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IE9 features in Windows Phone 7 Mango update detailed


As owners of smartphones with Windows Phone 7 installed await the long awaited “Mango” update, Microsoft continues to offer info about what users can expect in terms of new features. In a recent update on the official Windows Phone 7 blog site, Microsoft’s Amin Lakhani reveals more about how the Mango update will improve Windows Phone 7’s version of the Internet Explorer 9 web browser.

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One major change is that Windows Phone 7’s version of IE9 can actually use all of the hardware of a user’s smartphone. Lakhani states, ” … it can now tap into your phone’s built-in graphics processor to make web-based video and animation run faster and smoother.” It also allows for full HTML5 support which means that if you surf to YouTube’s web site it will show and play videos with no need to access an extra application.

Using anonymous usage data information sent by some Windows Phone 7 users, Microsoft discovered that the address bar was the most frequently used feature in the earlier version of the web browser. At the same time the favorites and tabs buttons on the bottom of the earlier web browser were used far less. Lakhani says, “Since our primary goal in Mango was to put the focus on websites, we decided to move the address bar down into the app bar, and turn the favorites and tabs buttons into menu options.” The new IE9 version also puts the browser’s refresh button next to the address bar for easier access by user.

The Windows Phone 7 Mango update, complete with IE9, is due out sometime in the coming weeks, with US phone carrier AT&T distributing the update to select handsets on September 27.

Source: http://www.neowin.net/news/ie9-features-in-windows-phone-7-mango-update-detailed

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in IE9, Mango, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Update Next Week?


Windows Phone 7.5 adds long-awaited features like multitasking and native 4G support to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

A Microsoft official said the company may begin distributing the widely-anticipated Mango update for Windows Phone 7 as early as next week.

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“For months, we and dozens of partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update–and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two,” said Eric Hautala, general manager for Customer Experience Engineering in Microsoft’s Windows Phone group.

Mango is officially known as Windows Phone 7.5. It adds more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including multitasking and 4G support. For those who can’t wait to get their hands on the official update, Hautala cautioned against downloading and installing pre-release versions that have been circulating on the Web.

“During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer,” Hautala said, in a blog post. “This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone–and apps–work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.”

Users of the current version of Windows Phone 7 will need to update their devices through their personal computers. Windows PC users will need to install the latest version of the Zune software for PCs, while Mac users, if there are any that use Windows Phone, will need Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Windows Phone devices are available from HTC, Dell, Samsung, and LG. Nokia will join the group later this year as Microsoft’s go-to partner for Windows Phone under a strategic alliance.

Mango adds numerous improvements to Windows Phone, from new end-user features to transparent back-end services, according to Microsoft.

A feature called Threads lets users glide between text, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat within the same “conversation.” Groups lets users receive and send messages from predefined social or business circles directly to and from the Smart Tiles home screen. Contact Cards have been enhanced to include feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as previously supported networks.

Local Scout, which is integrated with Bing, yields hyper-local search results for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Mango also adds long-awaited multitasking capability, which lets users move freely between applications and pick up and resume where they left off. 4G wireless support is embedded.

For security-conscious enterprise customers, Mango adds support for various rights management technologies. For example, it lets authorized users open emails tagged with restrictions such as “do not forward” or “do not copy.” Additionally, it beefs up integration with authoring and collaboration tools like Lync and Office 365.

In the U.S., Windows Phone is available on the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231601976

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in AT&T, Dell, HTC, Mango, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Mango is a sweet upgrade for Windows Phone 7


A year or so after Microsoft gave the boot to its creaky Windows Mobile software in favor of Windows Phone 7, the revamped operating system for smartphones still seems radically fresh.

Windows Phone 7 software is punctuated by a bold interface called Metro that is built around rectangular live customizable “at a glance” tiles. Tap a tile to jump to pictures, your calendar, the Internet Explorer browser, Xbox Live, a Music + Videos hub, and more.

Windows Phone 7, despite its early promise, had glaring omissions when it initially showed up, lacking copy-and-paste, visual voice mail and custom ring tones, to mention a few of the missing features found on rival Android and iPhone devices. Copy-and-paste came with a subsequent update, and visual voice mail and custom ring tones arrive as part of this week’s release of Windows Phone 7.5.

Microsoft says the software update, known by its former code name, Mango, has “hundreds of new features and improvements,” some more obvious than others. You can rapidly switch back and forth among apps running at the same time. For example, you can pause an Xbox Live game to read an incoming text, then return to the game where you left off.

I’ve been testing Mango on an AT&T Samsung Focus loaner phone and have come away generally impressed, though not everything went smoothly. Microsoft began rolling out the over-the-air upgrade across most carriers and handsets on Tuesday, but says it could be weeks before everyone gets the new software. Windows Phone 7 will also be preinstalled on new devices coming before the holidays.

