Today was an amazing day in the MIX keynote.
First, Joe Belfiore walked through several features of the upcoming “Mango” release of Windows Phone, and then Scott Guthrie led an overview of the new developer platform, including highlights of the over 1500 new APIs.
I’m really excited about what these new features mean for developers. In more and more scenarios, your apps can feel like an integrated part of the phone. Windows Phone is really the premier UX on phones, and here are some of the core reasons that the Mango release will further cement that position, especially when it comes to your apps.
- Applications can have more than one live tile, and each can deep-link into different states or pages in your application. The tiles can even have a reverse image, so when it flips around in the UI users can see more info.
- You can plug in your apps to the search results screen, so if someone searches for a movie, something like the IMDB app can be presented for the user to tap on, jumping right to the selected movie, from the search result screen.
- Through live agents you’ll be able to do background downloading, play audio (with access to play/pause and skip via the standard volume button panel) and more. With fast app switching and a new task switching menu, users can hop in/out of your apps with ease.
- You’ll be able to display reminders and alarms to your users independent from the independent calendars, with the ability again to deep link into your application.
- Sockets support! Let’s see those TCP based apps.
There are also some exciting productivity enhancements coming to the developer tools
- The emulator will now allow developers to provide orientation (accelerometer) and location information into running apps, so you can simulate tilting and shaking the device, as well as click on a map based interface to have latitude and longitude information sent into your app.
- The profiling tools not only let you see where there are performance issues in your app, but will even guide you to the exact point in your code that’s potentially causing the issue.
- You’ll be able to have applications that use XNA and Silverlight together, so you textboxes and other controls can overlay a 3d model which could be rotated and manipulated.
These developer tools should be available in the next few months, so check on http://create.msdn.com to see when you can get them. We’ll be showing short demos of these during some upcoming roadshow events we’ll be doing in May.
In addition, we announced that the beta of the runtime and developer tools for Silverlight 5 were released today as well, you can download those at http://www.silverlight.net/
Finally, I was blown away by the announcement of the Kinect SDK for Windows, and then again by the demos and the fact that MIX attendees all received a Kinect device!
I encourage you to experience all the announcements and excitement yourself by watching the keynotes and session recordings that can all be found at http://live.visimix.com/