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Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7.8 SDK update. OS updates waiting in the wing?

On Sunday we anticipated that Microsoft would start talking more about Windows Phone 7.8 as all signs point to January 31st as the beginning of a global rollout for current Windows Phone users.

Today, Microsoft has announced the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK update, which will allow developers to better target the 7.8 changes—specifically new Tile options—and to make sure that the apps behave as intended.

Detailing the update on the Windows Phone Developer blog, Microsoft’s Cliff Simpkins explains why devs will want to download this and get their apps updated as soon as possible.

The main new features for Live Tiles are the following for 7.8:

  • The app’s primary tile can have a customized small tile, support wide tiles, and also take advantage of the Flip tile template.
  • Secondary tiles can be enabled to take advantage of all three of the new tile templates (Flip, Iconic, and Cycle).

Apps updated for 7.8 will of course still run just fine on Windows Phone 7.x, meaning this won’t “lock out” users, it simply adds more features much like how Mango added new options when it was released.

The bad news is this SDK does not add any new APIs to 7.8. That means outside of some tile behavior we don’t expect to see lockscreen support besides the official Bing image-of-the-day, which is native to the system.

With the news of the SDK coming out, we’re quite confident now that the 7.8 OS update is right around the corner. Though it may take a few weeks or even months for individual carriers to sign off on the update, at least the process will have begun.

Developers can read in more detail about the 7.8 SDK here on the Windows Phone Dev blog.



There are 52 comments. Sign in to comment

PolishHitta says:

Anyone putting bet on how long will it take for Verizon to update to 7.8? My bet is April.

My bet is February ALL carriers

schlubadub says:

All carriers, all phones? You're dreaming

Kristijan87 says:

Mah, I've given up hope on that update... I've given up hope on upgrading to WP8 either because it's too expensive in my country, even with all the "deals" carriers are offering... I'm stuck with my almost-dead-wifi-is-useless-and-slow Omnia 7 (with or without 7.8) indefinitely, as it seems... :(

schlubadub says:

Just buy it outright on eBay? I saved $250 on the retail price of my mobile (it was $768) 1 week after it was released. Going prepaid too means I'm not locked into a contract and save another $800 over 2 years (compared to the cheapest contract). Just make sure the mobile supports your carriers frequencies (easier if you're not in the US) and you're good to go.

Jay. You and me have some work to do!

jsnod25 says:

He probably already has been with the already released SDK, this is just an update, no new API's so he should have already been able to start development.

Jay Bennett says:

Yeah got to work on a double wide tile it looks like...

What intrigues me is that on the Developer Blog post, they refer to 7.8 as build 8878, bit the builds we've seen on Navifirm for weeks are all 8858. I think we should look into this. ;)

You're right...I got that one wrong - I just updated the post. :)

Wow! I just saw the post corrected and I was heading here to update my comment. I didn't know you were part of the WPCentral community. ;)

I lurk a few different places - particularly when it's about items that affect me personally. ;)

Good to know. I'm specially pleased with you referring to it as "affecting you personally". That shows the kind of commitment from the WP team I've liked from day one. :P

CJ Thunder says:

Only Bing gets the image!?!?! Damn, Hello friends can't work!

melvinmajor says:

The question is: When would be the update being available for all Windows Phones (including HTC Titan) ??

walter1832 says:

Can anyone confirm if any gen 1 devices (Focus) will get this?  It sounds like this is for Mango and later devices only.  Hope I'm wrong.

schlubadub says:

All gen 1 devices have Mango, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. My Gen 1 HD7 is getting it, so the Focus should too.

Maulwurf16 says:

They got me with this Action... Took them so long, i now have a lumia 820 with winphone 8...

md03582 says:

Will the 7.8 update include the "alive wifi" feature?

kinaton says:

Probably not. I was under the impression it was just cosmetic changes

JPDVM2014 says:

I really hope so. This is my single biggest complaint with WP. I hate having to re login to my work wifi everytime I turn on the screen.

