The SMS and MMS department is quite straightforward and simple at first glance – there are no folders here, just a new message button. It doesn't stay like that for long – under that button is a list of all your messages organized into threads.
When viewing a thread, the newest message is placed at the bottom, just like on the iPhone. At the bottom of the display is the tap-to-compose box and the send key, of course. There is a counter on the right which is displayed once you have 16 or fewer characters remaining of the 160 limit. It also shows the number of parts the message will be split into for sending.
A novelty, brought by the original MILESTONE and also present here is the new option that allows you to preset the number of messages recorded in each thread. Once that number is exceeded the oldest message gets deleted.
Another returning cool extra is the search functionality that allows you to quickly find a specific message among all your saved SMS and MMS.
Composing a message is a little frustrating since the text box with the message still occupies a very small part of the screen giving you quite a small part of the text to work with.
To add message recipients, just start typing the corresponding name or number and choose from the contacts offered. The list of recipients is maintained in a "Name and Number" format, which is a welcome improvement over version 1.0, which added only the numbers.
Any unsent messages and drafts are marked with a red "Draft" label. What we really like is that each thread keeps the text in the tap-to-compose box even if you exit without sending it or explicitly save it.
If you wish to manage a specific message in the history, you can press and hold a message to bring up options such as edit, forward and delete as well as view details and copy message text.
When you get a new message, your whole messaging history with that person is pushed to the top of the messaging menu, no matter when your last conversation took place.
A press-and-hold in the tap-to-compose area gives you access to functions such as cut, copy and paste. You are free to paste the copied text into any other application like email, notes, chats, etc. and vice versa.
Converting an SMS to MMS is logical and easy. When you add multimedia content to the message, it is automatically turned into an MMS. You can just add a photo or an audio file to go with the text or you can choose to go into a full-blown MMS editor, depending on your needs.
Moving onto email, the Gmail app supports batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted.
There is also a standard email app for all your other email accounts and it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.
And by the way, the folders are organized in a tree structure - one click over a specific folder reveals its contents and the second click closes it.
The new feature introduced by Android 2.0 is the aggregated inbox, which combines all your mail in a single folder so you don’t need to check each one for new mail. There is also exchange support now.
Google Talk handles the Instant Messaging department. The G-Talk network is compatible with a variety of popular clients like Pidgin, Kopete, iChat and Ovi Contacts.
The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 gallery is identical to the one found on the Nexus One, Galaxy S, etc. The gallery automatically locates the images and videos, no matter where they are stored. The gallery has 3D effects and transitions, which we find rather attractive.
Images and videos placed in different folders appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder, which is very convenient - just like a file manager.
The different albums appear as piles of photos which fall in neat grids once selected.
Alternatively, you photos can be sorted by date by pressing the button in the top right corner, which switches between grid and timeline view.
In grid view, there’s a date slider, which can also be used to find photos taken on a certain date.
If you dig deeper into sub-folders, you can use the tabs at the top of the screen to jump back several levels to the folder you need (similar to how the Explorer on Windows 7 works).
The gallery supports finger scrolling or panning so you can skip images without having to return to the default view. Just swipe to the left or right when viewing a photo in fullscreen mode and the previous/next image will appear.
The pinch zooming is also available here thanks to the Motorola MILESTONE XT720 multi-touch support but you can also use double tap or even the +/- buttons.
There are tons of options for a picture – you can crop or rotate it directly in the gallery. The Send feature offers quick sharing via Picasa, Email apps, Bluetooth or MMS.
Strangely, you can't zoom in on images up to 100%. Obviously the gallery displays only downsized versions of your pics and you need to transfer them to a computer if you're into pixel-peeping. This is not the first time we meet this restriction, the Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S also has it.
The Media gallery we previously met on the original MILESTONE is also on board. It has the same functionality and behavior as the native Android one, it just looks different.