Microsoft has announced new rules this Friday allowing mobile applications to easily run when the screen is turned off on WP7.
The came as the first Windows Phone 7 devices have gone on sale in Europe and Asia, while it will come to the U.S. market on November 8.
WP 7’s Mobile Applications Unlocked: Mobile applications that wanted to run when the screen were locked and required the user’s explicit permission, provided they first demonstrate to Microsoft that they only use a reasonable amount of battery life (allowing more than six hours of use for an app playing audio and more than 120 hours for a program that does not play audio).
Microsoft Listen to Customers: Many of Microsoft’s own apps, including mobile application downloading, e-mail syncing, and Zune playback and downloads are all allowed to run in the background. “This is an example of us continuing to listen to customers,” Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel said in an interview at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference here. “We think it is a much better experience.”
Microsoft’s New Policy for Mobile Applications: Microsoft allows only certain tasks to run in the background and also that its mobile applications do things that third-party programs cannot. Background music playing is one such feature, while another is direct control of the camera for tasks beyond basic image capture. Microsoft has allowed, for example, hardware makers like LG to do an augmented reality app, but that is not something an ordinary mobile application developer can do by using the available tools. Microsoft plans to add more controls and programming interfaces over time but has no plans to allow mobile applications developers to write native mobile applications. Third-party mobile applications have to be written for either Silverlight or XNA development environments.