Windows 8.1: New APIs and features for developers

Here’s a look at what’s new for developers in Windows 8.1. The Windows user experience continues to evolve, and it’s getting easier to develop, test, and submit apps to the Windows Store. Don’t forget to check out the latest in app samples for developers. We’ve added many new samples and updated others to show what Windows 8.1 has to offer.

Note  To find out what’s new for developers in Internet Explorer, see the Internet Explorer 11 developer guide.

App packaging

New app bundles make app submissions even simpler than before. Resource packs let you offer extras—like localization or assets for high-resolution displays——to users who want them, without affecting disk space, bandwidth, or the app-purchase experience for those who don't.

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Controls (HTML with JavaScript)

Add new features to your Windows Store app, such as custom commands and enhanced navigation support, with the new HTML and JavaScript controls in Windows 8.1. Updates to existing controls make them easier to use and add more features, such as drag-and-drop support. These new controls and control updates make it easier than ever to create a full-featured app.

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Controls (XAML with C#/C++/VB)

Add new features, like date and time pickers and enhanced navigation support, by using the new XAML controls. And updates to existing controls make them simpler to use and more versatile. These new and updated controls make it easier than ever to create a full-featured app.

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With Windows 8.1, create an app that's ready to connect to a wide range of wired and wireless devices. Your users can then enjoy the mobility and flexibility of Windows 8.1 devices when they view or create content, at home or on the job.

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DirectX programming

Windows 8.1 introduces DirectX 11.2, which brings a host of new features to improve performance in your games and graphics apps.

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New embedded and enterprise targeted features introduced with Windows 8.1 Update now make it possible for app developers to expose a Windows Runtime app to network services from desktop processes (apps or local services) outside of the App Container so that a side-loaded Windows Store app can operate as an embedded or enterprise service client.

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Develop an app that can easily access user content, and make its own content easier for other apps to discover. You can do this in Windows 8.1 with the enhanced support for in-app file management, a wider selection of user libraries for your app to use, and the ability to push your app’s unique content to the Windows index.

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Now it's easier to help users both create and play back exciting media experiences. Windows 8.1 offers new ways to capture and process media, a simple way to add playback controls to apps that use XAML, and native support for Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) for HTML5 playback.

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Windows 8.1 delivers a simpler implementation of HTTP for all supported languages, easier communication for your app, and new APIs for location-based mobile scenarios to develop versatile connected apps.

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Give users a security experience that doesn’t feel like a hassle, and keep pace with the latest authentication techniques. We’ve got new ways to authenticate and manage users, expanded support for signatures and certificates, and new capabilities for stored credentials.

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With Windows 8.1 also come lots of updates to the tools and templates that you can use to create Windows Store apps. These improvements can help cut down the work in your development and test cycles.

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Resizable app windows give users more control over how they use your app. New features let you do more with your app’s tile and integrate your app with people and events. And updates to search, share, and charms create a more consistent general experience for users.

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Windows Store

Publish, sell, and maintain your app more easily, with commerce support for in-app purchases, new tools for managing your app’s offers and tracking its performance, and a number of enhancements to the Windows Store user experience.

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WinJS scheduling

A new scheduler API in Windows 8.1 lets you set the priority of tasks and manage jobs. This helps you write HTML5 apps that use system resources more efficiently and provide a more responsive experience to users.

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Related topics

Windows 8.1 Product Guide
Developing universal Windows apps



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