As my readers already know, I am an early adopter of Windows Phone, the new smartphone OS by Microsoft. One year passed away and while WP is not yet a leading platform, the release of the first major update, named Windows Phone 7.5, and the deal with Nokia could change things. A sign that Microsoft is going in the right direction is given by the fact that a lot of features introduced by the latest iOS update were in Windows Phone since the beginning (cloud backup, wireless sync, easy camera access) or since WP7.5 (Twitter integration).
This post does not want to be a late review of Windows Phone 7.5. I only wanted to highlight that in this post of January, I asked for some features that were actually introduced in this update. And a lot of them are way better than I ever imagined. Let’s recall them.
1) WP7 needs Windows Live Messenger
Microsoft did a lot better. It integrated Windows Live Messenger in the messaging app. Now you can seamlessly have a conversation with a contact using text messages, Messenger or Facebook Chat from a unified interface. This means you can be instant messaging on Windows Live Messenger or Facebook Chat from your PC, then get up and leave and continue the conversation via SMS text message on your WP7.5 device. You can also continue the Windows Live Messenger or Facebook Chat session from the smartphone.
2) WP7 needs all interaction channels in news section of people hub
Microsoft introduced a new history page where you have access to all the past communication from any particular contact. It’s all there mail, calls, messages, all together in a single place.
3) WP7 needs Twitter integration
Three shots three kills. Twitter came to improve Windows Phone social integration. You can choose if you want your twitter contacts in the people hub, and you can see new tweets in the What’s New page, for a single contact, for a group or for all your contacts that are in the People Hub. So you can access people updates whatever they come from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Live Messenger. And if an update is replicated on different networks, it shows only once. In the Picture Hub or in the camera app Twitter is among the sharing options. Support for direct messages, hash tags and id autocomplete is not yet implemented.
4) Improvements to Facebook integration
Me tile now sports a notification page that groups all social network notifications. Notifications and new posts are showed in the back of people or group tiles. No Facebook messages support yet, and no caching for people updates.
So the final score is three and a half out of four, not bad. I wonder if someone at Microsoft is reading my blog or if they are looking for someone to hire to get new ideas.
For a complete review of Windows Phone 7.5 you can look at the Windows Phone 7.5 review by Paul Thurrott.