Get Your Head Around the Windows Phone Updates

June 14, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Throughout 2011 three updates for Windows Phone 7 are released. These are the pre-NoDo update which is intended to make installation of the second update, NoDo, run smoothly. The NoDo update, meanwhile, brings additional functionality to Windows Phone, such as copy and paste and various improvements that make the phone and any running apps more stable.

Mango is the name of the third update in late 2011. This brings additional features such as Twitter integration and full Microsoft Office integration with the SkyDrive, allowing documents to be synced with a Windows Live account rather than emailing them.

Understanding the Windows Phone 7 updatesThese updates are reasonably easy to install on either a PC or a Mac using the relevant tools, but knowing exactly what they do is confusing. Additionally, despite Microsoft’s best efforts, rolling the pre-NoDo and NoDo updates out has been difficult, with the Samsung Focus and Omnia 7 devices in particular being badly serviced by conflicting agendas of Samsung and Microsoft.

However, if you’re able to receive the updates (you shouldn’t have any problem if you have a carrier-unlocked device, for instance) then these Windows Phone updates should be applied and work as follows…

NoDo and Mango

Considerable improvements to the Windows Phone 7 experience are available via the NoDo and Mango updates.

Key to NoDo is the addition of copy and paste functionality, something that should have arguably been included upon the initial launch, although in fairness there is a good case for leaving it out entirely in some cases. Its restoration, however, pervades all possible screens, and copy and paste is available via the Windows Phone keyboard. Additional improvements such as stability and fast app loading, improved searching of the ever-increasing Marketplace (the fastest-growing app marketplace yet), improvements to Outlook and messaging, and the inclusion of MAC addresses in the Wi-Fi connectivity options.

Mango, meanwhile, has an even more impressive set of options, with Twitter and LinkedIn joining Facebook as integrated social networks, SkyDrive syncing through Microsoft Office Mobile, Internet Explorer 9 and HTML5, with various APIs being introduced for third party app developers to create a new generation of quality apps. There are also improvements to Xbox LIVE integration.

Installing the Updates

In order to install these new features, you need to connect your Windows Phone to a computer running Zune. If the updates are available, your phone should advise you, but you can check in Zune via Settings > Phone > Update. Should you have no updates on your phone, they will install in the following order:

  1. Pre-NoDo
  2. NoDo
  3. Mango (upon release)

The update process is straightforward, and sees your phone’s contents backed up to your PC. As a result a certain amount of hard disk space is required, typically matching how much of your phone’s storage you’re currently using, plus the size of the downloaded update.

Using the Zune software, installation of updates is pretty much managed for you – all you need to do is choose to install and agree to the various conditions, then leave your phone for 30 minutes while the update is applied.

After installation, the phone will restart and your update will be ready to use. There is certainly no chance of failure or bricking your device as long as power is continually supplied to your PC, so if you have any fears about this, try and run the update via a system equipped with a UPS.

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