Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest edition of Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system, succeeding Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8.1 focuses a lot on convergence between Windows Phone and Windows Store platforms into a single developer platform that runs the same types of apps. Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Store share a similar app model and life cycle, a shared toolset, a common XAML UI framework and CLR runtime (which replaced Silverlight, used in Windows Phone 8.0). Windows Phone 8.1 uses AppX packaging for applications, rather than the old XAP package.
Windows Phone 8.1 introduces a new notification center, along with a set of capabilities developers can use to manage toast notifications through local API calls or by using push. Through these APIs and mechanisms, an app can manage the toast notifications they send to users. Operations include add, remove, replace, and expire. All notification classes are in the Windows.UI.Notifications namespace.
Windows Phone 8.1 supports many more DirectX features when compared to Windows Phone 8. These include:
Direct2D APIs DirectWrite APIs Windows Imaging Component APIs Runtime shader compilation and reflection GPU access to YUV shaders GPU performance counters Graphics diagnostics support Windows Phone 8.1 has adopted the SwapChainPanel XAML control in favor of BackgroundDrawingSurfaceGrid, which was used on Windows Phone 8.
Windows Phone 8.1 provides APIs that you can use to create an app that records images or videos of the phone’s screen activity. This way games can upload and share in-game activities. This feature is enabled through enhancements to the Windows.Media.Capture APIs already available to Windows Store apps.
Windows Phone 8.1 emulator adds support for SD card emulation, and multi-touch with mouse, improved networking support to simplify setup, configuration, and access to network resources and to reduce troubleshooting.
Windows Phone 8.1 adds support for remote performance monitoring, ETW logging, and App Verifier. Existing Windows Phone 8 command-line tools – Isolated Storage Explorer, the deployment tool, and the phone registration tool – are still supported. The Simulation Dashboard is not updated for Windows Phone (code-named “Blue”).