This week was packed with news from the BUILD conference for Windows and Windows Phone developers. If you didn’t have a chance to join us in San Francisco don’t worry, we share the highlights here and you can catch one of the sessions at https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014
Windows Phone 8.1 and the One Windows platform
Windows Phone shipments are growing at 156% annually, shipping more phones than iPhone in 24 markets, and capturing second place of operating systems in 14 markets (source: IDC). This surge in device shipments is also translating to demand in Windows Store, with more than 4 billion cumulative app downloads, 12 million store transactions per day, and a 390% increase in monthly paid app revenue since the launch of Windows Phone 8.
At Build this week Microsoft announced a converged platform for developers with the announcement of Universal apps.
The new Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 share more than 80 per cent of their APIs and empower you to deliver better experiences through the cloud. What’s more, the converged platform elevates developers’ reach to over 100M active app purchasing users to date, with growth rate of 250% annually.
Here are just a few of the Windows Phone 8.1 enhancements designed to help you create unique app experiences:
1. Windows Phone Store learns the types of apps users like and provides personal recommendations based on what they’ve downloaded or what their Facebook friends have liked.
2. Blue Enterprise Feature Pack makes existing Windows Phone devices even more secure phones for businesses.
3. Camera Burst mode enables capture of multiple shots with one press of the camera button (even capturing shots that occur before the button is pressed).
Nokia Also announced three new phones which continue the momentum of Nokia Lumia and the converged Windows platform.
Nokia Lumia 930 is an iconic, beautifully-crafted and engineered device that takes full advantage of the new Windows Phone 8.1 platform. The phone includes a 5-inch FullHD ClearBlack AMOLED display, quadcore processing, and comes with PureView 20-megapixel imaging and SensorCore.
Nokia Lumia 630 and Nokia Lumia 635 bring Windows Phone and Lumia innovations to more affordable prices while delivering an uncompromised Windows Phone 8.1 experience. The Nokia Lumia 630 is available in several configurations, including smart dual-SIM 3G and blazing fast internet experience in the Lumia 635 LTE version – unique value and experience in their pricepoints.
Enhancement for developers
Nokia Announced enhancements to its Nokia Lumia SDK and the ability to extend your Windows Apps with Nokia SDKs The Nokia Imaging SDK has been used by developers like you to build more than 1,500 imaging apps. The latest release, Nokia Imaging SDK 1.2 Beta:
Windows Phone 8.1 support allows your single code base to support the newly-announced Windows Phone 8.1 plus Windows Phone 8.0, Windows 8.1 and 8.1 RT.
New features include
1. Animated GIF support lets you create animated apps to excite and wow users.
2. Image Alignment API helps you stabilise photo sequences.
3. Local Blending API , lets your apps combine and position images of different sizes on top of each other. This is great for adding badges or stickers to images, or combining front and back camera photos for the perfect group shot.
Low Power and Energy usage coming to Windows with SensorCore technology
The Nokia Lumia phones announced this week are the first phones to incorporate low-power SensorCore technology that makes apps context aware and empowers consumers to get more relevant health data and track their progress towards everyday fitness goals. At Build, we announced an update to Bing Health & Fitness that uses the new SensorCore technology to allow consumers to track and make progress on their fitness and lifestyle goals like never before by taking advantage of pedometer and motion data.
The SensorCore SDK is currently available as a private beta and we’re working to get this technology out to public soon.
Nokia Lumia App Labs Webinar
To learn more, register now for the Lumia App Lab webinar covering Nokia Imaging SDK 1.2 beta