The Windows Phone 8.1 developer page reveals more about what’s new in Windows Phone 8.1 for developers. There are some very interesting tidbits for us common users as well. So, I will cover some of the more interesting stuff here.
Background transfers have now become app independent in the sense that, they keep on happening in background even when app is terminated. Great improvement over Windows Phone 8.
Background Transfer runs separately from the calling app and is primarily designed for long-term transfer operations for resources like video, music, and large images. For these scenarios, using Background Transfer is essential because downloads continue to progress even when the app is suspended. On phone, background transfers continue to progress even when the app is terminated.
Coming to multitasking, when we press the back button the app is not terminated but gets suspended. If developer wants, he can still let the background processes run with tile updates, badge updates, and toast notifications even when the app is suspended. And, if your app is on the lock-screen, it uses real-time background tasks.
You can use background tasks to run lightweight code in the background. Any app can register a background task in response to certain system events. Background tasks can’t run code that directly updates the UI; instead, they show information to the user with tile updates, badge updates, and toast notifications. Some apps, like mail, VOIP, and IM, allow the user to communicate in real-time. If the user allows, your app can show a badge or tile on the lock screen. When your app is on the lock screen, it gains access to real-time background tasks.
Camera improvements seem to be many. Capturing a variable photo sequence for HDR imaging, rotating captured video, adding video stabilization and adding slow-motion effect.
This topic shows you how to capture a variable photo sequence, which allows you to capture multiple frames of images in rapid succession and configure each frame to use different focus, ISO, exposure, and exposure compensation settings. This feature enables scenarios like creating High Dynamic Range (HDR) images.
The VideoStabilization effect can help reduce shakiness in video, such as from a hand-held camera. This effect can be added during live capture or added as a post-processing step during transcoding.
This topic shows you how to add a slow-motion effect to video. This effect can be added during live capture or added as a post-processing step during transcoding.
The screen capture has also been enhanced with option of recording both image and video of your screen activity. Gamers, rejoice!!
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