It seems that it does not include this particular feature at this time. I have 7.8 and I can pretty much confirm this.

Gergolos says:

SO does this mean, that no App can change the lockscreen background (except of Bing of course)? 

schlubadub says:

Automatically? No

Starbats says:

Ich habe nicht verstanden. :/

mjrtoo says:

I'll be surprised if ATT does it at all. Maybe, maybe it's in the contract for WP8.

I see the wallet hub.

Nope. Sorry to say to you that there's no Wallet app.

pankaj981 says:

Atleast its there in the picture on this post.. :P

Yes, but that is a mock up Start screen that Microsoft released at the WP8 announcement. Not really WP 7.8

Barry Weston says:

Am I correct in saying that if a DEV does not update their app to support the new 7.8 live tiles and new sizes, the update is almost useless in the end? Or will any current app allow me to resize the tile, but some of the possible "live" features may not work?

Most first party apps take advantage of the double wide tiles. Third party apps of course can take advantage of them but they don't have to. Either way you can use the small and medium tile, the double wide is the one that requires extra work. ;)

snowmutt says:

The way I understand it, the resizing if the tile is simply like attaching a website to a tile on your start screen- kinda like a snapshot getting cropped. But yeah, live tiles need to be optimized to work correctly.

7.5 apps can take advantage of the small tile size without doing anything - it simply shrinks the standard/medium tile (much like running a 7.5 app on a 8.0 device).
From a dev PoV, this SDK update allows you to tailor your tile experience to (a) provide a more polished/custom small tile, (b) add support for wide tiles, and (c) use the three new tile templates on your secondary tiles.
From a consumer PoV, the 7.8 update should be about the same as getting a 8.0 device running 7.5 I'd venture to say it's very far from a "useless" update.

zorb58 says:

I am perfectly fine with the update only including the new tile sizes and nothing else but I would have loved to see lock screen support as an added "bone" of sorts...  Ah well... As I said, I'm pleased as it is.

As far as I can tell the Facebook app is the only third party app that takes advantage of the double wide tile for now. TVShow by Rudy Huyn is getting updated to support 7.8 in the next couple of days.

I don't know of any other app for now. Let's hope everyone updates to 7.8 sooner rather than later.

Gergolos says:

well the "official" Facebook app being developed by Microsoft is not really a third party app either.

I am sure Huyn will update his apps really fast (as always: i love your work mr huyn!) and really hope all the other devs do the same as fast as possible

ioannisgk says:

No lockscreen support for 7.8 update? no alive wifi? What the hell are we waiting for? so many months for what? just the tiles? Microsoft you are getting WAY TOO SLOW

kinaton says:

Its just cosmetic. Nothing more nothing less.

I got Windows Phone 7.8 installed on my Lumia 800 when I had it on service a few days back.
I haven't been able to find any changes beyond the size of the tiles, the Bing start screen and some new backgrounds and ring tones. Looks good though.
I'm kind of dissapointed that Kids Corner isn't part of this update...

Igor Escodro says:

Maybe Xbox Music?
It's painful how they treat Xbox Music Pass on Windows Phone 7.5.

lewish327 says:

Can someone please tell me if my HTC radar c110e get this I am unlocked but using a Tesco mobile sim card... Please can some just tell me

abe3211 says:

When MS release windows phone 8 SDK didn't they release it a couple of weeks before it's launch? Could this be like a trend? release the SDK a week or two before the actual release.

lol no lock screen notifications? No screenshot? I feel the xda devs work harder then MS.

kinaton says:

I agree. Thing about installing a xda rom version.

macas says:

How hard is the xda rom to put on and is it better than windows. 

jaspercook says:

Amen to that. Been running Voluptuary's cleaned up 7.8 ROM (build 8858) since that build leaked, and it's awesome. I was thinking I'd put a legit ROM back on... but yeah. XDA FTW.

freddyjdc says:

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antluv says:

When do tha SURFACE PHONE cum out

hamza101 says:

Is dell venue pro gona get this update ???
Plz answer ...