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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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- 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

Monday, 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...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (8 out of 8)–Wallet

Friday, 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

Wednesday, 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 –...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (4 out of 8)–Protocol handler and file extensions

Friday, November 2, 2012

This post is dedicated to new extensibility feature – ability to associate file extension and protocol type to automatically launch your app when another app launches a specific file type or URI. When launched, a deep link URI is used to send the file (a reference to the file) or URI to application. You can also use the association launching API to launch another app in the same way. File type association is useful when your app need automatically launch on invoking specific file type from email attachment, NFC tag, text message, another application. Protocol association is...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (3 out of 8)–Voice Recognition

Thursday, November 1, 2012

This post dedicated to additional interesting feature in Windows Phone 8 – voice recognition and speech synthesizing. Speech synthesizing Let’s start from speech synthesizing. The functionality localized in Windows.Phone.Speech.Synthesis namespace. Using classes in this namespace you can create text-to-speech (TTS) scenarios in your application. The functionality enables read some document identified by URI, string of text with SSML markup or plain text. My sample focuses on plain text scenario. Class responsible for speech synthesizing is SpeechSynthesizer. To speak plain text use code snippet below: SpeechSynthesizer synth =...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (2 out of 8)–Lock Screen

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In previous post I described how to enrich user experience by customizing application tiles. In this post I will show how to enable your application to present some information on phone’s lock screen. In Windows Phone 8 applications could provide 3 pieces of info on lock screen: application’s icon, count and text. On screenshot below my sample application provides icon, count and some text: If application selected by user, the lock screen could show app icon defined in app manifest, count and text pulled directly from the application's primary tile. The secondary tiles does not...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (1 out of 8)–Tiles

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One of the most noticeable feature of Windows Phone 8 is change of main screen with 3 different tile types: Each tile could be one out from 3 types available sizes – small, normal and wide. Also, each type could be form 3 different types – Iconic, Flip and Cycle. All 3 sizes and all 3 types are available for 3rd party developers. Let’s see how to use this interesting feature in the application. So what are the sizes? The sizes are: Small Medium Wide ...

Windows Phone 8 SDK available

Just announced at BUILD keynotes – Windows Phone 8 SDK available now! It includes Visual Studio Express 2012 edition for Windows Phone (which also works as add-on for paid versions of Visual Studio 2012), new Hyper-V based Windows Phone emulator and Expression Blend. It could be downloaded from the following location: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=261873   Stay tuned for more exciting news to come, Alex