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Last month, Microsoft took the wraps off “Mango,” a significant update to Windows Phone 7. Mango includes more than 500 new features that are designed to improve multitasking and to make apps and the OS work together more efficiently. Mango essentially takes the most likable features of Windows Phone 7 and improves them with new features, tweaks, and refinements. Mango is coming this fall, and it will be free for all Windows Phone 7 customers.
Microsoft packed quite a few features and enhancements into this update, so I tried to focus on the most important ones. Let’s dive in.Threaded Messaging, Linked Inboxing, and Multitasking
Microsoft probably should have had these three essential features in place at the launch of Windows Phone 7; nevertheless, I’m glad to see them included in the Mango update.
In the messaging app, you can easily switch between SMS, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same thread. This concept sounds useful, though I don’t use Facebook chat or Windows Live Messenger. At least for me, AIM or Google GTalk integration would be much more useful. Still, messaging worked smoothly when I switched from SMS to Facebook chat with my friend. If you get tired of texting, you can pull up your friend’s Contact card (more on that in a bit) and call them.
Email messages are organized by conversation, with replies to a thread consolidated into a single view that you can follow more easily. You can make multiple inbox groups, too: If you have two work-related inboxes, for example, you can group them together to see all of the messages in one place, and you keep your work email accounts separate from your personal email. You can also pin any of your inboxes to your homescreen for quick and easy access.
Multitasking is an overall improvement. As Microsoft announced in April, Mango extends multitasking to third-party apps as well as to Internet Explorer 9. You can quickly switch among recently used applications by pressing and holding the back button. All of your open apps are elegantly displayed in chronological order based on when you last used them.Enhanced Hubs
In Mango, all of the hubs have been enhanced with some sweet new features. For example, the People Hub will connect Facebook, Twitter, Outlook, LinkedIn, and Windows Live messenger in one place, so you won’t have to jump from app to app to communicate with your friends and colleagues. You’ll also be able to group and categorize your contacts based on how you think of them–friends, coworkers, enemies, or whatever.
The Picture Hub now has a tagging system, making it easier for you to organize your photos. When you share your photos on Facebook or SkyDrive, the Photo Hub will automatically detect any photo of a person and ask whether you want to tag it. It doesn’t handle face recognition, however, so it won’t perform automatic tagging.
YouTube, chúng tôi and Slacker are now integrated into your Music + Video Hub, so you can easily see a list of the videos you watched or the songs you listened to on those services. There’s even a playlist creator in the Zune Player called Smart DJ (as opposed to iTunes Genius? Hmm.) that creates mixes based on similar songs in your collection. This has been a feature of the Zune desktop software for quite some time–and a welcome addition to Windows Phone 7.
Live Tiles–the always-updating widgets that you can customize and rearrange on your homescreen–will have more real-time information in Mango. You’ll also be able to make personalized Live Tiles for individual friends or for a group to add to your homescreen. If you want to keep an eye on your partner or track what your boss is doing, you can pin that contact to your Start screen and see at a glance what they’re writing on Facebook.
The updated ‘Me’ tile lets you share status updates (via Facebook, Windows Live, and Twitter) and check-ins (via Facebook). You can view notifications, such as Facebook messages or Tweet replies, in a single place. You can see your friends’ status updates and activity across multiple social networks. And of course, you can pin your own tile to your Start screen for quick access. Like the other Live Tiles, the new Me tile will display more information–for instance, indicating when you have a missed call or a new text message.
In Mango, you can group your contacts together by how they relate to your life–family, friends, coworkers, frenemies, and the like. It automatically placed my brother, my mom, and me in a group based on our last names. But if you have a common last name (like Smith), I wonder whether Windows Phone will think that every Smith in your phone is related to you. You can pin Groups to your Start screen, just as you can individual contacts.
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Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (we’ll call it ‘the Update’) is rolling out now, but don’t get too excited.
