Deep diving into Mango ROM reveals more juicy features

Chances be praised! Somehow I stumbled upon a dumped Mango ROM today. Unfortunately it is in the raw dumped form, which means a million little folders and scattered files. Without any means to flash it onto a device, I cracked it open, and carefully read through its entire user interface string files. From those files I have discovered some quite interesting features. Yes there has been a swarm of media previews/reviews on the web recently, but rest assured, a fair share of these features are not included in them. Now let’s briefly go through those extra juicy bits.

- AppChecker is the module which tells you “This app is required to open this type of file”. There’s a line “To join the meeting, you need Microsoft Lync Mobile. Install it now from Marketplace?” Yes, Lync is definitely coming to WP7. Maybe in the form of an app instead of being integrated to the OS.

People Hub
- Facebook integration will go even deeper. The People Hub will also show how many Likes an update has got.
- Found traces of Facebook check-in.
- People Hub will inform you when you are mentioned by some friend.

Battery saving mode
- This has been mentioned before. Mango brings battery saving mode. The phone could go into power saving mode every time the battery life is lower than a certain percentage. In this mode the phone will stop automatically syncing emails, and will shut down all apps running in the background. The phone will come out of this mode on its own when it’s plugged.

- Maybe not mentioned elsewhere before. After Mango, the phone calendar will be able to show lunar dates. This is sure good news for us Asians. Don’t know if it means anything to everyone else though.

- Yes linked inbox. Yes threaded conversation.
- You will be able to flag emails in Mango.

- Aside from everything we’ve been hearing about all the time, apparently users can also send “nudge” (as in Live Messenger) to friends, from phone.
- You can invite other IM friends to make a multi-party conversation.

Xbox Live
- Hold tight, this is the big thing. First, you will be able to share your Xbox Live profile to Facebook.
- In the UI file of GameRes.dll: “Play a game, and invite a friend to play it with you.” Yes, multiplayer is coming to WP7. But hold tight a bit, there’s more.
- Also in the UI file of GameRes.dll: “Listen to this message on your Xbox 360”, “Read this message on your Xbox 360”. This must be more advanced cross-platforming. If you get messages through Xbox Live and feel the small screen is way too uninteresting to read on, turn to your faithful TV.
- “Invite you to a voice chat”, “Invite you to an Xbox Live party!” If I fancy it right, these fragments mean that both voice chat and virtual online party are coming to WP7 also. Sweeeet!

- I’m not going to repeat what we already know. But there’s this line in Office 365’s UI file: “Lync is coming to Marketplace soon, so keep an eye out for it.” Double confirmed on Lync, and it might arrive a little bit later than the Mango.

- Apparently users could manually set IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS and proxy for LAN connections.
- Apparently Mango supports these kind of Bluetooth devices: audio device, camera, computer, display, headset, keyboard/mouse, PDA, phone, printer, scanner, accessory, laptop, handheld, car. Some of these category named do not make much sense or conflict with one another, but well, that’s what the UI file says…
- Still no VPN support.

Phone general
- “This ringtone will be deleted from your phone, but not from your computer if you have it saved there.” “No custom ringtone, get more”. From the look of it, custom ringtones are coming with Mango indeed, and it might be done through Zune (PC).
- Mango, at least in this very ROM, supports 22 languages in all, each with its own input method.
- Several full-keyboard layouts: QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY.
- Input methods for all supported languages could be basically broken into 3 groups: full keyboard, 12 keys, and handwriting. With an extra BPMF for Taiwan region (Traditional Chinese).
- 12 keys inputs seem to have further customization options, like arranging keys by 1 through 3 rows.
- It looks like touch targets (aka virtual keys) for both QWERTY and 12-keys could be resized in system settings. Might be more fat-finger-friendly. The best virtual keyboard out there made even better.
- Users could choose to send customized dictionaries to Microsoft in order to help improving the input system.
That’s about the size of it. It’s a shame there’s no way to load the ROM on a real device yet. There must be even more changes, maybe overlooked by current reviewers, hidden in non-string related parts, like live tiles and buttons. But anyway, guess we are all glad to know more about the upcoming Mango, especially the gaming part.

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