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3 years ago

Microsoft shows off new 'I Heart WP' design, makes a sticker for the Focus

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Microsoft has made a subtle yet significant change to the famous "I Heart Windows Phone" theme which came out just before Windows Phone was released. Before, the icons were in circles but now...they're boxes, there to represent those iconic tiles on the start screen.

As a way to promote that, they made a handful of stickers that fit on the Samsung Focus, giving it a very custom and kinda kewl look to it. Gimmicky? Sure, but we grabbed one just to make our Focus more hip than yours.

Be jelly, it's okay.

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3 years ago

Multitasking on Mango demoed in detail [Video]

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Microsoft's Executive Communications Manager on Windows Phone, Derek Snyder, managed to show off and answer some questions about multi-tasking on the upcoming OS update. As a result, we can see it in action here, how selection and management works and basically how smooth the whole process is.

We'd say more, but honestly the vid shows enough. It does get pretty geeky in spots, but that's a good thing, we think.

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3 years ago

Bing Vision demoed on a pack of gum...'cause we can [Video]

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Okay, this Bing Vision thing is really nice. Although augmented reality apps and one that scan are not new to the world (see Google Goggles), the way Microsoft does this on Bing is actually very elegant.

For one, we like how the overlay works when it finds what it's looking for. Just something really nice about the transparency and the items "floating" there. Second, the camera sensor works very well, even in low-light with little "re-adjustment" needed by the user. Barcodes read a bit better than CD cases or books, but even the latter should scan fine on a bookshelf in the store.

Finally, we also just like how it scans anything. You just point it at a CD, book or barcode and it just reads it. There's no settings, not select-format, it just works.

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3 years ago

Brief tour of MS Office on Mango [Video]

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Title says it all. We got a more detailed look at Office on the new version of Windows Phone. We knew about Skydrive expansion, better support, Office 365 integration and now we see it in action.

What's also nice, though not seen, is if you need an app e.g. Adobe for PDFs, the OS can now recognize file types and match them against supporting apps in the Marketplace, making the process of finding the right app to "handle' the task much more simple.

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3 years ago

Microsoft on Dell not being listed: "Don't read too much into it"

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We spoke with someone from Microsoft about the touchy issue of why Dell was left off of the above slide--was it a small acknowledgement that Dell won't be making anymore Windows Phones? That the leaked road-map from a few months ago was now invalid?

Turns out, it's probably more innocent than sinister. We were told directly "don't read too much into it" and to "stay tuned". We took that, especially the latter part, that Dell was certainly still on board and in fact, that we'll see some new Dell hardware this summer as Microsoft continues to draw out this Mango preview.

So as Microsoft said, stay tuned on this Dell rumor...

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3 years ago

Sneak Peek: History Here app gets a Mango make-over

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The History Here app is actually quite cool if you live in a populated area, like New York City. For one, just by design we have more "history" per square foot and two, we learned the History Channel folk have been pushing point-of-interest updates to the app a lot more recently.

In the above video, you get to see how the History Channel are updating their app with augmented reality, offering a new way to discover interesting things around you. Heck, you can even save a POI as a start tile for later use.

Pretty cool stuff, if you ask us. Thanks to Kalem Fletcher of UI Centric for the tour

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3 years ago

Mango Preview Event, wrapping it all up

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Microsoft took barely an hour (felt more like 45 minutes) to share a preview of the upcoming Windows Phone update, code named Mango. Andy Lees, Windows Phone Division President, didn't waste any time getting into the presentation.

The Mango Update is primarily focused on three areas of the Windows Phone operating system; Communications, Apps, and the Internet. Microsoft builds upon the mission to make smartphones smarter and easier for the consumer. Communications improvements will allow users to better connect and share information between family, friends and colleagues. App improvement will bring richer applications that will let you do more, wherever you go. And finally, Internet improvements will bring IE9 to the mobile platform in order to, as Lees mentioned, bring the internet to the palm of your hand.

Andy Lees, along with Derek Snyder (Windows Phone developer), covered a lot of information in a short period of time. Slide on past the break to see how it all breaks down.

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3 years ago

Sneak Peek: The Weather Channel on Windows Phone 'Mango'

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Hey, look at that! The Weather Channel was here in New York City today showing off their new, still in development, Weather Channel app that takes advantage of Mango's new features.

Specifically we have a new Live Tile abilities:

  1. One live tile is dynamic and tracks your location, updating where you are
  2. You can add multiple live tiles based on other locations e.g. family, travel, etc.

And of course they'll be using "deep linking" e.g. the ability to take you directly to a sub-section of the app, like when there is a Flood Warning.

Overall, we dug what we saw and this is a great example of how Mango will change those little things in our lives.

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3 years ago

Mango Games hub and Xbox Live improvements revealed

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Xbox Live integration has been a selling point of Windows Phone since day one. Gamers can earn Achievements; view their avatars, friends lists, and more from the convenience of their phones. But to do many of those things, you have to download the separate free Xbox Live Extras app and then launch it from the Games hub. It’s a needlessly complicate process.

