WP7.5 Mango: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Note: I love my phone, this post is a way to describe my (short) experience with the latest version of the Windows Phone OS (Mango), read that as my feedback to get a better product.


The Good

  • First, the update process was excellent this time! Microsoft learnt a lot from NoDo it seems… good job!
  • Twitter and LinkedIn integration in People hub!
  • I can now “Snooze for x minutes” for calendar reminder… huge gain for me! I must admit I use my calendar as a tasks reminder (a better way to do this?)
  • Nice little fix: in silent mode, the camera makes no more sound… back to spy mode 😉
  • Save location in Bing Maps (favorites), this basic feature was curiously absent from the previous version (only tiles, but I don’t need 25 more tiles on my home screen, thanks).
  • Email threading view (Hello modern UX… I have this in GMail since 2004…)
  • I managed to get WiFi sharing from the phone (Good!), but with an awful trick (very bad!)
  • Bing maps local search! I can now search for “pizza” and not getting direction to Italy (I’m in Canada)
  • A lot more nice little additions here and there…


The Bad

  • No more direct access to the “folder” button in my inbox. This really bugs me. I use folders in my inbox, lots of them. Before Mango I had a “folders” button at the bottom of the screen. It is no more there in Mango (replaced by a search button), and you have to open the appBar to access it, 2 taps instead of one, for something you do all day long.. this is not a win.
  • Bing Maps for navigation: turn by turn indications is nice, but still not a real GPS replacement. The default maps app is still a bad GPS, period. (No auto correction, live speed, current speed limit, 3d view, …)
  • No Silverlight or Flash in the browser :-(…. come on this is lame!


The Ugly

  • Search (physical) button: Well… what to say about the infamous Search button.. I call it the SUX button. Totally useless now with Mango. Before that we had the search button used for Contacts, Emails, Marketplace, … and Bing Maps for everything else (Impossible to use this button for your app) which leads to inconsistency, and user afraid of clicking on the dammit button and get ousted to Bing.. the UX was just a bad failure. Now with Mango the phone search button is only for Bing, no searches on apps, no contextual search. Useless, but at least it is consistent now…
  • Monstruous trick to get WiFi sharing to work (see here for details). Seriously, tethering and Wi-Fi sharing should be built-in the product.


Anyhow I like Mango, and can already see potential improvements that should be added for an upcoming update…