Microsoft recently announced the first major upgrade on their Windows Phone 7 mobile OS which they call “Mango”. It was a major release and they’re claiming that they added 500 new features into it. Of course, some or if not, most of those features are the small things that you probably won’t care about when you decide to jump into a Windows phone.
So anyway, you really don’t want to read about the 500 new features so we’ll just highlight the exciting parts you should expect from Windows Phone 7.1 Mango:
1. Multitasking. The sorely-missed feature of the first iteration of Windows Phone 7 can now be found in Mango. WP7.1 will use a combination of frozen app states (like in iOS) to conserve resource and will have a system of card-like app previews vaguely similar to the Alt-Tab of Windows 7.
3. Deeper social network integration. Twitter and LinkedIn are now also integrated into contact cards. Facebook now includes Places check-ins and face detection for photo tagging.
4. Voice support. Previous version of Windows Phone only support voice commands for searches, contacts, and launching apps. With Mango, users will be able to use voice-to-text and text-to-speech for hands-free communication. Using text-to-speech, Windows Phone can read messages to users. Then, with voice-to-text, users can dictate emails, text messages, and more to their phones.
5. Bing Quickcards. This is another one of Mango’s highlight features. Information that you might be searching for on Bing will be put into quickcards for easily accessible information. When you search for a movie title, you would get different useful results from show times in your area, reviews and any other related information. If there are any apps that have anything to do with your search, like IMDB they will also be easily accessible by a simple side swipe of the screen.
6. Unified inbox. An expected feature considering Apple already has this. All your e-mail accounts can be managed from one mailbox so you don’t have to switch accounts to read your mails.
7. Conversation threads. SMS conversation thread is not new but WP 7.1 Mango took things a bit further. You can now weave Facebook and Windows Live Messenger chat all within the same conversation thread.
8. Groups on Tiles. Users can now group contacts into personalized Live Tiles to see the latest status updates from the home screen. With this group tile, you can send texts or IMs to an entire group at once. It’s not a revolutionary concept, but like everything Microsoft is trying to accomplish with Mango, it’s about putting that functionality within easy reach.
There are other updates I didn’t include in the list like Xbox Live integration, a built-in Shazam-like music search, and a whole lot more. It’s a very feature-rich upgrade that might just push people to try a Windows Phone. Now if manufacturers would start bringing in some Windows phone in the market, phones with specs that are comparable to Android ones then we might just see Microsoft gaining more fans for their mobile platform. Oh Nokia – Windows phones would be greatly appreciated by our Nokia-loving nation.