The infrequency of these releases makes any new one seem important. This was justified with Windows Phone 8.1. Not so with this update (er, Update), which I tried on the Lumia 1520 phablet (it wasn’t available yet for our Nokia Icon test phone). It adds a nice feature or two, but nothing earth-shattering. Mark Hachman
Opened folders appear as a small icon at top, with contents grouped below. When compressed, the icons shrink down and live in the folder.
The download and installation took about 20 minutes or so, after which the phone’s OS version reported itself as 8.10.14147.180.
As Microsoft confirmed earlier, the Update consists of several minor features: the addition of folders and VPN support; updates to the Cortana digital assistant; the ability to forward and delete SMS messages in bulk, and an update to the Xbox Music app.
Unfortunately, the net effect of my brief period of playing with the new update, my Lumia 1520 phablet feels a touch slower. And I got stalled while testing the VPN capability, which was one of the features I most wanted to try.Folders ahoy
The ability to resize Live Tiles on the Start screen into small icons already provided an incremental step toward folders. With the update, you can effectively make those icons even smaller, and add a label to remind yourself what’s in there.
Like folders on Android or iOS, folders are created by dragging and dropping one Tile over another. To close the folder, you’ll need to tap the folder icon at the top of the Windows Phone screen, rather than just anywhere else on the screen. That’s a change from Android, and it feels a bit awkward.
A couple of features, such as the bulk deletion of SMS text messages, and the updated Windows Phone Store tile, are simple additions that you’ll quickly forget about.VPN support: for business only
As we noted in our previous coverage, VPN support will prove useful for those trying to access protected company websites while on the go. Our initial impression of the benefits of VPN support for consumers was probably too hopeful. This is really for business customers or those consumers who have subscribed to a private VPN, not casual users. Mark Hachman
The VPN configuration screen in Windows Phone 8.1 Update.
To use the VPN, you’ll need to start in the Settings menu. Microsoft will then direct you to the Store to download a compatible VPN app. You’ll need to search manually; Microsoft does not pre-populate the search field.
My first VPN experience ended quickly. I tried entering the IP address and password for our VPN myself, but I wasn’t able to get the VPN to connect. I’ll be checking with our IT department, and you may have better luck if you do the same initially.Improved Xbox Music
Xbox Music fans will probably be happiest that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about them, promising an updated Xbox Music app. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any difference—but they again, I don’t subscribe to the service. (I use Slacker myself, especially on my T-Mobile Android phone, where playing music doesn’t count against my data cap.) It would be lovely if Xbox Music for Windows Phone allowed me at least to play back algorithmically-generated “radio” stations.
Do an impression, Cortana.
The performance drag on my phone could be a subjective impression, and my VPN problems may be easily solved with a bit of help. Your mileage with Windows Phone 8.1 Update may vary. In any case, there’s little reason not to upgrade. Just don’t go in expecting too much.
Windows Phone “Mango” official; Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE onboard
Microsoft’s Windows Phone “Mango” announcement this morning has been prematurely blabbed by the company’s Romanian arm, with a press release confirming that Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE have all come on board as new OEM partners. They’ve committed to getting new devices on the market before the end of 2011, while the developer SDK of Mango is expected within the next 24 hours. As for the update itself, it’ll roll out to all Windows Phone handsets at the beginning of the fall (despite how Google Translate has mangled the Romanian press release after the cut).
As for what that new software will get you, there’ll be threaded messaging that pulls in not only linked email conversations but SMS and Windows Live Messenger in the same thread, Groups – which can be linked to Live Tiles on the homescreen – and Twitter and LinkedIn support baked in at the OS level. Facial-recognition software will be used to streamline identifying people in photos for easier tagging on social networks like Facebook.
There’s also native speech-to-text and, conversely, text-to-speech, along with inclusion of apps in search results for individual Hubs. The Live Tiles themselves will be “more dynamic” and show more information, and there’s multitasking support (which we’re guessing will be further detailed at the event itself). The updated Internet Explorer 9 will have access to the phone, location and camera, as well as apps, to better tie in web-based content with local content. It’ll also get HTML5 and hardware-acceleration support.