Thankfully Mango will greatly streamline Xbox Live integration. Xbox Live Extras will join the dinosaurs and Milli Vanilli in extinction as its contents will now be built into the main Games hub. The Xbox Live page within the hub will display a user’s polygonal avatar and several other items: Xbox Live Gold membership status (lending credence to the rumor that online play will finally debut alongside Mango) and links to the user’s Profile, Achievements, and Avatar (for customization). This should make the profile and avatar editing options much easier to find than their previous location: stashed away in a pop-up menu at the bottom of the screen.

Live tiles are a great and wonderful thing. We all love them, and I’m pretty sure WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino has several tattooed on his arm. On the other hand, live tiles also take up a lot of space – only 6-8 will fit on-screen at once. People who own a lot of games on Windows Phone often have to scroll quite a bit to find the title they wish to play. Game organization and launching will become slightly easier in Mango thanks to a new list view within the Games hub. The list view displays each game’s name alongside icons that are about fifty percent smaller than before. It doesn’t really fit much additional information on-screen, but gamers will be able to locate titles by names instead of icons.

The Friends section will also receive a few minor tweaks. Friends’ profiles and bios will be separated onto two pages instead of being crammed onto one. Additionally, it will become possible to add new friends directly from the phone thanks to the addition of a New Friend button at the bottom of the Friends page. Now if Microsoft would just add the ability to send and receive Xbox Live voice messages from the phone too – only text messages are supported right now.

These changes will strengthen gaming and Xbox Live use on Windows Phone. Today’s conference didn’t address online play, but we’re still hoping for an announcement sometime around Mango’s actual launch. For Windows Phone gamers, that date can’t come soon enough.

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3 years ago

Combined mailbox, threaded email and enterprise security in Mango

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Email is fairly limited on the platform for the moment, featuring only the standard functions required to synchronize with multiple protocols, reply and forward messages and attach files. This is set to change with Mango with the introduction of threaded conversations and a combined mailbox.

Linking multiple accounts will enable users to separate addresses (such as work and personal) and pin a tile to your home screen for easy accessibility. Threaded viewing (and grouping) of your emails will provide a less cluttered interface, especially in work related mailboxes with multiple conversations taking place with numerous contacts. A huge improvement for enterprises will be the security improvements being made in the upcoming update with the support for more complex passwords.

We will also be seeing the WP7 team bringing threaded conversations to SMS.

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3 years ago

Find nearby locations with Local Scout

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Find nearby locations with Local Scout

Bing in Mango is to receive the addition of a location based service called Local Scout. This service, upon activation, will search and display local places to eat, drink, shop and explore. Users will be able to save certain individual results to their favorites.

What's even better about this feature is the integration (which is a focus with Mango) it has with Mail and Calendar. Should you receive an invitation via email or have one synchronized in your calendar, simply selecting that location will open up Local Scout which will show points of interest.

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3 years ago

Mango to include new Windows Phones

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While we didn't see any new phones during the Mango Preview Event, we did hear a little hardware news.

Mango won't be available until the Fall as a free upgrade but look for new phones from existing Microsoft Partners LG, HTC and Samsung. Also look for new phones from other Microsoft Partners such as Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE. No specs were offered on these new phones beyond having 4g support.

Andy Lees, who led the charge during the Preview Event, made special mention of the Microsoft/Nokia partnership. Expect Nokia to not only bring new devices to market but also "scale and innovation to the ecosystem".

With 500 new features and the prospect of new phones, can Fall get here any quicker?

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3 years ago

Joe does Mango: Belfiore shows off Windows Phone update highlights

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Wouldn't be a Windows Phone update without Joe Belfiore checking in, right? He's following up on a (slightly controversial) demo he did at the MIX conference earlier this year -- the infamous speed reading demo that shoes the speed of IE9 on Windows Phone.

Plus, Joe walks us through the new features of Mango. Maybe not all 500 of them, but the ones you're going to worry about. Search, Bing Vision (optical recognition), threads, all the really cool stuff.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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3 years ago

Mango update will be free, coming sometime this fall

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This just in, folks. The Mango update will be free. Repeat: It won't cost you a dime. Coming this fall. No exact date -- when carriers are involved (and make no mistake, they will be) it's tough to nail these things down. But Microsoft's said they'll let us konw where there's more to know.

But the important parts: Free update. This fall. Mango. Free. Update. This fall.

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3 years ago

WP7 Marketplace hitting the web

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WP7 Marketplace hitting the web

We've always heard the constant cry for a web-accessible version of the Marketplace, especially those who use OS X (like myself) -- the Windows Phone 7 Connector is simply no Zune media center. Matt Bencke, in the same post where he announced the Mango SDK being available, spoke about plans to bring in a web version of the Marketplace.

"To better reach customers worldwide, I’m also pleased to announce today that Mango will offer a new web version of Windows Phone Marketplace. This will enable customers to shop, share and buy/download apps and games from any PC and send them directly to their phones. You get more visibility for your apps with no extra work. The Mango Marketplace will bring several new features and capabilities that Todd Brix will be expanding upon here a little later."

Great news all around. The ability to view and purchsse apps on your PC (or Mac -- hopefully) will surely improve the usage of the store and bring a new wave of users to WP7 developers.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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