I’m often asked whether Microsoft’s smartphones can still be a contender, given iPhone and Android dominance. But a recent report by NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence service indicated that 44% of smartphone owners, and those who intend to buy one, are considering a Windows Phone 7 device.

To my mind, Windows Phone 7 is worth considering. Highlights:

•Social networking. Windows Phone 7 already supported feeds from Facebook and Microsoft’s own Windows Live service. The Mango update adds Twitter and LinkedIn to its integrated People Hub. “People first” is Microsoft’s mantra with this software. Contact cards consolidate all the ways you can get in touch with someone. You can see recent social-networking activity. You can now also group contacts. A premade group is set up for family members. You might add groups for your work colleagues, book club and so on for easily sharing photos, texts and instant messages.

•Apps. By sheer numbers, with about 30,000 apps available for Windows Phone 7 vs. 425,000 for the iPhone and 250,000 for Android, it’s no contest. Microsoft loses. But Microsoft claims its app growth rate is second only to Apple and says it has 90% of the most popular apps and games folks want anyway. To its credit, Microsoft helps you discover and get the most out of apps. You can pin apps or even content within apps as Metro tiles to the phone’s Start screen. Such tiles are dynamic; they reveal snippets of information and in some cases even flip over. When I pinned a listing for the movie Moneyball from within the Flixster movie app to the Start screen, the tile flipped over to reveal the movie’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A new Web marketplace lets you buy apps on a PC and have them automatically downloaded to your phone and installed later.

•Browsing and search. Microsoft has made search a rich experience, with its own Bing search engine at the forefront. Tapping the search button summons Bing and four icons at the bottom of the screen: Tapping the first brings up a helpful feature called Local Scout, which shows nearby shops, attractions and restaurants. Tapping the second brings up an app called Bing Music that can identify recorded music playing, similar to Shazam on the iPhone. If a song is properly identified, you can download it from the Windows Phone marketplace.

A third icon for Bing Vision leads to a bar code, QR code and Microsoft Tags scanner that you can use to identify books, CDs and DVDs. My results weren’t perfect, but you can see the potential. Tapping the last icon lets you search by voice through Microsoft’s Tellme service.

The version of Internet Explorer on Mango supports the latest HTML5 Web standards, but not Adobe Flash.

•Microsoft tie-in. Windows Phones are tied closely to the Zune MP3 player and Xbox Live. Your games, avatar and so on appear on the device. They’re also integrated with mobile versions of Office and Office 365.

Mango represents a mostly sweet upgrade. But it needs more apps.

E-mail: ebaig@usatoday.com. Follow @edbaig on Twitter.

The bottom line

Windows Phone 7.5

(code-name Mango) upgrade

http://www.microsoft.com/

windowsphones

•Pro. Slick Metro interface and Live Tiles improved. More social-networking options. Rich search. Showcases apps in search results. Adds custom ring tones, multitasking, groups and more. Tight integration with Zune, Office, Xbox Live.

•Con. Still trails in apps sweepstakes. Not available for all handsets at the outset.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/edwardbaig/story/2011-09-28/ed-baig-windows-mango-review/50592482/1

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Mango, Windows Phone 7

 

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Samsung Focus S Windows Phone Mango Stops Over at FCC en Route to AT&T


On its way to landing on U.S. carrier AT&T, the Windows Phone 7 Mango-powered Samsung Focus S has stopped over at the FCC for a brief layover for regulatory approval. The device is considered one of the most feature-rich Windows Phone Mango devices on the market and it will differentiate itself from other offerings with a Super AMOLED Plus display, similar to those found on the company’s flagship Galaxy S II series Android smartphones, that will offer high contrast, vibrant colors, and deep blacks.

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The Focus S is one of three new Mango-powered phones for AT&T’s U.S. network and features the same 4.3-inch WVGA resolution Super AMOLED Plus screens that are found on the Android Galaxy S II smartphones, along with an 8-megapixel rear camera and front-facing camera, a 1.4 GHz processor, and support for AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network–unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 still doesn’t support 4G LTE as of yet.

Pricing and availability still is not known at this time. Given the device’s close resemblance to the Galaxy S II smartphone, it may be priced in the same range as the high-end Android handset.

The Focus S will be joined by thee larger 4.7-inch HTC TITAN and the mid-range Samsung Focus Flash smartphones.

Source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/20/samsung-focus-s-windows-phone-mango-stops-over-at-fcc-en-route-to-att/

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in AT&T, Mango, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) to Support Micro HDMI


One of the key missing elements in the initial Windows Phone 7 release was HDMI support.  The platform was perfectly capable of supporting video recording with minimum requirements; however, it did not provide an easy way to share that content with a nearby HDTV device.  However, that is changing with the Acer M310.

