Mango features

Here’s a short listing of new things coming for WP “Mango” (7.1 or 7.5, number is not public yet).

For the software side, we’re looking at Windows Live Messenger, Lync client, Bing Vision and Bing Audio search, Bing Maps will get Turn by Turn navigation (US only?) and from third parties we’ll get many essential apps like Skype, Spotify, new Amazon app etc. There’s rumors of Facebook chat support, Office 365 and deeper XBox live integration.

On a hardware side, there’s a new chassis support for MSM7x30 and Gyroscope added. Gyro will be optional.

For the Silverlight, it is updated to version 4 and there’s added control support with

  • RichTextBox(read-only)
  • WebBrowser (uses IE9)
  • Clipboard API
  • MediaElement
  • ViewBox moved to core

Performance improvements

  • ListBox scrolling
  • Memory working set
  • off-thread image decoding(BackgroundCreation)

There’s also 32 bit color support added and ablility to embed XNA to Silverlight. When embedding XNA, Silverlight Application model is used and XNA rendering takes over entire display with SetSharingMode(bool enableXna. You can use UIElementRenderer to render UIElement to a Texture2D, so this way you can get SL controls to XNA surface.

Multitasking improvements include

  • Background Agents
  • Background File Transfer
  • Background Audio
  • Background Notifications
  • But without access in background to display UI, XNA libraries, mic, camera, sensors

On the Push notifications front, there are new thing called Deep Toast, which means that clicking notification opens internal app

Some other new features are Geo location, live tasks and ability to create alarms and reminders. There’s GPU accelerated rendering for HTML5. Now there’s fast app resuming as well, which is a welcomed improvement. Search Extras are added functionality for 3rd party apps provide for Bing items (movies, places, events, products) AKA Deep Linking.

Live Tiles have been improved a lot, there’s possibilities to have multiple tiles from one application, have local application to update tiles directly, endpoints have been increased from 15 to 30, one application can have multiple tiles and tiles can have front and back images. Talking about images, also a raw access to camera was granted, enabling all those great augmented reality scenarios for us.

On the data front, now there’s a real SQL Compact 4.0 engine Embedded database for application developers to take in use, which will add many extra possibilities for developers. Additionally now we have phone contacts read only access and calendar read only-access as well

Now there’s finally a SIMD support for XNA applications (Single Instructions Multiple Data). This is done so that now the NETCF runtime JIT will utilize the SIMD capabilities on the phone (for example Vector2, Vector3, Vector4, Matrix from Microsoft.Xna.Framework namespace). Also one great improvement is the Generational Garbage Collector (GenGC), as the current GC stops the entire execution and creates longer app startups and stutters.

On the tool front we will have build-in sensors and location simulators

There’s added support for 16 new languages, just to mention a few:

  • Finnish
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Dutch
  • Croatian
  • Czech

There’s support for new countries, creating applications is now possible in 38 countries, the new ones are

  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • India
  • South Africa
  • South Korea

And you can buy apps in 35 countries, 16 new ones are

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan

On the Networking side there were several important new things

  • Socket access (TCP, UDP Unicast, UDP Multicast), defaults to 16
  • Full header access
  • WebClient returns to originating thread (breaking change)
  • Connection Manager control

A new feature is Motion Sensor API, which will open access to all device sensors (raw Camera access, compass, gyro). In the Mix11 demo we could see for example Amazon app with bar-code scanning using these apis. We have access to SL4 Webcam API, which is outputting mp4 to isolated storage from the camera. There was also a short mention of Spatial Framework somewhere in the slides, but no further info.

There are some new Pickers as well

  • Bing maps
  • e-mail
  • Phone number
  • Adress

About Jani Nevalainen

Windows developer who's been working on Microsoft Platforms since 1996. Windows Phone dev MVP 2013, Windows Development Platform MVP 2014. Currently working as Technical Evangelist for Microsoft Finland Developer Experience team.
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