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According to a report over at the DigiTimes, OEMs are set to reveal a range of Mango-powered devices in September, just two months away. We recently covered the shambles with the Imagine Cup where it was revealed that winners would receive handsets running "Mango" in September. While we may have read too much into it, Microsoft does seem to be taking competition extremely seriously - just look at "Gmail Man".

With Apple's iPhone 5 looking set to be hitting stores in that same month with iOS 5 just around the corner, this would be the perfect part of the year to launch "Mango" with unique devices and a tonne of advertising. Fujitsu and Toshiba are unveiling their IS12T waterproof handset (in line with KDDI), which is also set to be coming up in September.

Nokia is mentioned in the DigiTimes report where they will be looking to launch their device in October when WP7 OEMs have heated up the market for "Mango" handsets. Fujitsu-Toshiba joining the ranks with HTC, Samsung, LG, Acer, ZTE and Nokia, perhaps 2012 will be the year of the Windows Phone?

Source: DigitTimes

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We have two reports coming in from Italy and France that the voice guidance in Bing has been removed from the 7712 beta, even though it was present in the earlier one.

Voice guidance, for turn-by-turn directions, was one of the key features for Bing in the Mango update. While not as effective nor impressive as carrier-offered services (not to mention data usage), it was quite decent and you know, free.

Word of caution though: 7712 is obviously not 7720 aka the RTM build, so it is unclear at this point if this has been removed due to (a) time or (b) other, more permanent reasons. We'd like to think that this was just an omission from this build and not the final. We've reached out to Microsoft for clarification.

The good news for U.S. residents is it is still present in our release. Any of our international readers from other countries want to report in? Hit the comments...

Update: Gone from Australia too, according to Andrew in comments, meaning this isn't a language issue but rather something else. Appears to be missing from all markets except U.S & UK.

Source: Plfaffo and Professeur Thibault

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More juicy peach for Windows Phone developers who are enjoying Mango - we know our Daniel Rubino is with updating his entire device inventory to the developer build. First off, build 7712 is now being pushed to developers (kudos to Jay Bennett with providing us with the above screenshot), be on the lookout for update notifications on Zune to move on from 7661.

Here are some instructions posted by Cliff Simpkins, in the official announcement over at the Windows Phone Dev blog:

  1. Make a copy of the backup you took when you updated to the Mango Beta 2 pre-release (which I’m sure you did) and put it in a safe place, if it isn’t in one already
  2. Return to (we’re using the same program you were invited to join last month) and download the freshly posted files, which includes a new Zune client and a new UpdateWP executable
  3. Head to the Control Panel and uninstall the Beta 2 software (Zune client and UpdateWP) and tools (WPSDK) that you installed last month
  4. Install the new software and tools that you just downloaded from Connect
  5. Fire up the new Zune client beta (4.8.2134.0) to check for the new update
  6. Zune will then update your phone from 7661 to 7712

We recently covered the rumors surrounding the 7712 build that developers will be receiving prior to the public release of "Mango", one must note however that this build isn't final, which is 7720. For those wondering as to why this is the case:

"First, the phone OS and the tools are two equal parts of the developer toolkit that correspond to one another. When we took this snapshot for the refresh, we took the latest RC drops of the tools and the corresponding OS version. Second, what we are providing is a genuine release candidate build, with enough code checked in and APIs locked down that this OS is close enough to RTM that, as a developer, it’s more than capable to see you through the upcoming RC drop of the tools and app submission. It’s important to remember that until the phone and mobile operator portion of Mango is complete, you’re still using a pre-release on your retail phone – no matter the MS build."

As well as an update to "Mango" that developers are running to get their apps ready for consumers, Microsoft have also refreshed the second beta of the Windows Phone SDK. Why the refresh? check out the following goodies:

  • Application platform APIs are now locked; you can feel confident to start getting ready for submitting your apps next month.
  • Emulator now has a nifty screenshot capability built in, allowing you quickly snap quality images of your app without the need of separate tools or cropping time. The images are great for use in app submission process or to share on your blog or with folks such as my team (hint hint).
  • The profiler has been greatly improved and provides memory profiling.
  • As of this drop, you can install NuGet into the free version of the WPSDK tools. I find NuGet to be one of my favorite productivity boosters and I’m happy to see the extension supported in the free tools.
  • The drop includes an initial peek at the Marketplace Test Kit; with the RC release, you’ll be able to use the included version of this toolkit to test your XAP file against the same certification testing tools that we use when ingesting apps for the Marketplace. For this refresh, it’s there but not fully functional; but more on this in a future blog post.

The SDK RC (release candidate) is expected to surface in the next month. So there we go folks, Mango goodness all around. Let's hope this speed of development continues.

    Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog, thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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    Samsung already has the Galaxy SII variant coming this fall with Windows Phone "Mango" on board, then there's the GT-i8350 also with Mango and now another device, the SGH-i677 looks to coming a well.

    Details have emerged via some coding in Samsung's own site, where the model number and web browser (IE9) are listed. In addition, there's Bluetooth and WiFi certification info that comports with the other info, lending some solid credence to the existence of this phone and it's Mango destiny.

    What's real interesting is the model number: SGH-i677. As NanaPho point out, traditionally this "series" have been front keyboard devices (as demonstrated in the fake mock up above). Does this mean that this device too will sport a front qwerty? If so, we think it would be more like a Dell Venue Pro (see review) than a standard "Treo" design. The latter configuration was suggested for Chassis 2 of Windows Phone, but Microsoft put that off due to wanting to concentrate on just one resolution for developers.

    Still, a front-slider device from Samsung? Oh hell yeah...lets do this.

    via NanaPho

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    Lets catch up on a couple things here:

    1. Developers currently have build 7661 of Mango
    2. Build 7720 is the RTM version
    3. Microsoft has strongly suggested devs are getting an updated build

    That last part comes from Microsoft's own Cliff Simpkins who tweeted last evening in response to this very question. His answer? "Give me a day to get an official answer for folks :)" He also noted in comments on the Windows Phone Blog "We're working to get devs an updated build soon. Stay tuned to the dev blog."

    At this point, we're highly confident that developers will be getting an updated Mango build and we think it will be very soon. In fact, the Windows Phone Dev Podcast just tweeted a little while ago "we've got 7,712 reasons for you to look forward to tomorrow". While a build 7712 is not 7720, it's "close enough" as we know that build 7710 went to Nokia for the Sea Ray.

    Hey, as someone with three phones running Mango, we think this sounds just peachy. (Free pun!)

    via: Professeur Thibault

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    As expected, the press conference with KDDI/AU, Microsoft Japan and Toshiba-Fujitsu just wrapped up. The big news of course those is the revealing of the IS12T, one of the first official "Mango" phones to be made available in the coming weeks.

    Here are the device specs, given during the presentation:

    • 32GB memory
    • 3 colors: Yellow, Pink, Black
    • Waterproof
    • MSM8655
    • 3.7" TF LCD screen
    • 13.2 MP camera (!)
    • 59x118x10.6mm
    • 113g

    Release date appears to be on track for September or after, a bit later than previously reported. We have to admit, with a 13MP camera, waterproof, 32GB of memory and those fun colors, this could be a big seller in Japan.

    (Additional info via NanaPho; photo via Engadget)

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    We recently reported that Windows Phone "Mango" had been released to manufacturers (RTM) and we could be heading for a potential early release of the next major update. Unfortunately, this turned out to be just slightly off. Today, Terry Myerson, over at the Windows Phone Team blog has published an article announcing the signing of the RTM build.

    Manufacturers and carriers will now begin tweaking/optimizing, testing and preparing for the roll out, which will hopefully run without problem and/or delay. At least this gives AT&T a few months in advanced to get everything in place on their end before their WP7 customers begin to revolt.

    So, I put forward the question again, what do you make of this announcement and do you believe "Mango" will be sent out within a reasonable time frame?

    Update: Looks like build 7720 is the final, RTM one according to Microsoft's Matthijs Hoekstra. Pretty close to our reported 7710 from one week ago.

    Source: Windows Phone Team Blog and thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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    We've been talking about how July 27th will be the big day for Microsoft, KDDI (AU) and Toshiba-Fujitsu for a a few days. As we're getting close to the hour (10am Tokyo), news and more details are now leaking out.

    The press event is expected to have Microsoft Japan officially unveil Windows Phone Mango localized for the Nippon masses as well as Toshiba-Fujitsu showing off, in detail, the IS12T which is expected to be the first Mango device sold on the market.

    The good news for those who cannot be there live is the event will be live on UStream at 10:00 am in Tokyo. (UTC+09:00; 9pm EST on the 26th). That channel can be found here:

    In addition, the IS12T was spotted in some source code for AU's website, but it was commented out from public eyes. When brought up, you can see the image above with the now yellow device sporting Windows Phone on board. Since we've already seen a pink version and now yellow, it's not too hard to imagine this device coming in a variety of colors. Combined with some localized apps on board, Japan is looking to have an exciting next few days.

    Via: NanaPho 1, 2

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    Here's some speculation that sort of makes sense: we just reported that the AT&T Venue Pro is available to purchase again direct from Dell. What's odd (and what we missed) was the expected ship date: 8/30

    That's a long time off for a phone that has been out for awhile. Considering that we just got word of "Mango" being RTM'd and sent to carriers, could this 6 week delay be due to Dell putting Mango on board? Dell did just pull the Streak to load some new update, so it's not unprecedented and AT&T is pretty aggressive in the Windows Phone area.

