Microsoft is calling on Windows Phone developers to submit 7.5 “Mango” apps and update their existing 7.0 apps.
Windows Phone 7.5 devices are now available in Japan and Russia and Microsoft wants devs to be prepared. “The rate of apps submitted that take advantage of new Windows Phone features (like fast app switching and multiple live tiles) is steadily increasing,” says Senior Director of the Windows Phone Marketplace, Todd Brix in a blog post on Tuesday.
The hesitation of developers to update their Windows Phone apps might be related to the 7.0 and 7.5 split. Windows Phone developers who publish a Mango application will be unable to target Windows Phone 7.0 devices to fix bugs and offer additional features for their current app. Users will have to update to Windows Phone Mango to receive application updates and developers will have two versions of their application in the Marketplace. Microsoft is addressing this problem. The company admitted that the split is “limiting” and revealed that by the end of October Microsoft will allow developers to publish updates to both the 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps.
“Knowing that on average people update their apps every three to four months, this October timeframe provides assurance that you that you can submit 7.5 apps today and still have access to your 7.0 app well before the next update is required,” said Brix. Microsoft is also encouraging developers to make the 7.5 features of their applications identifiable in their application descriptions. Microsoft is supplying screenshots and overlay graphics that developers can add to their own screenshots to identify the application as optimised for Windows Phone 7.5 (see below).
“Now is the time to submit your Windows Phone 7.5 enhanced app if you want to be there when customers take their first big bite out of Mango,” said Brix. Microsoft has not supplied a timeline for the Windows Phone 7.5 roll out to existing devices but sources close to the company indicate that Microsoft is aiming to supply the update to devices by the end of September.