Photo: Ellis Hamburger
The newest update to Windows Phone 7 called “Mango” (Windows Phone 7.5) is coming this fall with some enticing features.These new features illustrate WP7’s open mindedness, but also the degree to which they are behind the competition.
Most of these new features have been in the hands of Android users for ages, but are absent from iOS, like speech-to-text for SMS, native turn-by-turn navigation, and more.
Click through to see the best new features coming soon for Windows Phone 7 devices this fall.
Internet Explorer 9 includes hardware acceleration and other speed improvements. Check out the video below to see a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone and Nexus S that will change your perspective.
In the video, you'll see that IE9 handily outperforms the iPhone and Nexus S, which get 2 frames per second and 11 frames per second, respectively. The Windows Phone had an astounding 23 frames per second in a browser window (not a video).
This is not an indicator that IE9 will always be faster than competitors, but it's evidence that some huge performance improvements are coming. Still no Flash support, though.
Signs are pointing to Twitter being integrated into your 'People Hub,' as well as Windows Live messaging integration. These features will enhance the communications capabilities of WP7.
When you send a SMS message, the phone will see if your friend is logged on to their Windows Live account and if they are, send the message to them that way instead. Hopefully, support for other IM protocols will be included at some point.
Tap a button, speak, and your words will be converted to text and pasted straight into the SMS app on Windows Phone 7.
This feature is already available on Android, but iPhone users are left out in the cold (unless they pick up Dragon Dictation, which isn't fully integrated with SMS).
Voice guidance will be included, as well full integration with the Bing Maps app and software.
Note: picture is a mock-up
Ars Technica says the new Windows Marketplace will be 'less cramped and more accessible.'
It will be easier to find apps, download betas, check out games in the 'Gaming Portal,' and see a list of stuff you've already downloaded.
Another cool feature is that apps will be able to designate other compatible apps within the marketplace. For example, if you're searching in Bing for a movie and tap it, you could be brought straight into the IMDB app (assuming you have it).
Tons of background processes will now be enabled like music listening, file transfers and uploads, and more.
Backgrounding support for VoIP (like Skype) and instant messaging (like AIM) are notably, and shockingly absent. How does Windows Phone 7 hope to survive in this day and age without the ability to receive Skype calls while you're using another application, and without the ability to stay logged into an IM app if you exit it?
We have no idea. The brand new turn-by-turn navigation might not even support multitasking.
Like Shazam, Bing Audio will find a song if you hold up your phone to the speaker playing the music.
Like Google Goggles, Bing Vision will look up anything you point your phone's camera at including bar codes, text, QR codes, and more.
Verizon has the largest customer base of any cell provider, yet they haven't yet shown much support for Windows Phone 7.
The HTC Trophy is coming soon, but there's still no release date set in stone. Verizon's first WP7 device won't even have a front facing camera or tethering capabilities.
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