    We've heard that Toshiba-Fujitsu are launching a Mango device in August, so why not Dell? Then again, this is Dell, so lets not put it past them that this is just NoDo.

    Source: Dell; (Thanks for catching this, @wp7ap)

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    In the recent Windows Phone Developer Podcast episode, we have some new information detailing the status of the next update for Microsoft's mobile platform - "Mango". This shouldn't come with shock to readers since we've been following the wind with the Fujitsu IS12T handset (as well as Nokia's "Sea Ray"). According to the podcast; "Mango" has been RTM (released to manufacturers) and is also with carriers for testing.

    While we've had the next update on devices for some time now, this was of course only a developer preview build (7661). Our Daniel Rubino previously caught on the build number for the release of "Mango" when we covered the breaking news of the Nokia device being shown off in a factory. In fact, we didn't only have the build number, which will be 7710, but we also stated that we received word on "Mango" already being RTM.

    Good news all around? We think so, what do you guys make of this somewhat re-assuring news? Do you believe these are signs of an early release?

    Update: And the news has jumped the gun again. Bill Cox, Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division, just tweeted:

    "For those following the rumor mill, @windowsphone Mango has not yet hit RTM. We’re excited about the progress... stay tuned."

    For what it's worth, we have heard that 7710 is or near final RTM though and clearly from the Sea Ray video this week, you can see the "OEM" logo as the OS boots. Still, looks like we're not quite there yet.

    Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast;  via: WMPU

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    In a new promotional video, Microsoft's People Hub Program Manager, simply referred to as Greg, discusses some of the new features that users will find in Mango and the motivation behind them.  Greg explains that it is not only important for a phone to deliver communications by phone, text, email and social media, but to tie them all together.  With that in mind, Mango will tote a new Contact History in the People Hub.  As shown in the video, all you have to do is click on a contact to see a list of all recent communications by that contact, regardless of what medium they came from.  Simply tap on that entry, and you will be transported to that app and conversation.

    Another cool feature described is live contact notifications on the Start screen.  If you have a contact pinned to Start, and they send you an email or chat, you will now see an update on their tile letting you know you have a new message from them.  Tap the tile, and find their new message in the history. 

    We all know that Mango is bringing some big changes to WP7.  However, another thing that excites us is all of these thoughtful little tweaks and attention to detail that have been added.

    Source: Microsoft; Via: 1800PocketPC

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    Here's an interesting new video from Microsoft detailing the changes in Mango, specifically related to Twitter integration (as well as Facebook and LinkedIn). We know that there is a final or near final build of the Mango OS going around, namely 7710, which is probably the same version we reported on last week in regards to Twitter usage.

    In the video, Stuart Bottom, Program Manager at the Communications Group on Windows Phone, goes over how Twitter will work, notifications, the "Me Tile" and more will all come together in the update. Finally we get to see how Twitter will look (very similar to the Facebook feed) as well as those ever important notifications.

    What's really convenient is being able to see when someone has replied to a Tweet or posted on your Facebook wall, right on your Me tile, which should result in more efficient use of your time. In addition, filtering of those feeds to quickly find and see what you want is also a pretty brilliant idea.

    By the looks of things lately, only a few more weeks till Mango starts rolling out. We couldn't be more excited. Check out the rest of Microsoft's tour videos of other features on their YouTube channel.

    Source: YouTube (WindowsPhone); via LiveSide

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    Just the other day it was revealed, surprisingly, that KDDI of Japan (via their mobile operator brand 'AU'), will be launching the Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T (still love that name!) in July. What makes this big news of course is that this will be the first "Mango" device in the world to go on sale.

    Now we're getting word that KDDI, Fujitsu-Toshiba and Microsoft Japan are set to make it official by having a press event on July 27th. Evidently media invites have gone out and yes, they plan on showing off and announcing the pink-n-waterproof handset for the Japanese market--the first Windows Phone for Japan and the first worldwide with Mango.

    Combined with that Nokia Sea Ray leak and confirmation that it is running Windows Phone 7 build 7710, which is RTM and guess what folks? We're pretty sure Mango is way, way closer than we thought.

    Source: Gigazine; via Nanapho

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    Look at what we have here, leaking clearly out of a development factory in either China or Hong Kong (forgive us, it's 2am), we get a nice clear look at the Nokia N9, cough, 'Sea Ray' for Windows Phone 7. We can finally see the buttons near the bottom, putting to rest the "virtual button "speculation from earlier.

    Watch as halfway through the video the device even boots up with a new "7" logo screen and it pops in a build of Mango (check out the Mango lock screen, natch). The camera also boots up quickly and we get the first glimpse of what that will be like.

    Updates: We also have word that this version of Mango is RTM aka release to manufacturer, meaning this may be pretty close to final for everything. Specifically it is build 7710 (Thanks, anon).