There’s plenty more to be found in the press release below, and of course SlashGear is at the Microsoft event this morning to bring back all the details.
Press Release (translated):
Microsoft announces a new version of Windows Phone, Mango
‘Mango’ brings an intelligent and simplified approach to communication, and Internet Applications
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Microsoft announced today the new version for Windows Phone called Mango that will bring over 500 new features that exceed the user experience of smartphones, communication, and Internet applications. The new version will be freely available to all terminals with Windows Phone and can be downloaded at the beginning of this summer. More details about scheduling updates for the terminal will be announced closer to launch. Also, Windows Phone will be available for new terminals, new partners from the manufacturers.
Andy Lees, President Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft Corp., “seven months ago, we kicked off this mission: to make smart phones smarter and easier to use by users. With Mango, Windows Phone is a big step forward in redefining the way users communicate, use applications and surf the Internet, so with half the effort now to get double results. “
Communication: connecting and sharing information is easier
Interaction with the smartphone can be complicated by a multitude of applications and accounts disconnected people trying to keep up with all the ways that communicate – from telephones, messages, emails, status updates, tweets, check ins, by tagging and posting photos. To help users cope with the complexity created, update Mango organizes information around a person or group that interacts with and not around application use.
• Groups. Contact groups Tiles custom Live turns to see the latest statuses and quickly send a message to an email or instant message to the entire group, directly from the Start screen
• Better integration with social networks. Twitter and LinkedIn contacts are integrated into the card and can include up Mango check-in, also have available one nine facial detection software that makes it easy tagging your photos or posting them on the Internet
• Linked inbox. More email accounts in a secure inbox, conversations are organized so you can view the most recent mail
• Hands-free messaging. Built-in speech-to-text and text-to-speech, which allows writing messages and chat hands-free
A more intelligent applications
Windows Phone will change the way users look applications. Today, their usefulness is measured taking into account what can be done with the application, but its promise lies in how it can be integrated directly into the center of the experience with the phone. Besides that you can receive notifications and updates of applications directly on the home screen, Mango will add applications to the search results in Windows Phone Hubs. As a result, a useful application will be available where needed.
• Connect App. By connecting and integrating applications on their search results in Windows Phone Hubs, including Music and Videos and Pictures, applications are visible when and where needed.
• Live Tile’s improved. You can get updated information without requiring applications to be open. Live Tiles are now more dynamic and can store more information.
• Multitasking. Applications can be rotated quickly and at the same time, others may run in the background, while retaining the performance and battery duration
Surfing the Internet beyond the browser
In addition to the inclusion of Internet Explorer, the update will connect the power of the internet Mango to the unique capabilities of the phone, and identify the location, camera and access to applications, to present a new way of browsing the Internet, which is now easier use and more relevant.
• Internet Explorer 9. The power of a PC browser-based IE9 support for HTML5 and support for hardware acceleration
• Recognize local (Local Scout). Providing local results and recommendations for nearby restaurants, shops and suggested activities, present in a user-friendly guide
• Bing Windows Phone. More ways to search the Internet, including Bing Vision, Voice and Music Search, so that decision making is easier
• Quick Cards (Quick Cards). When searching for a product, movie, event or place we provide a summary and relevant applications
The Windows 10 technical preview for phones doesn’t walk up, slap you in the face, and demand your attention, as Windows Phone 8 and its Live Tiles did. But you can detect a subtle power, even at this early stage—and one very nice feature: deeply integrated speech recognition.
Right now, I’d characterize Windows 10 for phones as a convenience. That’s not a criticism. Features like interactive notifications or the improved Quick Actions may be nothing new for iOS and Android phones. But who cares? They’re useful nevertheless.
Aesthetically, there are few changes between Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 for phones.
Windows 10 for phones is also not for everyone—yet. I have four Windows Phones within reach, at least two more at the office, and one in my wife’s hands. None were approved to download Windows 10, and thus I had to ask Microsoft to loan me back the Lumia 830 we reviewed last year.
