Leveraging Device Capabilities

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Windows® Phone 7 devices offer a range of capabilities that, at first glance, do not seem to be applicable to business applications, which generally are more concerned with displaying and processing data. However, these capabilities are part of the overall environment for applications that run on mobile devices, and they can often add useful extra functionality to mobile applications. Some of these features are also available on desktop and laptop computers, but several are specific to mobile devices such as phones.

For example, Windows Phone 7 devices implement motion and altitude detection; location detection; media access and recording functionality for photos, music, audio, and video; contacts and messaging management for email and SMS services; integrated web access with search; access to installable applications; touch and gesture detection; as well as the standard telephone call capabilities.

Many of the features are accomplished through built-in mini-applications or tasks implemented by classes within the phone operating system that you can invoke when required. These tasks are known as launchers and choosers. Launchers usually invoke a specific task with a predefined outcome, such as adding a phone number to the contacts
list. Choosers allow the user to perform some action that involves them choosing a result. An example is the CameraCaptureTask chooser, which allows users to take photos and then choose which photos to keep.

Note: Some of the tasks and capabilities of a Windows Phone 7 device are not supported or not fully functional in the emulator. For more information, see “Launcher and Chooser Support in Windows Phone Emulator” on MSDN® (

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