Windows Phone Translator receives major update: Real-time augmented reality and voice translation

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Translator application has just received a MAJOR update today with the introduction of the following new features:

- Point, Scan and Translate: This is a beefed up augmented reality version of the Bing vision translate feature already found in Windows Phone 7.5. Users can now use the device’s camera to translate text in real-time on the go. Works fairly good from what I have seen so far.

- Offline Translation: Users can download languages packs to use the app in offline mode.

- Type and Translate: Instant translation using keyboard input

- Speak and translate: Speak in any of the supported languages and the device will then speak back what you just said in the desired language.

There are also several other UI changes and tweaks (the ability to pin the aforementioned methods of translation directly on the start screen for speedy access). All in all this is a really amazing update so make sure to get it right now from here and check out the announcement video after the break:

Continue reading Windows Phone Translator receives major update: Real-time augmented reality and voice translation →

Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March

In case you missed this little piece of news from late last week, the Bing team has announced that Bing Vision in Windows Phone 7 Mango is now available outside of the US (this has been the case since early February in some European countries like France) and also announced a new feature called Image Matching for Newspapers:

Enabling people to quickly find the digital version of a print magazine or newspaper article, Bing Image Matching for Newspapers allows users to take a photo of an article using their Windows Phone camera and link directly to a digital version of the article online.

Offering global access, consumers will have access to content from over 3,000 publications worldwide.

Image matching fro Newspaper ill only launch in March so don’t go around trying to scan every newspaper in sight yet (also note that Bing vision won’t be available everywhere either so just set your search region to US to try it out). Now where’s my local traffic data in Bing Maps please?

Continue reading Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March →

Turn By Turn voice guided navigation won’t require taping in Windows Phone Mango ?

As you probably already know by now Turn-By-turn voice guided navigation in the current Mango Beta 2 build is crippled by a silly “tap-to read directions aloud” feature. It was speculated a few days ago, based on the Bing Maps API Terms Of Use (last updated in April 2011), that this was probably because of some kind of licensing restriction with the maps provided.

Restrictions on your use: We do have some restrictions on your use of the service. You may not:

present or alert an end user to individual maneuvers of a route in any way that is synchronized with the end-user’s sensor-based position along the route, (e.g. “real-time” navigation);

I didn’t put much thought into this until I finally experienced this feature today which made me realize how stupid / dangerous it currently is and decided to take a closer look at what’s really going on here.

Continue reading Turn By Turn voice guided navigation won’t require taping in Windows Phone Mango ? →

Windows Phone 7 Mango voice activated search and other services to expand outside of the US and UK

Joe Belfiore confirmed the obvious yesterday on Twitter when asked about the expansion of some of the US/ UK only services in Windows Phone 7 Mango. As I showed you a little while ago, services like Local Scout can already work in many countries as long as search language is set to US but Microsoft will undoubtedly make it official in the months to come. Voice activated search will also finally be available in languages other than English now that it is supported on the Xbox 360 (WP7 uses the same Tellme cloud service so the launch new languages support on WP7 is tide to the Xbox). This was first rumored to be available this spring but things seem to have taken longer than planned.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango voice activated search and other services to expand outside of the US and UK →

Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing Local Scout can work outside of the US and UK

There’s still some confusion surrounding some of the newly announced Windows Phone 7 Mango features, especially the Bing related ones like Local Scout, Bing Vision and the Quick Cards. As stated on Microsoft’s official Windows Phone website the Bing Local Scout “around me” feature is supposedly only supported in the US and the UK similar to the current Local search results in Windows Phone 7 pre-Mango. Interestingly Microsoft demonstrated this functionality alongside Bing Vision in nearly all of the VIP Mango events worldwide so it was safe to assume that it would be available to all consumers this fall.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing Local Scout can work outside of the US and UK →

Windows Phone 7 Mango: Bing Vision OCR Text translation and Outlook tasks shown on video

Here’s a neat little feature that I didn’t have the chance to check out during my Mango hands-on but that Microsoft Germany demoed during their event: Bing Vision Text Translation using optical character recognition (OCR). This feature is similar to the one found in the Android Google Docs application that was released not long ago but this time it is natively integrated into the OS. Hit the break to check it out (it starts at 1:24):

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango: Bing Vision OCR Text translation and Outlook tasks shown on video →

