In part four of our Windows Phone Mango overview series we take an in-depth look at the new Outlook, Phone and Calendar updates for Mango users.
Microsoft hasn’t changed a great deal in the phone part of Windows Phone Mango. There had been rumors that the software giant was planning to introduce visual voicemail but this doesn’t appear to be alive just yet, although it’s likely carrier dependent. Microsoft has improved the call history functionality by adding in a list of recent SMS and Email threads into the history. There’s also a new search button that allows you to search for calls from specific people (previously available through the physical search button). Microsoft has tweaked the incoming call interface too. You no longer have to press a button to get call options, they are immediately available making it easier to put the phone on speaker mode (see demo video below). Overall there’s some minor additions to the most basic part of a smartphone.
Outlook has been overhauled in a number of ways. The mail client now features linked email inboxes, conversation view and enhanced exchange support. Linked Inbox combines multiple emails accounts and displays them together in a single Inbox. You can choose the accounts you want to link and name them in a unique way. Linked Inboxes can also be pinned to the start screen and include a dynamic live tile with the new messages counter. Multiple linked inboxes can be created and pinned. The feature will be useful for those who want to separate out their personal mail accounts and work mail accounts.
Email conversation view does what it says on the tin. You can tap to expand and quickly view a conversation, all from within the same screen. The view allows you to easily manage your Inbox, now you can select a whole conversation, instead of just individual emails, and delete or mark as read. A neat trick up Mango’s sleeve is also the ability to pin mail folders to the start screen. This is particularly useful for people who regularly file mails into folders and want quick access to them. Microsoft has also added a search function to Outlook that also allows exchange users to search the server side for old mails. Outlook users will also be able to read IRM protected emails, set out of office messages and protect their devices with an exchange alpha-numeric PIN.
Calendar has been greatly improved in Mango. Microsoft has introduced a “quick events” feature that allows users to create appointments faster by typing in the subject directly from within the day view. Exchange users can also sync and view multiple calendars and mark them with their favourite colour. Lync users will be able to join Lync meetings directly from their calendar with the new Lync Application available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft has also introduced a new to-do view in the calendar. The to-do list will sync tasks to Exchange and Windows Live, allowing users to set reminds for specific daily tasks. The final part to Mango’s calendar piece is the introduction of Facebook event support. Facebook users can now view their events and reply to wall messages and confirm their RSVP.
Stay tuned to WinRumors.com this week for further in-depth video overviews of all things Windows Phone Mango. See our previous Mango overviews: