As you may have heard the next major release of Windows Phone has made it to Australia and will be rolled out on stages across Australia. Not everyone will received the update today. You’ll see the updates come in batches over the coming weeks. A staged rollout ensures everyone gets a smooth experience during the upgrade process. You will have known this release under the code name of Mango. The official release version 7.5 and if you check the about details of a phone running this update you’ll see its Windows Phone 7.5 with the actual OS version being 7.10.7720.68. Before I get onto what I like here is a video that gives a good summary.
Now that you’ve watched the video let me talk about what I like about Windows Phone 7.5.
- Local Scout – This has to be my favourite new feature of this update and the one I use the most. All you have to do is tap on Local Scout and it uses the GPS built into your phone to find places to Eat+Drink, things to See+Do or Shopping that’s nearby. I travel a lot so this really helps to find local places no matter where I happen to be. Plus if I want to order from my local Thai restaurant up the road I just fire up Local scout find the list and dial the number. It’s really cool and easy.
- Linked Inboxes – We all have more than one email address right? This allows you to link them together under one tile on the start screen. I’ve linked my Exchange email and my Hotmail account so I have them in the one place.
- Conversation View in Outlook – Just like Outlook 2010 we now have conversation view in Outlook Mobile. This makes managing email so much easier than before. All you have to do is go into settings for the your email account and turn on conversation view.
- Social Networking Integration – Twitter, Messenger and LinkedIn are now built in. This saves me so much time because it’s so much easier to connect.
- Threads – Did I mention Messenger is built in? Threads is something I use all the time. Say your having an IM conversation with someone but you need to leave to go to a meeting or just need to move away from your PC. No problems because you can continue the conversation right where you left off. And if that person is no longer available on Messenger than you can easily switch to texting and continue the conversation that way. The entire conversation stays in the same thread regardless of which method you used to communicate! Simple awesome!
- PIN request time – Screen timeout is no longer linked to locking your phone. My phone is of course connected to my Exchange account at Microsoft and as part that we push a policy down to the phone that requires a PIN to unlock the phone. Prior to 7.5 every time your screen turned off you would have to put in your PIN number. Very annoying. With 7.5 this no longer happens. I can now set my screen to go blank after a minute but PIN lock can be set to up to 15 minutes. So if I’m within the 15 minutes I don’t have to type in a PIN. A huge timesaver!
- Multitasking and application switching – you can specify which apps you want to leave open for background tasks and switching between applications is so much easier. Just hold down the back button on the phone and it brings up a zoomed in list of the applications you currently have running.
- Web Marketplace – this one hasn’t received too much attention but as of today you now have a new way to discover and try or buy new apps. You can also get them automatically delivered to your phone. Here is a video that Ben the PC guy put together.
Of Course there are many more features in this update. 500 or so in fact! I just wanted to let you know the ones that have made a difference to me in the way I use my phone. If you want to know more check out the What’s new page for videos and all the details of what’s new. Also make sure you check out the Web Marketplace and the newly revamped My Windows Phone site.