List of all of the new Windows Phone 7 Mango features

I’ve just compiled a relatively long list of all the most important new features that are going to be introduced with Windows Phone 7 Mango later this fall. Some features are still probably missing either because they haven’t been announced yet or because I forgot about them so feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll update this list. You will notice that there’s obviously less that 500 features which is the official PR claim. Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t saying what is exactly counted as new feature so I’m going to guess that it’s mix between some of the new APIs and end-user functionalities. Hit the break to check the most important features:

Continue reading List of all of the new Windows Phone 7 Mango features →

Windows Phone 7 Mango Preview

Can’t get enough of Windows Phone 7 Mango ? I just came back from the Paris unveiling event with quite a bit of info regarding the first major update of Microsoft’s mobile OS. First let me start by pointing out to the previous Mango post I did about the new APIs and Developer related features here and here. Today’s preview will mainly focus on the consumer experience and some other bits of info that you may have not heard of before.

There’s obviously not much to say that already hasn’t been said earlier and even shown in official videos. The first question on everybody’s mind is most probably: When is Mango going to be released? Well the official answer is this Autumn but from what I’ve been told there won’t be a official launch day similar to what was done last year with Windows Phone 7. Instead, OEMs will start launching their devices when they are ready. This essentially means that once Mango is RTM and certified by carriers, manufacturers will integrate the gold code into their upcoming phones and start shipping them once they are ready. There will be a steady release of Mango handsets throughout the fall season and holidays.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango Preview →

All Windows Phone 7 Mango features demoed on video

Here are all all the new major features introduced in Mango demonstrated in video. Hit the break to watch the new home screen, Groups, Multi-tasking, Local Scout, IE9 Mobile and much more:

Update: Check out my hands-on preview of Mango here.

Continue reading All Windows Phone 7 Mango features demoed on video →

Why Windows Phone 7 Mango really matters

Announced during MWC11 back in February, Mango is Windows Phone 7’s first major update that will finally give the platform a feature parity with its main competitors; Android and iOS. Microsoft has already publicly disclosed most of the new features and improvements that will come with this new OS release and those who haven’t been officially unveiled are for the most part already known. Looking at all these new enhancements and additions coming-out later this year makes it perfectly clear that Microsoft isn’t standing still and instead perfectly aware that to compete in the rapidly changing & growing mobile market it has to act quickly.

Continue reading Why Windows Phone 7 Mango really matters →

Windows Live Messenger to be integrated into Windows Phone 7 Mango

As it’s usually always the case during a Beta testing, many Microsoft employees already have Windows Phone 7 Mango running on their devices. What this also means is that leaks are inevitable. We are learning today from a Chinese guy Xiao Bian who apparently has it running on a Samsung Focus, that Mango will natively feature Windows Live Messenger integration in the People Hub, something that many users have been waiting for. Microsoft unofficially confirmed to me that this was coming when I asked them about it in Barcelona during MWC11 and claimed that it was in V1.0 because it was a priority feature. Another interesting bit is the inclusion of hard-writing recognition for east-Asian characters (would be a bit painful without a Stylus but that’s better than nothing I guess).

Continue reading Windows Live Messenger to be integrated into Windows Phone 7 Mango →

Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing Vision, Audio and Turn by turn navigation features officially confirmed

The Windows Phone Dev podcast has confirmed what we saw a little while ago: Bing Vision and Bing Audio search will indeed be part of the upcoming Mango update. Bing Vision,which is already available in the Bing iOS application will let users scan bar-codes, QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, DVD, Movies covers/posters, book covers etc and match them with corresponding information through Bing (essentially the same as Google goggles) . The yet unreleased / unseen Bing Audio feature will allow you to search and discover Music similarly to what you can do with Shazam (supported in US, UK , France, Italy, Germany and Spain).


Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing Vision, Audio and Turn by turn navigation features officially confirmed →

Windows Phone 7 Mango to feature Bing Vision and Music search similar to Shazam

As you may have noticed, Microsoft didn’t announce or showcase any new Bing search or Bing Maps features coming to Mango during MIX11 earlier this month. This didn’t stop us from noticing that image results were now obviously included. Fortunately for us 2 other features appear in a demo video showcasing the new search extras results (see the icons on app bar): Bing Vision which is already available on the Bing iPhone application and what looks like music search which I’m guessing is similar to Shazam.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango to feature Bing Vision and Music search similar to Shazam →