Developing for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
What developers are saying about Windows Phone and Mango…
In comparing Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) to other platforms like iOS and Android, Windows Phone developers say that the major difference lies in the user interface. They love the multi-tasking functionality (some apps can run in the background), enhanced speech capabilities, and the overall “fluidity” of the user interface. Users are likely to be delighted by the new functionality found in Mango, too. Here are a few other key differentiators you’ll find in developing for Windows Phone.
Today’s Windows Phone 7 offers great speech to text functionality (some of the most accurate this 20-year follower of SR technology has experienced) . Mango takes it even further. For example, SMS comes alive with text to speech. Just think about ease of use and the safety factor to be gained (driving) in having your SMS messages read to you by your Windows Phone. The speech functionality can be leveraged in apps, too.
Windows Phone Marketplace
During the past six months, there has been exponential growth in the Windows Marketplace. While the WP Marketplace with it’s nearly 30,000 apps is dwarfed by the Android Marketplace and the iPhone AppStore, Microsoft has certified and on-boarded nearly 20,000 apps during that period. What’s more, most of these apps are paid. What distinguishes Windows Marketplace customers is that Microsoft has bred a community of users (particularly in games and other content) who are conditioned to paying for apps as well as subscription services (Xbox Live, ZunePass). This is radically different from the Android Marketplace, most apps are free downloads and almost 60% of the apps in that market are free. Microsoft has an extremely loyal base of gamers – who are accustomed to paying for games – and that continues to grow as Xbox remains the leading game console for the big screen. WP promises to be a leading choice for mobile gamers, too, especially Xbox and Zune fans.
Developers also like having the Trial mode option (freemium) that’s built into the Windows Marketplace so they can offer free trials of the app without actually offering the app for free. Consumers can trial an app, then purchase the full version of the app.
IE9 and HTML5
In the recent report by Appcelerator-IDC (3Q2011 Developer Survey), 66% of survey respondents indicate an interest in developing in HTML5. Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) supports HTML5 on IE9.
Experienced developers of PC apps like the fact that Visual Studio can also be used in developing apps for Windows Phone. Developing apps for the Windows Phone platform is an easy step for developers of PC, Xbox, and other platforms. Many Xbox developers are porting their games over to Windows Phone 7.5.
Another key advantage for WP developers is Silverlight. Some find that it is much easier than using other mobile development tools and environments, and as a result can be more productive when developing for WP7.
One developer noted that when they placed a game on both Windows Phone Marketplace and another popular app store, they saw significantly higher downloads (and overall revenue) in the Windows Marketplace and speculated that Microsoft’s PubCenter is more effective in promoting apps to consumers.
Security – for you and your users
Microsoft has a certification and on-boarding process that helps protect developers from having apps hacked or copied as has been the case recently in other storefronts.
Developers and Windows Phone users alike say that in order to fully appreciate the unique UI and functionality within, you need to try Windows Phone. We hope you do! Stay tuned for some exciting Mango devices from AT&T.