“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.”
Business Insider, easily my favourite newly-discovered site, has put together a list of the best upcoming features in Mango – and these are only the ones we know about. I have a feeling there may be a surprise or two when it ships. Of course, I was already surprised by one thing I saw on this list: SMS dictation! I seem to have missed that feature in the other round-ups of Mango features that I’ve read. There’s some good stuff coming – and I sincerely hope that by the time Mango is ready to go, we won’t have the scattered, confusing mess of an update story that we got with NoDo.
Last we heard of the HTC 7 Pro, it was taking a casual stroll through O2 Germany’s website, throwing around boasts that it’ll be on sale come January 2011. Well, guess what? That promise has just been reiterated by O2’s German Twitter stream, which says that the 7 Pro will be on sale next week for an unsubsidized price of €569 ($735). That’s available via O2’s usual MyHandy payment plan, where you dish out €29 in advance and then pay off the phone in equal monthly payments over two years. We can’t imagine HTC leaving the rest of the world sitting idly by, twiddling their QWERTY keyboard-loving thumbs, so look out for this WP7 handset to filter through to your local market some time soon.
During yesterday’s CES keynote, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer again confirmed that the 1st Windows Phone 7 update is soon to be released and Microsoft has unveiled further information what users can expect from it. According to these information, the update will include copy and paste, faster apps and games start and a better Marketplace search. Without going into further details, copy and paste will allow to select and copy text from E-Mails, text messages, web pages and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere. Furthermore Microsoft said it has whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume, which is important since Windows Phone 7 isn’t featuring traditionall multitasking.
Last but not least the Marketplace search will be streamlined to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Pressing the Search button in the apps or games section of Marketplace only apps or games will appear in the results while pressing the Search button in the music section of Marketplace the music catalog only will be searched.
Still, there’s no release date given but Microsoft only explains that Windows Phone 7 is designed to automatically notify its user via a pop-up message (unless this option is turned off) that an update is available.
Microsoft has released a new version of its Windows Phone 7 connector software for the Mac, bringing with it a number of new features and plenty of bug fixes that were no doubt annoying Mac-owning Windows Phone 7 fans.
The new update, which Microsoft describes as “critical” and weighs in at 7.6MB, brings a new device setup experience and the ability to now sync purchased audio content from the device.
Fixes includ performance upgrades, better handling of photos with Apple’s iPhoto 11 and fixing an issue where some AAC or MP4 files wouldn’t play on the phone.
The new update is available via the Microsoft AutoUpdate app and is available now.
Full features and fixes in full:
Purchased audio content is synced from device
New device setup experience
Browse device now supports manual import from device, delete from device and preview.
Improvements and fixes:
Performance improvements in sync process
Photos are now organized by their iPhoto event if present and by album otherwise
Improved video preparation process
Improved support for pin lock and unlock of device
Improved meta data transfer settings (bookmarks, rating and release dates and now transferred)
Fixed issue with remote iTunes installations
Fixed issue with .AAC and certain .MP4 files not playing on device
Apple Lossless encoded files are no longer synced as they are unsupported on device. They will be ignored like protected content. Please convert these files, as necessary.
Improved support for iPhoto 11.
We’d already heard that Windows Phone 7 is set to get an update of some sort early next year — possiblycoinciding with Mobile World Congress in February — but ZD Net’s Mary Jo Foley is now reporting that an even bigger update could be following in August or September. According to her sources, the update is codenamed “Mango,” and it will effectively amount to Windows Phone 7.5, which she says might even be the actual name when it’s released. That update will apparently bring Silverlight runtime and HTML5 support to the OS, along with Far Eastern language support, and some other unspecified features and functionality. It will also presumably be the most significant update until Windows Phone 8, which Foley says is codenamed “Apollo,” and is on track for a release in late 2012.
As the mad rush that followed the highly anticipated launch of Windows Phone 7 has more or less died down, it’s now time to step back and and take a good look at the handsets to decide whether you want to invest in one or not. We’ve already seen the LG Optimus 7 pitched against HTC’s 7 Trophy, but how will it compare when it stands toe-to-toe with its main rival from Samsung? With its big, 4-inch AMOLED screen, the Omnia 7 has set itself apart from the pack. But, which is the better phone? We engaged the two handsets in a tense spec-off to see which came out best…
- Winner: Omnia 122.4 x 64.2 x 10.99mm; 138.5g
- Loser: Optimus 125 x 59.8 x 11.5mm; 157g
Size is an important factor to consider when you’re shopping for a smartphone, as it’s something that you’re going to be carrying around with you all day long. Although smartphones tend to be on the larger side in order to accommodate their luxuriously large screens, it’s still important that they’re small enough to slip into a pocket. At 122.4mm long, the Samsung is shorter than the more elongated LG handset, while it’s also considerably lighter and slightly slimmer too. On account of its compact dimensions, the Samsung storms into the lead on the first round. Read more
According to a survey conducted by Millenial Media in collaboration with Digiday and Stifel Nicolaus, there is a significant shift underway away from the iOS platform to Windows Phone 7 as well as the Android Platform. Android will see the most attention from developers with an increase from 23% currently to 29%. In an interesting development Windows Phone 7 will move from a current 6% to 20% of developer share. The most interesting and fan-boy backlash inducing figure is that developers expect to reduce their projects for the iPhone from 31% to a surprising 8%. While these types of surveys should always be taken with a grain of salt, if things play out this way both Microsoft and Google will be able to provide competitive app libraries for the respective platforms.
HTC HD2 owners have been trying to shoehorn Windows Phone 7 onto their hapless devices practically since day one, but it looks like a port won’t make it into the wild before the platform’s formal US launch. That doesn’t mean you should give up hope, however, because one variant seems to be at least partway done, winding its merry way from boot through the splash screen and deep into the speedy UI in a far more convincing video demo than the last one that hit our inbox. Though no apps are actually demonstrated nor so much as a basic phone call (pretty please?), multitouch pinch-to-zoom appears to work just fine, and we’ve little doubt any remaining quirks will be worked out in due time — if not nearly as soon as new HTC HD7 owners migrating from the HD2 might have liked. Video after the break.
Well, if you are a Mac owner and are considering purchasing a Windows Phone 7 smartphone, Microsoft’s beta version of their new Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac may just tip the scale in favor of that purchase. The utility will help you sync your media (photos and music, in particular) with your Mac. What is particularly interesting about this utility, is that it does not use the traditional file/folder metaphor for the sync mechanism. Instead, it leverages iTunes and iPhoto (the Mac’s venerable music and photo management software) as the conduits for the syncing. So, if your media is managed with those apps then this new sync facility will be particularly attractive.
It’s already available on Google TV and Android devices, but Flash 10.1 is soon to hit Windows Phone 7 handsets.
The announcement was, bizarrely, hidden in a press release about the company’s latest AIR development tools being available. However, Pocket-lint was eagle-eyed enough to realise that Adobe has plans to bring its mobile in-browser Flash player to a number of different operating systems, including Windows Phone 7:
“Flash Player 10.1 is available on Android and Google TV today”, it explains, “with BlackBerry platform, HP webOS 2.0, future versions of Windows Phone, LiMo, MeeGo, and Symbian OS also expected to support Flash Player 10.1”.
That essentially just leaves the, you guessed it, iPhone and iPad without Flash support. No surprise really, but more fuel, perhaps, to incite the Apple hate mob to gather their flaming torches and pitchforks and storm Château Cupertino once more.