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CNET First Look
Windows Phone 7.5 MangoMicrosoft serves up a huge update to Windows Phone with its Mango release. CNET's Jessica Dolcourt takes you through some of the biggest and best new features.
-We've been waiting for Mango for a long time you and I and here it is all 500 improvements. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and I'm gonna show you every single line. No, I'm not, but we will like some of the most important changes to win those phones starting with the contacts. Microsoft just turned on contact group, which is great because then you will be able to easily launch a group text as a mass or e-mail to all the members of a group. In addition to that, any contact or group that you pin to the start screen as a live tile is much more useful than before because the tile because the tile will now tell you if you've missed a call or missed a message. As for your phone profile, click it and you can post a message to a social network. You can check in and you cite your chat status. Speaking of chatting Mango gets a big overhaul in this department as well. E-mail message and text messages are now traded, which really cleans things up. In addition, the messaging app keeps tabs on chats that either as a text or through chart plan like Facebook chat for windows live messenger and that means that you can keep a conversation going if somebody goes off line because you will be bounced around between chat and text. For e-mail, you can now link your inboxes to form one giant inbox, although I personally think that it makes my life too cluttered, so I don't like that. Are you ready for apps now because Microsoft said something new here called app connect, which is just the fancy term. That means that you will be able to open some apps from other places on the phone like the music and video hub not just the market place or your start screen. If search for something Bing, you may also see a suggestion to download a new app that's relevant to you search term or you might able to open an app that you've already installed. That's from Bing. All you need is the Apps developer to make that available on there and you'll be able to get going. Mango also has task switching now and some cool new tools in Bing. My favorites are built in barcode scanner and the built in music ID tool. There's also this cool tool in Zune called Smart DJ that compiles a playlist based on a song or an artist. That's nothing new. You've seen it all before, but it's great to see this built into this phone, and the fact is not enough. Here's a little bit more to live for it too. You can now compose text or IM with you voice. It's not always very accurate, so it helps to enunciate. You can also adjust the phone settings one your phone to read the incoming messages out loud, which could be handy while you're driving. Now, when it comes to productivity, the of the office hub can now share and support your documents through the SkyDrive and office 365, both of which are cloud services. Are you guys still with me? Good, because there are 2 more tidbits for you. First, mango will now support a front-facing camera for certain phones for right hardware, but not this one and Mango [unk] valve will also support mobile hot spotting but only if the carrier turns that on. As of today, there aren't any announcements from that print. So there you have it and you can already see that Mango is a huge update to windows phone. It's a good update too. There are still some snags here and there and the platform may not be ready to conquer the smartphone world, but it is much closer than it was before. I've got a lot more to say on the topic in full review of Windows Phone 7.5. So, check it out on CNET.com. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and will catch you next time.