So Mango has finally shipped, and I’ve been able to install it on my phone. I’m loving a bunch of the new features, especially:
- Unified messaging interface. Lets you seamlessly switch between Facebook chat, text, etc – in a single conversation.
- Linked inboxes, and conversation aggregation. You can view multiple email accounts from a single tile, and emails belonging to a conversation are grouped together. Very, very useful.
- Enhanced voice recognition. I just wrote a text to my girlfriend without touching the screen. Not to mention the fact that it nailed my (albeit simple) message body perfectly, first time.
- Local Scout. While apps like Yelp were already useful for this sort of thing, having a “guide” to local eateries and attractions built right into the Maps is great.
- Multi-tasking! Enough said.
All of these (and many more features) are great, but what I’m especially loving is how many of my little “niggles” have been dealt to, without me even asking! Here’s a list of some of the smaller changes that I’ve noticed so far, but that probably wouldn’t make it into a press release:
- Snoozing an alarm now snoozes for 10 minutes instead of 5. This is a lifesaver… Can’t see any way to configure the timeout myself, though.
- You can now switch off the camera shutter sound from the audio settings. That pervasive fake shutter noise is one of the most annoying things in the world – glad to be rid of it on my phone.
- Music + Videos hub now opens right up to the “zune” section, ready for you to select music, videos, radio, etc – instead of the “history” section that it used to default to.
- I use a PIN on my lock screen. You can now configure a “timeout”, whereby if you have already entered your PIN recently (say in the last 5 minutes), it won’t prompt you for the PIN for a second unlock within that period. Another great little feature – and one that I don’t see reproduced on other devices.
This is a fantastic update that tackles a variety of problems with the original platform – both large and small.
However, even after all these great updates, I am still left with just one question; Why, oh why aren’t there bus directions in Maps?! I can get walking and car directions, but no bus. The ONE TIME I typically want to catch a bus is when I’m out and about, and only have my phone available. This is a HUGE oversight, and I was disappointed to not see it fixed in Mango.
To date, I have owned two iPods: An iPod video (5th Generation), and an iPod Touch (2nd Generation). I am going to start this post with a disclaimer: I like many things about my iPod Touch. It is lightweight, has a good battery life, and does most of what I need from it. Apps are cool too. If given a choice, I would probably buy it again, and when I get another MP3 player, there is a good chance it will be another iPod.
That said, I have some major gripes with iTunes, and to a lesser extent, the iPod. Here they are, in no particular order:
Just moved into a new flat. It’s pretty great (and my new room is like 3 times the size of my old one), but it’s going to take a week for our ISP to transfer our connection to the new address. Which means I’m limited to going online at work, and I’m going a little bonkers not being able to go online at home.
In other miscellaneous news, summer is wrapping up, which means that in about 3 months the ski season will be starting again – can’t wait! This year a few of us are planning a week-long South Island trip, which should be totally epic!
Have been feeling a weird urge to design something lately. This was what I came up with. Open to ideas for things to do next.
Click through to see full size.
Addendum to key: PHOTOSHOP – 2 HOURS.
Christoph Waltz took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Well deserved. Inglourious Basterds was the best movie of 2009, in my humble opinion.