Windows Phone Developer Tools January Update

Windows Phone Developer Tools January Update

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New years are fun. They remind you that there are so many opportunities, and that the good stuff is still in front of you. As we roll into 2011, we wanted to update you on some new opportunities on Windows Phone.

First, today we are releasing the Windows Phone Developer Tools Update (please be patient as the CDNs are updated). This update will allow developers to build apps using some updated assemblies which will ship in the forthcoming Windows Phone OS update. In practical terms, this is the tools update that supports the forthcoming addition of copy and paste, improved app performance and other enhancements for Windows Phone. All apps which are in Windows Phone Marketplace will continue to work on any phone that gets updated to the new version of the OS. Any app built using this new version of the tools will also work on phones that have not been updated to the new OS. (quick links: WPDT update & Visual Studio update – you need them both, and Release Notes).

The new developer tools include updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and several minor bug fixes. This update also replaces the October 2010 update, including all of the fixes from that patch. If you are building a new machine with a new developer environment, this version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools is all you need.

Second, while the majority of all apps will work just fine, we do encourage every developer to open their projects with the updated tools and do a sanity check on their projects. Most apps will not need to be recompiled or resubmitted. All apps will benefit from the changes made in the forthcoming OS update, resulting in performance increases, as well as copy/paste functionality for your customers who update to the new OS.

There are a few corner cases where developers have not followed our user interface guidance and done things like included a TextBox inside of a Panorama or Pivot control. We have scanned the applications in the marketplace to look for such cases and will be reaching out to those developers to let them know that we think they have a textbox inside of a Panorama or Pivot control,and that they should check to see if a recompile and resubmit is necessary. The issue is that with the new copy/paste, customers will experience a suboptimal user experience when trying to expand a copy/paste selection inside of a Panorama or Pivot, specifically that the Panorama or Pivot will start siding away from the finger gestures.

Third, if you have downloaded the Windows Phone Developer Tools, you are one in a million. We have recently just crossed over the 1M download mark, which is simply incredible given that the tools have been available less than a year. We continue to be amazed by the creativity exhibited by developers on the Windows Phone platform. They tell us that they love the canvas they have with the developer tools, and they love building for the platform. 27,000 of you have become registered developers in the AppHub, and we now have over 7,500 apps in the marketplace. We are humbled by your activity, and continue to work to make this the most enjoyable platform on which to build apps for mobile.

In addition to the updated Windows Phone Developer Tools, we have a few additional updates to pass along:

1. We have entered into a partnership with and all of our handset OEMs and mobile operator partners to sell phones to developers without requiring a voice or data contract. The phones are still carrier locked (varies by region), but you can now head over to to purchase a Windows Phone 7 for your development purposes. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to our partner’s site:
  • Pick the phone you want to use (note: these devices are carrier locked, based on region)
  • Go thru the site’s check-out process
  • You will have to pay all sales taxes and shipping charges

2. We understand that many new Windows Phone developers have experience with other platforms. We’ve been compiling tools and guidance on the Windows Phone Interoperability site to help developers who have been creating phone applications on various platforms ramp up quickly on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The site addresses interoperability scenarios aiming to provide tools and guidance to help developers who are building applications for multiple platforms. If this sounds like you, check out the site.

3. Finally, if you are going to be at Mobile World Congress in mid-Feb, or were looking for a reason to be, please let us know if you want to attend our developer day event on Wed February 16th. We’d love to see you there.

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  • If you check out the Kinect effect video ( it demonstrates where things are heading in general. Kinect offers a way of interacting with PCs beyond a mouse and keyboard, in a time when a PC is no longer generalised on the desktop.

    The extension to the embedded platform now allows Kinect to also move into non-typical PC devices too, like ATMs, Kiosk, etc. It opens up a new channel of innovation we previously didn't have.

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  • Hi ,

    May i know how to develop a calender control for windows phone 7?

  • We need more API's available. For one I dont know how there are 8000 apps that purely run in the foreground which amazes me. I know in Q3 perhaps there will be an update for WP7 to support running apps in the background. Not having any access to system settings and what not is also a bummer, sure its possible that it could be used for malicious use but obviously the settings you  make available for change by apps would have to be selective and have permission from the user (such as changing the ringer profile). I know myself I have several apps on the go that wont be released until these changes are made to WP7 because without them they are simply useless.

  • LoganMu
    2 Posts

    Just to clarify. I deployed the older version of my app (the one I submitted to Marketplace before the updated tools were released) just to see if the original version of my app would work with the new emulator image.