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The new device will feature both the new Windows Phone OS – code named Mango – complete with accompanying micro HDMI output (a feature that can also be found on several Android handsets).  According to reports, the upcoming HTC Eternity, another Windows Phone device, will also come with the micro HDMI port, as well as DLNA wireless sharing.

According to a blog by Windows Phone NZ, the Acer M310 was shown in prototype at their recent Tech Ed conference.

“It looks like a good basic handset overall with a black shiny look and bevelled edges.  This handset has something we haven’t seen on Windows Phone handsets before – video output to HDMI.  It also includes DLNA support to play over Wi-Fi to a network connected TV, Xbox, or other DLNA supported device.  Other features on the Acer M310 look similar to many existing Windows Phone 7 handsets – such as 8GB storage capacity.”

The blog goes on to say that production for the new device is nearing finality, which means we should have more information, including possible release dates and locations, soon.  As for other Windows Phone 7.5 devices, they’ll have the capability, so it will be up to the handset manufacturers to provide the output.

Soure: http://www.sellmymobile.com/blog/windows-phone-7-5-mango-to-support-micro-hdmi/

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Mango, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 Update To Add IAP, Other Stuff


Windows Phone 7 has a serious amount of catching up to do both in market share and with apps if it wants to seriously compete with the iPhone and the App Store, but we’ve always seen the handheld as a promising contender. Part of that reason has to do with its Games Hub, which is essentially a mobile take on Xbox Live. It’s packed with promise, and Microsoft has continued to take the steps in the right direction. Today’s news is a good example of that: the next release of Windows Phone 7, Mango, will allow in-app purchases and add-on content. This is huge, as we all know free-to-play is a meaningful mobile model.

There’s more, of course. In the Fall-bound update, Microsoft will introduce badges that you can put on your avatar after earning certain achievements. Also, it’s bulking up its network support, cleaning up the UI in a significant way by introducing sensible views and blades, and it’s integrating a lot of Xbox Live “Extras” into the actual Hub. If you really want to dive into the nitty-gritty, this blog post and this earlier blog post on the Windows Phone Blog both break it all down pretty well, canned as it is.

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In addition to the former stuff, Microsoft has also announced a bunch of new games slated to hit the platform within the next few months. Most of them are unknown to us, but if you have a 360 or a Kinect, these two brands might ring a bell: Toy Soldiers and Kinectimals. Yeah, mobile versions of these titles are coming. Can you hear me shrugging? I’m shrugging.

It strikes me as weird that we’re still in a wait and watch stance on Windows Phone 7 a year or so out of release, but the platform still doesn’t feel as robust as Microsoft wants it to be. Updates like this, though, are definitely a sign of solid progress.

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Source: http://toucharcade.com/2011/08/17/windows-phone-7-update-to-add-iap-other-stuff/

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in iPhone, Mango, Microsoft, Windows 7 Phone

 

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Windows Phone 7 gets new Xbox Live features and 14 new games


Microsoft previewed some new Xbox Live games and features for its Windows Phone 7 platform today at the annual Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany.

The announcements are part of the company’s plan to build enthusiasm for its mobile games — which are one of the best ways to show off its mobile platform — and the upcoming Mango release of the Windows Phone 7 software. Mango, which includes a major update for the phone software, is expected to debut in September.

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It’s a small set of new features and titles, but the kind that Microsoft increasingly needs to make as it competes with rivals including Google (soon to be acquiring Motorola Mobility), Research in Motion, Nokia, Apple and Samsung in the mobile operating system market.

The new announcements include Xbox Live Avatar Awardables, which are wearable achievements for your Xbox Live avatar, or virtual character, which is visible on your phone. The first game to feature them will be the upcoming Chickens Can’t Fly.

There will also be game add-ons, such as the ability to purchase extra mushrooms and other goods in games such as Beards & Beaks. You will be able to buy more in-game add-ons and downloadable content such as extra weapons or levels in the coming months. That’s a critical feature to generate revenues for game developers.

Windows Phone will also have parental controls, where parents can set the content that kids can view. You can restrict a child from playing a mature-rated game such as the upcoming Splinter Cell Conviction game. And players will be able to do a Fast Async, which improves game play for multilayer turn-by-turn games.

Upcoming titles include Beards & Beaks: Cave Area; Bug Village (pictured); Burn the Rope; Collapse!; Chickens Can’t Fly; Gravity Guy; Farm Frenzy 2; Fight Game Rivals; IonballEX; Kinectimals Mobile; Mush; Orbital; TextTwist 2; and Toy Soldiers Boot Camp.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/16/windows-phone-7-gets-new-xbox-live-features-and-14-new-games/

 
 

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