It's been an insanely busy week for the Windows Phone blog. But you know what they say -- no rest for the wicked.
Between signing off on the RTM build of Windows Phone 7.5 and celebrating the unveiling of the world's first Mango smartphone, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Windows Phone team might take a few days to just breath easy. However, the Window's Team blog was updated again today with the news that Microsoft is releasing a new SDK for developers.
"We've received positive feedback on the Mango tools and bits we've shared, but appreciate that many devs are still interested in working with a more complete build," Microsoft's Cliff Simpkins said via the Windows Team blog. "Today's refresh of the tools represent a month of great progress by the engineering team, further refining and improving the Mango developer experience."
Simpkin's recommends that those interested in learning about all of the changes from Beta 2 to Refresh check out the release notes on Mango Connect. However, he does list his 'top five' improvements that he thinks devs will find most useful. Check them out below:
- Application platform APIs are now locked; you can feel confident to start getting ready for submitting your apps next month.
- Emulator now has a nifty screenshot capability built in, allowing you quickly snap quality images of your app without the need of separate tools or cropping time. The images are great for use in app submission process or to share on your blog or with folks such as my team (hint hint).
- The profiler has been greatly improved and provides memory profiling.
- As of this drop, you can install NuGet into the free version of the WPSDK tools. I find NuGet to be one of my favorite productivity boosters and I’m happy to see the extension supported in the free tools.
- The drop includes an initial peek at the Marketplace Test Kit; with the RC release, you’ll be able to use the included version of this toolkit to test your XAP file against the same certification testing tools that we use when ingesting apps for the Marketplace. For this refresh, it’s there but not fully functional; but more on this in a future blog post.
Mango phones are expected this fall and Microsoft has started preparing for the update phase already. However, Simpkins also noted that devs can refresh retail Windows Phones that have been updated to Mango over the last month and get a new build (7712), which corresponds to today’s WPSDK 7.1 release. Unfortunately, this new build is not the RTM build that was signed off on earlier this week.
"Before you ask (and I know you will, because folks started asking yesterday :) ), this build is not yesterday's RTM build – it’s still a pre-release build," Simpkins clarified. "For RTM, you’ll need to wait for the official update like everyone else."
For more on the SDK refresh, hit up the Windows Phone blog.