With Nokia Unfenced and the announcements at Nokia Connections and the N9, I missed a couple of bits of windows phone news I should have reported.
Nokia Windows Phone
Of course, one bit of news was the leaked video of Stephen Elop showing the first Nokia Windows phone. It was basically a slightly modified N9 and the debates have continued online as to whether it was a planned leak, if it was intended to dampen enthusiasm for the N9, and whether it had any of the usual Windows Phone buttons on the front. What we do no for sure is Stephen Elop, having seen a guy drooling over the N9, has said “I want more drool”. He also said the demoed device was one of several very different Windows Phone devices he had right now, and that one of them will be on sale this year with Windows Phone Mango, Ovi/Nokia Maps and an app to transfer your contacts from other Nokia devices. This last sentence told us more than the demo itself did, so I’ll move on.
Windows Phone Mango Tech Preview
The altogether more important news than the above (look, we know Nokia is releasing a Windows Phone ) is the news about the Windows Phone Mango software any Nokia Windows Phone will run. Slashgear, This Is My Next, Mobile Burn and Pocket Now have given lengthy write-ups to it and and demo videos which you can look at by clicking these links (or scroll down for the MobileBurn one):
- Slashgear – Windows Phone 7.1 Mango Technical Preview
- This Is My Next – Windows Phone ‘Mango’ preview
- PocketNow – The Ultimate Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Preview
- MobileBurn -Windows Phone Mango: in-depth with a pre-release build
Many of the 500 updates which will come with Mango are in the tech-preview build, though some features like Twitter and Linked in integration are not working yet. So while any sort of final verdict should wait until it ships, it’s fair to say the changes in Mango were well received.
Slashgear: Back in October 2010 we described Windows Phone 7 as a solid first effort, but one that would likely take three or four iterations to catch up to its rivals. Whether it could afford to take that long, with iOS and Android hardly holding back, was the lingering question. Mango has certainly shifted Microsoft’s game forward considerably…. There are even elements where Android and iOS could do well to learn from Microsoft’s example, such as the conversational Threads.
This Is My Next: Windows Phone 7 as it stands today is exceptionally attractive. And needless to say, the so-called Metro UI isn’t going anywhere — Mango’s more about plugging a few holes that Microsoft didn’t have time to fill for last fall’s launch and expanding in a few creative directions that its competitors haven’t, not about refreshing the look and feel.
PocketNow: Holy cow there are a ton of new features in Windows Phone Mango! ….. from what we’ve seen in this preview build running on existing Samsung Focus hardware, there is a lot to look forward to. Many of these new features are mainly bringing Windows Phone up to speed with the competition, yet there are a number that are quite innovative and sure to make Windows Phone stand out above the crowd.
MobileBurn: The best part is that while Mango catches up with the other major smartphone operating systems, it still manages to remain true to itself. It’s different, to be sure, but Microsoft’s OS is beautiful, fast, and powerful as well.
Here’s the video from MobileBurn to take a look at:
Thanks to MyNokiaBlog for flagging up the PocketNow and MobileBurn posts.
Microsoft OK’s Windows Phone unlocking tool
Microsoft has been working with ChevronWP7 and have announced you can use the tool to jailbreak your phone for a fee, paid via Paypal. Although there will be a fee, we are assured it will be cheaper than getting an App Hub membership. Pretty nice really to see them work with the developer community on this, since some companies are making it impossible to do this kind of thing. ChevronWP7.com has the details.
- Engadget: Microsoft App Guy wants people to port their iOS, Android Apps
- MobileBurn: Microsoft Purchase of Skype Approved