On the heels of the Windows Phone “Mango” release to manufacturing, Microsoft on Wednesday also provided developers with an updated version of its beta Mango software development kit (SDK).
The revamped software, known as the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 “Beta 2 Refresh,” is available for download now at the Mango Connect site, Cliff Simpkins, product manager for Windows Phone 7, wrote in a blog post. The update represents “a month of great progress by the engineering team, further refining and improving the Mango developer experience,” he said.
Simpkins highlighted a few of the improvements included in Beta 2, including locked APIs, built-in screenshot capability in the emulator, improved profiler, the ability to install NuGet into the free version of the Windows Phone SDK tools, and a peek at the Marketplace Test Kit.
Microsoft also sent out an OS update to Microsoft Update servers, which will let developers update retail Windows Phones that they updated to Mango over the last month. When it’s available, developers will see a pop-up, which will prompt them to connect their phone to their computers. The update, dubbed Build 7712, is not the RTM but a pre-release build; details about installation are available on the blog.
So why didn’t Microsoft provide developers with the RTM version of Mango? Two 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,” Sipmkins wrote. “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.”
Simpkins urged developers to try out build 7712; “it’s a sweet ride, to be sure,” he wrote.
For more, see PCMag.com’s preview of Mango and the slideshow below. “The next version of Windows Phone 7, called ‘Mango,’ although that won’t be its final name, is great-looking and fun to use,” wrote PCMag mobile analyst Sascha Segan. “It’s full of people-centric features that make it easier to stay in touch with friends and family, to communicate, and to share ideas. It’s easier to use than Android, and in many ways slicker than Apple’s iOS.”
Also this week, the first smartphone running Mango was unveiled in Japan.The Fujitsu IS12T will hit carriers and stores in September, but is not expected to come to the states.