Qantas shows what a Mango WP7 app is capable of

With the upcoming Mango update for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft have been keen to show off to developers what the new features mean for their apps. Today, Qantas has demonstrated a flights app at the MIX11 conference built with Mango in mind. Collaborating with Microsoft, the app was ready to go in just three weeks.

The Qantas app features a wide range of Mango-specific capabilities, such as multiple and double-sided tiles, Bing Maps integration and native alerts. Alerts can be used by travellers to remind them of when to board their flight, and estimations can be made on travel times using background processing. New to Mango, the background processing capabilities will be combined with Bing Maps to work out approximately how long journeys will take.

Qantas' primary goal with the app was to avoid having a port of their mobile site within an app. With the new features that Mango offers, developers are able to get a bit more creative, producing results that rival their iOS and Android counterparts. The app was made by two developers from Sydney and Melbourne, who collaborated over long-distance to have the app ready in time for the conference.

The app will also allow you to check in and receive a digital boarding pass right on your phone, making it an invaluable tool for the frequent traveller. While Qantas don't specify the release date, the polished state of the app today means it can probably be expected to hit the Marketplace not too long after Mango's debut.

Image credit: istaredsomething

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39 Comments

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Nice to see someone go the whole nine yards developing a mobile app. But I do think that wp7's colour schemes do not lend well to apps that have to display a lot of info in one place, a few more shades of grey would have made it a lot more readable.

It looks ugly and messy, not because WP7 fault, but the way app's UI is made. Having a black background, and with a grey swirl in the middle it makes it even more harder to read. One, have a dark background is okay, push the grey swirl to the top or bottom so that the text is clear. And the primary color is a bloody red. It needs to be bright and offset the blue. It's coloragraphy 101. It just needs some tweaking with the right offset of colors.

Hey developpers, great work ! I hope this great app can be ported to other airline carriers (Air France-KLM for example) , It'll be great and I'll be willing to pay for it.

MaDDentist said,
Hey developpers, great work ! I hope this great app can be ported to other airline carriers (Air France-KLM for example) , It'll be great and I'll be willing to pay for it.

I think WM7's marketshare is too low to warrant app development for such things. It sounds to me like Microsoft paid for the development of this app/

Flawed said,

I think WM7's marketshare is too low to warrant app development for such things. It sounds to me like Microsoft paid for the development of this app/

Do you do anything else at Neowin except flaming and trolling in WP7 topics?
WP7 is increasing really quick.

Futurix said,

Do you do anything else at Neowin except flaming and trolling in WP7 topics?
WP7 is increasing really quick.

Not really considering Flawed calls it "WM7" instead, shows he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about!!!!

I don't think you're seeing in the full context in which it was shown during the demo. That screen makes perfect sense when you see that you've selected it from the home tile.

spc1972 said,
I don't think you're seeing in the full context in which it was shown during the demo. That screen makes perfect sense when you see that you've selected it from the home tile.

How do inconsistent padding, superfluous and ambiguous icons, and needlessly colored text make more sense when you see the app launched from a home screen tile?

geoken said,

How do inconsistent padding, superfluous and ambiguous icons, and needlessly colored text make more sense when you see the app launched from a home screen tile?

Which icons are ambiguous? I see a watch to let you know how much time you have for boarding, a suitcase to let you know how much time you have to check baggage and a road to let you know how much travel time it requires. White indicates you're on schedule, red indicates you're running late. I'm not sure what you're referring to about the padding, it looks fine to me.

Also, this is an unreleased app.

GreyWolf said,

Which icons are ambiguous? I see a watch to let you know how much time you have for boarding, a suitcase to let you know how much time you have to check baggage and a road to let you know how much travel time it requires. White indicates you're on schedule, red indicates you're running late. I'm not sure what you're referring to about the padding, it looks fine to me.

Also, this is an unreleased app.


A watch indicates time. It doesn't indicate 'how much time left for boarding'. If it wasn't for the description right beside the number I wouldn't know if it was trying to tell me how much time is left for boarding, how much time until I can first check-in, when the plane itself leaves, etc.

The suitcase works. The road could easily be a runway at which point it would be indicating totally different things.

In the end all the icons are redundant because all the times have text descriptions right beside them. The fact that they have descriptions beside them also indicates that they know they icons alone aren't distinct enough.

