Microsoft just previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code-named "Mango," which'll deliver over 500 new features. The "Mango" release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 beginning this fall.
Here's the first look at the "Mango":
Here's the list of featurs announced today:
Communications: Easier to Connect and Share
The smartphone experience can be complicated by a sea of disconnected apps and accounts as people attempt to keep pace with all the ways they communicate -- from calls, texts, email and instant messages (IM) to status updates, Tweets, check-ins, photo posting and tagging. To help people stay on top of that growing complexity, the "Mango" release organizes information around the person or group people want to interact with, not the app they have to use.
- 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 right from the Start Screen and quickly send a text, email or IM to the whole group.
- Deeper social network integration. 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.
- 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 voice-to-text and text-to-voice support enables hands-free texting or chatting.
Smarter Approach to Apps
Windows Phone will challenge the way people think about apps. Mango brings improved app notifications and updates on the Start screen. Apps are also more integrated in search results and hubs. Highlights include:
- App Connect. By connecting apps to search results and deepening their integration with WP Hubs, including Music and Video and Pictures, "Mango" allows apps to be surfaced when and where they make sense.
- Improved Live Tiles. Get real-time information from apps without having to open them. Live Tiles can be more dynamic and hold more information.
- Multitasking. Quickly switch between apps in use and allow apps to run in the background, helping to preserve battery life and performance.
Taking the Internet Beyond the Browser
Mango packs a mobile version of Internet Explorer 9 and leverages built-in phone capabilities like location awareness and the camera to supply more relevant search results and local info and suggestions. Highlights:
- Internet Explorer 9. A browser based on the powerful IE9 and including support for HTML5 and full hardware acceleration.
- Local Scout. Provides hyperlocal search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy-to-use guide.
- Bing on Windows Phone. More ways to search the Web, including Bing Vision, Music Search and Voice so it's easy to discover and decide.
- Quick Cards. When searching for a product, movie, event or place, see a quick summary of relevant information, including related apps.
Strengthening the Ecosystem
The WP ecosystem has grown steadily since WP7 first launched in October, with more than 17,000 apps currently available on WP Marketplace and WP handsets available from a range of partners worldwide, and Microsoft's recently announced partnership with Nokia. "Mango" will further expand and strengthen the WP ecosystem through new partnerships with Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE, which announced plans to deliver new WP devices in markets around the world.Mango will support languages including Brazilian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.
Watch Joe Belfiore, who recently shot a video demoing some of the new features coming in Mango:
[Source: Microsoft Press]