In case you haven’t heard, a little developer shindig called Build 2014 is taking place in San Francisco this week. Nothing big is on the agenda besides, you know, the first major update to Windows Phone in more than a year and a significant update to Windows 8.1 as well. In anticipation of the event, today Microsoft published its entire Build 2014 sessions list and there’s a ton of goodies we discovered when we went through the list.
While Build sessions are typically written in such a way as to avoid revealing too much information before the show, this year seemingly no one got that memo. Not only is “Windows Phone 8.1″ mentioned by name several times, there are also a number of references to features like a “new system-wide speech and natural language user experience”. That’s your cue, Cortana. The sessions also reveal that Windows Phone apps can now be coded in XAML or Silverlight 8.1, new geofencing capabilities for apps, expanded Wallet features (including crossplatform support for iOS Passes and Google events), a tease of the new File Picker’s functions alongside app contracts, new backup and restore features, media editing APIs for videos and photos, and more.
Check out our condensed list of all the sessions containing new information about Windows Phone 8.1 below. (Yes, this is condensed; we sorted through the 150+ sessions at Build 2014 this year.)
The new release of Windows Phone dramatically expands the ways in which developers can build applications and games, by adding several new programming models, and also expanding the application model to support a broader set of developer scenarios. Andrew will explore these in depth and give you the information you need to get started building applications that leverage these features today.
Come learn about the common XAML UI framework for Windows and Windows Phone. This session will cover the common XAML APIs across Windows and Windows Phone, techniques and limitations when using common XAML to build experiences both Windows and Windows Phone as well as cover device-specific XAML APIs that enable device specific experiences.
The Windows Phone Speech APIs help you integrate your app into Windows Phone’s new system-wide speech and natural language user experience. In this session we’ll demonstrate how you can extend the phone’s experience allowing users to launch YOUR APP by voice or text using free-form natural language commands. We will also look at how to enable voice-based conversational dialog interactions with users after your app has been launched, summarizing what’s different in the Windows Phone speech APIs.
Windows Phone 8.1 introduces new mechanisms to allow applications to execute while not in the foreground. A converged Triggers and Background Tasks implementation allows tasks to launch on time, location, push, Bluetooth and system events. Learn how new resource policies affect how and when your application runs in the background and how to use these new feature from Windows XAML and Silverlight 8.1 applications.
Windows and Windows Phone have a converged notification platform and development model starting in Windows Phone 8.1. Come learn what the converged platform means for your existing apps and how to take advantage of the new platform and great new features shared with Windows. You’ll learn about WNS including push and local notifications and about the brand new Action Center and its associated programming model. This session in conjunction with the Live Tiles session will give you everything you need to know about notifications for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps.
With Windows Phone 8.1 we’re bringing many of the Windows APIs that allow apps to talk to each other to the Phone! Your apps now have the ability to share photos, text, links and pretty much anything you want to built-in apps like Mail or Messaging and social networks like Facebook or Twitter. You can also open and save files to the SD card, Phone storage and OneDrive or other cloud storage services. These are just some of the things enabled by the new contracts in Windows Phone 8.1. Arun and John will dive into each of these contracts with demos on how to use them in your Windows Phone 8.1 apps as well as your existing Silverlight apps.
Do you want to enhance your phone app with maps – add data to customize your maps, provide routing, or traffic information? Do you want to make your app experience contextual to where the user is located, even when your app is not running? If that is the case, this session is for you.We will provide practical guidance on how to use mapping and geofencing APIs to make all this happen. Our new geofence-based triggers allow you to be notified of timely location-based actions without the worry of excessive battery drain. The geofencing APIs are common to Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, but we will talk about the platform specific differences.
Windows and Windows Phone have a converged Live Tiles platform and development model. In Windows Phone 8.1 you’ll be able to do great new things with the Tiles Platform and this session is targeted at helping you understand several critical tiles topics. Specifically, migrating your tiles from a Windows Phone 8.0 app to a Windows Phone 8.1 app and how to best take advantage of the new Tile Templates and scenarios available to you using the converged model on Windows Phone 8.1.
Windows Phone 8.1 will be easier to deploy in enterprises and Windows S14 update contains some critical enterprise improvements. This session provides everything you need to know about the new Windows Phone 8.1 enterprise features and MDM policies. We’ll also provide a quick overview of what’s new in S14. To round out the session we’ll do a couple of Windows Phone demo to make the feature descriptions come alive.
