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Syncing: Windows And Mac

The Windows Phone 7.5 Review, A Month-Long Experience
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Syncing: Windows

We believe that one critical weakness of WP7 is the imposition of using Microsoft's Zune software to sync. You can't sync contacts with Outlook like you could in previous versions of Windows Mobile.

Furthermore, music, videos, pictures, and podcasts have to be synced using one of three schemes: All, Items I Choose, or Manual.

  • All: Automatically syncs everything of that media type in your collection with your player or phone. When you sync, any media items you added to your collection are also added to your device—as long as there’s enough storage space available. Any items you removed from your collection are also removed from your device.
  • Items I choose: You choose which specific items or categories of items you want to be synced automatically (for example, you can choose to sync artists, genres, playlists, picture folders, and so forth). Choose an item by dragging it to the Device icon. When you do that, a sync group is created that includes the item. When you sync your device with your collection, any changes you made to items in your collection that are part of a sync group will also be made on your player or phone.
  • Manual: Choose manual sync to control exactly what gets synced to your device, rather than having Zune Music + Video automatically sync the changes in your collection. When you sync, you manually add and remove items from your device.

The Zune software sorts videos into five categories: TV, Music, Movies, Other, and Personal. You aren't able to edit video tags like you do for music, though. Instead, you have to use freeware software to alter metadata.

Syncing: Mac (Instructions)


Given Apple's effort to create harmony between its devices, we have a hard time picturing a Mac user buying a WP7-based smartphone. At least one person at Tom's Hardware falls into that unlikely category, however, because he likes the WP7 interface and lower smartphone price tag.

Syncing on a Mac is hardly ideal; there is no Zune software for OS X. Instead, you need to use the Windows Phone 7 Connector, which enabled sync'ing through iTunes and iPhoto. Transferring to the phone is pretty easy. But going the other way is more difficult because you have to import pictures and videos through a directory listing. If you're shutterbug or enjoy recording videos, previews only appear as a small thumbnail, which can make hunting for specific files more challenging. In addition, you don't get Marketplace support or the ability to sync wirelessly.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    jasonw223 , April 12, 2012 5:56 AM
    I've owned a few different Androids and iPhones, but honestly am much happier with my Windows Phone. I started with a Samsung Focus a few months ago, now have a Lumia 800, and both have been great. Sure there aren't as many fart apps, but I find WP7 does everything I want it to - only better/faster/easier than iOS or Android. The other thing that's nice is having someone ask me what kind of phone I have again... that hasn't happened since I got my first iPhone before everyone bought one...
  • 19 Hide
    alikum , April 12, 2012 9:02 AM
    mockrockerI'll never buy a windows phone because of this:http://skattertech.com/2012/03/i-w [...] t-because/

    Not sure if trolling or plain stupid. Does ONE single employee's action represent the view of an entire organization?
  • 15 Hide
    esrever , April 12, 2012 7:36 AM
    well WP7 seems like a solid platform but Microsoft needs to throw in more money to make it succeed as much as iOS or Android.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    jasonw223 , April 12, 2012 5:56 AM
    I've owned a few different Androids and iPhones, but honestly am much happier with my Windows Phone. I started with a Samsung Focus a few months ago, now have a Lumia 800, and both have been great. Sure there aren't as many fart apps, but I find WP7 does everything I want it to - only better/faster/easier than iOS or Android. The other thing that's nice is having someone ask me what kind of phone I have again... that hasn't happened since I got my first iPhone before everyone bought one...
  • 12 Hide
    aznshinobi , April 12, 2012 6:16 AM
    Honestly, WP7 looks like a solid platform. But to the company of Microsoft, WP7 is causing them to shoot themselves in the foot. Metro UI is great, but that needs to stay mobile. Not be brought, through Windows 8, to the desktops.

    As for Android, iOS, and WP7. I love Android with all the roms you can flash to, that's not for everyone and try new things. I think iOS has a huge platform, apps and all. It's reliable no doubt and it's simple for people who don't worry about roms and stuff like that. WP7 looks like it'll be a solid challenge. It's fast, simple and I'd expect it to grow even more.
  • -8 Hide
    beta tester , April 12, 2012 6:27 AM
    Yes, app switching is appalling. Apps often forget where they are when you switch back to them.

    Search is also bad. Apart from being forced to use Bing instead of Google, it's difficult to search sub-areas of the phone. When you want to search for something on the phone, it keeps taking you back to Bing for a web-wide search.

    While the Lumia 800 seemed to get out the door OK, the Lumia 900 launch seems like a disaster, with defective phones and people getting their data connections cutting in and out. Nokia's share price has just gone into freefall. Can it survive?

    Windows Phone 8 is also soon to be released, and it won't work on current Lumias.
  • 11 Hide
    silverblue , April 12, 2012 7:33 AM
    A few more notes about Mango...

    1) The ENG key on the keyboard will only appear if you have more than one language selected under the keyboard settings menu.
    2) On the camera mode, you can scroll between the live camera feed and the last photos you took; in essence, you can have both on screen at the same time. I suspect this isn't just a Nokia thing.
    3) If you tap the left-hand edge of an e-mail in the list, it will invoke the select function.
    4) Office can explore Excel, Word and PowerPoint, however it cannot create documents for the latter.
    5) I can't believe you missed this one, unless it's not an issue on your end... the Toms site glitches to hell and nearly crashes the phone!!! This was present on the 8500 update as well as on the current 12070 update on the Lumia 800; unsure if it's just a Nokia thing.

