It looks like someone may have let the cat out of the bag for new consumer-oriented features in the “Mango” update for Windows Phone, at least according to Paul Thurrott on Windows Phone Secrets. This information was obtained through the latest Windows Phone Dev Podcast, which you can find here.
These two new Bing features are Bing Audio and Bing Vision, which the former would allow the identification of a song by holding it up to the speaker (or what have you) much like Shazam. The latter enables the scanning of barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs, and DVDs, along with text, products, and images of products according to Thurrott.
It is no surprise that Bing on Windows Phone will be getting updates, as currently Bing on other platforms, such as iOS and Android, have more features than Microsoft’s own mobile platform. For example, there is a new Bing iPad app which has Visual Search.
“Mango” will apparently also featured turn-by-turn navigation, another feature Windows Phone is lacking compared to other phone platforms, such as Google Maps on Android, and the iPhone, for that matter.
Right now Windows Phone only supports podcasts via the Zune software, meaning there is no way to update or subscribe to new podcasts without plugging your device into your computer, which can be a definite pain if you are out and about. That is appears to be coming in “Mango” as well.
You will be able to search for, subscribe to, modify series settings, update, and unsubscribe from podcasts right from the phone without needing to be hooked up, which will certainly come in handy for podcast lovers such as myself.
A couple of features revolving around SMS will also be added: reading messages aloud and dictation. Yes, Windows Phone will enable the speaking of received SMS simply by pressing the “Speak” icon which will appear at the bottom of the message. Not only will Windows Phone be able to read messages aloud, but people may also compose messages to Windows Phone as well by talking to the phone.
This feature will undoubtedly work well due to Windows Phone’s excellent voice recognition capabilities, well, unless you are trying to speak my last name to Windows Phone. But hey, I doubt most people can’t pronounce my last name, so I wouldn’t expect a phone to understand what I am saying!