Creating applications that edit video is now possible on a Windows Phone. From simple trimming of a single video clip to complex editing of a composition containing multiple clips and a background soundtrack, the new Windows.Media.Editing APIs give application developers on the Windows Phone Blue a powerful tool to quickly build a dedicated video editing application or add editing as a feature to another application.
Learn how to build XAML/C# camera and photos apps for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. This session includes rich demos of the Windows.Media.Capture API and advanced image processing techniques, including HDR.
The XAML Application Framework initially introduced with Windows 8.0 is now available on Windows Phone 8.1. This session will cover an overview of Navigation Model for XAML Applications including In-App and App-to-App navigation, similarities and differences between Windows and Phone and UX Guidance for Back Button and Fast Application Resume.
Consumers are excited about Windows Phones and Nokia builds the best Windows Phones out there. Nokia is also making its investments into areas like imaging and sensors available to developers through additional APIs and SDKs that build on top of Windows Phone. This talk focuses on what’s new with the Imaging SDK, sensors and hardware.
We’ve been doing a lot of work with new converged XAML app support on Windows Phone 8.1, but what about legacy Windows Phone Silverlight XAML based apps? Come learn about all the new features we’ve enabled with Silverlight 8.1. We’ll walk through creating new Silverlight 8.1 apps, upgrading existing Silverlight 8.0 apps and adding new features introduced in our converged XAML app framework. There’s also some app model differences between Silverlight 8.0 and 8.1 apps as well as a few upgrade breaking changes to be aware of when moving your app forward.
The Windows Runtime now provides the foundation for both Windows and Windows Phone apps, providing developers with thousands of API’s to build innovative experiences. In this session we’ll explore the Windows Runtime from the perspective of a Windows Phone developer. We’ll compare and contrast Windows Phone Silverlight apps with those written using the Windows Runtime.
There are very few applications that do not need to interact with data in some way. Whether you’re a game developer simply looking to track high scores or an enterprise developer who needs the ability to store, retrieve and manipulate large amounts of information in your line-of-business app, successfully managing data is critical to your success. In this session, Sean will cover how your app can store its own data and interact with user data stores like photos and music using Windows Runtime APIs. He will also discuss how you can use roaming to keep data in sync across multiple Windows devices. Finally, he will talk about the new backup and restore features coming to Windows Phone and how your app can participate.
Windows Phone 8.1 builds on the Bluetooth LE APIs for Windows 8.1 and has extended them to enable exciting new scenarios such as fitness and “find my keys”. In this discussion, we’ll highlight some of those scenarios and provide guidance on how to use new APIs for background agents and triggers.
This release of Windows Phone fills several gaps in the security feature lists and packs a surprise. This session will walk you trough these new features with sample code and demos. Please attend for a comprehensive view of the Windows Phone security programming model.
User data is at the core of developing personal experiences on a smart phone. In this session, Tony will discuss new APIs to manage user data available in 8.1. He will address extended read access with Windows Runtime APIs, system UI tools to efficiently get tasks completed, and opportunities to integrate the data that your platform knows deep into the core Windows Phone experiences. The specific data types that fall into these themes are Contacts, Appointments, Email, and Online Media. Among other scenarios, the session will cover attaching arbitrary files to emails and writing appointments into the user’s calendar.
This talk is especially for you if your business has membership cards, coupons, tickets or deals. We’ll be talking about new features for the Wallet that make it easy to get your content onto Windows Phone, even if you don’t have an app. There are new branding opportunities, support for relevant card alerts at the right time and place as well as ability to keep the card current through updates from the cloud. There is an end-to-end experience around travel, from buying a ticket, to checking-in, to getting the boarding pass. Wallet has added cross-platform capabilities such as support for iOS Passes and travel-specific actions in Gmail. There is a new tool you can use to create wallet cards quickly. Come see how you can use our lightweight platform to engage your customers on the next release of Windows Phone. Note: NFC functionality has been decoupled so that apps can now support NFC payments inside their own experiences. It will not be covered in this talk.
Tags: Blue, BUILD 2014, Dev Center, Developers, Windows 8.1