Microsoft shipped a new version of its Windows Phone 7 developer tools on Friday.
Speaking on the PPCgeeks podcast, Microsoft Director of Developer relations Brandon Watson revealed the company has now passed a million downloads of the tools. The update includes API access to copy and paste for developers to test their applications. Microsoft will ship a Windows Phone 7 platform update to end users shortly that will include the highly anticipated copy and paste feature. Watson revealed that developers will not need to edit their application to enable copy and paste support. Windows Phone 7 developers can download the latest tools at Microsoft’s download site.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 update will include the following:
Copy and Paste
Microsoft describes its implementation of copy and paste as simple and intuitive:
“In many cases you just tap a word, slide your finger to highlight any additional text, then tap the Copy icon. To insert this text in a message or app, just tap the spot where it should go, then tap the Paste icon.”
An early build with copy and paste functionality was distributed to Samsung Taylor Windows Phone 7 developer devices in early December. The update is available in Zune and bumps the build number of Windows Phone 7 up to 7.0.7338.0. Retail devices currently run 7.0.7004.0. A video showing how copy and paste works in Windows Phone 7 was leaked too.
Faster apps and games
Microsoft is promising performance improvements in its first Windows Phone 7 update:
“Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.”
One of the main criticisms of third party applications is speed and performance. Microsoft is expected to significantly improve the amount of time that it takes to open applications and resume them. The update won’t include full multi-tasking functionality but it will improve the experience of switching between applications.
Better Marketplace search
Microsoft is making improvements to the Marketplace. Users will be able to search the Windows Phone Marketplace and find the games and applications they require more quickly than before:
“We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the apps or games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results.”
Microsoft is staying quiet on the release date for its first update but has promised there will be a number of upcoming improvements to Windows Phone 7 in the coming months. WinRumors understands that Microsoft has finalizing the first update and is expected to push it to devices in February providing carriers approve it.