Announcements of Windows Phone 7 “Mango” update and development tools release
Yesterday, May 24, Microsoft held a special press event to update Windows Phone 7, codenamed “Mango”. During the event, which was broadcast online, several important announcements were made and new features were demonstrated that will be available on the Windows Phone 7 platform in the fall of 2011.
The Mango update will be free for everyone and will offer users more than 500 new phone features and capabilities. During the event, some innovations in the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform were demonstrated.
You can watch the event record online at the following link . Additional materials are available on the company's press center page . The official press release is available here.. An overview of innovations and announcements can be found here . Developers will be interested to read the official announcement of new development tools for Windows Phone 7 Mango.
You can download the new version of development tools now !
Under the cut is an overview of the event and a description of the main announcements.
Threads is the ability to switch between using SMS, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger within the framework of the same correspondence with your contact. If you want, you can reply to SMS from a friend by sending him a message on Facebook, and he can answer you via Live Messenger. In this case, the conversation will look like ordinary correspondence, regardless of the protocol and communication service;
Groups is the ability to group contacts from different sources (Exchange, Hotmail, Facebook, Gmail, etc.) into groups, which you can subsequently observe individually, including viewing aggregated news, shared photos, and so on. Groups can be attached as a separate Live Tile on the start screen and receive event updates in the form of a live tile for group members. There will be the possibility of group communication among users of the group via Facebook chats and Windows Live Messenger or email.
Deeper social integration
In addition to the existing social platforms built into the platform, the Mango update will support Twitter and LinkedIn with full integration into all key components of the system. In addition, support for the Facebook Check-in service will be added.
The new version of the platform will have built-in support for automatic face recognition with appropriate tagging of images for further publication on the web.
In addition to aggregating news from social networks by your contacts, an aggregation of photos shared by your friends on their social networks will appear in Mango.
For contacts, the interaction history tab will appear, in which you can see the entire history of communication with the contact: via voicemail, SMS, calls, IM, email and so on.
Mail, Linked Inbox, Linked Inbox calendars
is an opportunity to link several email accounts in order to view mail from them in one list. In addition, support for conversations and letters will allow you to more conveniently work with mail.
In addition to supporting conversations, WP7 will receive support for secure emails, which are often used in a corporate environment to protect against unwanted distribution of information.
Calendars in WP7 will become even better, the user will be able to more conveniently register events from email messages in calendars. Plus, it will be possible to display events from a Facebook account in a single calendar.
Hands-free messaging. The ability to receive and send messages and mail without touching the device using only voice commands. The updated version of the platform will have a built-in speech synthesizer that will read the message to you, and the voice recognition service will allow you to reply to the message simply by dictating it and saying the “Send” command.
Smart App Approach
search engine in the Mango update will be able to offer the user installed applications on the phone as a search result. These applications are capable of processing a specific type of search query. For example, a user is looking for information about a movie. In addition to information found on the Internet, WP7 will prompt the user to search for this movie in the installed application (for example, IMDB). The user will need to select the application registered for the search and it will automatically start and perform the desired search. Thus, the line between phone services and third-party software is erased, the user does not feel the moment the application is launched, he performs the usual search actions.
Similarly, the edge will be erased when working with images, music and videos or books. Applications will be allowed to register themselves for various tasks, so that the user will not feel their launch, but will do the work he needs.
Improved Live Tiles. Start screen tiles will now be able to display real-time information. For example, a map application can display the current location on a tile. The air services service will display the flight status and so on.
Multitasking. The Mango update will add support for multitasking and rapid transition between applications. A new class of applications on the platform will be able to work in the background, for example, programs for listening to online radio.
Internet and browser
Internet Explorer 9
In the platform update, IE will be upgraded to the desktop capabilities of Internet Explorer 9. Now the mobile phone browser can use GPU acceleration to quickly display graphics and animations on web pages. During the event, a comparison of the browsers of four popular platforms was made, which showed the advantages of IE9 on the WP7 platform.
Local scout. Further development of ideas for finding public places nearby from the user: restaurants, shops and events.
New Bing Vision FeatureAllows you to search for a description of objects in the network and online stores, not only by simply scanning barcodes and bar codes, but also by shooting book covers, CDs and DVDs! During the event, an example was demonstrated with a book that was found on the network by simple shooting with a camera.
Another feature of Bing Music Search will allow you to find music on the network and its description through a microphone, as well as books through a video camera.
When searching for a product, movie or a specific place, you will be offered special information blocks on the search object with support through AppConnect to continue searching in a third-party application.
Xbox, Office, SkyDrive
The update will be significantly redesigned Xbox Live for greater convenience with a large number of games. There will be improved support for 3D-avatars of Xbox Live and work with social elements of the gaming network. With the new features, you can find your friends and compare their gaming achievements in Xbox Live with yours.
Mango will have full support for the new Microsoft Office 365 cloud service.
In addition, full-fledged work with Microsoft SkyDrive free cloud storage will be added, which offers users 25 gigabytes for free use.
New Windows Phone 7 Manufacturers
Microsoft has announced that the next wave of devices based on Windows Phone 7 with the Mango update will be released by more vendors. In addition to Nokia, whose devices will be released immediately with the Mango update, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE will release their first WP7-based devices. Samsung, LG and HTC will also introduce new WP7-based devices with the Mango update.
Developers will be able to combine Silverlight-applications with XNA-graphics. This was demonstrated by the example of the British Airways application, in which you can see the 3D scene of the aircraft and select the desired location for registration.
The developers have already created over 18,000 applications for Windows Phone 7 and with the advent of a huge number of innovations in Mango, this number will increase significantly. But developers do not need to wait for the update for the platform, today they can start exploring new opportunities with the beta version of free development tools for Windows Phone 7 Mango.
Links to developer resources:
- Video interview with Matt Bencke on Channel 9 ;
- What's New in Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 (MSDN);
- New code examples ;
- New information for game developers on the App Hub;
- Supporting documentation for the release of Windows Phone Developer Tools;
- Direct link to download updated development tools.
Localization in Russian
Russian-speaking users of Windows Phone 7 will receive, along with the release of Mango, a full localization of the platform in Russian. The Windows Phone Marketplace application store will also be localized. More information on the Windows Phone 7 platform and application development for it will be presented during the Russian DevCon conference, which will be held tomorrow, May 26. Watch live video broadcasts from the conference on the website http://msdevcon.ru/ . PS: the first reviews of a localized version of Windows Phone 7 are already appearing in RuNet