Windows Phone 7.5 Mango on a Samsung Omnia 7 connected to Three

I have been trying out the new Mango update on my Samsung Omnia 7 smartphone and wanted to highlight some of my favourite features that come with Windows Phone 7.5. Be aware that this represents a small fraction of the new features.

  • Internet Sharing

This is not always available “out of the box” but needs to be enabled by the operator. A support call to Three.ie (Hutchinson Ireland) did not bode well as I tried to explain this new Mango feature with limited success but a week later I found that the feature was available on my Samsung Omnia 7.

Once enabled, it is beautifully easy to use; just enable the feature, configure the phone as an access point by providing a name (which can be discoverable or not) and a WPA password, and then up to five wifi devices can be connected.

Be aware that some Mango supported phones do not have the Broadcom WiFi chip to support this particular feature.

  • Voice Texting

Mango allows one to listen to text messages and respond to them using your voice. You can configure the circumstances (when using Bluetooth, headphones, or always) that this feature kicks in. When enabled, the phone tells you of an incoming text and asks whether you would like the text read to you or ignore it. After reading the message, the phone asks whether you wish to dictate a response.

While I have not responded using the voice feature, when listening to music or a podcast, I appreciate the way the music/podcast quietens & you are informed that a text message has arrived and given the choice to listen to or ignore the message. On completion, the previous audio session resumes seamlessly. And all this is achieved without pressing a button.

  • Zune Integration

Not a hugely important feature but a favourite of mine; regardless of whether you synchronise your Phone with Zune on the PC while connected directly via USB or remotely via WiFi. If you are listening to audio on the phone, this is no longer interrupted when synchronising.

The bigger feature is that one can subscribe to podcasts directly on the phone without needing a PC. This is probably very important in countries where smartphone user does not have access to PCs  but it was far less useful to me. I did try it out but found that it tried to download previous podcasts providing me with little control over which ones were a priority.

For more on the new features included in Mango, visit the Microsoft web link on what’s new in Windows Phone 7.5

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