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WP7.5 Mango installed, what do I think after 24h?

Oct 5

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011 7:07 PM  RssIcon

I've lived with Mango for a grand total of 24h, now that?  Read on for my first impressions!

Yesterday morning when I my email and was pinged with a message saying an update was available.  Mango?  Mango!  Mango is here!  MANGO IS HERE!  Ok, I wasn’t exactly JUMPING FOR JOY (I need to get a few cups of coffee in me before that happens), but I was pretty happy about it!  Last night I installed it, and I was impressed, one click to start the install, a few phone reboots, a bit of time and patience and ………it was…….……done.  Ya, VERY uneventful, very anti-climatic, quite boring.  However, please note the LACK of drama this time compared to the infamous NoDo install uuuuuuhhhhhh hhhmmm “problems” Microsoft had earlier in the year.  They WERE watching and they WERE learning!  Kudos to you Microsoft!  Great job this time!  Keep it up.

I was one of the few WP7 devs who decided to wait for the official Mango release.  Why?  Cause I’m still developing a Line of Business (LOB) app for my company to help me learn about Isolated Storage, Tombstoning, Data Binding and some other vital concepts that aren’t critical to having Mango.  Plus, I use my phone for my daytimer, so uninstalling the beta (which was part of the read me in the summer) before installing the release (which was changed just last week) meant I would potentially lose data/applications.  NOT something I want to entertain.  So I decided to wait.  Until last night.

So what are my initial thoughts after 24h?  Who cares you’re asking?  Maybe, but I have some ideas that might help you avoid some hiccups, or maybe point out some things to note.

First off, after the install, DON’T try to run any applications!  Don’t, just not yet!  The Mango update re-locks your phone!  Ya, if you’re a WP7 developer (and if you’re reading this blog, hi! haha) you’re probably one, you’ll be “politely” told Microsoft is revoking the app and before you know it…..POOF!  GONE!  DOH!  hhhmmmm Before Laurent Duveau replied to my tweet for help, I had already figured out the Marketplace is MORE than happy to take your money AGAIN for those apps you purchase AGAIN!  DOH!  I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen, but this time I didn’t see any protection mechanisms.  OH well, only a buck and it’s my own app. haha

Second, I wanted to check the listbox scrolling which was rumoured to be drastically improved and I have to say, I am VERY happy with it.  No more hiccups, hesitations or stuttering when I’m scrolling through some long lists.  Hey, maybe it’s just me and I’m seeing something not there, but that’s my impression.  Are you seeing the samething?

Next, and one VERY cool thing I noticed is the Back button when I’m already on the start/home screen.  If you’re like me, and you put your most used icons/apps/Pin To Start apps near the top, you’ll LOVE this.  Scroll to the bottom, hit the back button, ZZZZZZZIP you’re back to the top!  Nice touch!

After that I started to get some email.  I have to say I’m not a fan of the conversation threading.  I keep my inbox pruned and VERY clean, so when I have to click extra times to delete junk emails just cause of the previous conversations…..not good.  Thankfully it’s easily disabled.  Nice!

While in email, I noticed the Sync button is not longer the far right button, that’ll take some time to unlearn after a year!  DOH! haha  It’s still there, just beside a newly added Search button.  Again, I keep my inbox pruned and I use Outlook (LCD, full keyboard) for my searching functionality, unfortunately I can’t turn that off.  But that’s ok for now.

Microsoft is making a BIG deal about Facebook and LinkedIn “connections"….Don’t care, sorry, I really don’t.  When I have THAT much time to check those things, I usually wait for when I’m on a BIG screen.

IE, rumoured to be the next version, hhhmmm I don’t really care, what I do care about, is it’s there, it works and it’s fast.  The url/address bar has moved to the bottom now though, AND is available in both portrait and landscape modes.  To be honest, I’m not sure I like it in landscape, I would like the screen relestate, but still have access to it with a swipe from the bottom.

One problem I didn’t like about WP7 was the HUGE monolithic, one loooooong list of apps after the start screen.  Mango now has a great index-like feature.  Hit a letter and you can hyperjump to that letter/area of the list.  Nice!

By this time, I went to sleep.  This morning I checked my phone again, and noticed the next “HUH?” moment.  I’m used to swiping the ON/OFF button to display the LOCK screen with my next calendar event.  Remember I use my phone as my day timer.  Well, now there’s an animation on the Lock screen!  DOH!  I wish, I REALLY wish there was a way to turn THAT off.  What I mean is, you hit the ON/OFF, you see the background AND your calendar event, then it flashes, goes away, then fades in again!  Huh? What?  Why the fade man?  I really wish there was an option for that?!

Today, I started exploring the Settings options.  I LOVE the new “battery saver” feature.  I turned it on today, and it SAYS it’ll turn things off as the power starts to get low, but still let me use the phone and text, etc.  If the battery/juice is THAT low, I don’t really care to get that joke email RIGHT NOW!  It can wait a bit. haha  Nice touch, but I’ll have to see it in action to REALLY know how useful it is to me.  But what is cool is on that screen, you can see an estimated time remaining, nice!

Next in Settings, is the Speech option.  This is the ONE thing my Android friends have been laughing at me for NOT having for a few months now.  ggggrrrrr  But now we Mango users have it!  The only hiccup is you have to turn it on in the speech Settings.  Check it out by pressing and holding the Start button and saying specific key words.  You can easily “Open Privasoft” to open up your applications!  Ya, it’s not just canned words, it knows what apps YOU have installed on your phone!  I’m going to start using THAT instead of that long list of apps I think.

Oh, and something else I LOVE, I didn’t really learn in the last 24hr but is definitely worth mentioning is the WP7 Marketplace is now ON DA WEB!!!!!!!!!!  SO FREAK’N COOL!  Now I/you can email links to friends to show them what you’re spending your sleepless nights working on!

Well, that’s my last 24hrs with my Mango phone!  If you have Mango installed, please let me know what YOUR thoughts are, I would love to hear what you think, and what tips’n’tricks you found out!  Now it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!


PS  There’s a bit of confusion about version numbers.  Here’s something to help ME remember. hahah (cause I STILL get them wrong, ggrrrr)

7.5 = OS  ----> Mango is the WP7 Operating System code name, the marketing/released version number is 7.5.

7.1 = SDK ----> WP7 development tools SDK is version 7.1.


PPS I JUST heard this now, RIP Steve Jobs.  As much as I love Windows and WP7, I DO respect Apple and Steve Jobs.  The computer world is a better place cause of his influences.

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