The Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview has been leaked on the Internet today before being released in the coming weeks. What's included in the upcoming version?
Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview supports native C++ development and is able to support a significant subset of the Windows 8 SDK, allowing developers to share a significant amount of code between apps on Windows Phone and Window 8. The lack of native development support in Windows Phone 7.x has proven to be an issue with developers in the past, which has now been recognised by Microsoft.
The SDK Preview reduces the need to port and maintain components such as compute engines, graphic libraries, and API sets. Direct3D is also making its way to Windows Phone, which will enable developers to create and release games built using DirectX and share code base between PC titles (D2D, DWrite and WIC aren't supported). The supported vertex shader model version is 2.0, as is the pixel shader.
Should you be a HTML developer, you'll be disappointed to know that apps built using the language are not a supported model in Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview. Wordarounds are available however, and Internet Explorer 10 will bring new features and extended functionality for web content.
Native API Additions
As well as new development opportunities, Windows Phone developers will also have additional Windows 8 Native APIs to play with. We've covered a few of these previously, but to recap, here's a list from the leaked SDK:
- Keyboard / TextComposition - Developers of Direct3D games will be able to create their own text boxes that behave just like the ones provided by HTML and XAML, using APIs that represent text as it's being composed, and show / hide the on-screen keyboard when a custom text box has focus.
- Speech - New APIs enable speech recognition, synthesis, and shell interaction so apps can be launched using speech commands.
- Camera - Developers can make use of additional APIs for deeper camera configuration, access to live previews, and multiframe capture scenarios.
- Launchers - Data will be able to be returned to a Windows Phone app that has been tombstoned, but the FileOpenPicker does not support generic file picking from system folders, and will only bring up the Photo Chooser in the Preview.
- Bluetooth - New APIs enable a native Bluetooth stack. The Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview version of the API adds the ability for two phones to communicate running the same app, and an app installed on a Windows Phone can communicate directly with a paired device.
- In-App Purchasing - As we've covered before, in-app purchasing is to be supported for consumers to be able to download content from within an app, which is already present in a few Xbox LIVE games available for Windows Phone.
Related stories from today for the leaked WIndows Phone 8 SDK:
- Windows Phone 8 to feature developer access to Voice Command features
- Windows Phone 8 to feature expanded Bluetooth functionality, access to stack and transfer
- Windows Phone 8 - Photo Apps now able to auto upload in background
- Windows Phone 8 allows Lock-screen notifications and wallpaper for 3rd party apps
- Windows Phone 8 bringing Lenses feature to expand camera functionality
- Auto Launching Apps now possible using file associations for Windows Phone 8
- New Map Feautres in WIndows Phone 8
- More Windows Phone 8 dev features revealed - background location, video codecs and more
We'll have more information on the front page as we come across it.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
hope next time they post something about a new feature it says something about windows phone 7.8
Probably in an updated WP7 SDK, not a WP8 one.
A little discouraging that they are not more aligned, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that is. Although I am very pleased with the direct3d surface ability in Xaml apps.
So will the keyboard API mean that Swype is now a real possibility on WP8? That would be icing on the cake.
Pretty disappointed with the lack of native HTML development support. I figured it'd be easy to support with WP8 sporting IE10. I guess not. It would have made for easy application porting from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8.
It is very easy to port C# and C++ based apps from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8. As for HTML5, well, you can always use PhoneGap.
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