This week we saw the launch of Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco, and Microsoft’s annual developer conference, BUILD, in Redmond. We asked Nokia’s head of developer experience, Marco Argenti, what made Windows Phone 8 so important and exciting for developers and end users alike.
“For me, it’s that there is now a common Windows experience across every screen. And Microsoft’s announcement that they’ve sold four million Windows 8 upgrades in just a few days should be very exciting news for developers,” says Marco.
“Windows Phone changes the way that you interact with your screen. On other operating systems, the home screen is like a springboard. There’s not really anything there. You have to move in and out of all your other apps in order to get to the information.”
“With Live Tiles, however, it’s really personal. The information is on the surface to a far greater extent. It’s as though we have removed an entire layer of effort from using a smartphone.”
“And now, three different sizes of tile means that it’s you, as the phone’s owner, who gets to decide exactly how much of the information inside an app is displayed on the outside, as well as the order in which it comes.”
“Also new to Windows Phone 8 is a much improved lock screen. This takes the same principle but shifts it up a whole extra layer. Owners can personalise the notifications that appear on the lock screen, so there’s even more available before you even start using the phone, like photos or app content, for example.”
But as Nokia’s developer champion, it is the behind-the-scenes story around the creation of smartphone apps that excites Marco the most.
“Windows Phone 8 now shares a considerable amount of common code with the desktop Windows 8 operating system. That means that the same app can be made available with minimum effort across all screens, leveraging the power of the combined consumer base of phones, tablets and PCs.”
“Another welcome addition, which has been at the top of the list of developers’ requests, is the support for native development. That’s particularly important for game developers, who can now port their games engines with little modification and push performance to the limit. Another piece of great news for game developers is the support of Unity engine both for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.”
“Monetization is one of the most important topics that comes up when talking to developers. At Nokia, we’re particularly focused in covering that aspect of the developer journey which includes helping developers successfully bring their applications to market and reaching the right audience in all corners the world. Earlier this week we announced the Nokia Ad Exchange, a full featured, cross platform ad exchange which will help developers monetize their apps through in-app advertising.”
Marco concludes that customers will find that Nokia Lumia is the perfect partner for the new OS:
“Windows Phone 8 is the most innovative operating system in the world. And Nokia Lumia is the most innovative hardware: we’ve pushed it to the limit in the Lumia 920 with technologies like NFC, the imaging capabilities, the low light performance, the complete integration of those technologies into the core OS. And great, innovative apps is what will turn differentiating features into unique experiences for consumers”.