Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review

Nearly a year after its initial release, Windows Phone 7 becomes 7.5 with the arrival of Microsoft's 'Mango' update. It's much anticipated by current WP7 users, but is this fruit juicy enough to tempt those considering a divorce from Android or iOS? Kevin Pocock finds out in our review.

Calendars

Calendars has also changed for the better. From a social standpoint, the much-requested synchronisation with Facebook's event calendar is now included, but you can also view sub-calendars of a single account and add to-dos that will show up alongside your dayto-day engagements. Although each calendar can still viewing these calendar colours' on the overview calendar grid-view is currently not possible which is a shame. This would allowed awareness of personal, business or other engagements at a glance.

Messaging

On a more positive note we can't fail to be impressed by the changes presented in Mango's Messaging update. Like emails, messages are now threaded, which is essential given the ability to talk to contacts over SMS, Facebook Chat and Live Messenger. Having the conversation kept in a cohesive order, no matter which service each individual message came from, is nothing short of brilliant.

A sideswipe to the Online' tab lets you see who is available to chat on Facebook and Live Messenger and you can set your own status as Away, Available, Busy, Offline or Appear Offline as required. In testing, although the delay in talking to a personal contact via Facebook Chat over a 3G connection added a slight delay to the conversation, we were as impressed with the speed and ease of use as our contact was with the functionality.

Threads help keep track of conversations, even if the individual messages came from different services.

Threads help keep track of conversations, even if the individual messages came from different services.

People Hub, Me and Groups

The revised People Hub and Me tiles are simply superb additions for the serially connected, and means that there's considerably less need to check the individual websites/apps for each social network. The People Hub lets you see 'What's New' on all, just one or any combination of Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live and LinkedIn. If you've created a custom contact group (say, Family or work colleagues), these will be alphabetically listed at the top of your contacts, and provide their own specific What's New' feeds for all the contacts in that group.

Grouped contacts have their own news feeds.

Grouped contacts have their own news feeds.

Not only that, but both group and individual contacts have a History' feed, showing your previous interactions. In a highly intuitive step, groups can be pinned as tiles as well as individual contacts. So if there is one set of colleagues or contacts that you often speak or engage with, they're right there and readily contactable straight from the Start screen.

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