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Friday, 23 December 2011 20:09

HTC Windows Phone Radar tested - Windows Phone Mango continued

Written by Sanjin Rados

thumbtop-value-2008-lr

Review: Mango-flavored, unibody social networker

Multitasking

Anyone who’s ever worked a smartphone knows that multitasking is an important feature and Mango supports it.

Users can start more apps at the same time but note that this is not real multitasking, i.e. the kind you find on desktops. Namely, Mango doesn’t continue running the app in the background but hibernates it. We don’t mind any solution that returns us to the place we’ve left from, but many apps aren’t programmed for multi-tasking and will return you to start screen or beginning of a level.

In fact, only rare games such as Let’s Golf 2 are programmed for multitasking. Switching from and to this game worked flawlessly although Angry Birds reset back to the start screen.

multitasking2

Multitasking puts apps to a test because not only do they have to retain their current status, they need to check for conflict with other apps. Namely, it’s possible to play music and surf the internet but if a game does not detect the player in the background, you’ll hear two audio feeds simultaneously. Let’s Golf 2 again worked flawlessly and asked whether we want to continue listening to music while playing.

Naturally, you can’t run a hundred apps and expect everything to work. This is why Microsoft allows only five apps at the same time, in order not to burden the battery, CPU or memory. Starting a sixth app will cause the oldest app to shut down.

You can pull up the current list of active apps on a tile if you push the Back key a bit longer. Switching to and from apps did not cause any visible stutters or lag.

multitasking

Hub

One of the features Mango is big on are hubs. Hub is practically more than just an apps. The picture below (left) shows the music + video hub tile. Pushing the hub tile opens it up (picture below, right) but only a part of the hub can be displayed. Only after sliding the window horizontally will all the hub sections be accessible.

music-plus-video

The following three pictures show the music + video, people and marketplace hubs. 

music plus_video

people

marketplace

You can learn more about hubs here.


System update

We liked Microsoft’s decision to exclusively handle updates, as phone manufacturers are almost always late. Quite simple really, when Microsoft launches a new update, Windows Phone will notify us.

Microsoft started upgrading WP 7 to WP 7.5 and users probably received the message by now. If your update is late, you may want to check here. Of course, you’ll have to tick „Notify me when new updates are found“, which can be found at Start -> App -> Settings -> system -> phone update. As the picture below shows, we’ve got an update for our Radar.

update-1

The phone has to be connected to the computer in order to update it. User’s will have to install Zune on Windows or Windows Phone 7 Connector for Macs. The Zune app is about 101MB and the updating procedures will take up to 30 minutes or so.

update-2

25 minutes later we received a message that everything is done. Our phone was running on the latest Windows Phone Mango, which is currently version 7.10.7720.68.

update-4

When user’s first connect a Windows Phone to their computer, Zune syncs with it and registeres the connection as primary (picture below, left). Further syncing with the phone is intended to be only on this computer, which is why the link is called primary. It is also possible to remove the primary connection.

If you’re connecting to another PC, without previously removing primary connection, the new link is considered “guest” (picture below, right) and there won’t be any backup. Thankfully, this can be changed as well and the link made primary, allowing backup at the same time.

update-3



Not liked

Accessing the phone is done only via a computer, namely - Zune and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. We don’t mind installing Zune on our computer for updating and all, but the fact we can’t even download a few pictures on our friend’s computer is quite a downer. Radar has no removable memory cards.

 update 5

Missed calls and received messages are somewhat problematic, weeks after we started using the phone. Mango focused on social network integration and multimedia support but seems to have neglected some basic phone functions – calling and smsing.

Our biggest issue was the sms inbox. Unfortunately, after going in – you can’t know how many unread messages you have.

Once you go to the inbox, you’ll notice that some threads have colored text underneath, suggesting these persons wrote again (picture below, right). The problem you’re facing is that you can’t know who wrote how many messages.

sms1

Bear with us here – for instance, if you open Sanjin’s thread (picture below left), you’ll see that the window shows two messages. However, although the phone received three messages from Sanjin - the third can’t be seen.

sms2

Note that received and sent messages differ in color (picture below, right). Once you go back to the inbox (picture below left), you’ll notice that Sanjin thread is no longer colored. One immediately thinks that this means you’ve read all the messages (but we know you didn’t read the third).

sms3

We hope the new Windows update will fix these issues and make hopefully make the Mango even tastier.

(Page 4 of 8)
Last modified on Friday, 23 December 2011 21:27
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