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Auto Launching Apps now possible using file associations for Windows Phone 8

Applications in Windows Phone 8 will, according to the SDK, have the ability to launch if associated with that file type, it also suggests you’ll be able to make a custom file type icon so it looks nice and neat. That’s good news, there are plenty of file types on WP7 devices that are simply not recognised so having the ability to extend the platform by creating the app to launch it will be a welcome addition. 

Of course, that’s as long as WP8 hasn’t already reserved the file types to open with the build in apps. Although a quick scan over the reserved file types suggests there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to file type compatibility.

Choosing your file type in Windows 8

File associations allow your app to automatically launch when the user wants to open a particular file. That file could come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to:

  • an email attachment
  • a web site via Internet Explorer
  • a text message
  • an NFC tag
  • another app from the Windows Phone Marketplace

When the user launches a file or URI from an app, what happens next depends on which apps are installed on the phone. If no apps on the phone can handle that particular file or protocol association, the user will be given the option to get one that does. When there is only one app on the phone registered for a particular file or protocol association, that app will be automatically launched when the user wants to open it. If a user has more than one app on their phone registered for a file or protocol association, each time the user opens the file, they will be as asked which app they want to use.

We'd like to know if you have found any great stuff in the SDK, make sure to let us know, if its really cool, use the tip button! 

  • I am so excited about WP8!!!. Hope Nokia reveals a Pureview WP8 at Nokia World
  • Awesome, just what I hoped would come
  • That is awesome, I can see great use, open PDF with X app.
  • I wonder if you'll be able to set a default web browser this way too.
  • Would be fantastic not to have to use the terrible Adobe Reader app.
  • There are a lot of posts about WP8 features today. One thing I'm still trying to track down is whether there will be more landscape orientation. Anyone have any idea about this? I would love it if more views/pages/the home screen could rotate to landscape.
  • The only bad thing about all these WP8 preview tips is that I have totally lost interest in WP7, seeing as how it's not upgradeable.  I realize I'm a nerd on a tech-site, but I hope WP doesn't lose all its momentum as we wait for WP8.
  • Maybe they would integrate some of the features on 7.8. Also, it doesn't kill the momentum because its still windows phone. People are going to buy WP7 phones because they will think that is the same as WP8 as android users think that all androids are the same...
  • I don't think it will lose that much momentum...not sure if there is a ton to lose anyway. but even still, with WP8 coming in a few short months, I want all the momentum to be on WP8. I would love to see a ton of adopters so that when I'm ready to reup from my L900, the system is on the incline...if WP8 is stagnant from the start, then what is the point of investing in it. So bring on the WP8 hype...don't care if my L900 stays where it is. It will suit me just fine the way it is for a couple years (hopefully less)
  • So, this is great... as long as there is a way to save and/or forward those attachments.  I can't believe that I couldn't find a way to forward an email-attached mp3 the other day.
  • +1
  • One word: emulators.
  • This theoretically means that you will be able to open youtube links on posts and emails directly with an app like Metrotube. I hated that if someone posted a youtube link on fb, i had to watch it through the html5 player in IE.
  • Nothing wrong with that
  • So, in case it hasn't been asked yet, is WPCentral going leave ANYTHING for Microsoft to announce regarding WP8?
  • i wonder if u can set a default app to open if u have multiple apps that can open the same file? that would totally make things go faster if u just have other apps as an "just in case"
    (so does this mean we may be able to play any kind of media files now? :) that would make my day)
  • I read that windows phone 8 would be able to handle almost all media files..
  • that would be great! except when someone decides to make a new format lol, but now that we have this, it's no longer an issue too :)
  • Definitely looking forward to this!
  • On iOS, iota, my note taking app (marketplace) used this feature of iOS 4 to enable users to attach arbitrary documents to notes as well as images and exchange notes with other users via e-mail attachments.
    Hopefully the filetype handling will be as flexible as iOS' UTI system and I can finally update the Windows Phone app to the same feature set. 
    It's a pity that the WP7 users who've been asking for feature parity with iOS will have to upgrade to WP8 to get it.
  • well there is no reason why this feature can't come to WP7.8, It is up to Microsoft to show some good will and allow it to happen.
  • Do you know, as an absolute fact, that this feature can be implemented in WP7.x?
  • This feature can definitely be implemented. But i dont think wp7 will get more than the new start screen...
  • This is amazing.
  • People is not about if its possbile to be implemented, its about how much time it will cost to implement it. MS would have to do double work to bring all these features to 7.8