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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Liberty 2.0.1 Up and Running!

I know this is a little belated, but I’ve finally got internet up and running (no thanks to city’s free wifi) to get some blogs in. First up: Gingy is now officially gone. Sad, I know, but believe me you I was sad to see it go too. Rest assured, the instant ANYTHING Gingerbread based and custom is posted, I’ll be flashing and blogging. Until then, I’m already running the latest and greatest Liberty for the Droid 2 and Droid X. Seeing as I only own a Droid 2 currently, anything I post about the ROM is from that standpoint.

Early Impressions: Fast! I didn’t think a Froyo ROM could really step into the huge shoes left behind by even the stock Gingerbread, but damn did those Liberty devs do a good job of cleaning up this ROM. It just goes to show how big a difference it can make between newer stock software with bloat versus a streamlined custom ROM. Trimming the fat of the stock ROM really makes this phone fly. It’s not a totally universal “flying” type speed like Gingerbread, but it is a significant improvement over both stock Froyo and my Apex ROM I was running before. It’s also easy to manage and 95% AOSP so I felt right at home from the get go.

More on the rest of the ROM after the break.

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