    Sadly, deploying this XAP to the new emulator image crashed my app. It worked fine in the earlier emulator and phones, so I don't think backwards compatibility has been fully achieved yet. Please, please, please do NOT push out this new WP7 update under this state.

    I only fear there are other apps like mine. It would be dreadful to have customers leaving 1-star feedback for all the crashing taking place due to this update. It would be unfair to the developers that have worked extremely hard to release good apps, only to be hit hard by negative feedback essentially caused by this update. I hope it will be some time before the official update is released with some things reconsidered.

  • LoganMu
    2 Posts

    I just installed the latest tools. Is there an official place to report bugs on this?  I fear that some apps out there will begin crashing once people begin receiving this new WP7 update on their phone. I deployed my app to the new emulator image, and it began crashing. It seems that the new TextBox implementation does not support setting focus to the control while preselecting text with SelectionStart and SelectionEnd properties. This worked fine in earlier WP7 version, but it crashes in the emulator image.

    Some apps use this technique as a convenience for the user. If a TextBox already has text in it, it is sometimes helpful to preselect any existing text so that the user can simply type and replace their input without having to do any additional finger stoking.

    I'm a bit surprised that pasting can only be done once, since traditional clipboard functionality allows you to paste from the clipboard multiple times. This is actually one of the advantages of the clipboard. Duplication. I'm seeing in the emulator that you can only paste once, which seems like another bug?

    Lastly, the icon that appears above the TextBox (when selecting text) blocks any help text that existing apps are displaying for a user (usually shown above the TextBox).  I think it would be much better to show this icon in the keyboard tray (where the paste icon is displayed) so that nothing is overlapped. It seems like there is plenty of room in the keyboard tray (almost too much) so I think it should just go there.

    If this is the official design, then I believe a lot of existing apps will need to be redesigned while taking this pop-up icon into consideration. Especially if they're setting focus to the control for the user automatically (and please believe when I say that this is a standard scenario, e.g. if you're implementing a walkthrough wizard, and want to guide the user through entry process without them having to lose and regain focus of the keyboard).

    Keeping the pop-up-copy-icon would be a huge disadvantage for designing UX in the long term, IMNSHO. Sine this is a function of the keyboard, I think this icon should stay on the keyboard and not overlap existing UX, otherwise existing apps will need to take this into consideration.

    I thought the WP7 team was striving to make the update transition for copy/paste as seamless as possible for existing apps, but I think they only achieved this for the really simple apps that are out there.

  • @rgelb - Sockets are not in this update.

    @aun - No programmatic APIs in this update.

    Some additional context: The goal of this update was to provide additional capabilities into the phone while protecting both forward and backwards capability. This means that apps built (either before OR after installing the Jan-2011 update) will work on all WP7 phones (both 'GA' and updated). It's intended to provide assurance for both developers and users that apps continue to 'just work.'

  • aun
    1 Posts

    As the new (January 2011) Update to the Windows Phone Developer Tools adds support for Cut and Paste, can this be used programatically in code?

  • I agree with you totally... I too am a very dedicated Windows fan and awaited MS to release an updated phone since the talk of a ZunePhone. I have owned WM products for over 5 years now in sequence starting with the HTC 8125, At&t Tilt, At&t Fuze, Unlocked Acer S200 w/At&t and now the Samsung Focus. As you may notice I mentioned (At&t) which would basically mean that I have had the option to own an iPhone since the beginning and yet have not purchased one. I feel MS has nailed it with designing an OS that is not as cookie cut as other displays or UI's. Giving a consumer a real option of choice other than having a Android and people assume it’s a iPhone, but with Android stepping there marketing game up, iPhones may take that second place. I personally dislike them both. Very much annoyed with all the talk about what each phone can produce or perform when technically WM has done these actions way in the past, just was not as popular as they may seem now. Seems all you have to do now is to copy ones design or ideal and just rename it and market it better than the original, how I feel iPhone did from the jump off. iPhone was just as dull as everything else when it first released. My HTC 8125 was able to copy and paste, sync with my computer via files or music, multi task, accept mp3's, customize the home screen, surf the web, us as a GPS, great quality stereo speakers (still better than some today), organize, email..... I mean I honestly can go on and on, and I am definitely not being bias, these are facts because I will diss WM, MS any time of the day, which technically is what this whole comment is about. All I know is that some things people say that I read about is just bogus when they expect a phone or device to have all these things going for it right off not giving time for a company to work on an ideal. But giving MS all the time in all the devices I have owned up until now, I don't blame the critics for getting at MS because there should not be any secrets. What is it to hide? The blueprint for a hand held device of any sort is basically set in stone now for any old or new manufacture. All you can do now is integrated an ideal for better marketing. I think people now know what they want in a hand held device these days, just look online, you can't miss it. As for MS, you are now just dragging along all your loyal consumers to wonder "What the Hell", me being one of them. I enjoy my Windows Phone 7, Samsung Focus. I think it holds up pretty well but yet I am continuing to check online everyday to see is there any word on updates, something new for it, good news, even bad news, anything. In closing, I'm not like the rest of these bloggers, critics, and speculators. All I'm saying is I understand why MS ignores a lot of the online talk because most of it is crap, people say things that basically do not make any sense. When you still have people crying about copy and paste, and this and that still today then I agree, ignore that... But, their bickering and all day posting becomes more valid and true when you do nothing and everyone knows you have the ability to do it.

