The “Mango” update for Windows Phone has been previewed at the Microsoft press conference today and one of the key new features is a “Smarter Approach to Apps”.
Windows Phone began life seven months ago with no apps and today over 18,000 apps are readily-available on the portable platform. Now, rather than focusing on what the app can do as an independent feature, the House of M has addressed the full integration of applications on Windows phones, and how an app can work harmoniously as a functioning part of Windows Phone – which will soon extend to Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE handsets.
Andy Lees, Mobile Communications boss of Microsoft took the stage to present the new outlook on apps – which means that all useful apps will be at our fingertips when Microsoft delivers “App Connect”. This promises to bring deep integration of apps to the Windows Phone Hub and also to present our most used apps with position according to relevancy to the user. What you need, when and where you need it – beginning at the start menu and including your music, video and picture apps organised and easily accessible.
Microsoft delivers further convenience through “Improved Live Tiles”. Mango will keep up-to-date with real time information on our tiles – meaning those tiles will be able to carry more information without the need of applications being open. An example demonstrated at the press event was a new British Airways app which brought flight times and flight information as it was announced, to a live tile on the homescreen.
“Multi-tasking” finally drops onto Windows Phone through the Mango update. Switching between apps will be made easy – with unused applications running quietly in the background, maintaining battery life but ready to switch when needed.
The introduction of Bing brings localised services into the app realm and Microsoft’s Mango presentation today featured linking to the IMDB application to provide cinema locations and up to the minute film listings and times – this is a highly useful one for many of us at the Gadget Helpline!
Microsoft has launched Mango to developers today. However, Windows Phone users will have to wait until some point this autumn when the fruity update is promised to launch publically. Owners will receive a notification when Mango is ready for picking – then a superior fully-integrated app experience will be in the palm of our hand.
Check out the full run-down of points covered in today big reveal of Windows Phone’s Mango announcement HERE.
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