    By the looks of it, no front facing camera. In fact, in the camera app we should see the camera toggle, like here.

    Source: WPXAP; Thanks, Talan1314, for the info and Rafael Rivera, for the assist!

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    BBC News Mobile: Mango Beta [Hands on]

    A few days ago we reported that the developer of the BBC News Mobile app was starting to play with the Mango dev tools and we saw what he had in plan for the app.

    Now, he's gone ahead and released the beta XAP file for those of you with dev unlocked devices and Mango to side load. Of course he'd greatly appreciate if you could provide bug reports, insight, opinions, etc. so as to make the app even better. The current beta will work till September 1st at which point he'll update with a newer version, but you should also follow his blog for any new updates in the mean time.

    We took it for a spin and even though it's just "beta" it feels pretty polished to us. Check out the video above where you can see the multiple Live Tiles in action, dual flip live tiles, feeds and get the over-all feel of the app. We're already really impressed with the new version and it's fun to see the power of Mango in action.

    Grab the XAP and get more info here. Grab the free non-Mango version in the Marketplace here.

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    During WPC11, we saw the first glimpse of ZTE's entry into the Windows Phone field. Now a few more images have come forth, posted by ZTE's Dr. Luo Zhongsheng, who evidently is their head of smartphone development.

    The phone can be seen sporting some art on the start screen as well as localized Chinese language support. In addition, it looks to have Weibo built in instead of Twitter, which is blocked in China. Weibo is described as "a Chinese microblogging site akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook...". The device itself looks like a prototype as opposed to the more polished version demonstrated at WPC, though as NanaPho suggests perhaps different color schemes will be offered. No other device spces are currently known.

    This coincides nicely with the leak about the Toshiba-Fujitsu phone release in August, suggesting that indeed these phones are coming earlier than expected an the Asian market is gearing up for release.

    Update: Evidently it's not Weibos that's built, but rather a standalone app running the service.

    Source:; via NanaPho

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    File this one under "curious", but it looks like Japanese carrier KDDI may be not only getting their first Windows Phone this August, but it'll be the first phone with "Mango" on board. The phone itself is a Toshiba-Fujitsu IS12T (catchy name!) which sports a 3.7" LCD screen and a water-resistant case. In fact, it looks to be the same phone first shown a few days ago at WPC11 by Microsoft.

    The device also has FCC & Bluetooth clearance, which could mean a U.S. release at some point, but seeing a Fujitsu has little presence here, we're not too confident on that one.

    Regarding that "first phone with Mango" bit, we would be a bit cautious on that as the OS hasn't gone gold yet and there are no firm dates yet for any release, let alone hardware. Microsoft for certain has projected "windows for release" but we would be surprised to see this actually happen by August. Then again, it could validate the whole Mango-in-September tweet from a few days ago, so who knows.

    Source: Nikkei; via NanaPho; Thanks, tezawaly

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    BBC News Mobile Mango beta [Video]

    We recently interviewed the developer behind the BBC News Mobile app, Lawrence Gripper, and he went into detail about how he came about crafting the app along with what he thought of the development process on the Windows Phone platform. He's been a busy bee with getting the app up to scratch with the upcoming Mango update.

    In the video above, you can see Lawrence giving us a run through of some new features that have been added into the app. These include:

    • Double Sided Live Tiles
    • Pin individual feeds to home screen
    • Background service meaning improved live tile and breaking news notifications
    • Background caching if wifi is available to speed up the app

    You can check up on the progress of BBC News Mobile and more on Lawrence's blog.

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    It's no surprise that Windows Phone "Mango" is getting Twitter in the fall. The feature is currently disabled in the beta builds given out to developers though, so it's fun to track its development along the Microsfot pipeline. What we can figure is this: a few Microsoft devs have been using it on their phones since May in a limited capacity, but recently new users have been given later builds of Mango with the feature enabled (see above image). Even Joe Belfiore is now using it.

    In the last few days a few more folks on Twitter have started tweeting with "via Windows Phone (via Windows Live)" as the tweet source. Clicking the link redirects you to Microsoft's Windows Phone site. This was similar to another build from April where it said "via Windows Phone(via Windows Live)INT". (The difference there is of course "INT" which probably stood for "internal", as in development purposes).

    One of the tweets comes from Ken Dacey of Microsoft, who was also the one responsible for the earlier "INT" Twitter posts a few months ago. He's been using Twitter on his phone since May, but another from @MSWindowsPhone only appeared in the last day (they won't confirm if it's a newer build, however).

    Either way, Microsoft is making progress as expected. Hopefully registered AppHub devs will get a new beta build too.

    Source: Twitter 1, 2, 3; Thanks, @Fisi_zubi for helping us out on this

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