01-28-2014, 07:26 AM #1
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Among the various news, leaks and rumors about WP 8.1, there is one news I found particularly interesting: Windows Phone 8.1 will bring the "WinRT API unity" from the current 33% to 77%.
Source seems to be Paul Thurrott: http://winsupersite.com/windows-phon...-rumors-emerge
Now, could someone explain me what exactly would this mean for WP ecosystem?
In my "non-developer" mind, this could be something huge: at the moment, lot of apps are not present/lack functionality on WP due to the "OS limitations/lack of API": scarce access to MicroSD, impossible to control volume, no access to proximity/light sensor and much more.
Do WinRT API have those functionality? If they do, improving the "API unity" would mean that some of them could come to WP 8.1? Or I'm mistaking and "API unity" refers to something that reside at a lower level (as example, I can build an app that access the microSD on a SurfaceRT and still being able to deploy it on a WP without changing the code, even if that functionality will be disabled).
Does anyone have a better clue of what API unity means and can explain me to me?
And also, in practical terms, what can WinRT API do now that WP8 ones can't?
- 01-28-2014, 07:37 AM #2
Let's put it this way: apps will be easier to port between Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1.
More features may also be added between these two platforms, for example: semantic zoom for Windows Phone.
- 01-28-2014, 07:43 AM #4
API unity means devs get a easier job porting apps between the two platforms. It doesn't mean you automatically get the new features that are designed to be not available (e.g. access to file system or SD cards). Each platform still has its own advantages and weakness but you no longer need to write the same code twice between platforms.
Whether or not certain functionality is available to WP is a separate architectural decision, not API. I'm a little bit of disappointed about only 77% WinRT API. It would be really useful if it is more than 90% API coverage.
- 01-28-2014, 07:56 AM #5
Lets say thanks for at least 77%! Currently WP API is very limited. Tons of features just not available for mortals. Only vendors and lucky guys who received help from them. This is not only bad for apps, but bad for whole WP ecosystem. I don't know why Microsoft thinks that all third party developers are stupid idiots and wont be able to handle API :)
- 01-28-2014, 08:15 AM #6
Lets say currently out of 100 APIs only 33 APIs are shared between RT and WP. The extra 44 APIs will open up to phone which will bring at least extra 44 features (includes backend features as well as end user features). To excite some folks here let's say examples are - swipe down to close apps, charms bar to share etc, split screen, extra tile sizes, a file explorer etc could be end user features where as backend features may include always online IMs, better push notifications, better sync between devices, user accounts etc.
- 01-28-2014, 08:36 AM #7
None of you described is API but OS features.
API is a lot more boring to describe. For example, when enumerating all network connections on a phone, the current API only covers about 10% of the features offer on WinRT. When MS opens up more, you will be able to read more information about the network connections so that your app can behave more intelligently etc. Not necessary visibly to end user.
WinRT API is also quite limited compare to the old Win32 API on Windows OS. You can't even do the basic thing like check battery level on Windows 8.
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