Seven Great New Features of Mango for Windows Phone 7
Did you think Mango, the update due out later this year for Windows Phone 7, would just be able fast app switching and a new version of the browser? Think again. Microsoft spent a long session at MIX ’11 covering all of the new functionality that Mango will bring, and we came away impressed. We previously gave you a preview of some of these changes, but now with the video available, we can cover all of what’s new. So that you don’t have to watch all twenty minutes of it, we’ve made a comprehensive list of all of the changes coming in Mango. Should you want to see any of the features in action, we’ve added a time stamp to each new feature
1. Faster app management (0:30): Right now Windows Phone 7’s app screen is a endlessly long list. In Mango, you’ll have two options to quickly get to an app of choice: like in the Zune HD, you can tap a letter of the alphabet and be instantly taken to the apps starting with that letter, or you can press the magnifying glass and perform a quick search. The search also acts as a gateway for the Marketplace, so that if you don’t find the app you want in your app list, you can download it.
2. New Marketplace search results (1:31): The Marketplace search in Windows Phone 7 is a bit annoying because it jumbles together apps, music, podcasts, and more. In Mango, these results are separated. What’s more, search results now contain more meta information.
3. Updated app screen in Marketplace (2:20): In Mango, you’ll now find a Related screen in each app section to allow you to find similar apps. Also, Microsoft has reduced the number of clicks required to install a free app (currently, you have to hit “Purchase” even if it’s a free app). Once you hit “Install,” you are taken to your main app list where you can watch the app download with a progress bar. Previously, you would have to go back to the Start screen, the dial into the app list and find the app you just downloaded.
4. Improved Bing search results (4:52): Microsoft added the concept of “Extras” to search results in Mango so that if you search for a movie, for example, you’ll be able to quickly jump into the IMDB application if you have that installed on your device.
5. Improvements in the browser (7:35): We know that Mango will bring IE9 to Windows Phone 7. Also new is that landscape view will have the browser bar (currently, you must flip into portrait to see the address bar). Also, IE9 will support HTML5 audio streaming in the background, so that you can stream music from the browser while checking your email, etc. IE9 will also use hardware acelleration for HTML5 elements which should provide fantastic performance.
6. Live tile improvements (15:00): Developers can now animate their Live Tiles in Mango. They can also add information from within their apps as Live Tiles. For example, if you’re browsing an airlines app, you can tap and hold on a flight from within the app, and add it to your Start screen to track its status.
7. System-wide performance enhancements (18:00): Mango uses 30% less RAM per app, offers faster app launch times, has better physics for scrolling, and more.
8. Custom ringtones (11:46): Ok, so maybe there were eight new features of Mango! Finally, users can select custom ringtones. Not much else to say about that.