Finally… Mango!

[sc:mobile-category ]Mango finally was released last week but I have been waiting for it to be deployed to my phone since the 27th.  I’m not a patient man for these kinds of things so doing a quick search provided me with a way to stop waiting and install the update NOW Smile.

NOTE: I’m not going to go in to great detail on some of the new features of Mango (like multitasking) as I haven’t had it long enough to say to much, instead this article will focus on what I have found so far as I’ve had it for 2 days.

The Update

The instructions are pretty straight forwards, turn off the cell and Wi-Fi radios, connect to your PC and check for an update.  Wait a couple of seconds when the “checking for update” message appears and then disconnect from the Internet.

Zune will then find the update, reconnect to the Internet and proceed to follow the instructions for the update.

On my HD7, two updates are deployed (I assume a ROM update for he device and the Mango update itself).  Both went smoothly, though not quickly.  Total time was about a hour to get everything done.

First Boot

The first thing you notice with Mango is the color scheme is changed to red by default, I don’t know if this happens only if you still have the default blue selected before the update, but it’s a little annoying.  I quickly changed back to the blue, red just seems to angry Winking smile.

Adding Accounts

The first thing I wanted to do was add Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to my phone, however when I went to the account setting page, I noticed Facebook had an error message on it, the details said it was error 0.   Searching the net seemed to suggest deleting the account from the phone and re-adding it would likely resolve the issue.

I deleted the account but then the error changed to 0x83cf1202, and indicated the account could not be deleted.  This error turned out to be much easier to find information on, MS KB2475837, gives details on how to resolve both errors.  In this case, signing in to live.com and deleting the Facebook link from there and then re-syncing both Live and Facebook on the phone allowed me to delete the account.

Once the account was re-added everything functioned as expected.

Adding Twitter and LinkedIn was easy but of course going through the people hub and linking everything together took a few minutes.

Complex Password

The next feature I wanted to use was the complex lock screen passwords.  However there is no setting to enable this on the phone, you must enable it through an Exchange server policy.  This is highly disappointing, MS has denied the majority of its users this enhanced security.

However having Exchange I enabled the appropriate policy with some unintended consequences.  Mango picked up the change on the next sync and forced me to update my password, however the same thing happened on my TouchPad as well.  In Exchange there are options on how complex the password must be and I have selected the lowest possible values (4 characters long, no requirement for multiple case/numbers/etc.), this was fine on Mango, however the TouchPad seems to see the complex requirements and force you to have upper/lower case and numbers in the password no matter what the Exchange values are.

Miscellaneous Items

One interesting point I found was the search provider setting which was defaulted to Yahoo on my Bell phone instead of Bing (the only other choice).

Another change is in the lock screen, in NoDo when you woke up the phone, the lock screen with the clock and other text appeared all at the same time.  In Mango the background appears first and then after a slight delay the text is drawn on the screen.  Not a big deal, just kind of weird.

One nice item I found in the “Battery Saver” settings area is a percentage of battery left as well as an estimated run time.  Too bad they’re buried so deep instead of being available at the top level.

Another overdue item is in the camera, the menu now orients itself properly if you want to take a portrait photo in stead of landscape.

Apps

HTC has updated their bundled apps to better work with Mango and I have to admit that I had deleted them all from my phone, however two caught my eye and so I downloaded them again:

HTC Hub

The original hub was, quite frankly, useless.  The new HTC Hub is actually quite nice, the best feature is the pinable weather tiles.  For the time being it’s replaced the Weather Network app on my start page.

HTC Connected Media

This is a DLNA compliant media server and client, I have to admit I haven’t had much time to play with this, but it seems to work.

IE9

IE 9 on Mango is a big change, but the one that I think is going to annoy me the most is the removal of the tabs button from the lower menu.  I know they had to do this to get the address bar there and I image most people will not have an issue, but here’s the scenario that I use it a lot in:

  • read an E-mail
  • select a link from the message that open’s IE
  • browse around a bit
  • hit the back button to go back to the message… Opps that just goes back one web page.
  • instead open the tabs, close the current tab and go to a blank tab
  • now hit the back button to get back to the e-mail

The good news is that using the task switcher gets you back to the message now so this is probably livable.

E-Mail

The big news on the e-mail client side is the threaded conversation view and I have to admit I like in in Outlook on the desktop so this is pretty much a no brainer in WP7.

However, just like in IE9, MS has decided to move the folder button in e-mail off of the bottom menu and you now must pull up the full menu to change folders.  This will be an inconvenience as I receive mail in to several folders, not just my Inbox.

Invalid SIM

Other than the Facebook issue, the only other problem I’ve had since upgrading to Mango is a single instance of the phone giving me an “Invalid SIM card” error.  A simple reset of the device cleared the issue and I’m not sure if this is a Mango or Bell issue.  I’ll keep an eye on it and for the time being assume it was just a Bell network issue.

So what’s still missing?

As good as Mango is there are still things missing:

  • SMS Sync with Exchange (this could include the IM as well?)
  • Flash/Silverlight support
  • VOIP integration (SIP and Skype at least)
  • VPN support (can anyone say OpenVPN?)
  • Pinable configuration items (like Wi-Fi) (there is a third party app for this now)
  • Real customizable color themes
  • Artist information (a-la Zune)
  • Notification profiles so I don’t have to listen to every e-mail that comes in at 4am
  • Exchange Notes folder sync

The good news is that Microsoft has started a site to list what people want to see next in Windows Phone and be able to vote on the suggestions so they can prioritize them, I think I’ll be using that quite a bit Winking smile.

The Good:

  • Far too much to list here, but…
  • Integrated Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Complex passwords
  • IE9
  • Threaded conversations

The not so bad/not so good:

  • Had to force the update instead of continuing to wait and wait and wait for it
  • Finding Mangofied apps in the Marketplace is hard as there is no way to tell which ones are and aren’t upgraded
  • IE tabs button no longer displayed in menu bar

The Bad:

  • Facebook upgrade didn’t go smoothly
  • Complex passwords require Exchange policy
  • Still missing quite a few features, some of which were available in Windows Mobile
  • Folder button no longer displayed in menu bar in E-Mail

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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