Coming to WP7: Turn by Turn directions, Voice to text, new Bing features

We're still a long way away from Mango's release -- rumored to be in September of this year -- but some new Windows Phone features have been uncovered that should get early adopters excited about the coming overhaul of the platform.

During the official Windows Phone podcast, the team announced new features titled Bing Audio, Bing Vision, turn-by-turn navigation and SMS dictation. WPCentral reports that the features will bring the following to Windows Phone:

  • Bing Audio: Think Shazam, but built into Bing and we bet of course Zune Marketplace
  • Bing Vision: A full blown image scanner using your camera, it can detect, identify and search using barcodes, Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, CD’s, DVDs, Books, and text using OCR (see here for history)
  • Turn-by-turn navigation: “voice guidance during driving directions” (we heard about this awhile ago)
  • SMS Dictation: Using Microsoft's TellMe service, you can now use voice-to-text for SMS messages by tapping a microphone near the bottom

It was already rumored that turn-by-turn is coming to Windows Phone, but it's nice to see it confirmed for the near future. Bear in mind that these features have only just been announced, and that the Mango developer tools are due to land later this month. There are many more features to be announced over the coming months (we're expecting some sort of unified messaging inbox), so stay tuned for more as we hear it.

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42 Comments

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Gmail handling isn't sufficient in WP7: there should be an option to archive a message with touch of a button from within the WP7 e-mail client for a complete experience. Microsoft knows how Gmail works, don't they?

I would really like one of these phones so I can test it and recommend it to my friends and family if it's worth something....

I'm still getting used to my WP7 Trophy I bought last week. I'm loving it. So different to the norm, it's a lot of fun.

This looks good!

Nashy said,
I'm still getting used to my WP7 Trophy I bought last week. I'm loving it. So different to the norm, it's a lot of fun.

This looks good!

+1
exactly

day2die said,
Owen, you forget to mention native podcast support.

No he didn't. This is all confirmation of new stuff.

Native podcast support was already a definite confirmed item quite a while ago.

Wow they shipped without a lot of features it should have shipped with. Good to see there catching up but they need something more than just doing catch up to win this mobile war.

Owatonna said,
Wow they shipped without a lot of features it should have shipped with. Good to see there catching up but they need something more than just doing catch up to win this mobile war.

Yea because they launched it in an unfinished state. Not half-baked but they had to decide what was most important first, just to get some devices in the market and grab a little share.

Owatonna said,
Wow they shipped without a lot of features it should have shipped with. Good to see there catching up but they need something more than just doing catch up to win this mobile war.

Actually the SMS dictation feature will put MS ahead of the competition, as no other phone really has that feature. Also other things like live tiles that flip over for notifications is a feature that will put MS ahead. I just got a Samsung Focus three days ago, and let me say that the voice recognition on it is genious. It can recognize me or anyone anytime, even when I purposely mumble to try to throw off the device. By enabling this really accurate service for text messaging, they are really thinking about the user. Also IE9 will put MS ahead. Did anyone see that MIX11 keynote when it was put up against Android and iPhone? It really showed off the potential for Windows Phone, while also embarrassing the competition.

PlogCF said,

Actually the SMS dictation feature will put MS ahead of the competition, as no other phone really has that feature.

When I was using a MyTouch 3G (Android) there was a dedicated speech button on the keyboard just about all the time, including texts, so this will not be something that was on WP7 first.

PlogCF said,

Also IE9 will put MS ahead. Did anyone see that MIX11 keynote when it was put up against Android and iPhone? It really showed off the potential for Windows Phone, while also embarrassing the competition.

Unfortunately, neither Apple nor Google are just sitting around. While they don't compare to what Microsoft is showing off today (in the past) this stuff isn't coming out until Fall which gives the competition plenty of time to implement similar services, or improve on what they already have. WP7 has some great stuff but the competition is coming full assult. We haven't seen an example for cloud music playing. It has Zune Pass for streaming but people want to be able to play their music even if it's not available in the marketplace. Microsoft already has the foundation (software, browser streaming, device streaming), they just need to pull it together with SkyDrive. Also, there is a desperate need for a Zune software remote that will allow you to explore you collection on you PC and even initiate wireless syncing to add specific content without wiring up.

wixostrix said,
We haven't seen an example for cloud music playing. It has Zune Pass for streaming but people want to be able to play their music even if it's not available in the marketplace.

well you might not seen, but I know at least 2 apps that can play music from the internet. it's just not really reliable, because you can loose the signal while on the go.

What about tethering and support for syncing multiple calendars from exchange (not just the primary one)?

Those are the two features I need before I can move my sim from my 3GS to my Mozart.

chAos972 said,
What about tethering and support for syncing multiple calendars from exchange (not just the primary one)?

Those are the two features I need before I can move my sim from my 3GS to my Mozart.


We are just scratching the surface. Microsoft only announced developer features at MIX 11 so we have no idea what other features will be in the update.

day2die said,

We are just scratching the surface. Microsoft only announced developer features at MIX 11 so we have no idea what other features will be in the update.

Exactly, MS isn't telling us what's all in at this point because they're playing it safe. They learned from the Vista mess and don't talk up things before their done. That's why at MiX they kept to bits that are in and working right now. We'll keep hearing about new things as time goes by.

Fred 69 said,

If only iGo 8 hadn't been discontinued in favour of iGo Primo

The Israelis get iGO Primo for iPhone for free today evening in celebration of 63rd independence day.

