Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” began introducing its handset today, coming as a surprise for the ride. When Windows Phone 7 was initially released, it received a lot of noticeable reviews. However, it lacks major specs like the capability to copy and paste text, and many of the core functions of the tablet like Outlook messaging, Wi-Fi, and general OS performance were lacking. Here are some of the highlights in “Mango”:
Group Contacts: With “Mango” customers can set up groups of contacts such as “Family”, or “Softball Team”. Customers can penetrate incoming messages in the People Hub using the groups, and use the Group as a contact for outbound messages if they want to send an email or text message to the whole group.
Multitasking: “Mango” brings multitasking to Windows Phone 7 beyond the core functions of the OS. It’s not “true multitasking”, but it is precisely the right kind of multitasking for a smartphone OS.
Messaging Threads: Within a messaging exchange between users and another party, they can switch the messaging platform on the fly. Moreover, they can start off instant messaging, switch to SMS texting, then jump over to Facebook messaging all within one message thread.
Speech Recognition: There is little consumers can’t do just utilizing voice commands with “Mango”. The speech recognition functions allow users to place calls, open apps, search the Web, or get directions to a restaurant without touching the smartphone. They can also speak text messages, and have incoming messages read out loud so users can text while driving without touching the phone or taking your eyes off the road.
Local Scout: The Maps app in “Mango” features a new tool known as Local Scout that identifies places nearby to eat or drink, tourist sites and things to do, and places to shop. Consumers can also use it to organize a trip by finding where they’re going to travel on the Maps app ahead of time and then using Local Scout to discover what’s near there.
Visual Search: “Mango” can do neat things such as scanning Microsoft Tags and QR codes, automatically identify and find information on books, CDs, and DVDs just by “looking” at the cover, and translate text to and from just any language.
Microsoft also introduced a Web Marketplace for apps, and added Wi-Fi tethering capabilities. The ability to piggyback on the 3G (or 4G) wireless connection to get other handsets online can come in handy on occasion. Although it’s not perfect, with “Mango” Microsoft might actually have a mobile OS that can come with iOS and Android.