After evaluating it overnight, I’d say this: If you own a single Windows Phone and are considering taking the plunge into what is essentially alpha software, I’d hold off for a bit. I’m assuming your phone is a lifeline for your business and personal lives. There are bugs, though nothing I did crashed the phone. On the other hand, if you have a spare that Microsoft has approved to receive the updates—sure, why not?
My Lumia 830 had a fresh installation of Windows Phone 8.1 on board. Installing Windows 10 for Phones required over an hour, both to re-download applications I had cloned over from a separate installation and to install the new software. (As our previous story noted, you’ll need to be a member of the Windows Insider program, download the related app, and approve the download. You’ll also have a choice between a “fast” upgrade path, risking more bugs for more frequent upgrades, or a “slow,” more conservative approach. A separate recovery tool app allows you to back out and restore Windows Phone 8.1 if you so choose.)
Image: Mark Hachman
This is me speaking. (“And Abel phone” is me saying “enabled phone.”)
In general, Windows 10 for phones felt a mite clunky in places, especially with animations, but otherwise ran smoothly.Speech recognition changes everything
The improvements that Microsoft added in this version of Windows 10 fall into two categories: functionality and aesthetics. And the integrated speech recognition is the best of the bunch.
Microsoft says that speech will basically be an option in most if not all text fields, allowing you to dictate what you’d normally type. I personally use digital assistants like Cortana and Google Now quite routinely, and feel comfortable quietly setting a reminder or asking a question with my phone held close to my mouth.
The one thing Windows Phones don’t really do, however, is allow you to dictate text. (Yes, you can talk to Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, and even dictate SMS text messages. But that’s about it; you can’t dictate an email at this point.) If you want to take a note in OneNote, you must type it, or else record an audio snippet to be transcribed later. Windows 10’s voice dictation works well, and adds another layer of productivity to Microsoft’s message.
In Windows 10’s phone preview, the Settings menu is less jumbled.
Google has offered speech input for some time, although it may be a feature you have to enable on your Android phone. But while Google’s speech recognition requires you to dictate the word “period” to end a sentence, Microsoft intuits it from your voice and sentence structure. It’s not perfect, but Windows 10 generally gets it right. Interestingly, it’s also somewhat speaker-independent. My wife was able to use my phone to “type” a sentence with her voice, too. If this proves to be the case, letting Windows 10 phones transcribe a college lecture into OneNote would be a useful tool.A redesigned Settings menu, an improved Action Center, and toast messages
The current Windows Phone 8.1 Settings menu feels like a junk drawer of odds and ends. I have a vague feel for where current settings live, and how quickly I need to swipe down to find them. But a lack of alphabetical (or any) order, really, is confusing.
Windows 10 solves that problem by organizing the Settings menu into a few neat subcategories, making it much easier and more intuitive to find what you’re looking for. Mark Hachman
Windows 10’s improved Action Center adds a number of shortcuts to common tasks.
An improved Action Center—the settings shortcuts that can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen—also means you won’t have to access the menu, period, as frequently. In Windows Phone 8.1, you have about five to choose from: Wi-Fi settings, Bluetooth, airplane mode, rotation lock, and the brightness controls. With Windows 10, there are a dozen, including toggles for VPN and do-not-disturb Quiet Hours, location, the camera, and more.
You can swipe this message away, if you’d like.
Many of the basic features of modern phones—and this includes Android and iOS as well—are designed to keep you from diving deep into apps and menus, or at least point you straight to what you want to do. Windows Phone 8.1’s notifications provide a long list of email from various accounts, reminders, and app notifications as well. With Windows 10, you can begin to act on these, swiping an email to the right, for example, to archive it.
You can do the same, according to Microsoft, with new texts and other messages that appear as so-called “toast” notifications at the top of the screen. (I personally haven’t tested this feature yet.) Microsoft says you’ll be able to tap on the message and quickly respond to it, without leaving the app.
