Windows Phone Developers – Update Your Apps Please

“As I’m sure you are aware, Microsoft and the respective carriers throughout the world have completed the rollout of the latest update to Windows Phone, version 7.5 or “Mango”.  This update brings a host of new features and functionality to the platform including multitasking, improved live tile support and overall user functionality improvements.  It’s a big step in the right direction for Microsoft. But now months later as I look through the Windows Phone Marketplace I find apps and reviews of those apps that point out apps that either do not work well with Mango or work but do not support the new features.  This is frustrating to say the very least.”

Good friend, Clinton Fitch has posted his Open Letter to Windows Phone developers asking them to update their apps. I agree with his intent here. Many developers that jumped on board at launch last year have still not updated their apps to support new features offered by Mango and fix all the bugs that have found by your loyal users. The issues that Clinton highlights with Netflix and TripIt are frustrating, but could be easily fixed with an update – and without the new features offered by Mango.

A great many applications were not designed very well – basically, I’m saying that a large part of the developer community didn’t correctly implment tombstoning. This is the idea of saving your applications state once the program has lost focus, so that it doesn’t have to restart from square one when it’s next called upon. Because developers didn’t take the time to get this right, apps like Netflix don’t remember where you are in a movie if you happen to leave the app to quickly check on something.

The solution here doesn’t require multi-tasking at all. It just needs better application design and understanding from the developer on how it should work. Don’t get me wrong, I agree 100% that developers should be upgrading their apps to leverage the cool new features exposed by Mango, but they need to fix the bugs and design flaws along the way too. In fact, this is almost more important in my opinion. I would rather see an application with proper handling of session state during the tombstoning process, than one that has a series of cool live tile updates but can’t remember anything about where you were in the app when launched.

Take a read of Clinton’s article and share your thoughts. Don’t forget to pin the developer of your favorite app and asking them when they plan to release a Mango/updated version. Let them know you’re interested and appreciate their work, and I expect you’ll get much better response from them.

About Mike Temporale

Mike Temporale has written 614 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Mike Temporale grew up fascinated by computers since an early age. His first hands on with a computer came when he was 7 years old and a travelling lab of Commodore PET computers made a stop at his school. Hooked on the new world these devices offered, he took any chance possible to get in front of a computer. When Compaq launched the iPaq 3600, he was hooked again. This time on a whole new world of mobile computing. Today, Mike spends his day helping clients deploy and manage their mobile device around the world. From installing custom software, to locking and securing data, and everything in between. He is also the Editor in Chief at Mobile Jaw - a site focused on today's mobile world.