I was watching the MIX11 Keynote last night when I heard Joe Belfiore talk about the changes in the upcoming release of Windows Phone – which is currently code-named “Mango”. Amazingly, he promised solutions for all the top problems I have when developing for the fledgling platform.
- Multitasking and faster load times
- Live Agents which can be best described as battery-friendly background tasks
- Better garbage collection which leads to less over all memory use
- Deeper phone integration including locally generated live tiles (w00t!)
- Even more Metro-themed controls for Silverlight
- Improved developer tools, including a profiler
- Built in SQL Compact database with LINQ support
On the user-facing side, there have been improvements in how the Marketplace helps users to buy your apps and how users launch your apps once they’ve purchased them. This coupled with the fact that Nokia will exclusively use the Windows Phone platform for their smartphones and the news that the Marketplace heading towards 35 countries means that it’s never been a better time to start working on a Windows Phone app.
Probably the most interesting addition to the phone for web developers is the addition of Internet Explorer 9. This is not some cut-down mobile version of the browser – it’s the exact same rendering engine used on the Windows Desktop, in all its hardware accelerated glory! True it may lack some of the HTML5 features that IE10 will no-doubt bring; but you can’t say it’s not fast. Check out this rather unscientific (but very cool) speed test below provided by WinRumors.