The new Windows Phone 7.5 (you know it as the Mango update) is expected to be officially released this year, sometime in August-September. But the developers will get access to Windows Phone Developer Tools much earlier, in May.
Microsoft says this new major update is going to have a number of new important features, so we are expecting a lot from it, hoping this update will be able to put the Windows Phone OS on the same shelf with the popular Google Android and iOS.
Let’s try to find out what changes and fixes are expected to be be seen in the new Windows Phone 7.5. We counted 7… well, 7.5 of them 🙂
1. Multitasking. Can you imagine a good modern OS without multitasking? I can’t. Every smartphone user wants to run several applications or processes at the same time, to be able to switch between them easily and run some processes (music or transfer files) in the background. Microsoft says the new Windows Phone 7.5 will get better multitasking abilities.
2. Better camera. With the release of Windows Phone 7.5 developers will get more access to the camera stack and some sensors. This will help them create a number of new interesting applications and games based on the camera and the smartphone’s hardware features.
3. Live Tiles. “Live Tiles” – the square boxes that run in the background and provide real-time updates on messages, social networking and many other things – is a feature specific to the Windows Phone OS. Now developers will be able to access them, customize and change something (the color of the squares, for example), if needed. What we will get? Most likely, a lot of interesting and useful apps in the MarketPlace.
4. Internet Explorer 9. The Internet Explorer 9 with HTML5 support is one of the most anticipated features of the upcoming Windows Phone 7.5. The users hope it will make the browsing experience even faster and easier. Now the most popular mobile browser is Firefox 4 that is used in Android OS and already supports HTML5. Will Microsoft’s new browser be able to outperform it and become more popular? This has to be seen yet.
5. Skype for Windows Phone. Skype is one of the most popular applications on all platforms, and soon Windows Phone will also get it. We hope that the Windows Phone version of Skype won’t have the same bugs the Android version had, so that they won’t have to wait for too long to get updates with fixes.
6. Windows Phone MarketPlace. Microsoft is going to make some serious changes in the Marketplace, too, improving search and filtering. If you now try to search for an application, podcasts or music, you’ll see combined results. The new Marketplace will give you the opportunity to filter the results and see only those that refer to your search (for example, if you search for an app, only apps will appear in the search result).
7. Angry Birds for Windows Phone. One of the most popular mobile games – Angry Birds – is also expected to come to Windows Phone 7.5. They say it will be available at the Windows Phone Marketplace in the end of May. Was this so important and did we really need to tie this up with the update? No, not really, but many Angry Birds fans are waiting to see it on Windows Phone, so the sooner it happens, the more happy the users will be.
7.5. Developers will also get access to the contacts, calendar and the local SQL database of the smartphone and use the data in the applications they create. I guess this is not the most important new feature of the upcoming update (that’s why it didn’t get a full point), but it’s still important for the platform to become more popular and to attract more developers.
Surely there is more to expect from Redmond, so we are waiting. If you want to add your full or half point here, comment below.