Looking good. I bought my Lg optimus 7 and i just hate the hardware. Probobly going to upgrade to a mango installed Nokia Wp7

auziez said,
Looking good. I bought my Lg optimus 7 and i just hate the hardware. Probobly going to upgrade to a mango installed Nokia Wp7
Why don't you like the LG Optimus 7? I have one and of all the WP7 devices I tried before buying one, it ended up on top of my list in terms of design and build quality.

auziez said,
Looking good. I bought my Lg optimus 7 and i just hate the hardware. Probobly going to upgrade to a mango installed Nokia Wp7

I like my Optimus 7 as well, more storage out of the box at 16GB and it feels solid in my hand. The only downside is that I would've liked a 4" screen but the 3.8" isn't too small so it's fine.

To get a Trophy (To replace Droid X) when it comes out or get a used Zune HD and wait for Mango devices... Im thinking waiting will be the best option.

BoyBoppins said,
To get a Trophy (To replace Droid X) when it comes out or get a used Zune HD and wait for Mango devices... Im thinking waiting will be the best option.

I don't think Mango devices will be that different.

Owen W said,

I don't think Mango devices will be that different.

But they will have front facing cams and gyroscopes, at least some of them will.

Owen W said,

I don't think Mango devices will be that different.

Really? Nothing much better than the Trophy? The most mediocre phone to be released this year.

Getting better! Now they need to cut the carriers out of the loop and not allow them to hold up OS updates.
Also, please just add full microSD card support. And don't make it the way it works currently, make it removable. Music, photos, and videos do not need fancy high speed flash, only software does. Just install apps to internal storage and allow external storage for music, photos, and videos.

mrp04 said,
Getting better! Now they need to cut the carriers out of the loop and not allow them to hold up OS updates.
Also, please just add full microSD card support. And don't make it the way it works currently, make it removable. Music, photos, and videos do not need fancy high speed flash, only software does. Just install apps to internal storage and allow external storage for music, photos, and videos.

Nah, I think it works right the way it is now. It does need the high speed flash for the photos and video, to consistently save them quickly.

Yes Mango does seem to look more impressive as we etch closer but given the history of updates thus far one wonders if MS will be able to deliver all this, this year. My Omnia would love you long time if they did but im just not getting too excited about Mango just yet, although tbh the ability to access network apis so we can have some RDP and VPN apps is probably where my excitement would be.

Osiris said,
Yes Mango does seem to look more impressive as we etch closer but given the history of updates thus far one wonders if MS will be able to deliver all this, this year. My Omnia would love you long time if they did but im just not getting too excited about Mango just yet, although tbh the ability to access network apis so we can have some RDP and VPN apps is probably where my excitement would be.

Yes, Sockets support is coming in Mango so RDP will be possible. The update will be released in September, 2011.

Owen W said,

Yes, Sockets support is coming in Mango so RDP will be possible. The update will be released in September, 2011.

Yes and the copy and paste update was meant to come last year, then in january, then didnt start rolling out till March, then thanks to carriers being part of the process even longer. I hope they do get it out in Sept. but I wont get too excited until then.

Osiris said,

Yes and the copy and paste update was meant to come last year, then in january, then didnt start rolling out till March, then thanks to carriers being part of the process even longer. I hope they do get it out in Sept. but I wont get too excited until then.

Microsoft said that it was coming out out in March.

Osiris said,

Yes and the copy and paste update was meant to come last year, then in january, then didnt start rolling out till March, then thanks to carriers being part of the process even longer. I hope they do get it out in Sept. but I wont get too excited until then.

thats because you take "rumors" as if they were real.... they NEVER said a date until thy said "early march" but thanks to samsung and their issues, they delayed it to late march and then thanks to carriers it got till april.
sometimes people really like making stuff up....

Chsoriano said,
Wow, I can't wait for these features... looks like it's going to be a feature-packed update

+1 hurrrayyy for features

How about some damn proper alarm clocks and notification volume management... BAH. Love the phone, hate the lack.

Brian said,
How about some damn proper alarm clocks and notification volume management... BAH. Love the phone, hate the lack.

Whats wrong with the alarm clocks?

Owen W said,

Whats wrong with the alarm clocks?

They're not loud enough. You can't set independent notifications, so you're stuck with hearing all of your texts if you want your alarms on.

Brody McKee said,
It would be nice if alarms could sound when the phone is in silent (as an option that's OFF by default).

Clock alarms DO sound even if the phone is set to silent. I confirmed this for myself early last week. It's fantastic to not have to wake up to anything but the alarm (phone call, text message sound, etc).

r1zzah said,

Clock alarms DO sound even if the phone is set to silent. I confirmed this for myself early last week. It's fantastic to not have to wake up to anything but the alarm (phone call, text message sound, etc).

Maybe on your phone. Clock alarms DO NOT sound even if the phone is set to silent. I can confirm this by almost sleeping through a final.

greenwizard88 said,

Maybe on your phone. Clock alarms DO NOT sound even if the phone is set to silent. I can confirm this by almost sleeping through a final.

The OS is no different on your phone than on my Focus, so that shouldn't be the case. I've used this feature multiple times since last week, and it works great. Best way to test it is anytime, other than when it's actually important .

greenwizard88 said,

Maybe on your phone. Clock alarms DO NOT sound even if the phone is set to silent. I can confirm this by almost sleeping through a final.

I don't know what is wrong with your Windows Phone, but I can also confirm, my Samsung Focus does sound an alarm while on vibrate. What it doesn't do is blast an alarm on zero volume regardless if it is on ring or vibrate. It will vibrate, and the volume will get louder, but it won't come near a loud enough volume for some people to wake up to.

If you turn on vibrate by turning the volume all the way down until it reaches zero and enables vibrate automatically, it will never reach a loud enough volume, but yes, these alarms do go off regardless what stage they are in...