Microsoft has announced the details of the upcoming Mango update for Windows Phone 7. Over 500 new features are going to be introduced, focusing in making the phone smarter and easier to use. Smartphones today have become “app launchers”. Windows Phone promises to take a different approach and give importance to People.
The Mango update will, inter alia, add the following new features:
1) Windows Phone will now be organised around the person you want to interact with, and not the app you may be using:
- Threads: Switch between text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger, within the same conversation.
- Groups: Group contacts into personalised Live Tiles to see their latest status updates and quickly send a text, email or IM to the whole group, right from the start screen.
- Deeper social network integration: Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and LinkedIn feeds are integrated into your contacts view; Facebook check-ins and photo tagging is now built-in.
- Linked Inbox: See multiple email accounts in one linked inbox. Mail is organised by conversation to make it easy to stay on top of the latest messages.
- Hands-free messaging: Built-in speech-to-text and text-to-speech support enables hands-free texting or chatting.
Smartphones today have become “app launchers”. But the real promise of apps lies in how they can be integrated directly into the core experiences of the phone. With this update, smart app integration is built into your Windows Phone – with Live Tiles, Hubs and Search – so apps show up when and where you need them.
2) Improved Live Tiles, which provides even more real-time information to the home screen. Live Tiles on Mango can be more dynamic and contain more information.
3) Multitasking allows users to quickly switch between recently used applications and pick up where they left off by simply pressing and holding the back button.
4) App Connect: By connecting apps to search results and deepening their integration with Windows Phone Hubs, apps are surfaced when and where they make sense.
5) Live Agents, which enables developers to create a number of multitasking apps for scenarios involving media, communications, augmented reality and more – all without compromising battery life and performance.
6) Personalized Live Tiles make it possible for users to easily access individuals or groups from the home screen. Individuals can be pinned to the start screen as Live Tiles, providing users with at-a-glance access to real-time updates from social network feeds and notifications without having to open multiple apps.
7) Multiple email accounts can be combined and linked into one inbox.
8 ) Built-in voice-to-text/text-to-voice functionality, which will allow for hands-free texting or chatting.
9) Local Scout prioritizes hyper-local search results based on user preferences and recommends the closest restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy-to-use guide.
10) Visual search enables users to initiate a Bing search by photographing barcodes, QR codes and Microsoft Tags (without using a third-party app).
11) Music search allows users to search Bing and get detailed information about music (like song title, artist and album title) by simply holding the phone up to a speaker.
With this update, you’ll get the power of Internet Explorer 9 built-in to your Windows Phone along with the ability to localise the web-based on where you are!
12) Internet Explorer 9: The power of a PC-browser plus support for HTML5 and hardware-accelerated graphics.
13) Local Scout: Provides local search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy-to-use guide.
14) Bing on Windows Phone: More ways to search the web, including Bing Vision, Bing Audio and voice so it’s easier to discover and decide.
15) Other updates include:
- Getting notes and docs from SkyDrive integration
- Ability to save and share Office docs on Office 365
- Enable IRM support for documents
- Support to do tags in OneNote
- Ensure no roundtrip loss to docs edited on devices
- Will be able to open password protected Office docs like Excel, etc.
These updates are bound to introduce game-changing rules in the smartphone market!