Windows Phone's "Mango" update will offer Bing Audio, augmented reality features, the ability to dictate texts, and audio navigation, according to a new podcast.
Windows Phone's upcoming "Mango" update will add some previously unannounced
features, according to an online report.
Phone Dev Podcast
interviewed Brandon Watson, director of developer
experience for Windows Phone, as part of a podcast posted May 8. In the course
of the show, it was revealed that the Mango update (also known as Windows Phone
version 7.5) will include Bing Audio, which allows a smartphone to identify any
songs playing in the vicinity, and Bing Vision, an augmented-reality feature
that will let a smartphone scan barcodes, QR Codes and the like.
Windows Phone 7.5 will also include a turn-by-turn
navigation feature, complete with voice guidance, and the ability to dictate
Mango will arrive on the Windows Phone platform sometime in
the latter half of 2011, although an exact release date remains unclear. As
previously announced, it will deliver Windows Phone's version of multitasking,
allowing smartphones to download new applications and content in the
background, and stream music via one application while working in another. It
will also feature the faster Internet Explorer 9.
Even as Microsoft works on producing Mango, it is also
prepping developers for the release of updated Windows Phone Developer Tools,
which will (at least in theory) allow for the creation of more integrated and
high-performance applications. Platform features include application
multitasking for background processing, audio and file transfer, and fast
application processing, in addition to the ability to leverage augmented reality
Microsoft could have a long road ahead as it pushes for
greater Windows Phone adoption among consumers. New data from The Nielsen
Company suggests that 6 percent of consumers indicated they wanted a Windows
Mobile/Windows Phone 7 smartphone as their next device, compared with 31
percent for Android, 30 percent for Apple's iOS and 11 percent for Research In Motion's BlackBerry.
That's paired with numbers from other research firms
suggesting Windows Phone, at least in its first half-year of release, retains a
small share of the overall smartphone market: in a May 6 note, for example,
comScore suggested that Microsoft held 7.5 percent of the U.S. smartphone
market in March 2011, a dip from 8.4 percent in December 2010. That placed the
company fourth behind Google, RIM and Apple.
Microsoft is also trying to desperately leave behind the
increasingly antiquated (and fragmented) Windows Mobile, which may be exerting
a drag on the company's overall smartphone market
numbers. Microsoft has stayed largely silent on smartphone shipment numbers,
save for a January announcement that some 2 million Windows Phone units had
shipped from manufacturers to retailers.
Microsoft's alliance with Nokia, which will see Windows
Phone ported onto the latter's hardware, also has the potential to radically
alter the smartphone landscape. However, those devices most likely won't make
an appearance before 2012.