First Windows Phone 7 update to bring minor Browser improvements

You all probably by now that Microsoft is going to push out the first Windows Phone 7 update next month. But will it bring anything new to the browser? Well, from what I have gathered nothing really major is scheduled according the some of the IE Mobile Team comments on their blog. We can expect JavaScript improvements, more screen view port properties support but still no URL bar in landscape mode even though it’s present on devices with hardware keyboards like the LG Quantum and LG GW910.

Omar:How can i enable JavaScript on IE mobile? Seems like either JavaScript is disabled by default or JavaScript support in IE mobile is very limited. Sites like Google Reader are affected immensely.
IE Team: @Omar: JavaScript is enabled by default. Sites like Google Reader are using features in the browser and DOM that won’t be supported until our next update. Glad you’re liking the experience!
Anthony:I have been having trouble with getting the full height of the viewport this should be window.innerHeight which is not supported.
IE Team:@Anthony: yes, for now use screen.height. We’re looking at supporting more properties in the next update.
IE Team: @Matt, @HadesMR: We haven’t yet made any announcements on IE9 for WP, but we are always working to improve our browser experience. Thanks for the comments, we do appreciate the feedback.
Rama: I was looking to handle touch events in JavaScript. It looks like they are not supported yet. Is it in the works?
IE Team: they are not supported yet. We’re taking a look at them.
Tom: This is not so much a developer question but will IE for Windows Phone 7 be updated so that the address bar can be acceded when the phone is in landscape mode? This is very annoying to have to flip the phone back to portrait to type into the address bar.
IE Team: @Tom: we’ve heard this feedback, we’re always considering ways to improve the UX. No definite decisions yet.

Note that the last answer about the URL bar was posted this month… Anyway don’t forget to read my thoughts on Windows Phone 7 in my gigantic review here.

source: IE Team Blog here and here

  • Anonymous

    Windows Pone 7

  • MobileTechWorld

    Ah, thanks for the heads up! Corrected :)

  • Anonymous

    I doubt that Microsoft will do any major upgrade to IE Mobile until it port Trident 5.0 over. That’s also probably the bulk of work IE Mobile Team is currently doing.

  • MobileTechWorld

    Yeah but keep in mind that right now IE Mobile is still based on Trident 3.1 and that the jump to 5.0 (totally bypassing 4.0) is huge. That’s why I would be pleasantly surprised if we saw this this year (and 5.0 isn’t even RTM on the desktop..). Let’s hope that they are hard at work….

  • Arun Kumar

    “no definite decisions yet” to include address bar in landscape mode even after the OS been RTM’ed 4 months ago is disappointing. The list of bugs in XDA thread totally shocked me. I wonder when they are gonna fix all those.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I am guessing that it wouldn’t take much more effort to port Trident 5.0 than Trident 4.0 since the desktop bits are available. The bigger issue is porting Chakra which uses hardware acceleration.

    The dilemma is to release the update earlier based on IE8 or later based on IE9.

  • MobileTechWorld

    Yeah I’m not really sure if they will port Chakra given that IE Mobile on WP7 is, AFAIK, already hardware accelerated. Similar to the iOS; IE Mobile renders the webpage as a texture which is then transformed and translated by the GPU.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t be too sure because Chakra is also the JavaScript engine.

  • Liggs22

    I’m reading all this stuff and I ask myself, self does the average person know or care about this stuff? I think not, because I ask my wife and most women just want a phone that works and texts and maybe some stuff on the internet. One that looks cool and is something different. Us tech heads are the last people that WP7 and others should care about pleasing. It’s like car, if a woman buys a car she wants one that’s reliable and looks good. She could careless about the javascript or chakra. Remember they buy as many phones as men so make it simple stupid.