Microsoft releases Silverlight for Windows Phone toolkit update for Mango

Important news from the Windows Phone Developer Blog today with the announcement of the release of the new open source Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit (August 2011) add-on.

In addition to UI control components like toggle switches and page transitions, it includes several new features such as HubTile, a tool which let’s you “add beautiful, informative, animated tiles to your application”.

You can download the update via CodePlex here, or from NuGet here.

The full list of features is as follows:

  • LongListSelector has been rebuilt and redesigned to take advantage of the new smooth scrolling and off-thread touch input support in ‘Mango’. This is a buttery-smooth control for showing lists, including grouping and jump list support.
  • MultiselectList control enables multiple selection for easily working with lists of data, similar to the Mail app’s capability.
  • LockablePivot adds a special mode to the Pivot control where only the current item is shown (often used with multiple selection).
  • ExpanderView is a primitive items control that can be used for expanding and collapsing items (like the threaded views in the Mail app).
  • HubTile lets you add beautiful, informative, animated tiles to your application, similar to the new People groups in ‘Mango’.
  • ContextMenu control has been reworked: performance improvements and visual consistency fixes.
  • ListPicker now supports multiple selection.
  • RecurringDaysPicker lets your users select a day of the week.
  • Date & Time Converters localized to 22 languages. The converters let developers easily display date and time in the user interface in one of the many styles found throughout the phone’s UI, from a short date like ‘7/19’ to relative times like ‘about a month ago’.
  • Page Transitions have improved performance for a more responsive feel.
  • PhoneTextBox is an early look at an enhanced text box with action icon support, watermarking, etc.
  • All error messages and interface elements have been localized to all of the supported languages, making for a great experience for users around the world

Overall this is excellent news for the application developers community that provides ample time and opportunity to improve the already impressive and rapidly growing selection of apps for Windows Phone 7 before the the launch of the ‘Mango’ software update.

Microsoft will have a ‘Compelling and Dynamic End User Interface’ in Windows Phone 8 Apollo

We knew that Apollo, the next update to Windows Phone, would be coming next year and now Microsoft has given the first hints at what to expect from it. In a job posting on the Microsoft Talent Network for a software development engineer on the Consumer Experience team, the company says that they will be  ”stirring up the out of box experience for Windows Phone 8 and is committed to building/improving a compelling and dynamic high quality look and feel to our end user experience”.
Considering how much Metro shook up the standard UI for mobile devices, if Apollo delivers even half of that, it will be pretty amazing. And of course the rumors about Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 having some sort of common features only make it more exciting.


Mystery Windows Phone device Nokia 800 and Acer M310 spotted

Star Windows Phone indie developer Elbert Perez is not only famous for his exceptionly well made free games but also for revealing statistics (a post mortem for serious folks) post release. The analytics or the reporting page (as he calls it) shows a list of devices running running his games. He spotted two new devices that we have never heard before. Nokia 800 and Acer M310. Acer M310? Is it a less sophisticated name of previously reported Acer W4 or is this something new coming from Acer? Most importantly, what about Nokia 800? If you remember, Nokia Simplified it’s naming conventions, starting with Nokia 500, so this may very well be Nokia’s Sea Ray mango device which was unveiled by Stephen Elop some time back.

Source:  @mechaghost