Big Windows Phone ‘Mango’ Feature’s revealed!
If you followed our live tweets on @techin5 during the Official Mango Launch/Announcement Event, you’ll know there was a huge amount of information announced during the event. So much so that my fingers are sore from over typing (who knew right?). Either way, a number of big announcements were made, which has made us even more excited for the release of Mango, which is expected to be some time between September and November, and it will be a free upgrade for all Windows Phone Devices. There’s also a VIDEO at the bottom of the page which shows off the features in Mango.
Among the announcements, it was noted that there already is a Nokia device that is running Windows Phone 7 Mango, and it is being tested, and it will be the FIRST device to launch with Windows 7.1, aka Mango. Unfortunately no picture’s were released of the device (but we get the feeling it’s that phone being used in the video above)
The List of Announcements:
Fully Integrated Messaging: BlackBerry Users will be quite used to this feature, but Mango will not integrate all your messages to one person in one thread, which will make life quicker if you want to communicate with someone through different forms. This feature will basically integrate Windows Live messenger (aka MSN), SMS and Facebook Chat into one thread, making this one of the best Integrated Systems for communication we’ve ever seen. We believe group chat will also be integrated, making Windows Phone better than the similar BBM Service offered by BlackBerry.
Local Scout: Local Scout integrates Bing Search and Maps with your searches based on Restaurants and other Food/Drink venues to give you the best idea of what’s in that neighborhood (or suburb). It basically allows you to ‘scope’ the neighborhood to see what are the best activities in the area, and if it’s worth your while going there. Very cool, and very useful, although this is not a feature we have seen used outside of USA yet.
Internet Explorer 9: We’re not going to Lie when we say Internet Explorer 9 has become our favorite Browser on the desktop – it’s fast, smooth, and easy to use. Microsoft is officially bringing IE9 to Windows Phones, and there are couple changes you might notice. The first is that the browser bar has actually been moved to the bottom of the screen, unlike most phone browsers who have it at the top. The second is the IE9 will get support for HTML 5 (not fully integrated as far as we know), as well as other cool feature’s such as the ability to share web pages with friends directly through IE9 on Twitter or Facebook.
Groups: Another Feature that will be useful is the groups feature, which we already quickly looked at here. But basically you can put people straight into Groups, with live tiles where you can see their latest status updates, as well as the ability to send SMS, email or IM to the whole group at once.
Improved Bing Integration: Yes, Bing Visual, Bing Audio, and Bing Voice are all coming to Windows Phone Mango. We had a quick look at it here the other day, and it will be quite cool to use this in action. Bing Visual (pic below) will allow you to actual use your camera to scan an item an detect what it (like Google Goggles) is without taking a picture. It’s quite quick to recognise the object as well.
Text-to-Voice, Voice-to-text: Oh yes, that’s right. Not only will your phone read your texts out loud, but it will actually be able to listen to your voice and convert it into SMS (aka text). A feature I’ve desperately wanted on Windows Phone ever since I tried a few apps on Android that did the same thing (although not quite as accurately as I would have hoped).
Personal Contact Cards: It’s basically Facebook integrated even deeper into your Windows Phone. From your contact card, you can update your Facebook status (as well as check your Facebook and Twitter Notifications, check into a location, set your IM (Instant Messenger) status, and that’s just on top of the usual things you can do.
Of course, let’s not forget other cool feature’s like Multitasking, App Shortcuts, Improved Xbox Live Hub with better Avatar integration, an Improved and smarter Keyboard (with predictive text), enhanced Windows Phone Office, and plenty more. Remember, you haven’t seen anything yet! Either way, if you want to watch the video showing of the feature’s, have a look at the video below, presented by Joe Belfiore.