Besides many great features coming to Windows Phone 7 as of the upcoming Mango update — some of them announced by Steve Ballmer at this year’s MWC — Redmond appears to be having a couple of more aces up its sleeves as Windows Phone Dev Podcast has published several images which might point to possible future features the Mango update will bring to Windows Phones.
First off there will be an improved Bing Search which will incorporate Bing Audio and Bing Vision. When firing up the app for a search, you’ll be greeted by two additional buttons at the bottom of the screen, one for each feature. Bing Audio appears to be a music recognition service or feature (a la Shazam) where, similar to third parties, you’d hold up your Windows Phone to the music that’s playing and it will run a search upon which results for matching artist and song are returned, if found.
Word is that the duration of the audio capture is user configurable anywhere along the lines of 3, 6, 9, etc. seconds. Bing Audio would send five (also probably user configurable) clips to the server and if a result is found, it would be returned as an overlay on you Bing. The result appears to be a tappable link that would naturally take you to the corresponding page on the Marketplace for you to download or buy the respective song. This service would reportedly work in markets like U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. With Bing Audio you will no longer need third party music recognition applications and service.
Bing Vision would handle visual searches using your smartphone’s camera (say Google Goggles-like). With Bing Vision you’ll no longer need a QR reader as you’ll be able to search using images, QR codes, barcodes, etc. There’s also a mention of Vision Recognizers which might indicate some sort of add-on support but there are no more details to this.
Both Bing Audio and Bing Vision will be features of the Bing Search inside Windows Phone, meaning they will come cooked in, stock, probably ruling out the need for you to purchase and install other similar applications functionality-wise from the Marketplace.
Next up is Podcast support in the Marketplace, a feature which is currently lacking on your Windows Phone. You can currently subscribe to Podcasts on your Zune client and the episodes are synced to your smartphone but with Mango you’ll be able to subscribe, download and even customize your series settings right on the device. One image shows what appears to be a video podcast being played back so fingers crossed video podcast support is in there too.
Turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance is revealed via a picture of a settings page. We knew (or were desperately hoping) turn-by-turn navigation will come to Windows Phone 7. Whether it will be online of offline (as we said Windows Phone needed in the missing Mango features post) is yet unknown but the Settings show that voice guidance can be turned on or off and the map orientation is also customizable.
Last but not least, Voice Dictation appears to be used while composing a text message (we hope users will be able to use that more widely, like composing an E-Mail, updating a status, sending a tweet, etc.). According to the image below, if you tap on the speak button you’ll be able to dictate the message and, with the voice recognition feature of Windows Phone, your words would be laid down on the screen for you to tap Send.
Add these allegedly upcoming Mango features to the list we already know by heart and it can get you pretty excited. Redmond might unveil some more bits regarding the platform refresh (as it is no fun to reveal everything at once) and we’re just here to say Windows Phone 7 Mango update can’t come soon enough! Anyone excited?