    P.S., you have no problem advertising Kinetic through and through like that’s something you had thought of before Nintendo 5-6 years ago. Own up to something new and innovated like you have created with the Windows Phone 7, put Kinetic in the phone if you have to, LOL....

  • rgelb
    2 Posts

    Before I install the update, are the Sockets supported in this release?  If not, when then?

  • Why paying $525.00 for the Samsung Focus on if you could get the same phone at AT&T for $399.00 without a contract (= no voice and data plan)???

  • w0land
    1 Posts

    If the update would have worked... it just runs for bit then closes without any message. Good job MS!

  • Brandon will be expanding their supply to out of the USA i.e New Zealand?

    Looking at their website it appears that they devices are just US (AT&T or T Mobile)



  • Guys, these updates to the tools is good.  I appreciate all the hard work going into this.

    I have a suggestion, though.

    Please blog about the various ongoing issues in the marketplace some day.  See this thread on App Hub.  

    If I was aware of this issue, I won't have published an update to my app.  

    I am posting this here so some other fellow developers know about this before they run into the same issue -

  • My app was initiailly published in the marketplace on Dec 10, 2010.  I published an update around a week ago with a new version.  The app was certified and published to the marketplace.  The marketplace even shows that an update is available but when I try to update on my device, No Downloads in Progress screen is shown.  I contacted the support on AppHub and I was told that there is an issue with the marketplace which they were looking into.  They asked me to publish my app again.  So, I published the same app again with a different version now and still the same issue is happening on the marketplace.  

    I am not sure if new users of my app are even able to download my app (I don't know of anyone else who has bought a WP7 device).

  • nesher
    7 Posts

    It seems that after Copy only single Paste is allowed. Why is it so?

  • A tired question but... Any plans to add new developer countries in a foreseeable future?

  • The update is available only in English. When you try to change language in a different than English, an error is generated and you will be redirected to Bing. I need to download the update in Italian. What should I do?

  • @francesco_musixmatch - you can send me email at brwatson [AT] microsoft and I will get you connected up to the right person.

  • @Carlluna2001 - What exactly is the issue your having with the emulator? My understanding is that the emulator hasn't changed; they only updated the image the emulator is running...And it's been working out okay for me so far...

  • @tomservo - With the update, you can still deploy apps built using the Jan-2011 update to your current [un-'update'd] phone. Since Copy&Paste is delivered via updated controls (rather than new APIs), apps built both before the using the Jan-2011 update and apps built after the Jan-2011 update will work on all WP7 phones.

    @Martin Anderson - Things are a bit funky when you have manipulable controls within manipulable controls (controls that accept gestures for copy&paste within something like a pano or pivot). If you're going to handle the gestures to capture text selection swipes at potentially every text area, those areas are no longer handled by the parent navigation control -- which may end up leaving someone having to swipe on the pivot or pano headers to get the swipe to work. :o

  • Well, lets hope that the device updates comes SOON!

    Because now I can't deploy apps to my phone anymore. But I also want to test my stuff against the changed chooser task behavior (i.e. app doesn't get killed anymore when calling e-mail and SMS tasks), so I don't want to uninstall again.

  • I suspect Copy and Paste will only work with the TextBox, unless Microsoft releases a rich text box control.  So now if you want to enable copy and paste from non-editable text, we will need to code a TextBox without the SIP being functional!

  • Since our company have been part of the WP7 lauch (seach the app "Lyrics by musiXmatch" on the marketplace) I would be pleased to attend the developer day event... where I can register?

  • I just upgraded and emulator is now useless. It is very slow and I can't use it at all. Please help!

  • All apps get copy/paste for free.  Even apps already in Marketplace.  You don't install these tools to enable copy/paste, though the updated emulator image has it.  Your customers, when they update their phones, will have copy/paste ability from inside of a textbox in any third-party app.

  • Could you tell us how to allow copy-paste in TextBlock (not TextBox) elements in third-party apps? Is this supported with the new tools?