by Justin Rubio, November 2, 2011
Today marks the official release of the HTC Radar 4G, the first new Windows Phone 7.5-powered device, which boasts over 500 new features. Obviously we can't cover everything that Mango is bringing to the table, but here are seven major improvements or additions that you could look forward to with new and future devices.
1) People Hub and Contact Groups:
No longer do you have to switch in and out of apps to keep track of friends across multiple social networking services. Whether it be Facebook updates or Tweets, the People Hub displays everything you need to know about the people in your life. With Contact Groups, pulling up information for everything that the individuals are linked to are all kept tidy in one location.
2) Threaded Messaging:
Not confined to just text messages or e-mails, Mango allows users to communicate with their contacts in a single thread across multiple services. When sending a message to someone, Mango will determine if the person is available on Facebook chat or Windows Live Messenger, and will give you the option of where to deliver the information to. If they aren't online, you can always just text them. Regardless of what method of communication you choose, it'll all be grouped together for easy management.
3) Internet Explorer 9:
While not everyone's favorite desktop browser, the inclusion of Internet Explorer 9 provides a considerable update to the mobile browser originally provided by Windows Phone 7. Included with IE9 will be HTML5 support, as well as hardware acceleration to keep those work-distractions loading at a steady pace.
4) Improved Xbox Live Integration:
Getting Achievements are fun, but getting them on the go while playing games like Plants vs. Zombies or Kinectimals brings the virtual quest for dominance to a whole new level. Avatars, Xbox Live messaging, and the ability to compare games with friends, all come as part of the improved Games Hub.
5) Enhanced Live Tiles:
Live tiles are the bread and butter of the Windows Phone platform and have received considerable improvements with the implementation of Mango. More apps, and their respective information, can be viewed without having to delve into a single application.
Always a hot topic with mobile devices, Mango's multitasking capabilities are here to make flipping between apps quick and easy using a webOS card-style system. When switching between services, apps are suspended until you back track to them, a method used by just about every other mobile OS. Certain apps, like music players, have the ability to continue running in the background.
7) Local Scout:
Simply put, Local Scout is a Yelp-like service built into Windows Phone Mango. Finding spots to eat, store locations, reviews and directions are all integrated into the operating system, creating a seamless experience with the rest of Microsoft's Metro UI.
The HTC Radar 4G:
Released today, the HTC Radar 4G is the first device to be shipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Available from T-Mobile for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract, the device sports a 3.8-inch 480x800 display, a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of on-board storage, a 5MP camera with 720p video recording capabilities, and 4G HSPA+ connectivity.