whihathac's Den

code is poetry

Windows Phone “Mango” Features

Ps. I work for Microsoft, but I am no way associated with Windows Phone Team. I have no idea about the actual list of Features of WP7 “Mango” Update.

Here’s the list from NeoWinand WinRumors for ready reference.

Outlook Conversation View - Emails combined together in threads
Lync Messaging Client - Enterprise messaging client
Twitter integration - Tweets integration into people hub
Office 365 integration - Office 365 features built-in
Bing Vision - Scan QR, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs and DVDs
Bing Audio - Similar to Shazam, will identify songs
Windows Live Messenger integration - Integrated into the people hub and messaging hub
Facebook Chat integration - Integrated into the people hub and messaging hub
AOL Messenger integration - Integrated into the people hub and messaging hub
Contacts grouping - Create groups of contacts to send messages to
Xbox LIVE sync function - Sync function to likely sync settings/games across devices
Now playing artist information on lock screen - album art on the lock screen
Visual Voicemail support - Visual voicemail using same method as iOS/Android
Network awareness NCSI support - improvements for switching between networks/optimization
Internet Explorer 9 mobile - HTML5 support and hardware acceleration
Multitasking support - switch quickly between apps
Fast application resume - quickly resume recently used apps
Podcast support - download podcasts via the Marketplace
Turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps - voice guided directions and turn-by-turn
SMS dictation - Microsoft tellme dictates messages
East Asian Language keyboard support - additional language support
Handwriting and dictionary support - support for writing Chinese characters
Pin Outlook Folders - Pin folders as favorites inside Outlook
SkyDrive integration - Access SkyDrive documents from Office Hub
Kinect support for games - interact with Kinect and Xbox games from Windows Phone
Outlook email server search - search Exchange servers from Outlook client
Complex (alpha-numeric) password support - strong number and character password support
Information Rights Management - support for protecting e-mails and Office documents
Ringtone support - third party ringtone support
App list - automatically detect list, implemented jump list and search for apps
Marketplace search improvements - apps, podcasts, music separated for easy search
App install improvements - progress bar install UI
Search extras - User search actions can be connected to third-party apps
Motion Sensor - apps to use new gyroscope hardware
Background audio - apps can run audio in the background
File download service - third-party apps can download files from the web
Alarms - alarm notifications for third-party apps
Pin app features - Users can pin live tiles of deep app features in third-party apps
Zune Smart DJ mix - allows users to discover new music and save/create playlists
Camera sound toggle - users can now disable the camera shutter sound
WiFi improvements - support for hidden SSID networks

This list is impressive! I bet it can be released as WP8 ;)

Again this is not the confirmed list of features, so cant comment on it. But I am excited! Are you? :)


Why you should care about WP7 development?


A lot of folks asked me – Why should I care about Windows Phone 7 (WP7) development? iPhone and Android are already the Market front runners, so why build for a very new platform?

I give you few reasons why you should care about WP7 Development -

1. It’s a different Phone! Not just another rip-off of the innovative Apple Screen. And BTW people are loving it!

2. Its built for efficiency

3. OEMs feel its easier to build WP7 phones

4. It uses XNA to develop for games, same framework used for developing XBox Games. So you can get your game run on 3 screens – Xbox, PC and WP7. Also many Game Studios like EA have committed to build games for WP7 platform.

5. Marketplace just has 1k applications – here’s the potential to earn money! Other platforms Marketplace being so filled with Apps (last heard of 250k apps in Apple Marketplace and some 100k apps in Android store), so selling your app through thousands of applications will be difficult.

6. All major apps and games like Shazam and Bejeweled available across iPhone and Android are available. Special apps for Kindle, Twitter, Netflix are already available in Market place.

7. It promises tight integration of Office, Bing Maps, Bing Search, Xbox, Facebook, Zune Music and Windows Live. It awesome with Hubs maintaining single view of multiple apps.

8. As a developer you also have an option to build Application using Silverlight. So put your existing C# skills to use to develop apps quickly. Ohh BTW, developing on WP7 is a LOT easier than developing on other platforms! (I am not sure of this, but this is what developers are saying on the web).

9. The developer tools(Visual Studio Express) are free. Unlike you need to buy Mac to develop for iOS.

10. Minimum-Specs for WP7 hint at High-end hardware. This means your application using features like Accelerometer and Camera will work perfectly on every WP7 device.

There might be few shortcomings of the platform (Copy-paste, Flash etc) but these should be ironed out in future releases. :)

Did I also mention that Bill Gates is using WP7.

So what are you waiting for? Start developing for WP7 right away!


Windows Phone 7 Development

Hi All,

With Windows Phone 7 Developer tools being released last month, this presents you all an opportunity to develop and submit your apps to earn some cash :o. 

To get ready with WP7 development, download the web installed for  Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools.  This will install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0.
So If you have Visual Studio 2010 already installed, this Developer tools will install the  necessary VS templates. Along with that, it’ll install the Visual Studio 2010 Express for Phone. The Express edition is completely free and you can develop exactly same applications irrespective of Express edition tag (you just need to register it once within 30 days). Note that an ISO is also available for complete download.

WP7 Development is very easy. You just need pre-requisite knowledge of C# for coding. If you are a fan of VB, don’t worry, VB for WP7 Developer Tools just got released as CTP and are available for download from here. You can chose 2 development paths for building your phone application – Silverlight for creating data centric apps and XNA for creating games. Though you can still create games using Silverlight and other apps with XNA, these frameworks are best built in interest of the developers.

Some Links to get started -

1. Scott Gu’s blog post on creating a sample Twitter Application.
2. Windows Phone 7 Developer Blog.
3. MSDN - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff402535(VS.92).aspx
4. MSDN Samples - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff431744(VS.92).aspx
5. Windows Phone 7 in 7 Minutes (videos) – This site is very good for getting an intro to various aspects of development. Check them first!
6. Windows Phone 7 Training Kit – contains sample projects and walkthroughs.
7. Channel 9 post – This contains many more sample links.
8. Jump Start Training – 12 part series to walk you through WP7 development.
9. Silverlight Toolkit for WP7 – additional controls.
10. Mobile Advertising SDK – to earn money from Ads.
11. Windows Phone 7 Design Guide ver 2 – Design principles for Metro UI.

As you’ll see, you don’t really need a Windows Phone to develop, the developer tools provide you with an emulator that simulated the exact phone behavior. So go ahead and start developing for WP7!

I’ll soon be posting my experiences and samples from WP7 Development.