Windows Phone Mango overview: People and Messaging hub [video]

By Tom Warren, on 22nd Jun 11 7:31 pm with 20 Comments

In part three of our Windows Phone Mango overview series we take an in-depth look at the new People and Messaging hub updates for Mango users.

People Hub

Microsoft is aiming to make the People hub an address book +1 service in Windows Phone Mango. The software giant kicks off by introducing a powerful new groups feature straight into the people hub. Groups brings together all those people that are important in your life. You can create a special hub with your family, work colleagues, friends or just about anyone. The group acts like its very own people hub, giving you access to the following:

  • “profile” – lets you see missed calls and other notifications, or you can initiate a group email, SMS, or IM
  • “what‘s new” – lets you view social networking updates from everyone in the group
  • “pictures” – lets you view people-centric tagged photos and shared albums
  • “Pin to Start and create a Group Tile” – The Group Tile on the Start screen includes dynamic information: status updates, photo
  • updates, check-ins, missed calls, new SMS, email, IM, or voicemail

Microsoft has also chosen to integrate Twitter and LinkedIn into the People Hub. It’s not clear exactly how both of these services will be integrated into the People Hub at this time. The backend services required for both features are not live but Microsoft promises they will be enabled and working when Mango launches later this year. Twitter users will be able to tweet, re-tweet, comment, reply with @mention, share web pages, share photos and click on @mentions and #hashtags to view profiles or other Twitter posts related to a topic.

Messaging Hub

The messaging hub is the central point for most communications on Windows Phone. Microsoft has upgraded messaging in a truly unique and simple way. No fiddling between third party applications, wasting battery life and precious memory resources. Mango handles it. Windows Phone users simply add their Facebook and Windows Live credentials to the device and the new thread functionality comes alive. Windows Phone Mango users will be able to send & receive SMS, MMS or IMs with the new unified messaging client. If you send a text message and then decide to speak to the same person on Live Messenger then the process is as simple as switching service from within the chat interface. Messages are displayed inline regardless of what services is used to send and receive them. The feature is stunning and appears to be the only example of such tight native integration of services available on any phone today. If you’re a Windows Live Messenger user then you’ll be pleased to know you can easily chat to friends and initiate multiple group conversations from within the messaging hub. The only downside to the integration is that if you go in and out of signal then you’ll constantly sign in and out of the service, potentially irritating your contacts. This is a first step at the integration so I’d assume that Microsoft will be scouting for feedback and building on the feature in future updates.

New “Me” Tile

Microsoft has updated its me Windows Phone tile to include the ability to check-in, set IM status and check Windows Live and Facebook notifications. Facebook users will be pleased they can now see their notifications natively on the device. The Me Tile has also been updated on the Start screen to include more dynamic information: status updates,photo updates, check-ins, missed calls, new SMS, email, IM, or voicemail.

Stay tuned to this week for further in-depth video overviews of all things Windows Phone Mango. See our previous Mango overviews:

  1. Windows Phone Mango ‘secret’ features demo
  2. Windows Phone Mango overview: Asian language input
  • Brett Lemoine

    What’s the globe icon in the bottom right corner for when you press a letter in the People hub?

    • Tom W

      Hmm good question, it’s not there in NoDo and I can’t press it in Mango it’s just greyed out.

    • Anonymous

      I think it might be for people who’s names are in Kanji or other eastern alphabets.

    • Anonymous

      maybe if you have like korean friends. like it would display all names starting with a non-roman letter…considering the additional language support…

    • WixosTrix

      I’m pretty sure it’s to include all your contact globally.  For example, Facebook friends who aren’t in your phone contacts.  You can still write on their wall or text, call, or email if the information is available on their FB account.  As well as contacts that you have in your Gmail contacts but have the “My Contacts” lable removed.  I like that feature because I can keep contacts I might need, but don’t want in People Hub by default.

    • Anonymous

      It might be a location service.  I heard that some kind of location service is in the mango release where you can tell people where you are.  

  • MisterTwister

    Wow, mango looks amazing. I’m so glad I was an early adopter!

  • Ef Jay

    Like the way you just used multitasking to switch easily back to the people hub. Shows how easy it is.

  • Adam Robinson

    How do you close apps in the multi-tasking menu? Is it some kind of tap and hold thing or is that even implemented? Also, is there a way to close all apps that are open at one time?

    • A Fan

      You tap on the app card to bring it to foreground and then press the back button to quit the app.  Don’t know about closing all apps at once.

    • Adam Robinson


  • CG

    The Me tile hasn’t been slightly improved.. it’s been massively improved! Right now it’s pretty much useless -to the degree that I don’t even have it pinned.. I currently have the FB for WP7 app installed solely for the purpose of seeing notifications, which is very annoying (as it’s laggy)! I’m thrilled to be able to get rid of that app.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a wow!

  • Anonymous

    are still some live tiles not working?

  • Lex

    Would be really cool if the shortcut icon at the bottom for changing your online status, changed the colour of the ‘person’ in the circle to correspond, eg. green – online, yellow – away, red – busy, and white – offline!

    (@ about 3:10 in the video)

  • Anonymous

    Curious if Lync is going to be integrated…
    *confirmed – Lync/OCS integration is in there like swim wear*

  • Anonymous

    Just got a Trophy two weeks ago and have been a Google Voice user for over a year.  I passed on a $20 unlimited text plan and am using GoVoice to do free text messages (take THAT Verizon). 

    I really hope that with Mango there is SOME way to integrate 3rd party apps into this messaging hub and also route all outgoing calls made from the People hub through a google voice app.  I feel like I’m missing out on some cool features if not.  : (

  • Translatethis27

    3D and dual screens???

  • سعودي ويندوز فون 7

    Find it annoying to add the search button on each and every task bar, the physical search button is more than enough !!

  • ThatGuy

    So psyched about Mango.  Been a WP7 user since launch and have been enjoying it immensely.  The new messaging hub looks like it could be a whole lot of fun to play around with. I’ve been running a blog about WP7 (click my name for link) and have started doing a post a day about new features.  If anyone’s interested please check it out, its nothing fancy though.