For the padding I'm referring to the way the last two are grouped. I realize they are grouped because they are two measures of the same thing, but this grouping kills the entire visual flow of the application. When you have a chrome free UI like WP7 you need to be very conscious of whitespace, alignment and margins/padding. MS does this very well. A single deviation in alignment and padding could make the whole thing look like a mess.

geoken said,
How do inconsistent padding, superfluous and ambiguous icons, and needlessly colored text make more sense when you see the app launched from a home screen tile?

What you see here is 4 "tiles" ("widgets" in Android terms) - these are not Qantas "icons", the tiles are updated in real tile and change / animate depending on the notifications. Yes, the colours of Qantas tiles is ugly and the triangles do not fit into rectangle paradigm - but this is not fault of WP7 UI and the developers are free to do that kind of **** (and you are free to ignore their ugly app - or not pin any tiles for it).

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

Not really, What is messy with it exactly? All the flight info you need to know is right there and easy to read.

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

Nope, not at all. It's the first thing I thought too. Perhaps it's simply because I use Android but the interface seems sloppy and haphazard, which is weird because on the whole I actually like the WP7 UI

Hollow.Droid said,

Nope, not at all. It's the first thing I thought too. Perhaps it's simply because I use Android but the interface seems sloppy and haphazard, which is weird because on the whole I actually like the WP7 UI


The UI is really weird and messy.

P1R4T3 said,

The UI is really weird and messy.

Basically it's because of all the different font sizes, icons all over the shop (and they look lobsided) and spacing isn't symetrical between items in the bottom list (the 29 minutes seems further left than everything else as well..)

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

You're not the only one. They abused the whole thing. I love how some metro apps look on WP7, like facebook. But this looks... messy. I wouldn't say confusing, all the info is there. but it's not visually pleasing. And is it really necessary for the qantas corner logo to be all over the place?
On the other hand, maybe it makes more sense when you actually control the thing with your fingers.


Julius Caro said,
On the other hand, maybe it makes more sense when you actually control the thing with your fingers.

Hah, yea, it does.

Screenshots really don't do WP justice.

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

You'll think so at start... but it gets very intuitive with a short learning curve, I installed WP7 on my HD2 and I easily got accustomed to it.

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?
..It certainly is a lot of information, but the information is very useful, especially looking at it from the perspective that Joe Belfiore demonstrated. I don't fly Quantas, but I found the app to be very slick.

It's an a UI that works better in person than in screenshots (similar to how screenshots of a game don't show how it feels to play). [PS. Android user here]

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

You're not the only one. I thought that myself when I first saw it.

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?
No you're not, I can't stand the WP7 UI

CentralDogma said,
Am I the only one that thinks that the first screen looks like an absolute mess of an interface?

It is not a mess of the interface - it is a mess of a device setup. Add 3 ugly Qantas icons to *any* UI (and remove the rest of the UI) and it will look bad.

these improved features (e.g. the multiple tiles, background processing of bing etc) will certainly make a difference to a number of apps I've written when will this mango update be available for devs?

Diagramatic said,
these improved features (e.g. the multiple tiles, background processing of bing etc) will certainly make a difference to a number of apps I've written when will this mango update be available for devs?

It'll be available to developers next month, according to the MIX keynote.

Diagramatic said,
these improved features (e.g. the multiple tiles, background processing of bing etc) will certainly make a difference to a number of apps I've written when will this mango update be available for devs?

The tools will be out next month, maybe a beta version since they'll still be tweaking things. Dev unlocked/reg'd phones will get the update first though, probably around Aug or Sept I bet. I expect Mango phones and the update itself to go out in Oct-Nov.

kInG aLeXo said,
that blue IE tile looks VERY UGLY

Its actually the qantas tiles that don't look like the others. Since there is the RIGHT arrow there it looks like they removed ALL tiles but IE and Qantas ones. With that being said, on a "full" tile set it doesn't look bad

kInG aLeXo said,
that blue IE tile looks VERY UGLY

The whole thing look ugly to me...
At least the IE look a bit better than the others.

kInG aLeXo said,
that blue IE tile looks VERY UGLY

Agreed, Very Fugly. But then again, so is the whole Windows Mobile UI·