WP7 Mango now less crippled down under

As Microsoft products make the trip across the Pacific, it’s not unusual for features to get lost at sea. After Windows Phone Mango Beta 2 ROM bits were released to the wild yesterday, a quick headcount reveals a surprising number of features that survived the journey – including both RTM and new Mango features.

Here’s what works in the current Mango build when the system region is set to English (United Kingdom) and search region is set to English (Australia) like the default without the region hack.

  • Improved: Speech recognition now supports the full function set (calling, texting, Bing search)
  • Improved: Bing Maps now shows local search listings (e.g. Bunnings) with basic information (address search still tend to default to UK, add state or “Australia” to search to lock to Australia)
  • New: Bing Local Scout works
  • New: Bing Maps directions works with tap-by-tap voice guidance including street names (with British pronunciations)
  • New: Bing Local search works (pivot in Bing)
  • New: Bing Vision works (with conditions, below)
  • New: Speech-to-text and text-to-speech text messaging works

Of course there’s still a few features which fell overboard.

  • Crippled: Bing Vision does not scan books, CDs or DVDs (only text, QR codes and Microsoft Tag)
  • Crippled: Bing Maps local listings does not show reviews
  • Missing: Bing Music Search
  • Missing: Bing Quickcards (go to IMDB app)

Together with the possibility that the Zune collection and Zune Pass will finally see the light of day outside of the US, Mango is finally going to set things straight for Australians and many other countries around the world. There’s still room for improvement but the wins easily outweigh the loss.

P.S. The developer Mango beta NDA agreement has since been corrected to allow for public disclosure and screenshots.

24 insightful thoughts

  1. From post above it’s not entirely clear what the options should be set to. Can you please tell what you have in your mango ROM for each of the options below under settings?

    Region Format –
    System Locale –
    Browser & Search Language

    Thanks

    1. The default is
      Region – English (United Kingdom)
      System locale – English (Australia)
      Browser & Search Language – English (Australia)

  2. Long, I’ve also noticed the Mango “special” Zune has more options than my “regular” Aussie Zune.

    *COUGH* Podcasts

  3. I won’t believe MS will release Zune functionality to Australians till I see a confirmed release date from them. They’ve been dragging the coming soon banner too long and until they release it they’ll play second fiddle to iPhone.

  4. Tethering?

    I could tether on my HTC TYTN II with WM6.1, and HTC HD2 with WM6.5 (including Wifi router) but nada on my Mozart WP7.

    WP7 is selling well in Oz with good data plans and yet no tethering I dont get it?
    Better be available before Windows 8 tablet comes out!

  5. I guess the confidentially agreement required to get access to the Mango Beta 2 update doesn’t mean a lot to many developers.

      1. Region Format is English (Australia) and Browser & Search language is set to English (United States).

      2. Right. If you set it to English (Australia) like the default is, you’d find the local listings will dissappear in NoDo.

  6. Hi Long,

    Have you tested Podcasts in the Marketplace?

    I can’t believe we can’t browse and subscribe to free Podcasts when region is set to Aus. And you can’t just change it to the US, since the credit card billing region has to match the local region.

    Cheers!!!
    -Dave

    1. Podcasts appear in the “special” Zune (software) for Mango (AUS region), and you can subscribe and sync to the WindowsPhone – just as you’d expect them to work.

      No idea whether MS will take it away in the future though.

  7. Zune pass is available outside of the US, you can get it in UK and Europe… still, doesn’t help you much…

  8. I’m pleased with how well the voice recognition functionality works with my (Australian) accent.

    Any idea whether all keyboards will be available when Mango goes final, or is it up to the carrier/manufacturer? Having a Japanese keyboard is handy, and not just for the kaomoji (^^ゞ

    Loving Mango in general. The only thing that bothers me is the extra click to open a new tab in IE.

  9. I live in Taiwan but if i set Region – English (US), System locale – English (US), Browser & Search Language – English (US) even Time Zone set to US

    Then I can see that Bing have all 4 features Music, Vision, Voice and Scout

    And the Vision can scan the barcodes, QR, MS Tags, books, CDs and DVDs

    1. really? Even if I have set all these language+region settings to English (US), music search still doesn’t show on Bing. Maybe it’s because my Zune Account is Australia, just like I don’t have access to the Zune music marketplace either.

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