More new Mango features revealed!

Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk from the Windows Phone Dev Podcast have once again revealed some new consumer-oriented features that will appear in the next major release of Windows Phone (version 7.5), codenamed Mango. (You may recall that their previous revelation included Bing Audio, Bing Vision, turn by turn navigation, on-device podcast support, SMS dictation, and other features.)

So what’s new this time around?

Messaging: Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger integration

“Facebook Chat will be joining that instant message experience … AOL Instant Messenger or AIM is also going to be supported [as well].”

Messaging: Group SMS (and contacts groups)

“We’re gonna be given the ability to create groups of contacts and group them together.  So, the example that we’ve got here, is a group titled ‘Family’ and the other image, which shows that ‘Family’ group selected, it appears to allow the user the ability to send the entire group an SMS or e-mail the group.”

Office 365 and SkyDrive integration in Office hub

New-look Games hub with integrated Games Marketplace and new sync capability

“The Games Hub appears to be given a complete overhaul.  And some sort
of new ‘Auto Sync’ feature under the settings …

Lock screen improvements with Now Playing for media

“I love having access to features while my phone is locked.  I mean, right now of course, you can change the track or pause music.  You don’t have to drill into the Music hub to manage that.  So, the fact that they are looking at other things, features that they can add, more support for – while the screen is locked is really neat.”

There is so much more going on here, so please do listen to the podcast, and visit the Windows Phone Dev Podcast web site.

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23 Responses to More new Mango features revealed!

  1. Wow, Mango is starting to look REALLY exciting! :D

  2. dudikovich says:

    Superb. I’m glad to see they’re revealing more at a consistent pace. Can’t wait for the May 24th event. I just hope they have something planned for Zune, though, the silence is killing me, and not having a simple ‘Repeat’ function is frustrating. Full Zune integration is one of the major features that drew me in to WP7 in the first place, and I still find myself returning to my Zune HD for basic functionality.

    • As do I. Zune Social I actually use to send songs, playlists, and messages to friends using the Zune. I miss the option to have audiobooks there as well. I’ve gotten a few friends to switch to Zune, and we do send stuff back and forth, which we can’t do on Windows Phone just yet.

    • thebigm72 says:

      I have this feature on my HTC HD7. I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it before. Maybe it’s sneaked in on a recent update somehow? New things I’ve noticed on the now playing window: tapping the album art gives you options to repeat, shuffle and “heart”. Holding down on album art gives options of “share” and “more in marketplace”. Tapping on the song playing brings up a list of either songs by that artist OR songs in that album (depending on how you selected the song).
      Maybe all those features were already there but I’ve only just discovered them.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Yep, this is old school Zune functionality, though it was changed a bit in WP7.

      • thebigm72 says:

        I also found now that whilst writing a text (SMS), if you hold down on the spot a red caret appears – hadn’t seen that before ever.

    • wqwalter says:

      I listen to music, and webcast content on my Zune HDand there seems to be several subtle but key missing features relative to the same content in Zune on the Samsung Focus WP7.

      One that kills me with my 64 year old eyes is that when a podcast group has played its total content the only thing that changes is the number of unplayed items is set to 0 and dimmed. In Zune HD the entire webcast title is dimmed which makes it much easire to find unplayed webcasts by skipping dimmed titles instead of dimmed number of plays.

      Another is not having over the air or wifi Smart DJ when playing music.

      The real kicker is absolutly no content. I have been a Audible member since it started with the highest subscription level and I have hundreds of audibel books all of which play on the zune HD and none of which will play on WP7. I realize it is Audible that has to build the player, but Microsoft is commisioning all kinds of developers to accelerate the development of applications and they could easily help bootstrap the conversion.

      It also seems that a natural zune feature for a WP7 phone would be to get webcast and other dynamic content pushed into the zune library on the phone as soon as it is published. That is the whole idea of the push notification that many applications have. I have my desktop zune library at home. This means I have to take my phone home and plug it into a nuclear power plant for 30 minutes to get the wifi enabled sync to update my content which means I listen to the breaking news from today on the trip back to the office tomorrow.

      Bill Walter

  3. Kenny Kerr says:

    Thanks Paul. Does that mean that the built-in Messaging app currently supports Windows Live? I can only get it to do SMS messaging.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      No, not currently.

      • danthekilla says:

        Have you heard anything about developers getting access to the gpu with custom shaders sometime this century?

        Shawn hargreaves on the XNA team said they were only not in the release way back last year due to time constraints…

  4. smartass1379 says:

    I cannot believe it but Microsoft has gotten me excited about the new WP7 update code named “Mango” My biggest fear is having carriers block/postpone such an awesome update. All I have to wonder is if this is what they leaked, what more can they reveal on May 24th!!! I’m anxiously waiting for the WP7 event and hope they give us a solid Update date!

  5. Ian says:

    Mango is really looking promising! Well, Mango is really looking promising from what it *might* be.

    Windows Phone will be a real competitor if the current mobile landscape doesn’t change too much. Keyword: if.

    Then with Windows Phone “Mango” on Nokia hardware? Awesome!

  6. danthekilla says:

    Hmm, this is quite awesome and unexpected. I thought the mango update already had quite a few awesome features but this may do a lot to make up for the mess that they are currently in…

    Now just give me access to hlsl shaders that the gpu’s are fully capable of doing and I can actually make some good games for the platform.

  7. luxsphinx says:

    The group SMS could be handy to have, but the SkyDrive and Office 365 integration is going to make my life so much easier. I found it odd that WP7 didn’t have full integration with those services from the beginning. Using Office on the go is really hindered without access to the files you want (assuming you do not sync everything into the limited space on the phone). Storing them on SkyDrive is the logical answer, integrating it simply completes that.

  8. huhman1 says:

    ‘automatic sync’ for games. Hmmm…is it possible that now after doing a hard reset, you won’t lose your progress in Xbox Live games? That would be great as I had/have to redo a number of levels in several games after inserting 32gb sd card.

  9. I really hope the Mango update’s Skydrive support for the Office Hub also allows access to the weird 5GB separated part of Skydrive where Mesh stores it’s synced folders. That’s the part of Skydrive I actually use (because it automatically syncs to my computers, unlike the rest of Skydrive) and therefore I hope the feature supports that bit.

    I’m not keeping my hopes up though, currently the segmented part doesn’t even allow Office Web Apps :(

  10. korn1699 says:

    Have you heard anything about the developers getting Mango early? I know the SDK should be out soon, but I thought I heard something somewhere (possibly the WP Radio Podcast) about that developers may get it early. I haven’t heard anything else about it though..

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      No, I haven’t heard, sorry.

    • wqwalter says:

      Getting early access to the Mango updae is the number one asked for thing on the developer feedback site for WP7 phones. The VS 2010 Mango emulator will expose most of the new API’s so new applications can be tested to a certain extent, but the emulator does not have the default Metro environment and the default applications installed. All you see on the emulator is IE and your application which unless you have a fantastic application is not a very useful experience.

      Bill Walter

  11. I’d enjoy knowing if searching from Zune for music will be categorized into artist / album / song, so I don’t have to muddle through a mixed up list when just looking for a song. Also, birthdays/holidays/anniversaries being indicated on the calendar would be great as well, with notifications the day prior. Pinning Office apps to the start screen, or Office documents, local phone search, Zune Social, and Zune Related Artists should also be added into this release.

  12. Russell says:

    How about device encryption and encrypted email (S/MIME)?

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  14. roberthleeii says:

    I am very excited about the mango release but I think Zune needs an update to match.

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