New Mango Features

We already knew that Mango will be the update that really solidifies WP7 as a real competitor to the Android and iOS. It seems that Mango is being used internally by some MS employees and, as such, a couple of new features have been mentioned. This isn’t an official announcement, but it seems a developer wrote a blog post explaining some of the new features. The blog post has been taken down (for whatever reason), but LiveSide managed to take a couple of screenshots.

The unofficially ‘announced’ features include (from LiveSide):

  • East Asian Language Keyboard, Handwriting and Dictionary Support–[we saw this mentioned a few days ago]
  • Improved SkyDrive sync in Office hub – adding Word, Excel, and PowerPoint sync support. Each document type will now be indicated by the color of the tile:
  • Bing Image Search, Bing Vision, and Bing Audio – besides Bing Vision and Bing Audio as revealed earlier this morning, it seems like Bing will now feature Image Search as well.
  • Windows Live Messenger integrated in People hub – as we have predicted earlier, the Chinese developer confirms that Windows Live Messenger will be integrated in the People hub. You will be able to directly IM someone on your contact list.

The Windows Live Messenger feature is certainly something that will please a lot of people.

Brandon Watson featured on the Windows Phone Dev Podcast (great podcast series for devs!), and a few more features to come in Mango were announced in the podcast. Whether these are true, since they weren’t mentioned by Brandon Watson, is yet to be seen but the images the WP Dev Podcast team have obtained seem to hint at the following features. You can see the images here.

  • Bing Audio: Think Shazam, but built into Bing and we bet of course Zune Marketplace. Country support is initially limited to the U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
  • Bing Vision: A full blown image scanner using your camera. It can detect, identify and search using barcodes, Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, CD’s, DVDs,Books, and text using OCR
  • Turn-by-turn navigation: “voice guidance during driving directions”
  • SMS Dictation: Using Microsoft’s TellMe service, you can use voice-to-text for SMS messages by tapping a microphone near the bottom
Developers will be getting their hands on the Mango toolkit sometime this month, with phones getting the final update later this year.

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