Microsoft has released the final version of The Windows Phone Developer Tools and while there are few surprises - apart perhaps for a development team hitting its targets - you do need to upgrade. At the moment only an English version is available, with other languages promised in a few weeks.
If you want to submit you apps to the marketplace, (opening in early October) you will need to download new version of the tools.Installation does require that you uninstall the old versions first but the installer does check and tells you if you still have an incompatible version still installed.
Any application built with a previous version of the tools will fail application certification in the Marketplace. Microsoft have also indicated that certification will take about five days.
The download is complete and includes: Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0.
New controls are also included.
The Panorama control is one of the core components and offers a way to view controls, data and services in a long horizontal canvas that extends beyond the confines of the screen, and provides touch and animation features. The panorama generally serves as the starting point from which the user can drill into subsequent experiences.
Pivot is a way to visualize data while giving the ability to filter from one view of the data to another. If you have used other pivot controls the way this works will be familiar to you.
The Bing Maps control is now ready to be used. This was one of the most missed components from the initial release - after all a lot of mobile applications use maps. The control supports: search, directions, scroll, zoom, aerial view, street view and more, all with a single drag and drop operation. A free commercial license is included.
A control that is missing from the final release is the Ad control. This will put ads inside an app. If you want to do this now you have to make use of the Mobile Advertising SDK, Also new is a real-time, bid-based mobile ad exchange, allowing for revenue maximization of ad placements when they are served.
Also new is the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. These controls are released under MS-PL license and include six controls meant to augment the Windows Phone Developer Tools experience. The GestureListener provides developers with a control to handle the full range of gesture events, including Tap, DoubleTap, Hold, Drag, Flick and Pinch. There is also a DatePicker and TimePicker to make it easier and more uniform to get dates and times from customers, and they will localize automatically to the correct date and time format setting. The other controls are ContextMenu, WrapPanel and ToggleSwitch. You can download the controls, and get more information, at the Silverlight Codeplex site.
With so much new stuff it looks like there will be little sleep for WP7 developers.
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