Alright, I just got of the first airplane, from Lincoln to Chicago. I have 4 hours here before I take a flight to Stockholm so I’ll miss out on quite a few sessions, but I’ll watch them as soon as I get home and provide notes! Anyway, I literally ran out and took the first seat I found, paid for WiFi and got online to watch the Keynote. I only missed the 10 first minutes. Here are my notes from the keynote. As last time, the notes are terse and focused features and news.
Finally we are a step closer to universal apps across all platforms while stull embracing the platform differences. In Visual Studio there are now new templates to choose between that makes it easier to create universal apps.
Keep the code that you want to share there (I’ll write a long article about this later)
Read more here, with an example by my boss Laurent on how to use use MVVM light with Universal apps
Third Party Libraries
Select what you want to share and share – this is not done by default. You need to opt in.
Can share views or use unique views
Running the emulator or simulator
Easier to change startup project, choose what to run in the dropdown menu
Design Time Support
Dropdown menu that allows you to switch at Design Time
Improvements in the diagnostic tools
Streamline Store Experience
Shared app identities between phone and PC – customers don’t need to buy two separate apps. In-app purchases can also be shared with shared app identities. This goes for cloud storage as well. Of course you don’t have to have a common id, you are free to not do that 🙂
Submitting apps to the Windows Phone Store
50% faster (this was done a few months back if I remember correctly, some devs had their apps out in a matter of a few hours!)
Office and Universal Apps
Touch first versions of office that will scale well from PC to tablets to phones (big yay from me since I just bought the 1520!- AKA the ‘is that really a phone?’-phone)
The ribbon is still there but optimized for touch with larger touch target surface- and you will find most editing features such as themes, inserting smart art, shapes and more. There is also unlimited and undo and redo, this is done by saving everything to the One Cloud- that allows us to save unlimited version history.
All documents open smoothly with the same rich experience we are used to in ‘old’ office.
Gesture capabilities is also being added, such as swipe and pinch, and of course using pens in drawing mode.
Taking advantage of Windows Runtime gives us full fidelity across the apps.
You can now run Windows 8 applications on Xbox with Universal Apps. SDK v2 coming out now, with big improvements.
Hundreds of new features for Windows Phone 8.1
New triggers (such as the ones added to Windows 8.1 if I understood him correct)
Easy to upgrade apps or migrate apps
Cortana – the personal (voice) assistant
Complex grammar introduced (natural language). We’ve been able to use voice commands before, but we had to put together grammar files. Now we can leverage Cortana and let Cortana work out some of the language aspects and only provide ‘hints’. This means less work for us, if it works well of course. My experience with voice in Windows Phone has been good, and the demo he did was failry well- but hashtag was misspelled to ‘cash’ ha ha 😀
Cross Platform Apps
MS wants to help us with creating cross platform apps (at this point I think many held their breath wondering if they would mention Xamarin) and they partner with other companies and the open source communities.
IE11 will found on all windows devices as MS recognizes the importance of HTML, JS and CSS for cross platform development, which means we get WebGL, incline viedo playback, aptive streaming without plugins and more.
WinJS now goes cross platform- to Windows Phone as well.
Open as an open source project under Apache license, found on GitHub. Please contribute (this made me very happy woho!).
When are the Updates Available?
For BUILD attendees and MSDN subscribers today, for others next week.
Same graphics platform across the platforms DirectX 12, we basically get a graphics technology that actually scales. Regardless of the different graphics cards and capabilities you will see crisp clear graphics and excellent performance.
Start menu is back. (WTF? Argh….why? Oh well. I won’t be using it but I’m sure it will help getting more people to update). As MS said, they want to remove friction so for phones and Tablets under 9 inches Windows is available now for free. As devices gets smaller the clouds gets bigger.
Stephen Elop (Executive Vise President) is excited about joining MS. All Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices can upgrade to 8.1, this includes the 520 (the cheaper phone/ affordable phone) and al the way to 1520. The next generation of Lumia devices are:
A little bit more square, aluminum look with a splash of color. Built for Windows Phone 8.1. It comes in a variety of colors, has Full HD display and clear image even outdoor. It has wireless charging and has a 20 pix pureveiw camera for great imaging and video. Creative Studio is an app that allows non-destructive image editing with quite a few features. There are also improvements to the Storyteller application and the living images app.
The phone also provides great cinematic experience with 4 microphones, when you record the playback gives a more realistic sound and surround sound capability. Everything is synced with One Drive.
The phone will first be sold in Europe with start in June.
The 630 and The 635
These are the more affordable devices, also a bit more square, without the aluminum feel but with the colors. They have changeable shells, and come either with one or dual card. Yes, you can have two sim cards! You can either merge them together, you can merge certain things (such as phonebook), or just keep everything separate. The 635 has 4G.
The phones will first be sold in Asia, with start in May, last in US in July
A sort of replacement for fitness wearable sensors, this is built into the device.
Nokia Imaging SDK
New filter effects and more
Nokia SensorCore SDK
Also released very soon
And for those interested:
Everybody at BUILD got an Xbox One :S and a 500 USD gift card for a new device.