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Some highlights of new features in the Mango Beta 2 Refresh update (SDK)

· Mobile Zone

Today it was announced on the official Windows Phone blog that the refreshed Mango Beta 2 set is now available for developers. It includes the next build of the Mango OS (which RTMd and was shipped to partners yesterday), the next version of the Zune client that is used to update developer device and of course - the next release of the Windows Phone SDK.

NOTE: You will need to restore existing Mango Beta 2 dev phones to the NoDo image in case the new Zune doesn't see the update. Tested on a Samsung Taylor.

The dev tools went through a small update, so now it is easier to prepare the application for Marketplace launch with two new features:

  • Emulator-based screenshots
  • Marketplace Test Kit

Screenshot tool

The screenshot tool eliminates the direct need in any screen-grabbing tool for app screenshots. The Screenshot tool is a part of Additional Tools (the window that was previously used only to emulate the accelerometer and location services).

On a side note, it seems like the default theme color for the emulator is now red. Not that it matters.

Keyboard settings in the emulator

Now, you can also set the keyboard layout directly in the emulator, through the Settings dialog. And although many other system settings remain locked, keyboard is not one of them anymore:

Marketplace Test Kit

You can test your application by right-clicking on the project in Solution Explorer (in Visual Studio) and selecting Open Marketplace Test Kit.

This will open a dialog similar to the Properties one - it is directly integrated in Visual Studio and provides some test cases that can be executed against the project given the data specified by the user is similar to the data that will be submitted to the Marketplace with the XAP package.

The four basic test cases include:

  • XAP Package Requirements
  • Capability Validation
  • Iconography
  • Screenshots 

These cases are used to validate the application submission entry and have nothing to do with what the application does inside. For that, there is another set of tests, that includes:

  • Launch time
  • Peak memory consumption
  • Application closure
  • Use of Back Button 

Last but not least, the developer has the ability to run manual test cases - a bit more extensive and will require more time to work on. The developer will have to manually run the application and execute the scenarios specified in the test description.

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