Microsoft has detailed the upcoming navigation improvements planned for Windows Phone Mango.
The software giant is making a number of changes to Mango to improve the way users search and navigate through the operating system. One of the first changes you’ll notice on the Start Screen of Windows Phone Mango is the ability to search through existing and Marketplace applications. The search function will locate applications on the device or allow users to simply search the Marketplace and download the relevant app. Microsoft has also enhanced the main App List of applications to allow users to quickly navigate by the first letter of the application name.
“One possibility we explored was ordering apps by how recently or frequently they’re used,” said Rachel Jiang, program manager, Windows Phone Engineering. “While useful, this solution can prove disorienting and confusing, since app order is constantly changing.” Microsoft opted to keep the familiar App List but make it quicker for users to quickly jump through their apps, similar to the quick jump feature in the People Hub for contacts.
One of the biggest changes in Mango is the ability to full multitask applications. Microsoft has created a fast switching user interface that displays the five most recently used applications. The feature is accessible by holding the back button and allows users to quickly switch to different apps. “One design problem we pondered at length was how many cards to show,” said Jiang. “Five seemed like a good balance. Having only a small number of cards ensures that the task switcher is predictable.” Despite the limitation, Microsoft says that it will monitor reactions to the feature and reevaluate its design for future releases if required.