Microsoft Announces New APIs And Features For Developers In Windows 8.1

At BUILD keynote today, Microsoft made number of announcements. They announced that Windows 8.1 Preview and Visual Studio 2013 Preview are available for download today. Both of them are a great news for developers. Windows 8.1 also brings in over 5000 new APIs and features to developers for building powerful apps for consumers and enterprises.

The Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide for Developers provides you a high-level overview of what’s new. Then check out the feature guide to get feature-by-feature overview with pointers to the new how-to documentation so you can dig in.

Go to the Windows Dev Center Downloads page to get new SDKs, tools, and code samples.

Here are some of the new features highlighted on Windows team blog,

We’ve enhanced many of the existing features you may have used in Windows 8 and we’ve also introduced some brand new ones that help you complete new scenarios within your app. For example we’ve completely revamped the WebView control so it supports more scenarios and is easier to integrate into your apps (We heard your feedback – no more airspace issues!). Plus the WebView is now available to apps written in HTML and JavaScript! We’ve introduced new controls, like the Hub control, that make it easier to create beautiful layout and navigation experiences in your app.  Additionally Windows now supports more tile sizes and more flexible window layouts that let users multi-task between your apps better.

It isn’t just about software. It’s now easier to interface your apps with devices that Windows knows about, such as scanners, 3D printers, smart cards and more. We’ve also made it easier to communicate with your own custom devices via our new WinRT APIs for Bluetooth, HID, and USB without the need to write your own drivers.

For those of you out there that have existing Window 8 apps, you’re probably wondering how you can  migrate your apps over to Windows 8.1 Preview. While apps built for Windows 8 still run on Windows 8.1, you’ll need to migrate your apps to take advantage of all these new features and give your customers the experience they’ll expect when Windows 8.1 is available. We’ve tried to make the migration experience as straightforward as possible for you. Depending on the features your app supports, you might need to make some additional API and functionality changes to your apps. Our migration guide steps you through the process of updating your apps.

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