For our full coverage, head to Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak - All you need to know!
Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed 'Blue', is a forthcoming major update for Microsoft's mobile platform. While we're anticipating an announcement at the company’s Build 2014 conference in April, with new hardware arriving in June, already Microsoft has released the SDK to developers and we're seeing some leaks appear on Reddit, pointing at a handful of new features in the 8.1 update.
Some obvious changes have been jotted down, including the rebranding of SkyDrive to OneDrive, not to mention the ability to set up and configure connections to Virtual Private Networks (VPN). A number of other changes have reportedly been implemented in the SDK, making multitasking easier with the removal of "X to close" and allowing users to swipe down on each app tile (much like Windows 8.1) – the back button no longer closes apps, but suspends them.
New File Picker
Here's the list of features noted by the developer with Windows Phone 8.1 SDK access:
- NEW Audio/video transcoding, Hardware accelerated
- NEW Media editing: audio and video; Audio effects, video effects; Slow motion video
- NEW Apps can capture audio/video from themselves
- NEW Stereoscopic 3d support
- NEW Wi-Fi Direct, a Wi-Fi standard allowing direct peer-to-peer connections over Wi-Fi without an access point
- NEW Windows Phone 8.1 apps won't run on 8.0 devices until they upgrade
- NEW Documentation confirms ALL current Windows Phone 8 hardware to get 8.1
- NEW Dev tools: SemanticZoom, DatePicker, TimePicker
- NEW PlayTo support
- NEW Single sign-in for apps (like on Windows 8) with Microsoft Account; sign in will persist across devices + apps with permissions prompt
- NEW YouTube Player (see lede image) including HTML5 video support (video playback doesn't have to be full screen) And you get custom UI, so YouTube Closed Captions are in
- NEW File picker (see above image)
- NEW Geofencing API for location-based reminders
- NEW Background tasks: Bluetooth signal strength, Chat message notification, Device connection change, Device use trigger, Gatt characteristic notification, Location, Push notification, Rfcomm connection, System event, Timer
- NEW Slide down to close apps
- NEW Navigation bar color selection
- NEW USB choices
- NEW Updated camera layout, similar to Windows 8.1 (see photo below)
- Back button doesn't terminate the app
- No more XAP, instead APPX
- VPN (Virtual Private Network)
- OneDrive (previously SkyDrive) with integrated file browser (just like Windows 8.1)
- Filter through installed apps by usage/install date
- Select multiple tiles when customising the Start screen [FALSE]
- More efficient multitasking
- Ability to install apps on inserted SD Cards
- Internet Explorer 11 improved with WebGL and Normal mapping support
- Separate volume controls for ringer, media, etc.
- Bing smart search (similar search system as Windows 8.1)
- Xbox Music and Xbox Video as standalone apps instead of the Music + Video Hub (allowing more updates to be pushed)
- Redesigned Xbox Game Hub
- Twitter integrated more deeply into the contacts Hub
- Facebook account option REMOVED (updated)
- Quick settings access (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) by doing a quick swipe from the top of the screen
- Action Center accessed by doing a full swipe from up to the bottom (separate from the Notification Center)
- Silent notifications which go directly to the Action center
- Possibility to mark a Live Tile as read by swiping from the left of said tile
- Auto-updates for apps (just like Windows 8.1)
- Better backup functionality
- Improved keyboard
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE (to non-Lumia Windows Phones)
- Feature to mirror Windows Phone screens to TVs and/or monitors
Things not included in the SDK:
- Action Center + Notification Center
- new gesture-based keyboard
A final interesting note is how Windows Phone is referred to as WinPRT.
We haven't been able to confirm the above list, so be sure to take each entry with a grain of salt. That said, it's looking likely Windows Phone 8.1 will be an impressive update, bringing across much anticipated functionality. Reddit user DDReaper compiled the sweet list, taking everything from other threads and bundling everything in a easily digestible experience.
Source: Reddit; thanks to everyone who tipped us!
New camera app layout
New: USB Connections, Nav bar color, swipe down to close apps
NBA 2K21: Everything you need to know
The NBA 2K series is a perennial favorite for good reason, and expected to elevate its game on next-gen consoles with NBA 2K21, we fill you in on everything you need to know.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto, creator of the well-known Konami Code, has passed away
Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of the Konami Code, has died. Konami confirmed the news on Twitter. Kazuhisa Hashimoto was 61 years old when he passed on.
Surface Duo peek view shown off in a leaked video
A new video shows off a feature for the Surface Duo that allows you to quickly peek at contents. The feature allows you to see the date and notifications in a sliver on the screen when you partially open the device.
Check out this killer compact AMD Ryzen 9 3900X gaming PC
The NZXT H1 is a compact case that allows you to pack it full of powerful components, including an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and RTX 2060 Super. Here's a killer gaming build.