Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fabulous Adventures in Windows Phone 7.5

While back home in Hawaii I had a chance to replace my phone of 4 years (a BlackBerry Curve 8330) which has served me well.

Being on the Sprint Network my choices were a little limited when it came to new Phones, however they did have offerings from all of the major platform providers: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

I had heard a lot of good things about the Windows Phone platform and decided that I had waited long enough before making the plunge. Sprint offers only one Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, which is a candy bar slider.

Out of the box the phone was running stock Windows Phone 7, however I knew that Microsoft had released Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" late last year, therefore the first thing to do was update the phone to the latest and greatest. Apparently this upgrade cannot happen over the air, therefore I had to reinstall Zune on my laptop (I had not reinstalled it after I upgraded to a Solid State Drive last month).

After Zune was installed I began the long process of upgrading the phone to Mango. In all it took about an hour to download and install all updates. It also required several reboots of the phone. My experience with the original Windows Phone was so limited that I cannot really speak to the differences or improvements with Mango, however I must say that I am impressed with the level of integration offered in Windows Phone with regards to Faceboook.

After linking my Facebook Profile to my phone it downloaded all of my friends photos and their contact numbers and added them to my phone book. The end result is their Facebook photo being displayed every time I get a call, which is a nice touch.

Another nice touch is the ability to switch between SMS/Facebook Chat/Windows Live Chat all in the same message thread. It keeps the entire conversation in one window, as opposed to splintering the conversation across programs.

I have yet to start programming for it, but I'm excited to give it a shot, unfortunately it appears that you need to pay $99 to Microsoft in order to become a developer for their App Store, so perhaps I'll wait until I have a 'Killer App' before I take the plunge!

Until next time.

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