Review: Microsoft Releases Windows Phone Mac Connector Update on Mac App Store

Windows Phone Apps Apple TV

Much has been written about how the biggest winner in two recent events – HP dumping webOS and the success of patent infringement cases against Android handset makers by Apple and Microsoft – is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

For me, one of the issues I have had with Windows Phone 7 is connectivity. You need the Zune desktop software to do pretty much anything. With my Android phone I can just plug it in and mount the drive – and since I have all of my music through iTunes (like ~78% of the world) anyway THAT requirement isn’t an issue.

But while I can simply install the Zone software on my PC, what about my Mac? Back in May Microsoft introduced the Windows Phone 7 Connector software, and now they have released a major update, bringing the software to version 2.0!

The Hype:
Windows Phone 7 Connector is a simple, easy-to-use application designed to sync your favorite media files from your Mac, with your Windows Phone 7 or Zune HD. You can also sync photos and videos you captured on your phone with your Mac, and when needed, update your Windows Phone 7 software.

With Windows Phone 7 Connector, you can:
• Sync music, movies, TV Shows and podcasts, from your existing iTunes library, to your devices*
• Sync photos and videos, from your existing iPhoto library, to your devices
• Retrieve photos and videos, taken on your Windows Phone, and automatically import them into your existing iPhoto library
• Browse and preview media items located on your devices
• Download and install operating system updates for your Windows Phone (as applicable)
* Only unprotected (non DRM) files are supported

Windows Phone Apps Apple TV   Windows Phone Apps Apple TV

The Reality:
The initial WP7 Connector was fairly bare-bones, and when I tried it … it simply wouldn’t connect to my HTC 7 Pro, so I had written it off. But with the update – which I installed on a new Mac – suddenly my phone instantly connected, was recognized by name, and I was able to transfer movies and music and pictures back and forth.

Grabbing the software couldn’t have been easier: the Mac App Store offers one-click installs, and the software is free, making it a trivial choice. Once installed the software asked for me to connect my phone and then it immediately recognized and worked with the phone. I was able to download pictures to my iPhoto library, and also transfer music and movies from iTunes. It all just worked.

Windows Phone Apps Apple TV   Windows Phone Apps Apple TV   Windows Phone Apps Apple TV

There are a few new features that require the upcoming ‘Mango’ Windows Phone 7.5, such as support for the Windows Phone Marketplace and ringtone transfer. Since I am running WP7, I was unable to test those out.

Naturally the connection isn’t as deep as with the PC Zune software, but I like the interface better on the Mac version. It makes basic device management a breeze without all of those pretentious pseudo-active tiles and too-large fonts.

If you have a Windows Phone 7 device and a Mac, or were holding off the purchase of one or the other based on compatibility, now you can go ahead and happily comingle your Mac and Windows Phone 7 – and know that when the Mango update arrives for your phone things will just get better.

Review: Windows Phone Mac Connector

Where to Buy: Mac App Store

Price: Free

What I Like: Quickly and easily loads media files; auto-sync works perfectly; lightweight and fast-launching

What Needs Improvement: Doesn’t auto-start without additional agent install (which only appeared after ~a week of running)

Source: Free download

About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

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