Following the announcement that it had released to manufacturing the "Mango" Windows Phone update" -- Microsoft execs have now updated Mango developers with a near-final build 7712, and pushed an OS update to the Microsoft Update servers this morning allowing you to refresh retail Windows Phones that devs updated to Mango over the last month. If you previously updated, you can expect the following notice on your phone over the next few days:
The RTM build is believed to be 7720.
Here're top 5 improvements in build 7712:
- Application platform APIs are now locked; you can feel confident to start getting ready for submitting your apps next month.
- Emulator now has a nifty screenshot capability built in, allowing you quickly snap quality images of your app without the need of separate tools or cropping time. The images are great for use in app submission process or to share on your blog or with folks such as my team (hint hint).
- The profiler has been greatly improved and provides memory profiling.
- As of this drop, you can install NuGet into the free version of the WPSDK tools.
- The drop includes an initial peek at the Marketplace Test Kit; with the RC release, you'll be able to use the included version of this toolkit to test your XAP file against the same certification testing tools that we use when ingesting apps for the Marketplace. For this refresh, it's there but not fully functional.
For a full list of changes to between Beta 2 and the Refresh, please check out the release notes on Connect.
The process to update your phone with build 7712 is pretty straight-forward:
- Make a copy of the backup you took when you updated to the Mango Beta 2 pre-release (which I'm sure you did) and put it in a safe place, if it isn't in one already
- Return to Connect.Microsoft.com (we're using the same program you were invited to join last month) and download the freshly posted files, which includes a new Zune client and a new UpdateWP executable
- Head to the Control Panel and uninstall the Beta 2 software (Zune client and UpdateWP) and tools (WPSDK) that you installed last month
- Install the new software and tools that you just downloaded from Connect
- Fire up the new Zune client beta (4.8.2134.0) to check for the new update
- Zune will then update your phone from 7661 to 7712
Why not just give Mango devs the actual RTM bits? To answer this, Simpkins provided an explanation in a new blog post on the Windows Phone Developer blog:
For the folks wondering why we're not providing the 'RTM' version, there are two main reasons. First, the phone OS and the tools are two equal parts of the developer toolkit that correspond to one another. When we took this snapshot for the refresh, we took the latest RC drops of the tools and the corresponding OS version. Second, what we are providing is a genuine release candidate build, with enough code checked in and APIs locked down that this OS is close enough to RTM that, as a developer, it's more than capable to see you through the upcoming RC drop of the tools and app submission. It's important to remember that until the phone and mobile operator portion of Mango is complete, you're still using a pre-release on your retail phone - no matter the MS build. Until that time, enjoy developing and cruising around on build 7712 - it's a sweet ride, to be sure.
Here's the word on Microsoft's plans for specific build numbers once Mango is out from Simpkins: "Although we will be marketing the 'Mango' release as 'Windows Phone 7.5', the 7.5 phones (will be running) 'Windows Phone OS 7.1'. While not an ideal pairing, it's similar to how Windows 7 is actually Windows OS version 6.1."
Also, Starting this morning, "you can now download the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 "Beta 2 Refresh" from the 'Mango' Connect site," announced Windows Phone Senior Product Manager Cliff Simpkins.
- Get the tools: If you're a registered App Hub developer and you haven't already activated the invitation code, go activate it now and get the tools from Connect!
- Evaluate the impact of Fast App Switching and other Mango capabilities to your app. There's an ever-growing list of developer resources that the team is producing to help you get to your apps to Mango.
- App Compat should be top of mind. Take a look at the short list of top potential app compat concerns that Larry has tracked down so that you're not surprised when your users start installing Mango
[Source:Windows Phone Developer blog]