Improved Windows Phone developer tools coming with Mango

At the MIX11 conference, Microsoft today announced an improved set of Windows Phone developer tools to be released before the next Windows Phone update. Mango, the codename for the next update, was also demonstrated at the conference, and brings a range of new features that end users are able to take advantage of. With the updated developer tools, Microsoft have provided a complete update able to satisfy both consumer and producer.

Collaborating with the Microsoft Research division, the Windows Phone team have come up with a new set of libraries designed to aid developers in grabbing data relating to the device's positioning. Information from the accelerometer and compass are accessible via the new motion sensor library, which will allow app makers to create immersive apps far more quickly. One particular example that has proven popular among users are augmented reality apps, which rely on such data to inform the user about their current surroundings.

More basic improvements include a sensor-simulating emulator and a performance profiler. Developers will also be able to employ both Silverlight and XNA within the same project. On the user data front, apps will be able to access contacts and calendars should they need to, and access to SQL databases via structured storage is now possible. To wrap up the package, Mango-specific enhancements will let programmers take advantage of the new additions to the platform, such as multitasking.

The improved developer tools will be available by next month.

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