Today the Windows Phone team announced the availability of the Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8 for targeting the Windows Phone 7.8 operating system which replaces Windows Phone 7.5.
This is an optional update that adds two new Windows Phone 7.8 emulator images to your existing SDK installation. The emulator will allow you to fully test how your Windows Phone app’s Live Tiles will look and behave when they are run on a device running Windows Phone 7.8.
The Windows Phone Team have announced this and detail whats included in the Windows Phone SDK update.If your an existing Windows Phone developer I would recommend you look at Thomas Fennel’s blog on how to ‘light up’ your 7.5 app in Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0 for a technical overview of how to use the new emulator images.
The Windows Phone SDK update adds the following capabilities to your machine:
- Windows Phone 7.8 emulator: This OS image emulates your app running on a 512-MB device running Windows Phone 7.8 (build 8878)
- Windows Phone 7.8 256MB emulator: This OS image emulates Windows Phone 7.8 (build 8878) running on a 256-MB device
- If you’re running a Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installation, the update will also download and install the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 update onto your machine as part of the update
(again, only applicable to Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installations)
Most importantly, any Windows Phone apps that you build using the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK still target and run on Windows Phone 7.5. This update simply makes it easier to test how your apps appear on devices running Windows Phone 7.8.
Live Tile options when running on Windows Phone 7.8
At a high level, Windows Phone 7.8 allows you to have your 7.5 apps behave much like apps do on Windows Phone 8 devices, allowing you to do the following on a user’s start screen:
- Your app’s primary tile can have a customized small tile, support wide tiles, and also take advantage of the Flip tile template.
- Secondary tiles can be enabled to take advantage of all three of the new tile templates (Flip, Iconic, and Cycle).
Taking advantage of the new tile options available in Windows Phone 7.8 uses the same reflection approach that folks have been using over the past few months light up their 7.5 apps on Windows Phone 8 (refer to the ‘lighting up’ your tiles on Windows Phone 8.0 topic on the Windows Phone Dev Center for details).
Additional links for more information
The SDK update requires an existing installation of the Windows Phone SDK:
For further information on developing Windows Phone apps that light up on Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8.0, you may find the following links helpful:
- Windows Phone Developer Blog: Thomas Fennel’s blog on how to ‘light up’ your 7.5 app in Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0
- Build Session: Thomas Fennel’s session on Windows Phone 8: Tiles, Lock Screen, and Notifications
- MSDN: Adding Windows Phone 8 and 7.8 Tile Functionality to Windows Phone OS 7.1 Apps