More Windows Phone 7 Mango Features Revealed

In the Windows Phone Developer Podcast, Microsoft’s Ryan and Travis reveal additional features that are forthcoming as part of the platform’s forthcoming Mango software update. It’s unclear if these features will be in addition to, or in lieu of, the new Bing voice integration that’s been previously rumored. In the podcast, though, these features seem to center around social, messaging, and collaboration. Here’s a rundown of the features:

1. Facebook chat gets integrated in with messaging hub–Facebook chat messages will become a part of the messaging hub’s threaded experience to enable more seamless, integrated chats with the social network.

2. The Office hub will get Office 365 support along with Skydrive integration for your virtual cloud-based storage. For me, as a Windows Phone 7 user, Skydrive is one of the killer features of the platform as it gives users access to up to 25 GB of free storage for files, documents, photos, and videos. I’ve been using Skydrive to archive and backup my photos and it’s great to see support for the cloud-based storage solution more accessible to the Office hub on the platform.

3. Xbox Live will also be getting an overhail in the latest software update.

4. Microsoft will be adding group messaging feature so you can send, or spam, your favorite friends and family members in groups. Compose one email or text message and now you can send it to everyone that you’ve categorized in a specific group. This feature will definitely appeal to T-Mobile’s demographic for the newly launched Sidekick 4G made by Samsung utilizing Google’s Android OS.

5. Music player controls on the lock screen will help to highlight the Zune experience on Windows Phone 7 as users can now have control to what’s playing without unlocking the phone for quick access to music–great for using your phone as an MP3 player on your workout or jog so you don’t have to fumble around trying to get to the music player settings.

Other features mentioned include visual voicemail, which we had reported before, better battery management, and also WiFi hotspot support for turning your phone into a mobile hotspot router, a feature that’s been supported on Android. This will allow users the ability to potentially forgo carrying a MiFi unit in addition to their Windows Phone 7 device, and the feature will be made on a case-by-case basis with regards to device and carrier support. U.S. users can expect that the feature will cost an extra premium on their monthly plan, similar to how the mobile hotspot plan works on an Android phone today.

Microsoft is expected to preview the features of Mango publicly later this month. Earlier in the year at the company’s MIX11 developer conference, Microsoft promised that Mango software updates are expected to roll out in the fall and newer devices shipping later in the year would come pre-loaded with the new firmware.

What’s really been absent in these speculations, and something that I’d personally like to see, is better landscape support for devices with a landscape-oriented sliding QWERTY keyboard. So far, only the HTC Arrive (CDMA edition for Sprint) and the HTC 7 Pro are released with this form factor, but Windows Phone 7 doesn’t offer ubiquitous landscape support, meaning that on some apps and screens, you’ll be left with a portrait-oriented rendering while you’re using the device horizontally with the keyboard propped open.

Via: WMPU

10 Comments

  1. mlewis

    05/16/2011 at 2:38 pm

     awesome, I can’t wait to get my update this fall! In addition to the incredible list of updates previously announced, this new list of updates is very nice, especially the chat and wifi hotspot!

    Of course, the i-Naives will still say that it sucks, but thats because they are i-Naive!

    Once a few hundred million of these get shipped my Nokia, say goodbye to Cr Apple and Droid being in the driver seat!       M A R K   M Y  W O R D S

    Reply

  2. Lewis McCrary

    05/16/2011 at 5:26 pm

    Some great looking features.  Hey, Fall isn’t that far off. :D

    Reply

  3. GoodThings2Life

    05/16/2011 at 5:50 pm

    I have to say that it will seem trivial, but my biggest reason for not having a WP7 device yet is a) lack of handset/carrier options and b) lack of custom ringtone support.

    I love the Samsung Focus and HTC HD7 from a hardware perspective, but they’re not on Sprint so that rules them out for me. I won’t use AT&T or T-Mobile just to get them, and the Touch Pro 7 is too small after having an EVO so long.

    Otherwise, it’s a very solid platform, and these upcoming changes certainly bring more credibility to the platform.

    Reply

  4. GoodThings2Life

    05/16/2011 at 5:50 pm

    I have to say that it will seem trivial, but my biggest reason for not having a WP7 device yet is a) lack of handset/carrier options and b) lack of custom ringtone support.

    I love the Samsung Focus and HTC HD7 from a hardware perspective, but they’re not on Sprint so that rules them out for me. I won’t use AT&T or T-Mobile just to get them, and the Touch Pro 7 is too small after having an EVO so long.

    Otherwise, it’s a very solid platform, and these upcoming changes certainly bring more credibility to the platform.

    Reply

  5. nightdev

    05/18/2011 at 4:23 pm

     Good stuff, can’t wait till the 24th!

    Reply

  6. nightdev

    05/18/2011 at 4:23 pm

     Good stuff, can’t wait till the 24th!

    Reply

  7. Anon

    05/25/2011 at 2:31 pm

    They didn’t ‘announce’ custom ringtone support- but if you look in the launcher/chooser section of the new developer API they released for Mango it shows how you can write code to save custom ringtones.  That means custom ringtones will be supported.

    Reply

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