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Microsoft Reveals Mango Update For Windows Phone

David Gilbert


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At a press conference today in New York, Microsoft announced details of the long awaited Windows Phone Mango release, which will be rolling out some time at the beginning of autumn with 500 new features.

While 500 new features make it sound like a completely new OS, a lot of the tweaks won’t be visible to end users. As well as announcing the roll out of the new version of Windows Phone, Microsoft confirmed that LG, Samsung and HTC would be all bringing out new handsets running the Mango update and that Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE will be releasing their first Windows Phone handsets to coincide with the update. Finally Microsoft confirmed that Mango would be the flavour of the OS which will appear on the first Nokia handsets running Windows Phone. A Beta SDK of the new Windows Phone free tools will be available within 24 hours, we're promised, for developers to get to grips with.

Windows Phone Mango

Looking at the new software itself, a lot of the new features were flagged up previously but Microsoft broke them down into three areas at the presentation today: Communications, Apps and the Internet. Looking at Communications, Mango will attempt to draw together all the various connections you have through email, text, social media and photos and organise them around the person or group. Threads will allow you to bring conversations from email, text, MSN into one place while you will also be able to group contacts into personalised Live Tiles. As regards social media, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds are now integrated into contact cards, and Mango includes built-in Facebook check-ins and new face detection software that makes it easier to quickly tag photos and post to the Web. There is also voice-to-text and text-to-voice support enables hands-free texting or chatting.

Windows Phone Mango

Integration of apps is also an important part of Mango, and App Connect will connect apps to search results and real-time information will be available from the improved Live Tiles without having to open the app. Live Tiles are now more dynamic and can hold more information. Of course multi-tasking is something we’ve known was coming to Mango and Microsoft says Mango will allow apps to run in the background while helping to preserve battery life and performance.

Windows Phone Mango

Finally, Microsoft demonstrated how it has improved the Internet with Mango, “blurring the lines between internet search and apps.” Rather than returning the blue links we’re used to seeing from search results, Bing’s deep integration into the OS, mean search results are a lot more relevant and localised – or so Microsoft claims. Searching for a film title for example will return film times at your nearest cinema and link you to a Quick Card related to that film. Quick Cards give a quick summary of relevant information, including related apps, for product, film, event or place. IE9 also comes to Mango supporting HTML 5 and full hardware acceleration. Local Scout, provides hyper-local search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy- to-use guide.

This is certainly a major update for the Windows Phone platform and we are looking forward to the new handsets which will accompany its launch. Hopefully the update will be rolled out in a consistent and timely manner, unlike the updates to WP7 which we’ve seen (or not as the case may be) so far.

Look out for our hands-on with the Windows Phone Mango coming soon.

Source: Microsoft

David Horn

May 25, 2011, 1:35 am

I was a huge proponent of Windows Phone 7 when it released last year but switched to a Samsung Galaxy S 2 after being bitten by T Mobile and their update policy.

Or should I say, a complete lack of an update policy. No phone on T-Mobile have received the January update, so it seems unlikely they'll get this either. They also have the capability to cripple the search functionality of the phone, so you get the bastard offspring of Bing and Google. On top of that, I get pornographic ads on my phone after 9pm.

Granted, none of these issues can be directly pinned on Microsoft, but their attitude of rolling over and taking it from the operators has resulted in a massive own goal, especially after using a central update policy as a key selling point over Android.

On top of that, Google has far better mapping of the UK than Microsoft, though I do have to admit that the perfect phone for me would be the GS2 hardware coupled with Windows Phone 7 and Google driving the search and account integration.

Hamish Campbell

May 25, 2011, 12:09 pm

500 new features? Looks like Microsoft learnt to count from the same teacher as Apple.


May 25, 2011, 12:59 pm

Try Launcher 7 on the market, that might go at least some way to being what you're after?

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