First impressions: Windows Phone 7 “NoDo” update [Video]

By Tom Warren, on 13th Mar 11 5:56 pm with 45 Comments

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 “NoDo” update is due later this month but here’s a quick look at its key features.

Microsoft has promised improved application resume times and better marketplace search alongside a new copy and paste feature. The company has delivered on all three with “Nodo”. First up is copy and paste. Microsoft’s copy and paste implementation does the job but is difficult and fiddly to use. I had troubles getting the copy dialog box to surface on multiple occasions and it seems to respond randomly to various means of tapping on the screen. Copying isn’t always copying either, pictures do not copy despite being selectable. I tested copy and paste in native Windows Phone applications to ensure this wasn’t an experience broken by a third party. All-in-all copy and paste feels rushed and like an afterthought from Microsoft, it could be a lot better.

Second is Microsoft’s performance improvements for resuming applications. I found that several games resumed a lot quicker than before, despite the differences in devices. This is a welcome improvement for Windows Phone as the company strives towards “Mango” where it will offer full multitasking across its operating system. The last and final key improvement in “NoDo” is the Marketplace search improvements. Searching for generic sounding applications or even ones named “Twitter” or “Frogger” would often displace search results on the device. Relevant applications would end up at the bottom of lists following music and artist information. Microsoft has changed this search behaviour in “NoDo” and it’s greatly improved. It’s now much easier to find applications within the Marketplace.

Overall, Microsoft’s “NoDo” update brings little to be excited about as a Windows Phone 7 owner. The improvements are minor and ones that could have arguably been part of the original RTM build. Microsoft has officially confirmed that “NoDo” will be distributed in “the latter half of March”. The company is widely expected to make the update available in the week of March 21 with several carriers suggesting March 24 as a launch date.

Windows Phone 7 giveaway: Don’t forget to enter into our exclusive Samsung Focus Windows Phone giveaway. There’s only five days left to enter at the time of writing – more details here.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    You have 2 windows phone 7 devices? i’m so jealous!

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      hehe I actually have a few but chose these to demonstrate with :)

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      You must be living my dream!

    • Thor

      !!!! A few. you do realize that people get jealous!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/simon.andrews Simon Andrews

    I’m just a little bit concerned about this… WP7 offers a great concept, and I want to like it, but look at how much trouble Microsoft has had with this one, relatively minor, update. All it really adds is copy and paste and performance improvements – the latter of which seem to be implemented well, the former not so much.

    My fear is that when they push out a real update, it won’t go even as well as this one. The model they adopted – update every device at the same time rather than fragment – just might not end up being sustainable.

    I just hope I’m wrong. At this point, though… I won’t be switching to WP7 when my contract is up.

    By the way, nice overview Tom!

    • GP007

      Only time will tell but I don’t think the size of the update matters actually. The holdup with NoDo could be either OEMs or Carriers, it’s not just MS adding new things to the OS. For example the OEMs need to look at the OS update from MS then do any hardware updates or app updates for their own stuff, and then the carriers need to do their own work.

      It’s this 3 way process that has turned out to take longer than expected but I think it won’t take long after this. MS has done good to learn from it’s mistakes as of late and they know they’re pressed to move quicker.

    • http://www.facebook.com/simon.andrews Simon Andrews

      I really hope you’re right – like I said, I want to want a Windows Phone. My iPhone just doesn’t feel… new anymore, but I can’t justify buying a Windows Phone based on what we’re supposed to get in a 6 months or a year, I want to buy a product based on what it has now.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      I’m concerned with their update schedule too. I love Windows Phone 7 but the lack of apps and forthcoming updates scare me off slightly. I think in a years time it will be completely different but then where will Android and iOS be then?

    • GP007

      But you have to take into account tom that it’s harder for those two to come up with new things while MS just has to add stuff that’s mostly been done before. The hard innovative work is already in place with WP7 in regards to the UI and so on, adding features like multitasking etc isn’t groundbraking or hard to work out really.

      What new things can android and iOS come up with is the question? At some point the platform has matured and it’s new updates end up being smaller ones, not something as big as the Mango update we’re expecting later this year.

    • Calum

      Well said, GP007.

    • GP007

      But you have to take into account tom that it’s harder for those two to come up with new things while MS just has to add stuff that’s mostly been done before. The hard innovative work is already in place with WP7 in regards to the UI and so on, adding features like multitasking etc isn’t groundbraking or hard to work out really.

      What new things can android and iOS come up with is the question? At some point the platform has matured and it’s new updates end up being smaller ones, not something as big as the Mango update we’re expecting later this year.

    • Mohit

      Agreed!

    • Calum

      Personally, I think they’ll learn from any mistakes they encountered this time around, although I can understand if people are concerned.

      In regard to people calling this copy and paste implementation poor, I’ve seen no one else having any problems with it.

  • Pradeepviswav

    • James W

      That video sucks, can’t even see the device properly and the guy is impossible to understand. Go post your crappy spam elsewhere.

    • Guest

      That’s rude..

  • http://twitter.com/ThomasMaurer Thomas Maurer

    Hi Tom
    Can I now “sync” multiple calendars from hotmail or gmail, and not just the default calendar?
    This did before only work with Exchange.

  • Anonymous

    Accoding to Chris Walshie, “Marketplace Application search now, once you’ve clicked on apps, it ONLY searches “Apps & Games”. Yes this is awesome.”

    http://blog.walshie.me/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/IMG_1358.jpg

    Source: http://blog.walshie.me/2011/03/08/upcoming-minor-nodo-features/

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      That’s good to know, another good improvement then :)

  • Mikee

    Thanks for sharing. Great vid.

