Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango Style

Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango StyleFor the past couple of years I’ve proudly touted the virtues of the Android OS.  Partly, as an alternative to the iPhone and a more web friendly alternative to the corporate email focused Blackberry.  Moreover, having used older versions of Windows Phone, I had steadfastly refused to even consider their 6.5 and even 7.0 updates.  That all changed when a friend walked me through Windows Phone 7.5 aka “Mango” and I have to say I’m hooked.

Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango Style

For the past couple of years I’ve proudly touted the virtues of the Android OS.  Partly, as an alternative to the iPhone and a more web friendly alternative to the corporate email focused Blackberry.  Moreover, having used older versions of Windows Phone, I had steadfastly refused to even consider their 6.5 and even 7.0 updates.  That all changed when a friend walked me through Windows Phone 7.5 aka “Mango” and I have to say I’m hooked.

 

Once I started using it I immediately noticed that Mango didn’t obtrusively run background process that slowed down whatever I was trying to do.  As a result, everyday usage greatly improved and now I no longer need to debate whether to manually engage the Task Killer application or pull out the battery when applications crashed or background processes drained the system resources to the point of making the phone unusable.  Now I will acknowledge that the Mango phone is running on newer hardware, but given that it’s been two weeks and I’ve yet to have an application crash or need to be “forced close” I’m willing to chalk this up to more robust software architecture & better memory re-allocation.  While this may seem like a little bit too much technical mumbo jumbo for some; really all you need to know is that Mango runs a lot smoother and seems to be more crash proof than Android.

Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango Style

Beyond the stability, which instantly jumped out at me, I admit I had a one semi-embarrassing reason for not wanting to switch off of Android previously.  Over the past few years, I moved my entire functioning address book to Gmail and loved it.  Accessibility was great and updates were automatically synchronized which was a huge improvement over having to manually curate multiple address books.  Hence, leaving Android, in my mind meant having to re-build my address book to either Outlook or… ug…. Windows Live.  Well, as it turns out, this fear was totally unfounded as Mango did a great job of syncing my legacy address books on Outlook and Hotmail with my primary Gmail-based one and allowed me easily merge contacts between the services.  Problem – thankfully – solved.

Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango Style

After these initial impressions, I started to use Mango more extensively and I’ve grown to love the fact that I can now easily view and edit attachments because of the installed Microsoft Office Suite which should be a huge selling point for any work-focused Blackberry users out there (I’ve almost converted my father on this point alone).  In addition, while Zune essentially failed to compete with iTunes or Rhapsody’s music service, the Mango version which essentially acts as a media / podcast manager is more than passable.  Plus if you use the included headsets, Zune also function as an FM receiver which is definitely one of those nice to haves that make long bus rides, running, or working out in gyms with TVs that broadcast the audio over local FM waves more tolerable.  In addition, while there aren’t nearly as many applications available in the Mange marketplace, the most popular ones that everyone says are must haves are all there.  Also there’s definitely something to be said for having a marketplace that’s not nearly as cluttered.  That said, I will confess there were two applications that I used regularly that were not available (my fantasy football manager & a favorite game puzzle game) so I wouldn’t want to merely gloss over this point as there are definitely some things that haven’t made their way on to the Windows Phone platform yet.  However, what the platform lacks in application diversity / density, I felt, it more than made up for with the included Office and Zune applications and I should note application growth for the Windows platform is definitely on the rise so I view this as a temporary issue at best.

Tales of a Reformed Android User: Going Windows Mobile 7.5, Mango Style

So all that said, I have to admit I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by the ease of use, stability, and overall feel of Windows Phone – Mango.  In my opinion, Mango has surpassed Android in terms of usability and overall stability on the consumer smartphone front and has truly distanced itself from Blackberry on the enterprise front.  To me, it’s only a matter of time before Mango is the only real competitor to the iPhone and this release drastically reduced the competitive gap between the two with the biggest current gap being the hardware.  As none of the current Mango devices can use the newly deployed high speed LTE networks or offer a dual core processor (which some might argue isn’t necessary given the architecture of the operating system).  As such, I would definitely recommend folks give the new Mango phones a try – especially after the next round of hardware that’s rumored to be shipping in the early part of next year.

recommend folks give the new Mango phones a try – especially after the next round of hardware that’s rumored to be shipping in the early part of next year.

(Testing and Usage of Windows Mango 7.5 were based on an AT&T Samsung Focus provided for Review Purposes)

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