WP7 to Get Basic Features Upgrade

Believe it or not, multitasking (running multiple apps in memory without killing the thread and switching between them) is not supported on the Windows Phone 7 platform. I know right? It’s even worse in real life use. Coming from Android after a year, WP7 really does feel like a huge step back to me. However, Microsoft has big plans they’ve announced at MIX 11 and hopefully they’ll be good enough to change the opinions of people like me. Because I can’t really reword it any better than Engadget has stated, the changes we can expect (eventually) are as follows:

  • Multitasking for background processing, audio and file transfer, and fast app switching, including background audio playback for HTML5 webpages
  • Deeper integration of apps into the OS, allowing programs to leverage Live Tiles, including push notifications via Live Agents running in the background
  • Raw access to the camera and sensors (gyro and compass) via the Motion Sensor library, letting apps to control device hardware.

That just about sums it. I’m mostly amazed at how apps didn’t have a lot of this stuff before. I would be pretty frustrated as a developer not having device hardware level access like that. However, Microsoft has promised to make good on this update bringing it just that much closer to where Android is at. Yes Android will be celebrating its 3 year anniversary this year, but that makes the speed with which Microsoft catches up all the more crucial. I think they’re doing a great job of getting things up to speed with the competition. 1500+ new API’s should make any developer happy. Keep it up Microsoft!

Press Release after the break.  Continue reading

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