Friday, May 24, 2013

Windows 8.1 Pre-beta WinRT API Spelunking (Think, "What's new in the Win8.1 WinRT API's" or "Wow, this is a ton of information..." or "OMG, Justin needs a life..." ;)

Justin Angel - Pre-beta Windows 8.1 WinRT Developer APIs

In this article we’ll review new developer WinRT features that’ll be released in the upcoming Windows 8 release (dubbed “Windows 8.1” / “Windows Blue”). Microsoft recently announced that during June 2013’s BUILD conference a developer preview of Windows 8.1 will be released for download. In the meanwhile many Windows 8.1 “leaked” images are available online. These “leaked” images allows us to get a sneak preview of the featuresets that’ll be announced in BUILD conference. For the length of this article we’ll go over those features.

Methodology: How was this research done?

Windows 8.1 images contain WinMD files describing their embedded Windows 8.1 developers APIs. It’s possible to get to Win8.1’s WinMD files and then compare them to the existing Windows 8 RTM WinMD files. This entire article is based upon using Reflection to see those API differences.

  1. Download the latest Windows 8.1 “leaked” image. This article was based on an image named “9385.0.FBL_PARTNER_OUT17.130415-2049_X86FRE_CLIENT_EN-US-PL-PL-RU-RU.ISO”.
  2. Create a bootable USB drive from the ISO file and Install it on a nearby machine.
  3. Win8.1’s WinMD files can be found under the following directory: C:\Windows\System32\WinMetadata
  4. Using Microsoft’s Framework Design Studio it’s then possible to compare the WinMD files from a WIndows 8.1 “leaked” image and Windows 8 RTM. 



Table of Contents

  1. Bluetooth 4.0 RfComm and GATT support
  2. Point of sale: Barcode scanners and Magnetic card readers
  3. Smart Cards
  4. Lock screen Image Apps
  5. VPN support for Metro apps
  6. Scanner APIs and apps
  7. Support for any External / USB device
  8. Native PDF rendering in apps
  9. Multiple screens projection support in apps
  10. XAML/WinJS: New resolution scaling support / Super-high resolution tablets
  11. Camera: Low-lag cameras / HDR
  12. New Metro App Types: Appointments, LockScreen, Contacts and GeoLoc
  13. New App Type: GeoFenced activation
  14. New App Type: Lock screen call
  15. New App Type: Appointments Provider
  16. Text-to-speech
  17. Read-write access to Camera roll, Saved pictures and playlists
  18. XAML/WinJS: new SearchBox control
  19. XAML/WinJS: Hubs for SemanticZoom
  20. XAML: DatePicker and TimePicker
  21. XAML: Flyout, MenuFlyout and SettingsMenuFlyout
  22. XAML: AppBar simplification
  23. XAML: DataBinding Improvements
  24. Globalization: Currencies, Numeral systems and Numerical formatters
  25. Other minor but important Win8.1 features
  26. How to code Win8.1 C# apps before public beta?
  27. How to develop Win8.1 WinJS apps before public beta?
  28. Disclaimer: Please don’t sue me


This is a book length, "omg, this looks like a ton of work" look at the unreleased Windows 8.1 WinRT changes


(via Windows Enterprise Desktop - Analysis of Windows 8.1 “Blue” APIs Reveals Cool Coming Attractions)

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