Windows Phone “Mango” spotted in the wild, includes UI changes

By Tom Warren, on 30th Mar 11 11:33 pm with 17 Comments

Windows Phone "Mango" running on developer device

Microsoft’s next major Windows Phone update, codenamed “Mango”, has been spotted in the wild.

The brief appearance was spotted in a YouTube video on Wednesday. Pocketnow reports that the Dark Forces Team, who hacked WP7 onto the HTC HD2, appear to have an early copy of Mango. The video demonstrates a new port of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 NoDo update for the HTC HD2. Later in the video the camera pans to another device which includes a new search button on the classic application list in Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft has previously demonstrated Mango builds with the search button included. The search button will allow users to search for applications on their device as an alternative to the endless scrolling once more and more applications are installed.

Microsoft is currently hard at work on “Mango”, its next major release of Windows Phone. Microsoft has promised to ship “Mango” later in the year. “Mango”, the codename for what will likely be named Windows Phone 7.5, is currently in the early beta stages at Microsoft. The company revealed a number of new featuresin February that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year. Nokia is also reportedly waiting for the next release of Windows Phone before it unveils its first Windows Phone device.

Mango” currently contains multitasking, Internet Explorer 9 mobile and Twitter integration. Microsoft’s unveiling in Mobile World Congress ties up some of the unknowns with “Mango” but only scrapes the surface of what the release will contain. The emergence of a special developers day confirms that Microsoft plans to share a lot more information on future Windows Phone plans in May. WinRumors spoke to Achim Berg, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing, at Mobile World Congress and he confirmed that the forthcoming changes are part of a platform release. Berg confirmed that the company is currently working on when and how they will unveil more information about “Mango”. Microsoft will unveil further information about the Internet Explorer 9 mobile component at MIX11 in April but Berg says the company will also offer more tid bits after that. Berg hinted that this could be around the May time-frame and that Microsoft didn’t want to unveil too much too soon in case “competitors copied us”.

Microsoft is planning to mark Windows Phone 7′s first birthday with a platform release to upgrade functionality and re-brand the platform to a point release (think Windows Phone 7.5). Berg refused to confirm the final branding at Mobile World Congress, but did suggest that the changes are big enough to warrant a new release and point increment. Although Microsoft is still working on the release, codenamed “Mango”, the software giant is expected to brand it as Windows Phone 7.5 as an interim before the platform is aligned neatly into Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

  • Liam

    WP7 is really starting to shape up, I am seriously considering it as a replacement for my iPhone 4 when my contract is due for renewal

  • trashoner

    oh man, oh man, I can’t wait to get me some mango. I am starting to wonder if IE9 being released earlier than mango or if it’s just a rumor.

  • http://twitter.com/Zoomicon George Birbilis

    is it so hard to implement a HOME/END gesture for those long scrolling lists? (same goes for contacts, where they group all non-english contacts to the bottom of the list without grouping them by first letter)

    • Anonymous

      Why even use that list when there is speech input?

    • Anonymous

      speech can get non English contacts…

    • Anonymous

      Speech is great at home, in the car or in the office, but there are times when using speech is simply rude.

  • Izumo22

    Im kinda hoping ms would go with Windows Phone 7 SP1…

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

      I was hoping they would continue to simply use “Windows Phone 7″ until they have to begin cutting off older hardware from updates, as the minimum requirements no longer enable the first-gen devices to run newer versions (similar to Apple ending updates for the original iPhone and iPhone 3G). Thus, the new generation devices would begin using the “Windows Phone 8″ branding. Unfortunately, knowing how Microsoft marketing works, I imagine in another year or so we’ll end up with something like “Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series 2012 R2 Update Rollup 3 SP1.”

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

      I was hoping they would continue to simply use “Windows Phone 7″ until they have to begin cutting off older hardware from updates, as the minimum requirements no longer enable the first-gen devices to run newer versions (similar to Apple ending updates for the original iPhone and iPhone 3G). Thus, the new generation devices would begin using the “Windows Phone 8″ branding. Unfortunately, knowing how Microsoft marketing works, I imagine in another year or so we’ll end up with something like “Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series 2012 R2 Update Rollup 3 SP1.”

  • Anonymous

    I’m skeptical about this video. Why didn’t they show the Mango version instead of showing nothing new? And why do they zoom out at the end? It’s a bit obvious. Maybe they just wanted some publicity—it worked great.
    ;)

  • Jason

    Why would there be a software search button when there is a hardware search button on every WP7 device? I’d rather see them use the alphabetized jump letters like in contacts and the music hub with the ability to press the search hardware button while in the programs list to run a search.

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      Maybe because when you press the search button either from your pinned home screen and from your app list it sends you to Bing.

      They could maybe implement a double tap on the physical search button for searching for apps.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

      I have a feeling that software search button will work the same as the search in the People Hub. Both the hardware Search button and the software search button display a textbox for searching your contacts. Pressing the hardware Search button from that screen directs you to Bing.

  • Fmh

    It’s not much of a UI change. Only a basic feature.

  • Fmh

    It’s not much of a UI change. Only a basic feature.
    Could be an Update “before Mango , after NoDo”.
    Remember Mango is a major overhaul. And this is not. Like I said, its just a basic feature.

  • Keith Field

    Speech can also allow users who have low vision (like myself) to quickly and easily access information. Accessibility as a UI feature, is always downward/upward compatible.

  • http://twitter.com/slayr007 Nicholas Coulter

    For those saying this is something minor, It’s not, If they are adding this functionality, It’s either to search for apps, or to search globally, either way, it’s one more feature that people won’t be able to nick the windows phone armor with. Another thing, Considering that in WP7, IE can be updated sans a huge os update, I see IE9M coming sometime this summer. Also, I hope to hear more about what services we can access for “Multitasking.”