The apps menu also shows a section of “recently installed” apps at the top of the screen.Photos provides a first look at “universal” apps
The technical preview of Windows 10 for phones and small tablets also includes a look at one of the new “universal apps,” Photos.
Microsoft’s new Photos app in Windows 10.
The look and feel of universal apps will be the same no matter whether they’re on a phone, tablet, or PC. On Windows Phone 8, the Photos apps places a slight border around each image, and it only shows images stored on the phone itself. On Windows 10, Microsoft has removed the border, and Photos now displays images on the phone and on OneDrive. Moreover, Photos includes the “albums” feature Microsoft added to OneDrive last month. About the only bug I found is that photos taken with the phone don’t seem to upload to OneDrive, even if backup is turned on.A keyboard joystick?
There’s one other feature that may be of interest within the technical preview: a small “joystick” that appears within the soft keyboard. When editing text, Microsoft’s Windows Phone highlights entire words by default, making typos (such as a mistyped character in a password) difficult to correct. The joystick steps in and allows you to step through words, character by character.
The last improvement is strictly aesthetic: Microsoft has changed the Live Tile structure again, so that you now can add a background. That’s a slight change from Windows Phone 8.1, where the “background” is contained within the Live Tiles itself. Now, it swims “underneath” the tiles themselves. Mark Hachman
Note the blue dot to the bottom left of the screen. This new Windows 10 for phones “joystick” allows you to step through text, character by character.
I’ve said before that Windows 10’s goal isn’t to sell a particular device or operating system, but to sell the integrated Microsoft ecosystem as a whole. I continue to believe that Windows 10 isn’t moving so much ahead as laterally, tying other Windows devices more tightly together. As a whole, however, Windows continues to improve. I’m eager to see what subsequent builds have in store.
2. Next, switch to the Library tab and tap on Liked Videos to view the complete list of past liked videos, including YouTube Shorts.
3. Press the three-dot button next to your liked YouTube Shorts and tap ‘Save to Playlist‘.
6. You can easily find the created playlist under the library tab with all your saved YouTube Shorts inside it.On PC
1. Go to YouTube Web and open your favorite YouTube short video and like it.
2. Next, switch to the Liked Videos tab in the left sidebar to expand the list of all YouTube videos liked in past.
5. Finally, provide your desired name to the created playlist to save the Short in it.
2. Next, press the Save button to save the music of the Short video. This will create a new playlist named ‘Sounds from Shorts‘ in your account containing your saved shorts video.
3. To access the same, go to Library and press the Sounds from Shorts playlist to locate all videos saved inside it.
1. Play your desired YouTube Shorts and tap the Share button to share it with Google Collections.
2. Your shared link will be instantly saved to the assigned page inside your account’s collection.
3. To access this, head over to the Google app and tap the Collections tab.
In addition to Google Collections, you can also use Google Keep to track your favorites YouTube Shorts videos. Here’s how you can save your favorite videos to it for re-watching them later.
3. Finally, open the Google Keep app and tap the link from the newly created note to re-watch it.
There is no doubt that Telegram Bots are the new G.O.A.T in the messaging industry, capable of taking care of any task that hits your mind. Consequently, you can use its YouTube Downloader Bot to save any Shorts video to your smartphone or PC with a few taps. Here’s how you can make the most out of it:
1. Open the Telegram app (Android, iOS) on your smartphone and search for the Youtube_dwnldr_bot.
3. Next, go to your desired YouTube Shorts video and press the Share button to send it to the Telegram app.
4. Now, select the YouTube Downloader bot and press the blue Send button in the bottom-right corner.
5. The bot will process your shared link and provide you with various downloadable formats to choose from. Tap on your preferred resolution and video format to generate the download link.
