On Wednesday at Microsoft’s MIX ’11 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft previewed the next version of its new Windows Phone mobile operating system – dubbed “Mango” – will arrive this fall. The update will bring Microsoft’s OS more on par with its competitors by finally introducing multitasking capabilities, which allows applications to run in the background, while others run in the foreground.
For end users and developers alike, one of the most anticipated new features is the addition of multitasking, which, in Windows Phone 7, will allow both native apps and Web applications the ability to run in the background. It will also allow you to continue listening to streaming music within one application while working in another. File transfers and the ability to quickly swap between apps will be added, too.
Access to Hardware, Phone’s Features
Mango will draw more developers to create apps for its platform. As we know, Key to the mobile app industry is the operating system’s ability to allow developers to build apps that use the phone’s hardware features, like the camera and the accelerometer. Microsoft claims that developers will also have the opportunity to more deeply integrate their apps with the phone. As an added bonus, there will be access to the phone’s contacts and calendar, which allows data to be incorporated into various apps.
Mango will also support Internet Explorer 9, and just as with its desktop equivalent, hardware acceleration is an essential part of the browser.
Also for end users is an improved Marketplace search experience. Whereas currently, apps, music and podcasts are returned in a combined fashion for any given search query, the update will allow for filtering. An app search would return just apps, for example. A podcast search, just podcasts. And so on.
New Tools, APIs
Developers will have access to new tools, rolling out in May, that will offer new emulator capabilities, including accelerometer support via a 3D emulator, a location simulation for testing GPS-aware apps and more.
The Mango update provides access to over 1,500 APIs, said Belfiore, and brings several performance improvements, like smoother scrolling.