It’s finally here! The first long weekend of the summer! Looks like all of the stars aligned, giving us an amazing opportunity to spend three whole days ramping up on Windows Phone 7 Mango.

Yesterday, Brandon Watson of the Windows Phone team announced the availability of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. There’s lots of new features to play with in this release and some new goodies as well. Check out the release notes for a complete listing. To top the news of the release of the new tools, the Mango OS can now be put on your retail Windows Phone 7 device so that you can test out features like fast app resume, updated Live Tiles, motion sensor, live agents, sockets, background audio, and raw camera access on your retail Windows Phone 7 device.

I mentioned that the stars aligned – well that’s not just because the tools were released or that you can now update your phone. It’s actually that you can do all of that AND have Windows Phone 7 expert and Microsoft MVP Mark Arteaga (@MarkArteaga) to guide you through exploring these really cool updates!

Get Started

  1. First, go get the tools. You’ll need to update your developer tools to update your phone and to deploy your apps. Read the instructions before updating – These are very important steps which you need to follow to the letter. The Windows Phone team is committed to supporting you with such an early access program, so if you have questions, start with the forums, which they are monitoring.
  2. Update your retail phone to Mango using the instructions included with the tools download. Make sure to save your backup somewhere safe (maybe on your machine and on an external device as well – you can never be too sure).
  3. Head over to Mark’s blog where he’s prepared some walkthroughs for you.

    Windows Phone 7 and Multitasking Revisited
    Windows Phone Multitasking - Fast Application Switching
    Windows Phone Multitasking - Scheduled Notifications
    Windows Phone and Database Support
    New Windows Phone Device Status APIs
    Windows Phone Launchers and Choosers
    Augmented Reality and Windows Phone 7 - Part 2
    Quick Tip: Theme Aware Icons

Make sure you stay tuned to Mark’s blog and follow him on Twitter. With 1500 new APIs in Mango, have no doubt that there will be additional walkthroughs posted in these months coming up to the Mango release and beyond.

From your team here at Microsoft Canada, we all wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend! Happy learning!

On behalf of Canadian mobile developers, I’d like to thank you, Mark, for guiding us on this exciting journey.

About Mark Arteaga

Mark Arteaga is Founder and President of RedBit Development which specializes in helping customers such as Bell Media (formerly CTVGlobeMedia), The Globe & Mail and MTV implement mobile based solutions. Mark has an extensive background in software development and has dedicating the last 10 years to the trade. Mark has also been awarded Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional award 6 years in a row for his role in the Windows Phone developer community and is the only Windows Phone Developer MVP in Canada. Mark is often speaking to the developer community at various events about mobile based solutions throughout Canada. You can contact Mark via his blog at blog.markarteaga.com, mark@redbitdev.com or follow him twitter.com/MarkArteaga on Twitter.