All about the new Windows Phone 7 Mango features

Most of the new features which are going to be introduced in the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Mango update have just been demonstrated on stage during the MIX11 keynote. So in case you didn’t check it out here’s a compilation of the most important features that you can expect to see on your Windows Phone 7 device later this year.

First lest start with something that wasn’t talked about during the Keynote: SIMD / ARM NEON support in Mango. As you probably know all Windows Phone 7 devices are powered by an AMRv7 Qualcomm QSD8250 SoC which also features support for NEON instructions. Unfortunately the current version of WP7 doesn’t have support for these SIMD functions but this is going to change in the coming months (only for XNA apps):

ARM processors support SIMD (Single Instructions Multiple Data) instructions through the ARM® NEON™technology that is available on ARMV7 ISA. SIMD allows parallelization/HW-acceleration of some operations and hence performance gains. Since the Windows Phone 7 chassis specification requires ARMV7-A; NEON is available by default on all WP7 devices. However, the CLR on Windows Phone 7 (NETCF) did not utilize this hardware functionality and hence it was not available to the managed application developers. We just announced in MIX11 that in the next version of Windows Phone release the NETCF runtime JIT will utilize SIMD capabilities on the phones.

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Skype, Layar, Spotify for Windows Phone 7 announced. New developer tools and Mango features!

Many Windows Phone 7 users should be happy to learn that Microsoft has announced the upcoming availability of Skype, Spotify, Layar (augmented reality app), Quantas for Windows Phone 7. Joe Belfiore is going to demo these apps during his MIX11 keynote in a few minutes so stay tuned for more info. What this essentially means is that third party developers finally have access to the device’s sensors (Compass..), live camera feed and HTTP sockets support. Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 will be available on May 25th.

full press release after the break:

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Microsoft Bing Maps Streeside view coming to France, UK, Germany and Spain

It is well known fact that the current iteration of Bing Maps is several lacking in terms of content outside of the US. The POI database is either out of date or really small depending on the country and many of the must-have features like StreetSide view (known as StreeView in Google Maps) and real-time Traffic are non-existent. Thankfully Microsoft with the help of Nokia’s Navteq is hard at work right now and has just launched a couple of cars in the UK to start collecting pictures and GEO data info to expand the StreeSide database:

Microsoft has already collected imagery in 56 US metro areas as well as in selected areas in Canada. In April 2011, Microsoft will begin collecting street level imagery in Europe, starting in the UK with France, Germany and Spain following soon after.

We primarily drive public roads with our initial focus on streets with businesses and points of public interest. At times, we may drive residential areas as well. As we continue to grow our street level coverage, we’ll share our plans to expand collection areas.

As of right now this feature is only available on the desktop version of Bing Maps and not in the Windows Phone 7 (the iPhone version of the Bing app does have StreeSlide though..) but one can only hope that Microsoft is currently working on implementing it on their own mobile OS and hopefully show case it during today’s MIX11 keynote.

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Microsoft launches new Windows Phone 7 update central web page

Microsoft has just launched a new Windows Phone 7 support page dedicated to all things related to WP7 updates.

Update Central brings together step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting steps for common errors, and other useful updated-related info.

It should also be noted that AT&T users are still waiting for the official NoDo update notification and this apparently won’t change this week because our favorite carrier is still “testing” it.

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Harbor Master and Centipede released on Windows Phone 7

Harbor Master which briefly leaked a few weeks ago and Centipede the classic arcade game have just been released as Xbox Live enabled games on Windows Phone 7. Harbor Master which is essentially a boat version of Flight Control will set you back $2.99 same for Centipede. Both games seem to perform pretty well but Centipede is obviously a pain to play without a really physical game-pad.

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All Windows Phone 7 MIX11 sessions unveiled

Remember the 11 mystery sessions that pooped up on the MIX11 website agenda last week? Well, here’s what they are all about:

- What’s Coming Next to the Windows Phone Application Platform
- Going Mobile with Your Site on Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Phone 7
- Mini-Session: Get Ready for Fast Application Switching in Windows Phone
- Windows Phone Multitasking
- Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone, Part II: Using Background Agents
- What’s New in the Windows Phone Developer Tools?
- What’s New for Windows Phone Development with the XNA Framework?
- Sensor Access in the Next Version of Windows Phone
- What’s New for Windows Phone Development with Silverlight?
- Enhanced Push Notifications & Live Tiles for Windows Phone
- New Data Access Features Coming to Windows Phone

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