With the this version of mobile operating system, Microsoft has introduced many new features in Windows Phone 8.0 devices. We’ve seen some of them here. Features for consumer, means APIs for developers. And Windows Phone provides many new APIs/Features/Tools which developers can benefit from.
If you’re a hobbyist developer, developing for Windows Phone is totally free. Please note: however, if you want to sell your apps and make money out of it, you need pay something. And in this post we’ll discuss all the necessary steps involved in developing Windows Phone 8.0 applications along with tools/SDKs required.
|If you’re a Windows Phone 7 developer and have already built apps for it, your apps will run on Windows Phone 8.0 devices as it is. However, apps built for Windows Phone 8.0, will not work on earlier devices.|
A Hyper-V Enabled, SLAT Enabled PC
Windows Phone 8.0 uses new emulation technique to provide better testing capabilities through emulator. To give device-like performance and other features, it requires Hyper-V support and SLAT support for your processor and motherboard. You can find more information about these requirements here. If you don’t have Hyper-V or SLAT support, you can still develop these apps; however, you’ll need a real device to test your code.
Windows 8 Or Windows 8 Pro (64bit)
Windows Phone 8 SDK
To develop apps for Windows Phone 8, you’ll need the current 8.0 SDK. Remember, SDK 7.1 can target only Windows Phone 7.0 (original launched devices) and 7.5 (Mango) devices. If you want to target 7.8 based devices, there is 7.8 SDK Update. However, SDK 8.0, allows you to build apps for all the versions. You can checkout all the SDKs here
Apart from these requirements, there are few other tools and SDKs, which can help you to be productive and earn some money by creating splendid looking phone apps. Let me put them here, later on we’ll dig dipper into these tools/libraries:
- Multilingual App Toolkit for Visual Studio 2012
To build localized applications on Windows Phone. Now, WP supports Indic languages as well like Hindi, Marathi, etc…
- Live SDK for Windows Phone
If you want to integrate Hotmail/Outlook calendar, SkyDrive in your application
- Windows Phone Toolkit
Free components from community. Add those extra controls to enrich your app’s UI
- Windows Phone Power Tools
These tools add some more features to installed WP SDK like Visual IsolatedStorage browser, Detailed Device Information, etc…
- Coding4Fun Toolkit for Windows Phone
More free controls to glorify your apps and add some more functionality.
- Telerik Windows Phone Controls
Telerik has 45+ nice controls to expedite WP app development.
- Syncfusion Metro Studio
In WP apps, the Menu Bar is provided with a concept of AppBar and the AppBar should have consistent look and feel for each button. Use this tool to create those buttons.
- Windows Phone Emulator Skin Chooser
If you want to see how your app will look like on different device, this is the best tool to use. It will change the Emulator skin as per your selection:
Along with these tools, I’ve found some really nice libraries, which can help you to expedite your Windows Phone (or for that matter any kind of app) development. You can use NuGet Package Manager console to add these packages:
- Json.NET 4.5.11
Json.NET is a popular high-performance JSON framework for .NET. To install follow the instructions as mentioned here
This library allows you to force particular theme in your application like Dark/Light. Read more from the developer from here and to install follow the instructions as mentioned here
Definitely, you can use ReSharper and Reflector kind of tools to enhance your development experience.
I hope, this can be a good starting point for anyone who wants to start with Windows Phone Application Development. Try your hands on these tools and let me know. We’ll cover these tools/SDKs more in next few posts. Till then… happy coding
Mayur Tendulkar | www.mayurtendulkar.com