  • http://twitter.com/PESMERGA7 D

    I see that you hace a different experience with the copy and paste function. Engadget didn’t have such a hard time with the function when they previewed it three weeks ago. I have the same sentiments about the update: it isn’t a major update, but at the same time I do think it’s a welcomed one.

    When it comes to the platform I do think WP7 is worth having now. I’m enjoying the experience.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Could be device specific but they did say they didn’t like the implementation:

      “We’d suggest Microsoft re-think this implementation a little for an update, since it wasn’t clear to anyone here at first glance.”

    • Anonymous

      That was about pasting more than once. I guess the auto hide is to make more room for words selection.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

      The initial rumor way back last year was that Microsoft was going to use some kind of drag-and-drop “bucket” that interacted as a toast from the top of the screen. I think that design is not only much easier to implement for different types of media, but it would also differentiate the OS from other traditional copy-and-paste design models. If anything, if it were designed that way it would really make the NoDo update worthwhile and the WP7 base even more enthusiastic about their OS.

  • GP007

    I hope they tell us there’s another update (not mango) coming after NoDo at MiX, which should be mostly about Windows Phone I’d say.

    • Anonymous

      There’s one update after NoDo before Mango.

    • Brent

      Probably IE9.

  • http://twitter.com/adamUCF Adam

    “and ones that could have arguably been part of the original RTM build.”

    • http://twitter.com/adamUCF Adam

      Meant to add, couldn’t you say that about any update to any OS?

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Sure but when your competitors had these features years before then it’s somewhat lacking to come out with something as half-baked.

    • Calum

      Despite the fact it took some of Microsoft’s competitors 3 years to add those features, and the fact it made a lot of sense for Microsoft to code these features from scratch in their brand new product which was all coded from scratch?

  • Tonious

    Why should the “copy & paste” icon be hidden, after the first pasting? Makes no sense!

    • Calum

      It kind of makes sense, if you think about it like this:

      Most people only wish to paste something they’ve copied once, and they could wish to copy something else straight away after pasting one thing, so if the icon disappears after the first paste, the user will have more of a visual clue that the subsequent copy worked.

  • Jewelzinfinity

    I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about this anymore. Ditched my wp7 for an android and I’ve never been happier.

    • http://twitter.com/moonmantweets moonman

      That’s right. With Android you don’t have to worry about updates. Because you’ll never get any.

    • http://twitter.com/moonmantweets moonman

      That’s right. With Android you don’t have to worry about updates. Because you’ll never get any.

  • Adamvm

    LOL I’m not jelous that some have many. I chose NOT to wait till Sprint got WP7 and got an Android. I have to say of my 3 Windows Mobile phones and my Blackberry, this Android has been the most pleasant smart phone device I’ve ever owned. My current contract expires in Nov 2012. If WP7 impresses me enough to try and like the Metro UI, which at this time I don’t like the tiles, they are too big and to square. I’ll consider it then. But so far nothing about WP7 has been impressive, from it’s release lacking expected features to the less than exciting hardware and now the update mess. Android has it’s share of update delays. But at least it has all the expected features and then some already. I would love to see them give people wanting a more traditional windows phone UI a choice, rather than just Metro. I Like that on Android, I have choices.

  • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

    It’s a shame pictures can’t be copied and for the marketplace search improvement I was expecting something else.
    By the way, first time I hear your voice Tom, I thought you would sound older but I guess I was wrong lol

    • Anonymous

      You can just save the picture and add it to your destination.

  • JeepGuy

    Copy and paste is of no importance to me…

    Tom, can you comment on whether or not this update made the Bluetooth quality any better? Someone pin the comments section in another “rumor” made mention that they heard it was improved…

    IF you haven’t tested this out…hopefully you can, and provide a solid answer. They haven’t acknowledged the Bluetooth issues…and if they don’t come with a fix I’m out. I can’t wait for mango…and then find out they still aren’t addressing the issue. It’ll be Android time as I use bluetooth constantly for work.

    J.

  • Jewelzinfinity

    That’s ok because I’m perfectly happy with android 2.2
    I wasn’t pleased with all the missing features wp7 had. Good luck
    With the wait. Have a snickers bar. ;-)

    • Calum

      A lot of us don’t want or need these “missing features.” A lot of us believe the operating system is better than the others for other reasons—the fantastic user interface, and features Windows Phone 7 does have. It will be nice to use multitasking, copy and paste etc when they are released, but a lot of us have certainly got by well without those.

  • Anonymous

    Tom: I noticed you had the phone sitting flat on the table when trying to select the text and it appeared you were using a Samsung focus. I also Have the Focus and I have found that, when it is lating flat, the touch screen responsiveness is greatly decresed. However when held at even the slightest angle it is very responsive, making the selection of text (single words or lines of text) MUCH easier and more precise.

    • JeepGuy

      I noticed this too…and took it as having to be holding the phone. I.E…something to do with the capacitive portion of the touch screen. Like…if you werent contacting the sides, and the screen, it wasnt as responsive. But maybe it is due to laying flat instead… Sometimes it works good for me laying down, others it doesnt respond worth a darn. EVERYTIME I use it while holding it, it works fantastic.

  • Guest

    LOL. Five months to get C&P and it’s a broken implementation. MS just can’t compete against Apple or Google. Time to give up.