On September 27th, 2011, Microsoft released the highly anticipated “Mango” update to Windows Phone 7.
After running the Mango beta for a few months, I have to say the final product is much better. It’s so much smoother, faster, and feels much more solid.
As Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo said in his review of Mango: “The thing I like most about Windows Phone, really, is that it's the only phone besides the iPhone that feels like it's got its shit together, from the interface to the core apps to the overall experience.”
I have to agree. I can say without hesitation that in my almost a year of using Windows Phone 7 that it is truly a fun, fast, and rock solid OS that has never crashed or locked up on me.
Overall Mango is a very solid OS and a wonderful evolution of Windows Phone 7. If Microsoft keeps updating Windows Phone 7 and keeps innovating, I think MS will have a big time winner on its hands.
From a developers perspective, Mango is not a large leap from NoDo. Mango does add some new APIs and features that do affect application design – in particular the “fast resume” and multitasking features. Also the new Background File Transfers API looks to have some very interesting potential uses in applications. The new Live Tile and Secondary Tile API is absolutely epic. This is a great addition for developers and will really facilitate development of apps that utilize the “glance and go” design language of Metro. I personally plan on using the deep linking feature in our games.
Also, for us game developers, the graphics frame rate has been unlocked from 30fps. This is HUGE! It now means we can do much more fluid looking 3D graphics. In some of our in-house test applications, we saw a noticeable improvement in smoothness. While 30fps is adequate, some people can see visual strobing at 30fps. I happen to be one of those people.
All in all in Mango there are many new features - 300+ according to Microsoft – in Mango. Some of the major features I really like are the changes to the email and people hub. You can now create groups of people and email or message them all at once. Threaded email and threaded messages (SMS, MMS, and IM) are now standard. Speaking of messages, Live Messenger and Twitter support is now baked into the OS. It is so nice to be able to update my Facebook, Twitter, and IM status from on place without having to jump in and out of different apps.
Another killer feature is the “Internet Sharing” option. It lets you set up a mobile hotspot that up to 5 devices can access. Sadly, this is not enabled on first generation Samsung phones – but you can enable it if you so desire.
I can confirm this hack works as advertised as it is the very same one I used on my Samsung Focus.
First, this hack requires a developer unlocked phone. If you don’t have a developer unlocked phone then stop here.
Next, you will need to do an interop unlock.
These are the instructions I followed to interop unlock my Samsung Focus. I followed the first subset of instructions under step 11 in the Samsung fork and was done.
Next, follow these instructions. One note to clarify the instructions at step 4: What it should read is “Select the checkbox in the app for ADC and then press apply”.
Once you are done, you can uninstall DiagProvXML and the Samsung Tools.
All in all it took me less than 5 minutes to enable Wi-Fi Internet Sharing on my Samsung Focus. No more USB tethering required!
This should make my crewmates happy since we can now have boat-wide Wi-Fi courtesy of Mango.