Lots of new stuff so I am looking at just little pieces of the Mango’ed WindowsPhone.
The inclusion of Twitter and LinkedIn makes the People hub even better. I wish home.live.com would restore Twitter as a connected service but it’s on the phone so moving on. The new people hub is great for finding a contact to call or message (email, SMS, Facebook chat or Windows Live Messenger). Additionally on the What’s New section, just a swipe from the listing you can follow your social streams, all without ever going to facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.
A “feature” that was advertised in the group of 500 was “groups”. I was not interested at all when I first saw that. After setting up two groups, one for Family and one for Friends and then pinned it to my home screen, I have seen the light. The Live Tile scrolls a marquee of their contact picture and any updates, such as a post on facebook, as well as the number of messages from anyone in that group. On one hand I have a little disappointment about the lack of toast notifications based on groups, similar to the issue of new email in sub-folders (I will comment on the email apps in a future post), but if I were social and added lots of contacts to one of these groups I could see being overwhelmed with Toast notifications.
Much like the groups tile, pinning a contact to your home screen provides the same live tile interaction. Additionally if you look at a contact, especially when you connect all of their accounts (facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc…) you can see all of their activity right from the home screen. Opening the contact gives you a similar “What’s new” as the general one in the People Hub and additionally it has a new section labeled Pictures which pulls from Skydrive as well as Facebook.
The socialness is very cool, at least technically as it aggregates all of these streams to include interacting (commenting, liking, re-tweeting) without using specific apps. It also makes great use of the Windows Live Messenger stream. Again a service I rarely use directly but it’s there.