Windows Phone Mango is delicious

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 16, 2011, 5:02 PM | comments: 0

I got tired of waiting for my "turn" to get my phone upgraded to Mango, so I did a goofy hack that involves disconnecting you from the network when your comprooder is checking to see if it should update your phone. I knew I should have followed up with the guy in Redmond who said he could take care of my phone before leaving.

I was generally satisfied even with the original WP7, despite some annoyances. I still don't miss my iPhone, and when I mess with it now (or the iPad), I can't help but feel that iOS feels dated, and doesn't integrate the things I use the devices for very well. Now that I've got Mango, I feel even more strongly about it. Here's what I like, in no particular order, as I've found it.

  • Task switching: This is one of the "missing" features. Hold down the back button, and you can switch among apps pretty fast. Granted, the app has to take advantage of it, but it's still pretty cool.
  • Conversational e-mail: Now it's organized like Gmail or Outlook. For Gmail users in particular, this is a big deal, because if you don't "archive" the thread, all of the messages linger on the phone.
  • Person history: This is fantastic. If I look at Diana's profile, it shows a history of my interaction with her that includes text messages, e-mail and phone calls. Awesome.
  • Cross-post status: Tapping my tile and then update, I can cross-post my status to Facebook, Twitter and even Windows Live (snicker snicker). My Twitter account will no longer appear dead.
  • Camera and video settings saved: This was a stupid failure in the first place, but now the camera will retain settings. That means sharpening is off and video is always HD.
  • IE9: Never thought I'd be endorsing some flavor of IE, but it has all of the new hotness that supports HTML5 and what not. The address bar at the bottom makes more sense, too.
  • Voice directions: I didn't even know this was in here. Go to the map app, get some directions, it'll read them to you as you travel. That's very useful!
  • Voice text: Need to send a text while you're driving? Well, you probably shouldn't be pushing the buttons, but once you push the voice button, you can tell it what to say and it will text that.
  • Unified messaging: One view across chat and text.
  • Battery saver: Stops pinging e-mail when your battery gets low.
  • Notifications appear in your "me" app as well.
  • Improved phone UI: No weird dual buttons for keypad and other options.
  • Video upload: There are other options other than "delete" for video you shoot, namely uploading to Facebook. But the fail: Makes the title the file name. Stupid.
  • Bigger music controls: No more missing the little buttons for forward and back when you're in other apps.
  • Photo hub: Totally revamped, stuff is grouped more logically and requires less tapping around. As before, your photos and albums come from everywhere, and you can see those of your friends.
  • Weather Channel app: Not part of Mango, exactly, but the new version includes radar on its live tile.

That's the stuff I've found so far. I wish they'd deploy the updates faster, but in any case, this is a winner. A part of me would like one of the shiny newer phones, but I'm super happy with the OS.


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