What’s New in Windows Phone 8.1- Porting WP8 apps to WP8.1 (Part 5 out of 5)

April 2, 2014

So, you got a WP8.0 app and looking on WP8.1. This post is about to show how to port existing app to WP8.1 and which options are available. First of all let’s discuss the options: 1. Keep using Silverlight/Keep WP8.0 app Pros: No porting work required. Will run on WP8.1 (app compatibility), still runs on earlier Windows Phone devicesCons: Will not take advantage of new platform capabilities, cannot enable targeting of Windows 2. Use SL for WP8.1: Pros: Some work required – take care of breaking changes. Enables existing Silverlight app to take advantage of nearly all...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8.1- New features overview (Part 4 out of 5)

With convergence, WP8.1 received many interesting feature from Windows 8.x. In this post I will overview some of them: * Geofencing* Sharing* Roaming* Background tasks* Push notifications, Tiles and Toasts* WP Emulator and Tools   Geofencing Geofencing APIs enables scenarios such as notifications when the device enters or leaves an app-specified geographic region. This makes possible app scenarios such as displaying a reminder when the user arrives at home or notifying the user of deals at stores in area he is currently. Let’s see how to setup the geofence an respond on the geofencing events. First of all, the...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8.1- App Lifecycle and Navigation (Part 3 out of 5)

This post focuses on App Lifecycle and Navigation changes in WP8.1 XAML (aka as WinRT or Windows Phone Sore apps) apps and how they different from SL8.1 apps.   App Lifecycle WP8.1 apps very similar lifecycle to Windows Store apps. This lifecycle is somewhat different from SL8.1 apps that mostly follows the WP8.0 apps lifecycle. Let’s review the WP8.1. lifecycle: 1. User taps app icon (in apps list or main screen) to run the app. Similarly to Win8.x the app is launched and Application.OnLaunched event is raised. As in Win8.x, it has LaunchActivatedEventArgs that helps to understand how the...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8.1- XAML Controls (Part 2 out of 5)

In this post I will show what’s new in controls that can be used in Windows Phone 8.1 (WP8.1) XAML apps (aka WinRT, Windows Phone Store apps). First I will talk about what convergence really means for the controls, then will show phone-only controls that are not available on Win8.x platform and finally will overview changes in AppBar, system tray, etc. Please note that from this post I will be focusing only on WP8.1 XAML features and not on Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1 (SL8.1).  Features for SL8.1 will be highlighted specifically.   Converged controls With convergence story WP8.1 receives...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8.1- Platform Convergence (Part 1 out of 5)

Spring time again and it means new (RC) SDK from Microsoft is out to the wild. This time it is long awaited Windows Phone 8.1 SDK RC. In this series of posts I will highlight important features in new SDK and discuss recent changes every Windows Phone developer should know. This post is about the “keyword” of this SDK release: Platform Convergence   What does it mean to developer? First of all – new SDK usually means improvements, new features, bug fixes. This SDK is not exception. It brings many new features by merging Windows platforms into one and...

Re-targeting Windows 8 apps to Windows 8.1

October 21, 2013

Windows 8.1 is latest version of Microsoft’s operating system which brings many improvements over Windows 8 released year ago. Windows 8.1 brings updates to the end user experience, support for new types of devices, improves performance and new features which were not available before. Why re-target? While Windows 8 apps works on Windows 8.1, the upgraded apps will enjoy better performance even without code changes. In most cases recompiled app will see improvements in startup time (5-30% percent when app uses ListView on the main view), faster panning (up to two times for long lists), lower memory...

I’m Microsoft MVP for Fifth Time!

July 3, 2013

I received an email presenting me with the Microsoft MVP Award in Silverlight! I am very honored to receive an MVP Award for the fifth time in row and I will continue contributing to the online and offline developer community worldwide. This is a great opportunity and place to thank quite a few people who helped me to win this Award again: My wife and daughter for having so much patience and providing the best support I could only dream about! My current and past managers (David,...

Windows 8 Live Tiles – take 2

January 28, 2013

Quite some time ago I blogged about Live Tiles & Toast Notifications Windows 8 feature. About a week ago I was delivering Windows 8 training and as a part of this course was delivering a sessions about Live Tiles and Windows 8 PLM (PLM = Process Lifetime Management, session which discusses when Windows 8 runs apps and some point about Windows 8 background tasks). The PLM session mentions, that Windows 8 apps are permitted to run background tasks, but they will be executed approximately once in 2 hour and will be getting few seconds of CPU time. I’ve...
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What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (8 out of 8)–Wallet

November 9, 2012

Windows Phone 8 adds new interesting feature – the Wallet – which helps users to manage their virtual cards (membership, credit, debit), coupons and use them for in-app and real-world transactions. The documentation states, that Wallet helps users to: Collect coupons, credit cards, memberships, loyalty cards, and more in one place. Manage the payment instruments that they use in the app and music store. Link items in the Wallet to apps on their phone. Make contactless transactions, using Near-Field Communication (NFC), in...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (7 out of 8)–In-App-Purchases

November 7, 2012

This post talks about new monetization feature in Windows Phone 8 – In-App-Purchases (IAP). According to multiple industry sources (link1, link2, link3) IAP can actually make more money that free/ad-supported application. Let’s see how to add this feature to application. In this post I will show how to build simplest “virtual” shop app. All IAP functionality process allocated in Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace. First let’s understand the terminology associated with IAP process. Product – something you are selling in application. Unlike Windows 8, in Windows Phone 8 we got two different product types: Durable and Consumable. Durable –...