Windows Phone “Mango” hands-on

I’ve posted a couple of lengthy articles to the SuperSite for Windows that detail my hands-on experience with a pre-release version of Windows Phone “Mango” over the past week or so. The first, imaginatively titled Hands on with Windows Phone “Mango”, provides a general overview to what’s going on with this release. The second, Changes in Windows Phone “Mango”: My Notes from the Field, was a document I originally created for my own use, but I figured it might be useful/interesting to others. It’s basically just a raw rundown of many of the more obvious changes in various Mango apps.

Anyway, there’ll be a lot more to say about Mango in the days ahead.

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44 Responses to Windows Phone “Mango” hands-on

  1. boyter says:

    Well Paul, you have me sold on Windows Phone 7. I had been following your praise for a while, and the other week I dropped in to play with iPhone/Android/Win7/Bada and found Win7 to be the smoothest experience.

    I was looking at development for Android iPhone and Win7 and Win Phone 7 has IMHO the best developer tools. The above links pretty close to confirm it other then one question. Have the issues in the following post been rectified?

    http://blogs.silverarcade.com/silverlight-games-101/13/silverlight-writing-a-windows-phone-7-game-have-a-fallback-plan/

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Yeah, in fact, I actually don’t like how much Xbox LIVE games have been deemphasized in the Mango marketplace (on the device).

  2. techESC says:

    Paul;

    I read both articles and there is a lot of good information there.

    Can you let us know a little something about one of my favorite upcoming features.. multitasking.. I didn’t see anything mentioned like what apps can run in the background now. Can I listen to podcasts or something off the web and write an e-mail or Word document?

    Also, how was the speed of scrolling and app switching? Lastly, is the quality of the YouTube and other videos improved?

    Maybe you can discuss these topics in a later post.. There are a ton of new features, I know.

    Thanks,
    - Mike

  3. Brian Hunter says:

    Paul, can you search the calendar in Mango?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      No, this hasn’t changed.

      • Brian Hunter says:

        Wow…calendar search seemed like a no-brainer feature. This was #1 on my wish list, believe it or not. Any chance that an API allowing access to the calendar db will allow a third party app?

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Sure. I just don’t know.

        I know there are new APIs for grabbing contact info (address, etc.) so possibly.

  4. lsobrado says:

    has the calendar team checked wikipedia’s article on the crazy concept of a “week”? Their idea that I either want to see a day, or a whole month’s worth of data using 1.2 point unreadable text is troubling. I don’t know what kind of engineer microsoft hires but they really need to move the calendar out of the intern team.

  5. Pingback: Gerucht: Mango ROM’s voor alle developers vanaf morgen? > Post > WP7.nl

  6. Any updates on custom ringtones?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I don’t see an interface for custom ringtones, but it may just be that the APIs are there and that it requires a third party developer to write an app. There are certainly many new additional ringtones.

      • mystictrust says:

        I can confirm that. I’ve seen the API for custom ringtones and how to use them within the App Hub.

  7. gpsarakis says:

    Paul, how close to you think this beta build of Mango is to the final? Is MS still holding back on things or have we seen all we’ll see with these reviews?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Well, it’s missing Twitter integration, which is a pretty huge feature. But I think that’s the only major thing missing. I’d look at the Windows Phone schedule last year, map it to 2011, and arrive at what I expect for Mango.

  8. KM says:

    I believe Google Sync (EAS) only pushes the primary calendar by default, unless you specifically select more calendars to push to your new device. Did you select your other calendars by going to http://m.google.com/sync ? (you might need to use mobile safari on an iPhone or iPad to see the selections on that page, as Google only displays it for certain user agents)

    I’m really hoping multiple calendars from Google will work. It’s the #1 missing feature on my list…

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I’m not sure what going to that site accomplishes, sorry. It’s just instructions.

      • KM says:

        If you open that page from what Google considers a “mobile” browser, you will see a list of devices you have set up with Google Sync instead of the instructions (on my account it shows my iPad and WP7). Selecting a device will display a list of all your calendars (including subscribed ones and holidays) and you’re able to choose which ones are pushed down. By default, it only pushes the primary. I can choose up to 25 calendars to be pushed down to the iPad, but only 1 can be selected for my WP7. Mine is a 7.0 device, however, my hope is you can select more calendars for your mango device.

        The trick is to open that m.google.com/sync link with a mobile browser that is recognized by Google (I have no idea why they do this). I know Mobile Safari works. You can also spoof Mobile Safari’s user agent in a desktop browser to see it. Also, make sure you’re logged into your Google account before hitting that page.

  9. SuNcO says:

    WLMessenger integration in Mango includes Categories? As in “show as connected to everybody on this category”.