    In response to beta tester, I wasn't aware of Apollo not being available on the 800/900. Ah well!
  • 15 Hide
    esrever , April 12, 2012 7:36 AM
    well WP7 seems like a solid platform but Microsoft needs to throw in more money to make it succeed as much as iOS or Android.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2012 8:31 AM
    @beta tester

    Correct and fast app switching is down to the app developer to implement correctly. This is because Mango introduced new features for app switching but many developers haven't updated their apps yet.

    Any sub-areas of the phone that offer search capabilities will display a search icon. When WP7 was first launched, the hardware search button was context-aware. However, they changed this in Mango because of all the extra features integrated, such as local scout, barcode scanner, text scanner and translator, music ID service etc.
  • 19 Hide
    alikum , April 12, 2012 9:02 AM
    mockrockerI'll never buy a windows phone because of this:http://skattertech.com/2012/03/i-w [...] t-because/

    Not sure if trolling or plain stupid. Does ONE single employee's action represent the view of an entire organization?
  • 5 Hide
    del35 , April 12, 2012 10:25 AM
    Considering that iPhones can't run flash or Java, this platform looks a lot more promising than IOs, and so far give the impression of being a more open platform. For now I will stick with Android and my Samsung Galaxy S2, or the expected Samsung Galaxy S3--as long as there is no retina display on it. In time however, will consider moving to a WP7 or at least having a second phone running WP7.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 12, 2012 11:05 AM
    Having had my WP7 since 2010, I've got some input.
    In general it works really well. But I've noticed the following shortcommings:
    1) no access to the tcp stack for apps. Which means no citrix client or the like.
    2) when on a foreign carrier, automatic update of time does not work, at least not when using vodafone as the foreign carrier.
    3) being unable to turn off the mandatory bing search button is a huge minus. One often accidentally presses it, and we all know bing is useless.
    4) Direct access to your phone data via usb (without zune) is only available when using registry hacks.
    5) Having one of the earliest phones, I don't have access to other display languages than those initially released, and those vision and local scout apps don't exist for me. In english - even if you have the same build number as a newer hardware model, you don't have the samme features.
  • 11 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 12, 2012 12:33 PM
    This is good to know, I love windows and I've been wanting a windows phone for a while, now that i have an upgrade ready I'm seriously considering it...... just not looking foward to getting a data plan :( 
  • 11 Hide
    burnley14 , April 12, 2012 1:11 PM
    The next phone I get will be a Windows phone almost certainly, unless they totally blow it before then. I'm still waiting for a little more app support and variety from the WP ecosystem so I don't have to worry about not having access to some of the things my iOS/Android brethren would have.
  • 11 Hide
    gogogadgetliver , April 12, 2012 1:14 PM
    neiroatopelcc.3) being unable to turn off the mandatory bing search button is a huge minus. One often accidentally presses it, and we all know bing is useless.
    5) Having one of the earliest phones, I don't have access to other display languages than those initially released, and those vision and local scout apps don't exist for me. In english - even if you have the same build number as a newer hardware model, you don't have the samme features.


    3. No, we don't all know that. Bing searches are the same as google plus the integration of image, music, and voice search with bing on WP is seamless. Shazam has no use on WP7 now. I now prefer Bing to Google on my desktop as well.

    5. This is patently false. These are features of the mango update.
  • 14 Hide
    gogogadgetliver , April 12, 2012 1:25 PM
    jaquithI use to have literally the first Windows 'Pocket PC' phone from T-Mobile, then the HP H6300 PPC (nightmare) and I stuck with a 'Pocket PC' phone for sometime after the iPhone release. Once the iPhone 3GS came out and my friends weren't having their phones lock-up constantly -- Uncle!I 'personally' don't like the 'Metro' aka 'Ghetto' look of either the Phone or Windows 8. There's a slim to none chance I'm switching over. I also like my wife's Android which is nice as well, and much better then the early Droid Android phone. Perhaps the WP7 (WP7.5) is better, but I have had such a bad and epic failures with'Windows Phones' I have no desire to go back -- it would require it to be a Holly S*** Phone!Hasn't Microsoft figured-out yet Zune is dead!? Bing is worthless, heck even the vast majority of folks at Microsoft Google.


    The troll is strong with this one. Windows Phone has absolutely nothing to do with Windows Mobile but you knew that already didn't you?

    Although the music players are gone Zune is alive and well. The UI on the PC version blows iTunes away and always has. What good is a subscription service with free music if you don't know what to get? Mixview, subscriptions, smartDJs are powerful. (protip: click the top listener of a song you dig and see what else that user likes). The artist bio and relations are from Pandora. Video rentals are 1080p, 5.1 and stutter free. iTunes sucks but ignorance is bliss for it's users.

    Bing? Sorry man but Bing rocks too. Do like this reviewer did. Flip over to Bing for a month. If your search doesn't come up on the first page check and see if it does over at google. The images are gorgeous and video day is always a treat. As for Microsoft people using Google? Pfft. I'm sure somebody somewhere does but you better source this "vast majority" tripe or I'm calling BS... FUD has to be believable for it to work you know.
  • 4 Hide
    rebel1280 , April 12, 2012 1:54 PM
    I for one am waiting Win 8 phone. I have been using a HTC78788 as an...iTouch?... not as a phone to mess with it to see if i like the interface. I do. A lot :)  Love the live tiles and its fast. Although i cant find Skype in either MS or HTC marketplace. Apps abound already, i wish though, that there was some kind of *Official type title they could give out. There are so many IGN apps (just one example) im not sure which is the official one o.O and most have ...fishy reviews in my opinion.
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