Windows Phone 8.1 features leaked by developer

What surprises await the next version of Microsoft's mobile OS? One person with access to the Software Development Kit reveals a few tidbits.

What's in store for the successor to Windows Phone 8?
What's in store for the successor to Windows Phone 8? Ed Rhee/CNET

Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT will be able to share the same code, helping developers more easily create the same apps for phone and tablet. At least, that's the take from a round of leaked details.

On Tuesday, a developer with access to the new Windows Phone 8.1 Software Development Kit (SDK) hopped onto Reddit to share several features headed for the new version. New Universal Apps templates will help developers build WinStore/WinRT and WinPhone apps using the same HTML and JavaScript code, according to the SDK. The developer pointed to the new feature as a sign that WinRT and WinPhone are starting to merge.

Recent reports from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley and Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott suggest that Microsoft is aiming to release a series of updates, collectively codenamed Threshold, in 2015 . Threshold will reportedly update Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One so that all three platforms can more readily share certain code and other elements.

What else is in store for Windows Phone 8.1?

A new YouTube player promises to play videos embedded in the Web page without need for a separate app. Squabbles between Microsoft and Google have effectively neutered the current Windows Phone version of YouTube. The SDK documentation also refers to a file picker and saver, hinting at a possible file manager.

Users will be able to install apps directly to an SD card and shoot photos and footage in one of three modes: camera, burst, and video, according to the developer. They'll also be able to close an app by swiping down on it.

(Via The Verge)

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About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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