    Start to write an email, and on the “To:” type some email address (not the name).. You can’t.. how about on Mango ?

  10. Scott Young says:

    In the email application – are you still limited to just attaching photos or are other options now available?

  11. Russ Colburn says:

    Paul, I was wondering about a specific feature I need in the mail app. I use exchange and have a number of rules setup to move email from certain people to certain folders as they arrive. However, I still need to be notified by a widget or be able to view them in a unified Inbox when viewing email. Touchdown on Android allows you to add folders to the combined view and they will sync automatically during normal push. I haven’t seen anything written, but does the stock mail app allow this in Mango?

  12. gfunk84 says:

    Does Mango let you change or delete the primary Windows Live ID? Does it include any way to back up SMS messages? Any idea if these features are in the cards?

    I want to change the email address associated with my Windows Live ID (not create a new WLID, but simply just update my existing account), but this will break the Windows Live account on my phone as it uses the email address instead of the unique numeric WLID (stupid). I don’t want to lose my SMS history, so I’m stuck. Hoping Mango offers some sort of solution, but I’m not overly optimistic.

  13. swarnock2525 says:

    Great articles with tons of information to digest Thanks! Glad to see the hidden Wifi is in there now!

    Also, I don’t know if you use Bluetooth with the phone, but I am wondering if you know of any future improvements? The phone seems to assume today that any Bluetooth connection is a wireless headset and not a car or even home cordless phones which causes issues.

  14. John Clisham says:

    Any word on device encryption via pushd Exchange Policy? Really not suitable for most large enterprisesnwithout that feature.

  15. nightcom says:

    Great articles Paul and good luck with your next book.

    In Mango, are there any improvements in viewing pictures. Currently when we are viewing pictures in the pictures hub and if we have a picture zoomed in, we cannot swipe to move on to the next/previous picture. Has this been fixed in Mango?

    When people are using my phone to view pictures, they find it frustrating when they swipe left/right, they cannot get to the next/previous picture when the current one we are viewing is zoomed in. I have to keep telling them to double tap first to zoom out then they can continue to swipe for the next/previous picture. I do find it very tiresome to keep telling them ;(

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      When a picture is zoomed in, swiping simply pans the picture. This works as expected, and by design, and has not changed in Mango.

      I see that Apple changed this behavior for iOS 5 (or was it earlier?) but I’d be surprised to hear this actually confuses people.

  16. Paul, do you know if Video playback now supports Bluetooth A2DP audio devices?

  17. Hello Paul,

    Does Mango have a more organized “Call Log” history? Or is it still one long list? I haven’t seen any mention of this anywhere. It would be nice to see the call log broke down into something like “Incoming”, “Outgoing” and “Missed”.

  18. gagdetebz says:

    Hi Paul,
    does Mango include deeper options like the following…
    Can you switch off sms notifications that appear at the of the screen especially when in lock screen mode?
    Can you clear the recent history in the photo and people hubs??
    Can you forward text and email messages?
    Is Smart dialing now working ?
    Does call history have more details now??

    I have not seen this sort of details in any review so far and would appreciate your feedback

    Thanks

    Ebz

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I don’t see a way to turn off SMS notications on the lock screen.

      You cannot clear recent history.

      You can already forward both messages and email today.

      Not sure what Smart Dialing means.

      The Call History list is identical.

      Paul

      • jonahu says:

        Regarding “smart dialing” I think he means does the phone automatically try to look up your contacts when you start typing in the numeric phone pad.

        Unfortunately no – the version of Mango I have doesn’t do this. I miss this feature.. it is much more convenient than having to do a search on the contacts.

  19. gregyoung24 says:

    Paul, Any info on if you’ll be able to re-size the text in Mango? I talked my sister into getting a Windows phone, but she has difficulty reading the small text that is everywhere. Also, have you heard anything about being able to change the colors of the live tiles that are just the standard color? Having the mail tile a different color than the messaging tile would make them faster to decipher between.

    Very interesting article. I’m looking forward to learning more from your posts.

  20. Paul,

    What about multiple file tagging when sending an email, text message, sharing to Facebook, etc.? It’s rather annoying when you have several pictures to share and have to send them one at a time.

  21. jonahu says:

    Does anyone know if Mango supports multiple Windows Live Messenger accounts?
    I have two phones sharing the same WLM account. This has a couple of great benefits i.e. You can share one Zune subscription and you only need to buy apps once for both phones. It is also a work around to allow sharing your calendar with your significant other.

    The problem is we each have our own WLM private account that we would like to use for instant messaging in Mango. I don’t see anywhere that allows me to add another WLM account. What’s the scoop on this?

    Thanks.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      No, it doesn’t appear to. Also no way to switch Messenger/SkyDrive integration off of primary WL ID and onto another one. Which I’d like.

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