Jeff Wilcox just posted a new blog post where he details, at length, the features, uses, and APIs for these new controls. The only problem is that, at the moment, only a select few elite people have access to those controls. There is no official word on when they’ll be available, but they will be available with the general release of the WP7 SDK.
So, if they’re not available now, why should we care?
Mostly, because these controls are two of the coolest and most useful navigational aids available to WP7 application developers. I’ll take each control in turn for a brief discussion. For the full details of all the APIs and control features, check out Jeff Wilcox’s blog post.
Note that the images I show below are from Jeff Wilcox’s blog. Since I have no ability to see/use these controls on my build, I had no other location from which to obtain screenshots.
The Panorama Control
For those of you coming from other platforms like the iPhone or Android, there really is no direct equivalent of the Panorama control. I personally think it’s a fantastic control and I think there are some really ideal uses for it. However, like the old HTML blink tag, it can be horribly abused. The thing to keep in mind is – do you need your users to scroll to find this stuff? If it makes sense visually or logically then the Panorama control can provide an awesome user experience, and certainly one that is (currently) unique to Windows Phone 7.
The Pivot Control
The Pivot control is the one that I am really excited about. For you iPhone developers taking a look at the Windows Phone 7 SDK, you might have asked yourself – “What the ..!?!? There’s no Tab bar control?” You’re right. There is no tab bar control on WP7. However, there are two different types of UX that will give you tab-bar-like functionality. The first is available right now, which is to use a global application bar to support tab-like navigation. That feels a little awkward if you’re porting a tab bar app to the phone. However, the Pivot control on WP7 makes for an ideal porting destination for iPhone tab bar applications. Each of the pivot pages is like an iPhone tab bar item linked to a view controller. I can’t wait to get my hands on this control and see what kinds of great experiences I can create with it.
Hopefully us mere mortals will be able to get our hands on these controls soon. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for more blog posts like Jeff’s to catch glimpses of this stuff in the wild.