Mango To Sweeten Up Window Phone 7
Are you one of the select few that have taken the plunge into the world of Windows Phone 7? If so, good news is on its way in the form of a delicious update.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that a new software update--codenamed Mango--is slated for release sometime this fall and will include 500 new features.
Some of those features were displayed at a conference held by the tech giant in New York. Samples include:
- Smarter home screen tiles with real-time updates and contact groups
- Unified Inboxes for emails
- Bing Vision, Visual Searching (competitor to Google Goggles)
CNET's Bonnie Cha reports:
With Mango, you'll be able to see more real-time information in these tiles, so for example if you pin a contact to the Start screen you can see the contact's real-time status updates and notifications. The tile no longer serves just as shortcut to that person's contact card, which will be a great time-saver since you no longer have to open multiple applications to view such info. This is something that frustrated me about Windows Phone 7, so it's a welcome addition and I'm excited that developers will also be able to tap into the new dynamic tiles for their apps.
Opening multiple apps should be less of an issue anyway now that Mango supports multitasking. This is something I've been looking forward to since Microsoft announced it at Mobile World Congress, and the implementation is simple but effective. From wherever you are on the phone, you can just hold the back button to bring up a carousel of all your open apps that you can swipe through to switch to another task.
This update comes at a critical time for Microsoft as they strategize their way back into the smartphone market. Although it has made a noticeable splash upon entry about seven months ago, the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform has been struggling to get/hold the attention of app developers. And, as was such, many consumers opted to go for devices with more app appeal like iPhones and Android phones.
Also of note, Microsoft announced new committements from hardware manufactureres like Acer, Samsung, Nokia etc.
The updates seem to be bringing much needed attention to WP7 but we'll have to wait to see if the new update and manufactuer support will be enough for Microsoft to take the lead in the mobile market.
Reach Jacob Chung here.