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Molly Wood Reviews Windows Phone Mango – Week 1

August 14, 2011 No Comments
Molly Wood accepted Brandon Watson about 2 weeks ago and now she has reviewed her first week of using Windows Phone 7 with a beta version of Mango built in. She has tons of positive remarks to make about Windows Phone and a few negative ones so far.

The pros

  • Interface: The Mango interface is lovely. The screen tiles are attractive and the “live tile” behavior (they update constantly with new Facebook images, flip-board incoming e-mail counters, and so on) is dynamic without being annoying. Plus, the tiles are nice and big, which makes it easy to see things at a glance.
  • Social: I went back and forth on this, but finally decided it’s a “pro.” Mango has integrated Facebook and Twitter support (and Windows Live and LinkedIn, for the record), and it’s pretty nice.
  • Local: The feature is called “Local Scout,” and the button on the Maps page is a little hieroglyph of buildings: if you press it, and you have location enabled, you get a cool little list of places to eat and drink, things to see and do, and places to shop–plus something called “Highlights,” which in the case of things near my office includes a lingerie shop I didn’t even know existed. Long lunch! This is local done well, it’s useful, it doesn’t require an external app….
  • Local Scout: Local discovery done well.
  • Autocomplete: The autocomplete is awesome. It’s accurate, it’s less aggressive than the post-Gingerbread Android dictionary, and it seems to have a lot more words. Love it.
  • Speech: Press and hold the Windows (“home”) button on the bottom of the phone and you can control a ton of things with voice commands: call or text someone in your address book, launch a search, or open an app. It’ll even read back a text you compose, so you can double check it without having to look, and then you can say “send” and off it goes. I like.


The cons

  • Turn by turn: The pro part of the navigation on Mango is that it has turn-by-turn navigation…kind of. Also, the mapping is beautiful, and I love the very human-friendly directions, which include helpful little notes about traffic (moderate congestion, etc.), local landmarks (“You’ll see a 7-Eleven on the right”), and also, as your near your destination, notes like, “The last intersection is Woodhaven and if you get to Potter you’ve gone too far.” That’s awesome. More awesome if you have a passenger in the car with you to read them, but still very helpful.Here’s what I don’t understand, though. Why is the turn-by-turn navigation only audible when you tap the screen for directions!?
  • Fit and finish: I know I’m running a developer’s build of Mango, but I also know it’s probably not far off from finished, and there are more than a few oddities that make Mango feel like a first-gen product, instead of the 7.5th iteration on a long-lived mobile operating system. They’re niggling, but they annoy.
  • Apps: I know I mentioned this in a previous post, but the lack of app support is problematic for me, personally.On the plus side, I did find OpenTable, MyFitnessPal, and the Flight Tracker app I’m obsessed with, although there’s no free version of Flight Tracker, only the $5 version.


She seems to be really enjoying Windows Phone except for a few issues here and there. I can understand her negative points on the turn by turn navigation as tapping on the screen to hear the next steps is annoying. She does however have the choice to download any of the GPS apps that are available on Windows Phone like Garmin or GPS Voice Navigation.

The other con which I dont agree with is the number of apps that are available. The Windows Phone OS is by far the youngest OS out there right now and the number of Apps is growing at an unheard of rate (thanks to all the awesome Windows Phone developers out there).

So what do I think about her first week review? I think it has been a very positive one if you break down her points. It should only get better as next week she tackles SkyDrive, Zune Pass, and maybe even Office!


Source: Molly Wood CNET



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