As we all wait, with bated breath, for the release of the Lumia 800 (see our earlier post comparing it to the iPhone here), let’s discuss its operating system: Windows 7.5 or “Mango.” Now, if your already a Windows phone user, Mango is probably old news to you. Your phone should have received the update at least a month ago. For those, however, with Android or Apple phones, Mango might be a whole new ballgame. If you’re thinking of making the switch to the Lumia 800 once it drops in the US early next year, here’s everything you need to know about Windows technology.
First and foremost, you should be aware of the tiled screen. Eschewing the widget and icon interphase of Apple and Droid phones, the Lumia 800 features a tiled interphase with customizable and interactive rectangles. These windows give the user insight into a few pieces of basic data through push notifications that both native and third-party tiles can take advantage of. A swipe to the left of the screen will bring up an alphabetical list of all applications downloaded by the user. These tiles, like the Android widgets, give the user the ability to “glance and go,” unlike the application-based home screen of the iPhone.
Speaking of the user interphase, let’s talk about the Lumia 800′s screen resolution. In a word, it’s stunning, especially because of its AMOLED ClearBlack display. Phones using LCD and LED technology require backlighting, which means that the color black actually displays as a dark grey. Nokia’s recent phones, however, use AMOLED screens that have the ability to shut off each individual pixel, meaning that blacks are vivid and sharp because there is no light being transmitted to dull the color. The Lumna 800 makes the most of this technology through its stunningly sparse user interphase comprised of a default black background and modern sans serif font.
As far as software, Mango features some great improvements. Email has been updated so that separate accounts are accessible from one inbox and individual e-mails are organized through threads– a capability that iPhone users are accustomed to. Mango, however, also features an integrated messaging feature that compiles Facebook messages, SMS, and Windows Live IMs in one place. Nifty.
Even more nifty is Mango’s social media integration. Hubs allow the user to see updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live. By grouping friends (which seems to be all the rage these days), the user can view updates from each cohort of his or her friends: co-workers, college friends, family, etc. The “Me” hub purports to give access to notifications from each of these social media sites, while the “People” hub gives the user information about each of their “friends,” “connections,” or “followers.” Social media integration is built into almost every feature of the phone, which allows for a “one-stop-shopping” experience where users have the ability to glean information quickly from a variety of sources.
Mango multitasking is rumored to be less than stellar and often lagg-y, but this is something that most smartphones struggle with, so we’ll give Mango a pass here. Once more third-party applications have become compatible with multitasking, it will surely improve.
What might be the most refreshing aspect of Mango is the fact that it Microsoft Office is built into the phone. Gone are the days of wrangling with third-party applications to edit and open Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. SkyDrive allows you to sync your documents to the cloud, meaning that your phone has the ability to work seamlessly with your office desktop and home laptop. Brillant.
In total, the key here is integration. Mango integrates data from Facebook and Twitter into native applications and seamlessly bridges the gap between all versions of your Microsoft Office documents. In summation, Mango makes viewing updates from a plethora of sources easy and simple. Its purported “glance and go” interphase truly lives up to its motto. Although there are some kinks that Windows still needs to work out, Mango is going to make all of our lives easier, especially once the Lumia 800 is available in the US.