Our conversation with Anthony Kinney, Microsoft’s mobility specialist in Boston, continues as he discusses his favorite features on the Windows Phone and the upcoming Mango update.
3. What’s one application or feature you can’t live without?
Without question, it’s the dedicated camera button. So, imagine you’re sitting at a coffee bar and none other than Charlie Sheen walks in. You scramble for your non-Windows Phone, enter your passcode, swipe through your endless sea of app icons until you find the camera app, and by that time good ol’ Charlie is gone! #FAIL.
Had you been on a Windows Phone, you would have quickly taken your phone out, tapped the camera hardware button, and instantly been able to snap the picture without fussing with codes or searching for apps. #Winning! While you’re at it, you can easily post that picture to any of the integrated services listed in the Pictures hub, such as Windows Live, Flickr, Facebook and tumblr.
4. What are you most looking forward to with the upcoming Mango update?
Mango consists of more than 500 features, and I’m really excited that the Mango updates will make it easier to connect and share, provide a smarter approach to applications, and deliver a Web that goes beyond the browser.
For example, business users will definitely be excited about the addition of our Microsoft Lync client. Gamers will enjoy a new XBOX hub that integrates friends who are online, messages and achievements.
For social networkers, there will be integrated services with Twitter and LinkedIn. The ME tile has been updated to allow check-ins, notifications across all social networks and a super cool new threaded messaging. Mango will allow you to seamlessly switch between chat services on the fly, so if you start a text message with someone who then gets home and pings you via Facebook Chat or Live Messenger, it all flows in a single thread.
Mango also gives busy professionals new voice and messaging capabilities so that they can focus on the road or whatever else they’re doing while still remaining connected. Increased functionality within Bing brings a new feature called “Local scout”, which will allow on-the-go people to see all restaurants that are within close vicinity. They can read reviews, view hours of operation, and even look at the menu to decide what they want to eat before they arrive.
5. If you had three wishes for smartphones, what would they be?
Whoa, that’s a good question.
1. My wallet! J I know we’re getting close with things like near field communication (NFC) and other advances, but I’m excited for the day I can bring my phone anywhere and it understands what I’m doing in a certain place and handles all my payments, rewards and expense tracking.
2. My universal device – e.g. my TV controller, gaming controller, keys to my car, light switch etc. I think you get my drift. Again, we have Bluetooth and other technologies, but the phone needs to understand these things on its own, without me having to “bolt on” to make things work.
3. I guess that’s it for now, I’m sure something will pop in my mind after this interview is over.
If you haven’t had a chance to try a Windows Phone, I encourage you to do so. We didn’t band-aid the old stuff and we didn’t just make an icon-based clone of iPhone - we really listened to consumers and business users to find out how we could improve experiences. There is always room to grow and I can tell you we are 100 percent committed to the platform and will continue to innovate. So, swing by your local Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile store and take a look. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.