Microsoft "Mango" beta build of its Windows Phone operating system is now avilable for registered developers for their existing retail devices, as of June 29, blogged Brandon Watson on Windows Phone Developers blog today.
Mango includes many new features, including: an HTML5 IE 9 browser, deep Twitter integration, third-party application multitasking, new Bing search functionality and more.
A Bit of advice from Watson includes:
So what now? First, go get the tools. Second, update your retail phones to Mango. Third, go rub it in your friends' faces that you have Mango and they don't. Fourth, start building your Mango apps using some of the cool new functionality like fast app resume, updated Live Tiles, Motion Sensor, Live Agents, sockets, background audio or raw camera access. There will be a tools update in the coming months which will have the go-live license you need to publish Mango apps to the Marketplace, but don't wait. With the tools and the ability to test on Mango enabled phones, you should all be in really good shape when Mango is released later this year.
For the early access program, here are the countries which are explicitly supported -- meaning that should your device become unusable as a result of updating, we will be able to process it for fixing once the full distribution infrastructure is fully operational in the next couple of weeks:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States
"Mango" beta is available via its create.msdn.com hub. Developers with a validated App Hub account are being allowed to flash the beta onto their retail phones. Developers are allowed to flash Mango onto only one phone per developer. Developers need to download the Beta 2 of the SDK before obtaining the operating system update.
Microsoft has said Mango will be installed on new phones as of this fall. There's no word as to when those who already have Windows Phone handsets will be getting the Mango update, as carriers need to "test" and approve the operating system build before Microsoft pushes it to handsets.
With the free Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 and free access to Mango, now is the perfect time to see what you can do with Windows Phone. To make it even more interesting for students looking for a great summer project, we've set aside 50 Mango phones for those students who are building the next big thing on Windows Phone. Want one? Here's what to do:
- Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
- Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
- Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
- Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
- We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device
Microsoft also released a new beta of the Windows Phone Developer tools available as of today, as well. Now known as the Windows Phone SDK (software development kit), the tools are in beta 2 (according to the download page) and can be used to develop applications for both the currently shipping "NoDo" Windows Phone operating system build, as well as for the Mango update.
You can get the SDK Beta 2 tools needed to get you started here.
[Source: Windows Phone Developer blog]