on Messenger – or vice versa. Sweet.
The People Hub just got incredible. Something I dreamed of years ago was to have a way to just look at all the kinds of contact details my friends family and colleagues had, mobile, email, landline etc and use whichever I needed, and now we do. It has to be seen to be appreciated, but basically you click on a contact and there are all of the options for contacting them – write on wall, send email, map home address, text, call work – genius!
I love this feature the most but think someone owes me royalties on my unpatented idea. You can build on this as much or as little as you choose with Groups too, which can be pinned to the homescreen for convenience – it is as flexible as Android but easier to use IMHO.
Custom ringtones. Gold! Now you can create your own ringtones using MP3 and WMA files.
And of course they haven’t forgotten about Social Networking – facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all built in and one snappy little press away from you – and this is probably the best I have seen or felt/used/experienced in touch screen Smartphone, especially as it covers my favourite social apps. I make few mistakes using the keyboard and again the fonts are just so nice to read and view.
And a smartphone that actually behaves like one when typing documents! You can do bullets, lists, bold fonts (yes!) record audio notes, add images easily then sync the whole lot to your Skydrive with ease. One Note is a gem for quick notes and to do lists as well, and it has all of that functionality. Of course Office is a dream on a Windows Phone 7 and I suspect a major selling point for the business oriented – I mean Office Mobile has just never been better with Word, PowerPoint and Excel in mobile form excelling in all areas (pardon the pun).
Maybe you’d like to get into developing for the platform? Well you can get into that too, read this blog post for all the inside information.
And finally, very dear to my heart, the gaming experience. Simply put, hands down without a doubt the slickest and best gaming experience in market on any Smartphone I have used. With or without an Xbox, the games on Marketplace are some of the slickest I have played. Gone is the 30fps limit now lifted up to 60fps making gaming look just that extra bit of awesome. It has a way to go in terms of breadth of games, applications and the like, but I have high hopes especially after this update brings this OS firmly back into the game, so to speak. Parachute Panic never looked so good!
The list of new features goes on and on – I can’t cover them all here, but these are some of the standouts for me from this excellent OS update without too much fanfare. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get into some Mango!