Windows 8.1 device experience
Windows 8.1 lets device manufacturers and mobile operators create Windows Store apps that provide a modern, engaging experience to accompany their internal or peripheral device. By using device metadata, these apps can extend the experiences built in to Windows 8.1 and perform privileged operations, such as device updates. When created by mobile operators, these apps are referred to as Windows Store mobile broadband apps. When created by all other device manufacturers, these apps are referred to as Windows Store device apps.
This section describes how to create the unique app experiences that can only be achieved by using device metadata with a Windows Store app. However, device metadata is not always required to access devices from a Windows Store app. For more info about accessing devices without metadata, see Integrating devices.
Note: In Windows 8.1, Windows Store apps can use Windows Runtime APIs to access USB, Human Interface Device (HID), Bluetooth GATT, Bluetooth RFCOMM devices. For more info, see Windows 8.1: New APIs and features.
Windows Store mobile broadband apps
Mobile operators can develop Windows Store mobile broadband apps that integrate into the mobile broadband experience. In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, users enjoy a streamlined, consistent connection flow while mobile network providers enjoy the ability to highlight their value-added services. With built-in mobile broadband capabilities, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 reduces the need to develop traditional connection management apps. To learn how to ensure that your mobile broadband hardware is ready for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and to learn how to design, develop, and submit your mobile broadband app, see Windows Store mobile broadband apps.
Windows Store device apps
Device manufacturers can develop Windows Store device apps that use device metadata to automatically install, start from AutoPlay (on more devices than other apps can), and perform device update operations, such as firmware updates. Camera and printer manufacturers can also use device apps to extend the camera and printer experiences built in to Windows 8.1. For more info, see Windows Store device apps.
Note that in Windows 8.1, device metadata is not required to access USB, Human Interface Device (HID), Bluetooth GATT, and Bluetooth RFCOMM devices. For more info about the Windows Runtime APIs that make this possible, see Windows 8.1: New APIs and features.
New to Windows 8, the device metadata system can link the device or PC to a Windows Store device app. For more info about device metadata, see Device metadata.
Like in Windows 7, device manufacturers can use the device metadata system to deliver a device experience in Devices and Printers and Device Stage for a connected device or the PC. Windows 8 maintains full support of the Windows 7 device experience. For more info, see Windows 7 device experience.