Microsoft today took the wraps off the next version of Windows Phone, code-named "Mango." "Mango" is expected to deliver over 500 new features for the platform and will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers.
"Mango" is designed around the sharing of information and interaction with a person or group of people. Some of the features that should allow for easier communication include:
- 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.
Microsoft will also provide deeper integration of apps within the platform including:
- App Connect. By connecting apps to search results and deepening their integration with Windows Phone 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.
Lastly, "Mango" will ship with the mobile version of IE9 providing the same rich experience that users have come to expect on Windows 7:
- Internet Explorer 9. A browser based on the powerful Internet Explorer 9 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.
Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Windows Phone, gave a quick demonstration of some of the new features to Channel 9:
New phones will begin to ship with "Mango" this fall and more details about specific device updates will be available at a later time.
You can also download the Windows phone 7 Mango SDK here