6. Finally, press the download link to download/export the Shorts video to your phone’s gallery.
1. Play your favorite Shorts video in the YouTube app and press the Share button to copy its link.
2. Next, head over to the YouTube Shorts Video Downloader website and paste the copied link to process it.
3. Finally, select a desired video resolution and press the Download button to save it to your phone or PC.
Alternatively, you can check out other nifty methods to download YouTube shorts across Android, iPhone, and PC.On Mobile
1. Go to the Shorts tab of a YouTube Channel and navigate to the video you want to download.
2. Tap the three dots menu, and choose Download Video from the pop-up menu.On Web
If you don’t see the download button, use the Brave browser to play the video
Yes, follow the easy steps in this explainer to save any YouTube Shorts video to a playlist.
Check out the last method in this guide to easily save or download a YouTube Shorts video to your device’s gallery. Additionally, you can use Telegram bots to get similar results.
Expand the Playlists tab inside the YouTube app and press the + button to create a new playlist. For more details, refer to the steps listed above.
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BlackBerry Z3 Quick Specs
Display Size: 5 Inch qHD IPS LCD, 960 x 540 resolution, 220 PPI
Processor: 1.2 GHz dual Core Snapdragon 400 MSM8230 processor with Adreno 305 GPU
RAM: 1.5 GB
Software Version: BB10.2.1
Camera: 5 MP camera, Capable of 1080P Full HD video recording
Secondary Camera: 1.1 MP, Capable of 720P HD Video recording
Internal Storage: 8 GB
External Storage: MicroSD support up to 32 GB
Battery: 2500 mAh
Connectivity: HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, Micro USB 2.0Blackberry Z3 Hands on, Quick Review, Camera, Features, Software and Overview [Video] Design, Build and Display
BlackBerry Z3 is a solid and sturdy uni-body handset. The rear cover isn’t removable and your SIM card and MicroSD card can be housed on the right edge. All hardware buttons are placed on the left edge. The volume rocker has a mute key as well which we like. The power button placement on the top left edge takes some getting used to because of its position, but this won’t be a problem after couple of days of usage. Audio jack is present at the top.
The display is 5 inches in size with good viewing angles, brightness and colors. The display isn’t exactly dazzling with qHD resolution, but the lack of pixels isn’t that apparent. Sunlight visibility isn’t the best that we have seen, but brightness is sufficient for most situations. The touch is quite responsive but you will have to set the brightness manuallyProcessor and RAM Camera and Internal Storage
The rear 5 MP camera works well in good lighting. Picture quality suffers while zooming in or in low light condition, but you can rate it as a very decent 5 MP rear camera. The images are good enough to be shared on social network. The camera app is very simple without many toggles and camera software works efficiently. Front 1.1 MP shooter is an average performer.
The internal storage is 8 GB and you can add another 32 GB of MicroSD storage for storing Media files and Apps. Aggressive Android gaming enthusiast might find this inadequate, but the storage is good enough to offer good BlackBerry experience.User Interface and Battery
You cannot access your phone content by simply plugging it into your computer, but you can do so by using BlackBerry Desktop software. You can also sideload Android App APK files or install a third party app stores. Normal cellular data plans will work with this device and you won’t have to go for expensive BIS plans.
Battery capacity is very good. Since BlackBerry users are aggressive communicators, this part has been well taken care of. Even with 3G and push notifications on, we could get more than one day or at least one day usage most of the times.Sound, Video Playback and Connectivity
The loudspeaker works very well while attending calls and the loudness while playing music is above average. The earphones that come with the package are also quite decent. You can play HD and Full HD files without any issues. GPS locking also took no time.BlackBerry Z3 Photo Gallery Conclusion
BlackBerry Z3 is slightly expensive at 15,000 INR if you compare it with Android options, but it’s not meant to compete with Androids. The phone is an answer to what BlackBerry loyalist have been demanding for some time now – a budget friendly BlackBerry BB10 device which doesn’t compromise on “BlackBerry Experience” and BlackBerry Z3 delivers on that count. Android user might not be wholly satisfied because of more glittering hardware available in the same price range, but BlackBerry Z3 has enough perks to carve a niche for itself.
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