Windows Phone 8.1 Developer SDK Reveals New Features, New Universal App Model And More

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Windows Phone 8.1 leak

Last night, we reported that Microsoft is sending out invites to select developers to try out Windows Phone 8.1 SDK. One of those developers is now revealing the features in the upcoming SDK for developers. Apart from the developer features, there are some significant changes revealed. Read it below.

  1. VPN support confirmed.
  2. You can choose your own default messaging app.
  3. SkyDrive renamed to OneDrive.
  4. Back button does not terminate the app. Instead, it will suspend them just like in Windows 8/RT.
  5. There is a new app model called Universal App which will contain templates to build Windows RT and Windows Phone apps.
  6. Apps can be installed on SD card and developers can prevent users from doing it for their apps.
  7. New Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps replacing Music+Videos apps.
  8. The app extension is now appx similar to Windows RT instead of XAP.
  9. New Battery Sense app to know which apps are causing most battery drain.
  10. New Podcast app.
  11. New camera UI with built-in Burst mode support. Find screenshot after the break.
  12. Swipe down apps in multi-tasking view to close them.
  13. New iCloud account support added. Facebook account integration seems to be removed similar to what Microsoft did with Windows 8.1
  14. Internet Explorer Mobile allows YouTube videos to play in the website itself instead of full screen mode.
  15. PlayTo support similar to Windows RT.
  16. Internet Explorer Mobile adds webGL support.
  17. File picker support for apps similar to Windows RT
  18. Auto-update of Apps support.
  19. Bing Smart Search
  20. Action Center (Notification Center) and quick access settings.
  21. Different Live Tile sizes.
  22. Improved backup support.
  23. Ability to sort apps in app list by different means(usage, date installed)
  24. Wi-Fi Direct Support
  25. Stereoscopic 3d Support
  26. Semantic Zoom support in apps(Similar to Windows 8)
  27. Single sign-in for apps
  28. Geo-fencing API
  29.  New Background tasks: Bluetooth signal strength, Chat message notification, Device connection change and more.
  30. Media editing:  audio and video; Audio effects, video effects; Slow motion video

Find the full list from Reddit user after the break.

Update: Added more features to the list.

So I may or may not be part of the dev preview program and I might have seen that WP8.1 will support javascript for programming. Haven’t seen anything yet about HTML only xaml.

The whole javascript is called a Unirversal App.

EDIT: yup there is html!

EDIT: universal apps is a template to build both WinStore and WinPhone apps from the same solution sharing code more easily (HTML/JScript)

EDIT: Connect portal (proof)

EDIT: WP and WinRt are categorize now under Store Apps in visual studio. So you can see how MS is trying to merge them. Main templates are universal apps that create both WP8 and WinRT project. Expecting to see more WinRT apps from now on as they’re making it very easy and kind of influencing me to do so, considering the solo templates are at the bottom of the list.

EDIT: New hub app template.

EDIT: Debug my first wp8.1 app. Splashscreen is using the same box as the default one for WinRT. App has a nice transitions navigating pages (without using a 3rd party toolkit for it). Kind of like turnstile but there’s something to it that makes it looks smoother.

EDIT: Screenshot of the app list

EDIT: App list: Battery sense (see what apps are taking the charge), data sense and storage sense. Oh there is a new podcast app and bings app are install by default.

EDIT: Phone app is not supported in this build. SMS not much different UI but there’s some cool new settings.

EDIT: There’s finally VPN support and Wifi sense.

EDIT: No cortana and bing search isn’t working (button and IE). makes the “No app for this protocol” popup, so this build doesnt have it and it also doesn’t have a store.

EDIT: no more music+video. Now there is a music app that is exactly like xbox music. Same for the video app.

EDIT: skydrive is now OneDrive.

EDIT: GridView and ListView joing the WP family.

EDIT: Universal Apps are pretty cool. They share the same App object class.

EDIT: SD CARD install! But you can change the manifest to prevent your app from being install in SD.

EDIT: No more silverlight. So apps now can share XAML between WinRT and WP8 (sometimes whole pages).

EDIT: instead of an AppBard there is a commandbard. (only bottom) You can bind to the buttons.

EDIT: Tilt no longer requires a toolkit. Instead is build into most control styles using PointerDownThemeAnimation .

EDIT: Goodbye XAP hello APPX.

EDIT: Back button doesn’t terminate the app. The whole life cycle is like winrt.

EDIT: Back button doesnt go back by default, instead you do this:

Windows Phone 8.1 camera

Image credit: The Verge and Reddit user. Some features revealed by WPC.

More about the topics: 8.1, Features, header, sdk, windows phone