Microsoft claims that more than 500 new or reworked features made the update from WP 7 to 7.5. We will not compare the two systems as we find Mango to be more important. Microsoft surely thinks so too, since it will need a strong platform to compete with Android and iPhone.
Mango may be as functional as the competition, but Android and iPhone have a great advantage when it comes to availability of apps. However, Microsoft’s web Marketplace is being worked on around the clock and the number of apps is constantly growing. Still, despite the interest from developers for WP7, we suppose that interest for Android or iOS will remain higher in the future.
Windows Phone Mango now runs phones from HTC, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Dell, Acer and Fujitsu/Toshiba, which can only mean a good thing when it comes to developers’ attention. Windows Phone Mango looks much like Zune HD but desktop users who’ve tried Windows 8 will recognize the tiles from Metro user interface.
Not many tiles can fit on the screen but they indeed make the window tidier. The Windows Phone devices we’ve tried so far had 800x480 resolution, but the tiles adapted to the size and we had identical number of tiles on-screen.
What’s great about the tiles is that their content can be dynamically refreshed, depending on what the tile is showing. If, for instance, a tile shows the weather, then it will refresh and update the information as needed.
Pressing a tile and holding it longer will un-stick it from the surface, allowing you to move it elsewhere. Of course, you can add new tiles as well. Although the visible part of the start screen has only eight tiles, dragging your thumb vertically and upwards will produce more tiles from the bottom, somewhat like a movie credits list. Mango does not use more windows like Android, but rather has a one rolled up window.
The start window holds the tiles users want to see there, whereas the full list of apps and settings will shows once you push the arrow on the top right or simply sliding your finger left. Most apps can be assigned with tiles but, strangely enough, creating a tile for WiFi, Internet Sharing and such cannot be done.
The search button with a magnifier icon opens up Bing search engine. This key is exclusively for Bing, which is why other searches are done via an additional magnifier icon that opens up once you open the menu. You can see this smaller magnifier icon on the picture above, top left.
Bing is a useful tool that has much more to it than just search. You can use it for text recognition or translation, where it does quite well (of course, when the conditions are right). If you hear a good song but don’t know the name, it’s Bing to the rescue. Note that song recognition needs good sound quality and won’t work for live versions or with too much external noise.
Bing will automatically read the QR code, all you need to do is direct the camera towards it. An additional option is reading of Microsoft tags.