Mango’s multitasking uncovered and hands on!

While you may already be using the Mango beta on your phone (officially or unofficially), none of the apps are taking advantage of Mango’s new multitasking yet. However, it’s pretty easy for an app to be updated to Mango’s 7.1 multitasking goodness! All a developer has to do is go into his app’s project settings in Visual Studio and change the target platform to Windows Phone 7.1 instead of 7.0.

This small switch changes everything. Once an app is upconverted or written specifically for 7.1, it instantly resumes and doesn’t even need any extra tombstoning code! If you are a developer, you might have already noticed this when you deployed some of your new apps to your phone. However, if you’re an end user, enjoy the video above showing off how this all works!

I created one random app targeted for 7.1, and the same app targeted for 7.0, and the difference is incredible. When you go back to the 7.1 version, it feels as if the app is integrated with the operating system since it literally resumes instantly. This even works for games, which can be seen in the video when I took a marble maze sample code and quickly upconverted it to 7.1. Before, when the game was for 7.0, it wouldn’t resume to where you were before (since there was no tombstoning code in it), but after switching the app’s project settings to 7.1, it would resume instantly and right to where you were before!

You’ll be able to have up to 5 apps open and “multitasking”, and once you open a new application, the last app will be bumped off your multitasking list. That’s probably a perfect number for everyone, and will definitely help keep the operating system running smoothly. Pair this with background music streaming and you’ve finally got a great user experience!

The end users with the Mango beta won’t be able to experience this until Microsoft starts allowing 7.1 applications in the Marketplace, so don’t get your hopes up just yet. However, if you’re a developer, you can sure have some fun deploying applications written for 7.1 and feel how smooth the resuming is!

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