The Windows Phone 7 update is finally here. This is the very first major upgrade to the Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform, and it brings with it one much-anticipated improvement and a few other performance and usability tweaks. However, some users have reported some stability issues after updating their Windows Phone 7 handsets. For that reason, you may want to weigh out how important it is for you to have the latest OS version on your Windows Phone before proceeding. Read on for a hands-on review of the latest version of Windows Phone 7: 7 OS Version: 7.0.7390.0
Copy and Paste
This is the big kahuna. Fans and critics alike were scratching their heads when Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 hit the market without copy and paste—especially when Android and iPhone already had this feature. Now, Windows Phone 7 users can hop on the copy and paste bandwagon.
The Windows Phone 7 copy and paste works like pretty much every other smartphone copy and paste functionality. That’s because, really, there’s only one good way to do it. To copy, you can touch the text in any app to select a single word. Then, you can drag the selector tool to choose more text. Touch the Copy button that appears and it gets saved to your clipboard. Now, when you open your keyboard next, you’ll have a paste button along the top. You can copy from one app and paste into another app with ease.
The only complaint is that there isn’t a select all button. Nor does there appear to be a way to copy one line of text and then paste it multiple times. For some reason, it seems that the copy and paste feature is a one-shot deal.
App and Games Load Times
One of the biggest criticisms of WP7 was its lengthy app and game loading times. Placed side-to-side with a cross-platform app, iOS and Android would consistently outpace Windows Phone 7 in a race from home screen to app launch.
OS Version 7.0.7390.0 purports to handle app and game loading much more quickly—and so far, it seems that they’ve lived up to that promise. Apps like Netflix, which previously took 60 seconds or longer to boot up, now launch in half the time, if not faster. Much appreciated.
Improved Marketplace Search
The Zune Marketplace is impressive with a huge selection of games, apps and music. The only problem was that in the original Windows Phone 7 OS, there was no way to limit your search to only games, or only music, etc. So, when you searched for something like “Angry Birds,” you’d get songs that had those words in it as well as apps.
OS Version 7.0.7390.0 now narrows your Marketplace searches based on which screen you’re looking at. For instance, if you are browsing apps and you hit search, your search results will only come from the apps and games section. This is also a subtle, yet much appreciated improvement.
Other than the above three items, there don’t seem to be any other significant updates. Microsoft reported earlier that it’d be improving the performance of core apps, such as Internet Explorer and its mail client, but these changes are more subtle.
If you think you can live without faster app load times and copy and paste, you may want to wait a few weeks before updating your phone. Certain phones handle the update better. For example, the HTC Surround, Dell Venue Pro, HTC arrive and HTC HD7 tend to do very well, while Samsung Omnia users occasionally have trouble. If you are at all nervous about losing functionality of your phone, you should definitely wait for the official release and refrain from exploring any unofficial hacks or early updates.