Developers

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now rolling out to those enrolled in the Preview for Developers program. Enthusiasts and developers can try out the latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system by participating in the program. This update introduces new features, like Live Folders on the Start Screen, and also introduces support for new device resolutions. Developers will want to grab the new Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 SDK and emulators to test against those resolutions.

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For a few months now, you may have heard us mention that smartwatches and smart accessories were on the horizon for Windows Phone, especially towards August and September. The FitBit app announced last week is the first in that volley, and more are coming later this month.

Developer Jeremy Sinclair has now gone through the Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 that is rolling out today for Preview users and documented all the new APIs available. It is quite telling, as many of these APIs are to handle background and telephony tasks for those connected devices.

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AdDuplex has recently announced that its new Direct service has gone live. To remind everyone what AdDuplex Direct is all about, it's a new platform for app publishers and advertisers to arrange direct advertising placement deals, negating the paperwork, payment processing hassle and other headaches associated with locating publishers to part with their cash for in-app advertising. AdDuplex already offers a range of options for developers (particularly on Windows Phone and it's great to see yet another service added.

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Starting with Windows Phone 8.1 users can select a background wallpaper for their Start screen. The trick only works with apps that have a transparent Live Tile, which has resulted in a massive push by fans for more apps with those see-through Tiles. But like all things in life, sometimes it goes too far. For instance, many people have – rightly – complained that they liked those 'signature' colors for certain apps because it made finding them easier. I agree.

What's the best way to rectify the situation? Give users a choice. Here's how to do it.

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Ready to find out how the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store are doing? Microsoft has just published a report showing trends for the two platforms. We learn a lot of interesting things in the post. For example, did you know that low-memory devices, like the Lumia 520, lead in app downloads? Highlights after the break.

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If you’re a Windows Phone user, probably one of the cooler things you’re noticing these days are apps labeled as ‘Made for Windows Phones and Windows PCs. Is there anything more satisfying than having the same experience on your phone and PC? Today, Microsoft added another notch with the release of their Channel 9 app for Windows Phone. The app had been on Windows 8 for a while but now Phone users can get in on the action.

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Two weeks ago I told you about the Boston Microsoft Developer Group, which helps Windows Phone and Windows developers make their apps better. The group holds monthly, informal meetings where guest speakers share tips, you can mingle with other devs, have some food and win prizes. They’re always fun and a great way to meet your fellow developers for further insight.

Tonight is the meeting for May and Microsoft is sponsoring it. Last we checked, there are over 130 of you RSVP’d and we’ve been informed a few more spots are open (you don’t need to RSVP, as you can just walk in, though it’s easier if you’re ‘on the list’).

What’s more, you’re not-so cuddly editor in chief will be present, giving a talk on Windows Phone and its future! Here are the full details of tonight’s plan…

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Last summer we told you boys and girls about this really great video series up on Channel 9. The series was called ‘Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners’. It was an 11+ hour series that taught absolute beginners how to develop for Windows Phone 8. Now there’s a sequel up on Channel 9 that will do the same for Windows Phone 8.1.

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AdDuplex has kicked off the next month in the Every Phone They Make campaign, which will be rewarding developers with a chance to win a Lumia 625 and Lumia 820 for simply marketing their apps with AdDuplex. It's a great program for those who have apps submitted to the stores to win some awesome prizes. What's more is for the month of May, AdDuplex is also giving away a Lumia 1020 to the general public.

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