WP7 – Mango improvements to XBox Live integration

The XBox live integration to Windows Phone 7 was a huge selling point for many, you could check which of your friends were online, earn achievements, edit your Avatar and other exciting things. But out of the box Windows Phone couldn’t do all of those things, to have the full set of advertised features you needed to get online, find your way to ‘XBox Live Extras’ in the Marketplace and download and install the add-on. Fortunately with the release of Mango XBox Live Extras will no longer be needed, and all of these features will be included natively in the OS.

WPCentral.com has more details:

The Xbox Live page within the hub will display a user’s polygonal avatar and several other items: Xbox Live Gold membership status (lending credence to the rumor that online play will finally debut alongside Mango) and links to the user’s Profile, Achievements, and Avatar (for customization). This should make the profile and avatar editing options much easier to find than their previous location: stashed away in a pop-up menu at the bottom of the screen.

Live tiles are a great and wonderful thing. We all love them, and I’m pretty sure WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino has several tattooed on his arm. On the other hand, live tiles also take up a lot of space – only 6-8 will fit on-screen at once. People who own a lot of games on Windows Phone often have to scroll quite a bit to find the title they wish to play. Game organization and launching will become slightly easier in Mango thanks to a new list view within the Games hub. The list view displays each game’s name alongside icons that are about fifty percent smaller than before. It doesn’t really fit much additional information on-screen, but gamers will be able to locate titles by names instead of icons.

The Friends section will also receive a few minor tweaks. Friends’ profiles and bios will be separated onto two pages instead of being crammed onto one. Additionally, it will become possible to add new friends directly from the phone thanks to the addition of a New Friend button at the bottom of the Friends page. Now if Microsoft would just add the ability to send and receive Xbox Live voice messages from the phone too – only text messages are supported right now.


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