I wanted to wait until I had my own production windows phone 7 device before posting about it partly because the demo machines I had didn’t seem to like my sinister (left handed) way of using it, and had a hard life before I got one to play with. I have just been given the HTC Mozart on Orange so I thought now would be the time to give you my top5 favourite things.
1. You can actually make phone calls with it. I think it’s a good place to start as I am of an old school where my preferred human interaction with my fellow man runs in order of:
- Can we have a chat in person
- Can we talk on the phone
- Can we discuss this in Live Messenger/ Lync (the new Office Communicator)
So the fact that you can quickly call someone wherever you see a phone number: in Outlook, in the People hub, from a website is my own personal top feature as it is what I am used to with Lync on my laptop.
2. The marketing stuff on Phone 7 makes a lot of mention of the social media capabilities, possibly at the expense of its use as a business phone. But it has pretty well everything I need for business with its integration with Office and Outlook, and I think this emphasis is simply to offset the traditional view that smartphones are for business but aren’t any fun. For me it’s the blend of work and play on the phone that stands out as it increasingly hard in our daily lives to split when we are working and when we aren’t. For example I can’t be in two places at once so I need to have an integrated view of my diary rather than look at two phones, a phone and real diary etc. I also need the same integration with messaging so all my e-mails and voicemails in one place.
3. My other love on this device is the use of location intelligence in search, the built in Bing Maps, and the find my phone. Of course none of this is new in itself, but it all just fits together here so you don’t have to consciously do anything. I do realise that location awareness can be a good and bad thing, but this is simply a question of who you choose to share your location with, and this is simple to switch on and off and to configure in each application.
4. Applications have been around as long as smartphones have fro example I have CoPilot on my faithful Samsung i600 (on the left above), but what I like about the Phone 7 apps is the way they behave like the rest of the user experience on the phone e.g ITN, Twitter, and the weather.
5. The carrier experience. Orange have put in a bunch of their own applications which don’t dominate the phone as I have seen on other smartphones and they and the other carriers have decided to compete on providing useful stuff that I can choose to use rather than being forced to, and actually I am more like to do so because of this.
I have missed off loads of stuff here including:
- Yes it has a lovely camera and picture hub, but I have a Canon 60D which can’t make phone calls, and I only share a fraction of my photos
- I do love the Zune functionality but I already have a 32gb Zune HD, so this will get limited use on my 8Gb phone.
- I do play the odd game on the phone but I can live without it
So for me the point of phone 7 is that it’s my phone and I can use it for what’s important for me whether I am at work or not.