The Mango update is a huge leap forward, but there are a few settings you'll want to change to make the most of it. Here are our ten recommended tweaks.
1- Multiple Tabs In IE9
Mango includes the mobile version of IE9 so you can now load just about any website, but if you follow a few links from your tweets section and then open the tabs, you won't see anything except the last page. Annoyingly, by default the browser loads all the links from other apps in a single tab. Change the setting in Internet Explorer for 'Open links from other applications in' to 'A new tab' and you can have multiple pages load in the background.
Follow a link then press and hold the back key to jump back while the page is still loading, and instead of waiting you can read some more updates, click some more links and then go back to IE9 and read the pages that have loaded in the background.
Improved Browsing To have multiple web pages load in separate tabs you need to set this up yourself. It's a simple change and one that makes your browsing experience much better
2- Turn Off Live Chat
If you want to use Messenger and Facebook chat like text messages then you're in luck, as it's built-in on Mango. You can swap between SMS and Facebook chat or Messenger IMs in the same conversation using the Switch button and swipe across to see which contacts are online.
It's a great feature, but it does use up battery life - even if you don't use it and you can't see any online contacts. If you're not planning on using it, then check Settings > Applications > Messaging and slide Facebook Chat to Off to eke out a bit more battery.
3- Don't Share Everything
You don't want to automatically share every picture you take on your mobile - especially if you're snapping an expenses receipt or a credit card statement that you want to save. You can still save all your photos to Windows Live SkyDrive if you want, but now you have to turn it on using 'Settings > Applications > Pictures + Camera > Automatically upload to SkyDrive'. You can also pick whether you want to see a shortcut for Twitter, Facebook or SkyDrive on the menu for individual photos.
IN YOUR IMAGE Configure picture sharing so your images get sent only to the places you want them to go
4- Choose Mango-Ready Apps
One reason we like the AppFlow app more than the official Marketplace app for browsing new programs is the way it highlights apps that take advantage of the best Mango features, with useful live tiles and background multitasking.
Whether you're pinning an exchange rate to work out your holiday money, the weather in a specific city you're about to travel to or your journey home to check for delays, live tiles make apps that are designed specially so that Mango is more useful. This is even more the case when the tile itself gives you so much information that you don't even have to launch them to get what you need. It's definitely worth taking a moment when buying to check that you'll be able to get this functionality with any app you choose. It'll make using your phone that bit more intuitive.
5- Turn On
There are now more things included in the Mango operating system that can use up your battery, such as background apps and GPS. Handily though, there's an automatic power saving feature that's not switched on by default - Battery Saver. You can turn it on by going to 'Settings > Battery Saver'. When you get down to 20 per cent battery, email will stop syncing automatically, live tiles won't update and apps won't run in the background, although you still get fast switching and you can still sync email manually if you're expecting to be sent an important message.
GOT THE POWER You might see a prompt to turn on Battery Saver when your battery first starts to run low, or just do it earlier
6- Set Up Web App Installs
If you read about a cool app when you're using a computer, you don't have to pull out your phone to get it. Instead, browse the Windows Phone Marketplace in the Zune software on your PC, and set apps to install when you next connect your phone. Or you can browse the web version of the Marketplace at www.windowsphone.com and send apps directly to your mobile - you just need to fill in your phone number and accept the terms.
If your mobile network isn't feeling helpful, you'll get an email with a link to the app in Marketplace. But if everything is working right, a text you never see tells your phone to install the app straight away.
7- Wireless Sync
It's not new to Mango, but wireless sync is so useful it's worth mentioning again. Connect your handset to your home Wi-Fi network and choose 'Settings > Wireless Sync' in the Zune software while your computer is connected to the same wireless network. The Zune software will pair with your phone and whenever it's plugged in and on your Wi-Fi network (and you're not using it) it will sync photographs and music (as long as your computer is on too). Set up sync lists of dynamic playlists such as Smart DJ lists and you'll get new music delivered automatically.
GET SYNCED Syncing your phone with your home PC is simple
8- Take Control Of Multi-Tasking
With apps that are written to run in the background in Mango 7.5, you get to switch back from another app instantly and things carry on in the background - such as music playing and settings syncing. But just because an app can run in the background doesn't mean that you want it to. Good apps will have a setting to enable you to choose, and you can also turn them off from 'Settings > Applications > Background Tasks'. Check the 'Advanced' button for a list of all apps that do background processing, whether or not you can control that. At this point your only option is to uninstall them, but at least you know which apps will carry on running and can make that choice.
9- Install More Apps
In 7.5 Mango, installed apps are still arranged alphabetically, but you can also tap on any letter to bring up an on-screen alphabet so you can get to them quicker. However, the letters dividing your apps only appear if you have 43 or more programs installed so it's worth aiming for that number for easier navigation. There's a trial version of most apps in the Marketplace, so try out everything that looks interesting. While you're at it, install more games. Once you have 20 games installed, the Games Hub puts the games you've played most recently at the top of the list.
MORE IS BETTER The more apps you have, the easier Windows Phone 7.5 makes it to navigate through them quickly
10- Pin Wi-Fi Settings
One of the little annoyances with the original Windows Phone OS was having to go all the way into Settings whenever you wanted to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on and off - such as when you wanted to save some battery life and didn't need the connectivity. Mango now gives apps more access and lets you pin tiles for features within an app. There are several apps that let you pin a link to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth settings directly to your Start screen - our favourite is Toggle, which also lets you pin tiles for data, airplane mode and reminders.