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