Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - MOBILES - —NIDHI SIN­GAL

When we first re­viewed the Win­dows Phone 7 less than a year ago, we were pleas­antly sur­prised by the change that Mi­crosoft had brought into what used to be a phleg­matic Win­dows Mo­bile plat­form. Even though it lacked mul­ti­task­ing and copy-paste fuc­n­tion, Phone 7 still had the po­ten­tial to out­shine the lead­ing mo­bile op­er­t­ing sys­tems. The colour­ful, bright, blocky in­ter­face named the Metro UI al­lowed cus­tomi­sa­tion, while its ‘peo­ple’ hub pulled feeds from Face­book and Win­dows Live into one win­dow. We could move our finger up, down, right and left for nav­i­ga­tion. Mi­crosoft was crit­i­cised for not in­clud­ing mul­ti­task­ing in the WP7. Mango is the com­pany’s re­tort.

The Mango up­date han­dles mul­ti­task­ing beau­ti­fully. Press the Win­dows key or the back key to go to the home­screen. Press the Win­dows key to min­imise the app, press back key to close it. Long press the back key to show all the run­ning apps from where these can be re-launched any­ for copy-paste, a tap on the screen and a left-right slide ar­row ap­pears with a cir­cu­lar notebook icon. This copies the text and by press­ing a sim­i­lar icon, the con­tent can be pasted any­where—email, mes­sages or doc­u­ments.

With the Mango up­date, Mi­crosoft is of­fi­cially launch­ing the plat­form in the In­dian mar­ket. Although the numbers of apps are fewer in com­par­i­son to Ap­ple App Store and Android Mar­ket, there still are many good util­ity apps in Win­dow’s reper­toire. To our de­light, many apps we down­loaded utilised the Metro UI in­ter­face.

Ear­lier, Face­book was in in­te­gral part of an email set-up but this has now been ex­tended to Twit­ter and Linkedin. We could also list our per­sonal email ac­counts in one place, mak­ing the home­screen less clut­tered. The Cal­en­dar linked to per­sonal, pro­fes­sional and so­cial net­work­ing sites au­to­mat­i­cally fetched the events and showed them in dif­fer­ent colours. Also, all com­mu­ni­ca­tion, be it calls, mes­sages, email, FB, etc, with a con­tact ap­peared to­gether. Thread sim­i­larly brought to­gether any com­mu­ni­ca­tion with a con­tact on text, Face­book and Win­dows Live Mes­sen­ger in one place. As the apps ap­pear in the main menu in a list, scrolling be­comes a bit dif­fi­cult. Hence, af­ter reach­ing a pre-de­fined limit, a box for al­pha­bet icons ap­pears at the top. An­other good thing about the Mango is that the In­ter­net Ex­plorer Mo­bile makes brows­ing easy as it ren­ders pages with speed. Any im­age or doc­u­ment on the phone au­to­mat­i­cally gets up­loaded to the Sky Drive (25 GB stor­age space) and even if some­thing gets deleted on the phone, it stays safe there.

With the new WP7.5, the com­ple­tion has surely widened to in­clude Mi­crosoft among Ap­ple and Android. Nokia is about the launch the new WP line and Sam­sung has al­ready an­nounced the avail­abil­ity of the Om­nia W in the com­ing days.

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