Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5: Cool new user-centric design supports development
I recently upgraded my Samsung Focus Windows Phone to Mango build which is now called Windows Phone 7.5. If you are not upgraded yet you can use the “upgrade trick”. Search the net or email me!
The reason I am bringing this up is that we at iLink have developed various Windows Phone 7.5 apps for larger projects that provide BI data and other information for mobile workers. Overall we are seeing a strong upswing in the interest in developing for Windows Phone 7.5.
Windows Phone 7.5 offers a truly empowering experience in comparison to other smart phones today. There are so many little and big enhancements in this release it is amazing. Overall, I love the redesign and the thought that has gone into enriching user productivity. If I have to pick top three features I would put them in the following order:
- The ability to look at all your tasks and switch as needed; the feature I d like to call Alt+Tab on Phone. This gives developers greater strength when they are creating solutions for workers or if you are an ISV creating applications for your customers. The biggest challenge I have had with other smart phones is the cumbersome multitasking — if there is multitasking at all. Windows Phone 7.5 offers true multitasking. I am glad someone at Microsoft figured this out.
- IE mobile 9. Windows Phone is now among the HTML5 capable devices. HTML5 adoption rate is looking just fantastic and it s great to have access to all that content. Again this is also a feature that developers can use to provide stronger access to web content as well as giving a stronger web experience.
- Voice enabled turn by turn navigation in maps. I know this has been in Android phones for quite some time and this is also a part of the new iPhone 4S. But quite a few people are unaware of how powerful this feature is supported in Windows Phone 7.5.
Overall, almost everything you need to touch for native phone functions is so conveniently close to your fingers and it uses the screen space more optimally to avoid fat-fingering. There are also a lot of other cool improvements like:
- Bing can search music by listening to it.
- You can search on the Web by scanning bar codes through camera.
- There is also a battery management option to switch to a low power mode when you are low on battery is super useful.
- There is richer integration with Facebook – you can now see updates from your friends on their contact tiles as soon as they make those updates. This includes photos they upload too.
- Emails look a lot better with conversation snippets and the thread view.
- Overall thumbs up to the new Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft has nailed it this time!