This is a great day for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, with the official launch of Windows Phone 8 along with the following Windows Phone 8-related clients and toolkits:
- Windows Phone 8 SDK
- Mobile Services SDK for Windows Phone 8
- Windows Phone Toolkit for Windows Phone 8
- OData Client Library for Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone SDK 8.0
Yesterday morning we announced the release of the Windows Phone SDK 8.0. I only got hold of this new SDK about a week ago, so I haven’t had much time to play around with it, but here’s what’s in it:
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
- Windows Phone emulator(s)†
- Expression blend for Windows Phone
- Team Explorer
† One reason that it took me so long to start using Windows Phone SDK 8.0 (aside from the difficulty of even getting access to it inside of Microsoft) was the stringent platform requirement of “a machine running Windows 8 with SLAT enabled.” This meant that I had to wait to upgrade my x64 Lenovo W520 laptop to Windows 8 before I could start working with Windows Phone 8 apps. This is because the emulator runs in a VM. It seems much faster and more stabile than the old 7.1 version, but its virtual networking adapters do confuse my laptop from time to time.
The first thing that I noticed was support for doing much cooler things with live tiles that was even possible in 7.1, including providing different tile sizes in the app that customers can set and new kinds of notifications. For more information about what’s new, see the post Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0.
Windows Phone Toolkit for Windows Phone 8
This critical toolkit has always been chock full of useful controls (I’ve used it quite a bit in my apps), and it’s now updated to support Windows Phone 8 development and the new SDK. You can get the toolkit from NuGet. Documentation and sources are published on CodePlex at http://phone.codeplex.com.
OData Client Library for Windows Phone 8
Microsoft had already released OData v3 client support for both .NET Framework and Windows Store apps, but support for Windows Phone had been noticeably missing from the suite of OData clients. Yesterday, we also unveiled the OData Client Tools for Windows Phone Apps. As is now usually the case for OData clients, this library isn’t included with the Windows Phone SDK 8.0, but you can easily downloaded it from here and install it with the Windows Phone SDK 8.0.
Mobile Services SDK for Windows Phone 8
The main reason that I needed to install the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 was to test the new support in Windows Azure Mobile Services. Since Microsoft is, of course, committed to supporting it’s Windows Phone platform, Mobile Services also released the Windows Phone 8 SDK, along with updates to the Management Portal for Windows Phone 8. This is all tied to this week’s //BUILD conference, hosted by Microsoft, and the release of the Windows Phone SDK 8.0.
Mobile Services quickstart for Windows Phone 8 in the Windows Azure Management Portal
If you’ve been using the Mobile Services SDK for Windows Store apps, the .NET Framework libraries in this SDK are nearly identical to the client library in the Windows Phone 8 SDK (with some behavioral exceptions). As such , anything that you could do with Mobile Services in a Windows Store app you can also do in a Windows Phone app. As such, we created Windows Phone 8 versions of the original Windows Store quickstarts:
- Get started with Mobile Services
- Get started with data
- Get started with authentication
- Get started with push notifications
I’m definitely excited to (finally) be working on Windows Phone 8 apps and hope to be blogging more in the future about Mobile Services and Windows Phone.
With so much great buzz around Windows Phone 8, now I just need AT&T to start selling them so I can go get mine.