Windows Phone 7 update fills in (some) missing features

The update's long list of features includes fast app switching, multitasking for third-party apps and IE9 support

By Jared Newman, PC World |  Mobile & Wireless, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7's big fall update is getting even bigger with two crucial features: turn-by-turn directions and speech-to-text messages.

The new features were revealed in the latest Windows Phone Dev Podcast. They'll go a long way toward helping Windows Phone 7 catch up with Android, which has offered extensive voice commands since last August and voice-guided GPS navigation since October 2009.

The podcast also described a Shazam-like song identification service called Bing Audio and another service called Bing Vision, which uses the phone's camera to identify text, bar codes and products -- kind like Google Goggles.

The so-called "Mango" update already has a long list of features that help make Windows Phone 7 whole. The new features includes fast app switching, multitasking for third-party apps, Internet Explorer 9 (with HTML 5 support), SkyDrive access, podcast downloads and Twitter integration. In April, Microsoft also detailed new Windows Phone 7 features for app developers. Search Extras, for instance, brings up app-specific data when the user runs a search on the phone, and live tile shortcuts will let users jump into deeper sections of an app directly from the home screen.

Windows Phone 7 arrived on the smartphone scene last October with a promising interface but too many missing features compared to Android phones and Apple's iPhone. One of the most glaring omissions, copy-and-paste, rolled out in March, but the software still has a long way to go before it can stand up to the competition.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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