Early Impressions of Mango… [Updated]

By now, you’ve probably read countless and seemingly endless articles on other sites about the Mango update detailing every feature and menu option. My goal here, after having spent some time with Mango, is to generally and briefly summarize my thoughts on the beta and how it bodes for the final release later this fall.

To put it simply, the Mango update feels like a final release. Here are some pros and cons that I have found with my time in Mango:

Pros

Everything is smoother and more fluid than NoDo. Menus in both native and third-party apps scroll without stuttering and feel much more responsive. The phone seems to boot and shut down faster than before, although I have not timed it officially.  IE9 is excellent and having the toolbar and address bar combined into one really give you more viewable space for web browsing. I originally didn’t like the idea of the address bar moving to the bottom of the screen, but I really like the new placement after using it. Some web pages that rendered improperly before, now render correctly. Bing Vision, Scout, Music and Voice are incredible, useful built-in features. The Office hub now feels complete with the integration of SkyDrive and Office 365. The Games hub is better than ever and includes everything in the native hub. The Messaging app in Windows Phone is simply the best way to message and IM on any device. The People hub has some minor, but welcome changes and the groups option is very nice. The little things you will notice as you use the device will start to stand out and impress. I’m sure I’ve missed some cool features and changes, but I wanted to keep this brief.

Cons

Mango is currently in beta, so any cons I may have come across may be fixed in the final release. The cons to Mango are few and far between, but there are some small bugs and annoyances. Since the address and toolbar for IE9 has been combined into one bar the options for tabs and favorites have been moved into a sub menu only accessed when the “…” is pressed. This makes for more finger taps to access each option. The letter jumplists in the apps menu may take some getting used to. I was accustomed to swiping through my apps list and it seems to take longer to remember which letter to press. I’m sure this will grow on me, but it’s tough to get used to at first. Multitasking in Mango is incomplete because most third-party apps have yet to be optimized for quick resume (see comments). I actually find myself using the back arrow to return to apps more than using the multi-tasking card view screen.

Update: I’ve run into a major problem with Windows Live Messenger in the Mango beta. I can’t seem to get nearly any of my ‘online’ contacts to display as being ‘online’ and available for chat and the ‘chat’ option doesn’t appear next to almost all of my Windows Live/Messenger contacts in the people hub. It seems many others are having this problem as well, so hopefully the issue will be fixed come release.

Conclusion

Mango makes some minor and major changes in different places throughout the OS, but its impact on the overall experience is completely positive. Once mango is completed and shipped to consumers it will definitely legitimize Windows Phone as the major contender we already know it to be. Fall 2011 can’t come soon enough. Mango and football season…what’s not to like about that.

Please feel free to comment on a post, use the form on the About page or ask a question via Twitter or Facebook if you have any questions about features or changes in the Mango beta and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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7 responses to “Early Impressions of Mango… [Updated]

  1. I would love to see video mms included..can recve but can’t send..also what would be nice is camera features like brightness and contrast etc settings, exposure control and ISO control…If I had ISO control I could have better less grainy pics..camera is so plain…thats my biggestrequest…

  2. Great article. Thanks. So any Vegas bookies taking bets for the dates of the update to current NoDo phones? September would be possible right?

  3. Great article. Thanks. So any Vegas bookies taking bets for the dates of the update to current NoDo phones? September would be possible right?

  4. Just a comment on your multitasking point as being a con, third party apps that don’t supper fast resume is not “mango’s” problem, and therefore not a con. Third party apps will most likely be updated bow that “multitasking” is supported. I too find myself using the back button but now because of multitasking, you will now notice a lot more times you can go back. Also I would like to be able to close an app from the “multitask” view with a simple hover over x for close. Pressing back several sometimes 50 tines to close everything is annoying. This is the com of multitasking.

    I also have issues with the live messenger with a contact. So far all but one I have the option to message. I have checked and deleted re added to contacts, messenger friend. Nothing works. If you figure anything out please let me know. I will do the same.

    Although ie 9 brings the best web support including html5, in addition to what you mentioned, they removed the “find on page” search. Which is weird in my opinion.

    • Yep, I could have been a little more clear with regards to multi-tasking. The con for me in multitasking is not that all third party have yet to support it, but it’s more about the lack of a decent way to close programs, as you’ve mentioned, and also the fact that I defer to using the back arrow instead. It just seems like the card view is close to perfect, but not quite there yet.

      As for the Messenger problem, some say that a hard reset might solve it, but I don’t plan on doing that. It appears that others can see me online and IM me, but I cannot initiate the IM because the phone doesn’t recognize them as being ‘online’. I’d like to think this is a server issue with WLM, but I have yet to find a clear way to solve this. I’ll certainly post an answer if I can find one.

      I’ve also not been able to get the lockscreen wallpaper to update to the artist photo when playing a music file. Any luck with this on your device?

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