What’s new in VS2013 for Windows Phone Developers

It has always been great coding using Visual Studio, such a robust IDE that makes developer’s life much easier. Now with the new release of VS2013 makes your life much easier for so many reasons. Since, I am mostly concerned with windows phone development; I will be tackling the new features in VS2013 from this perspective.


Windows Phone SDK 8.0 comes with VS2013

In the previous version (VS2012), in order to develop windows phone apps you had to install the appropriate SDK and configure the emulator to be able to test your apps, which was a tedious process, since the emulator needs sometimes adjustments of the Hyper-V and sometimes it doesn’t work from the first time. But, now you don’t have to worry about any of these issues, all what you have to do is:

  1. Install the VS2013
  2. Check the packages that you need to be targeting for development as shown in picture below

Now you are all set! Can you imagine how much time you have saved?  So now we can bluntly say that Windows Phone SDK 8.0 comes now with VS2013 and you do not need to separately install WPSDK 8.0.


XAML Editor Enhancements

Visual Studio is great in supporting different programming languages, but we have been curious why features such auto complete and quick binding don’t appear in XAML which is the official design language for different apps development. But now, with VS2013 lots of these features are now available in XAML as listed below.

  • IntelliSense for data binding shows you the possible completions for the DataContext when available

  • InstelliSense for resources shows you all the resources that are applicable in a given scope, and that match the property type you are trying to assign the resource to

  • Go to definition (F12) for resources allows you to quickly jump to the document that contains the resource no matter where it defined in your project

  • Go to definition (F12) for types, properties and bindings allows you to quickly navigate to the declaration of the type, property or binding in your Model/ViewModel

  • Commenting markup supports nesting of comments within the selected range in the text editor

  • Renaming a start tag also renames the matching end tag

  • Support for adding XAML code snippets


Final Note and Feedback

Now you can download and test VS2013 from here and also a link to what’s new in VS2013. Go ahead play around with it and send your feedback via UserVoice or Connect!

This post was just the start to talk about some of the new experiences that was brought to you by VS2013. In follow up posts, we will describe each of these experiences in greater detail– so stay tuned.

Comments (8)

  1. Martin says:

    Hi, just a question, if you have any information about the availability of GDR2, GDR3 and 1080p emulator images for Visual Studio 2013? Thanks.

  2. Dina Helmy says:

    Yes it is 🙂

  3. Tony says:

    How do I take advantage of developing WP apps with VS2013 Express?  I don't see a VS2013 Express for WP?

  4. Scott says:

    I'm in the same boat as Tony. If I'm developing WP apps using VS 2012 Express, what's my upgrade path?

  5. Dina Helmy says:

    There's little motivation to release a new VS Express for Windows Phone packaged with the same 8.0 SDK. Maybe something will happen when the WP 8.1 SDK is released next year.

  6. tim says:

    Now that WP SDK comes with VS2013, where do I find the correct vcvarsall? It used to be under VC/WPSDK

  7. ganesh thapa says:

    I use vb2013  and when I try to debugging the code one error message display  "failed connect to device as it is developers locked."

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