IdentityMine has been digging our teeth into Windows Phone 7 development since last year when we were asked to develop several WP7 applications for the platform’s release. We’re huge fans of Windows Phone, and we’ve been chomping at the bit to get our hands on the next wave of juicy updates, Codename “Mango”. Mango for WP7 is designed to make users more productive, right out of the box. All new updates allow for deeper integration so developers can take advantage of Live Tiles and Metro UI.
Our development team had the chance to put some of the Mango updates to the test when we were asked to update and share the official IMDb WP7 application with new features from Mango during MIX11. IdentityMine used new features including:
- “Surprise Me” using the new accelerometer support
- Updated language support
- Deep linking to Amazon.com to easily purchase movies
All of this was done using the Metro user interface controls. There are many exciting featured to the Mango update, here are our top five favorites:
1. Live Tiles and Deep Linking of Applications
2. Silverlight + XNA together: creates amazing User Experiences
3. IE9 Compatible with HTML5 Support
4. Background Agents and Audio Streaming Agents: enable multitasking with applications
5. Local Database (SQLCE)
Many have heard of the new Mango updates that point directly at enterprise uses. Those of you using Office 365 and Windows Live SkyDrive on your WP7 will be pleased to hear that mango has included updates for the modern business user to make it easier to do business on the go.
- Pinnable email folders: Pin folders to the start screen for quick access
- Conversations view in email: Emails are organized by conversation so it’s easier to stay on top of the conversation
- Server search: Search the email server for messages that are no longer saved on your phone
- Lync: provides business Instant Messaging - stay connected on the go.
- Complex password: additional corporate compliance capabilities with alphanumeric passwords
- Information Rights Management: Support for protecting emails and Offi ce documents
- Support for Hidden SSID: Access to hidden corporate WiFi networks provides access to information while meeting security corporate requirements.
Along with the enterprise updates, Mango includes impressive features. The Mango update includes about 1500 new features, so this list isn’t exhaustive, but it includes some of the updates that we are watching most closely.
- Silverlight + XNA: Use XNA content in Silverlight & Vice Versa
- IE9 Mobile
- Fast Application Resume
- Compass API: For location-based applications
- BingMapsDirectTask: Integrates with Maps to generate directions
- Live Tiles: Display content on the start screen
- Sockets: Allow TCP/UDP applications like Skype
- Deep Linking: Stores references outside the application to content in the application itself.
- GameInviteTask: Enables multiplayer games
- Text Documents: Can be made on the fly
- VideoFormat: Gives developers access to the video format used to record in-application video
- AudioStreamAgent: Stream audio in the background
There you have it! Windows Phone 7 still has some catching up to do in terms of market share, but the Mango update is promising and exciting. We’ve already started exploring the juicy nooks and crannies in Mango. IdentityMine can leverage our existing knowledge in Microsoft technologies (Silverlight, WPF, WP7/Mango) and enterprise applications (using key mango features), to create apps suited for any business need. Stay tuned for updates soon!