Today, Microsoft had announced its next software update to Windows Phone 7, also referred to by number as Windows Phone 7.1 or by name as the Mango update. The new update brings a number of new changes–over 500 to be exact–and a number of those demos will be available in video form later in the day at Microsoft’s news room. Here are some of the highlights of Mango:
Easier communications. Mango keeps pace with the many different ways people connect and share, including threaded conversations that bridge across text, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger, group texting, Linked Inboxes, hands-free messaging and deeper social network integration.
- Threads. Switch between text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation.
- Groups. Group contacts into personalized Live Tiles to see the 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 and Linked In feeds are now integrated into contact cards. There’s also built-in Facebook check-ins, and new face detection software that makes it easy to quickly tag photos and post to the web.
- Linked Inbox. See multiple email accounts in one linked inbox. Conversations are organized to make it easy to stay on top of the latest mail.
- Hands-free messaging. Built-in speech-to-text and text-to-speech support enables hands-free texting or chatting.
Smarter approach to apps. Mango will challenge the way people think about apps with increased app integration in search results and Hubs through App Connect, multitasking, improved app notifications and updates on the Start screen.
- App Connect. See apps in search results and hubs such as Music + Videos and Pictures. App Connect works with Marketplace, so results include both apps already on your phone and new apps to download.
- Improved Live Tiles. Live Tiles are more dynamic and can hold more information—making it easier to get real-time info from apps without having to open them.
- Multitasking. Apps can now run in the background while preserving battery life and performance. You can also quickly switch between open apps.
Go beyond the browser. Mango features Internet Explorer 9 and leverages built-in phone capabilities like location awareness and camera access to produce better search results with local info and suggestions.
- Internet Explorer 9. The power of a PC-browser plus support for HTML5 and hardware-accelerated graphics.
- Bing. Bing on Windows Phone offers more ways to search the web with voice and music search and Bing Vision, which uses your phone’s camera to look up product info.
- Local Scout. Provides hyper-local search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy to use guide powered by Bing.
- Cards. Handy summaries of relevant info from Bing (including related apps) for products, movies, events or place you search for.
One of the cool things about search is that it is now truly universal and includes apps that may be relevant to search in the results. An example is demonstrated in the video below, where Bing Vision, a rumored feature that was announced, was used to demo visual search. After a book jacket was recognized, Bing suggested apps that users may use to either purchase the book or obtain more information about the search, including Amazon Kindle app. Search has also gone local as well to give you results that matter to you.
For now, enjoy the embedded video below from the Windows Phone team to get the highlights of the new Mango update, which is coming to a Windows Phone near you later this year. The update will be available to current devices and Nokia will be shipping its new phone with the update pre-installed.
Via: Windows Team Blog