A few weeks ago, out of the blue, Microsoft announced Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1, with some new features that they weren’t able to packed into Windows Phone 8.1 update itself. Although I reported on what it featured, API for the update is a different thing, and in the article, that is something I did not cover, but in a separate article, as developers go through and see some API for themselves, we see APIs for wearable, accessories enabled by third-party and so on. Today, we see something new that might potentially a step closer to merging RT and Windows Phone together.
Paul Thurrott has went through document for Windows Phone Update 1, better known as GDR1 for Windows Phone 1, and he found a lot of interesting things.
For starter, now Windows Phone is enabled for Wi-Fi only devices, pointing to some small, around 7 to 8-inch tablet that has been on the market that are running RT, Microsoft called it “Wi-Fi Feature Pack, allows OEMs to “removes all cellular-related functionality from the operating system and is intended only for devices that will not be connected to a cellular network.”
We also see supports for new resolutions and screen, includes 1080p for resolution, but supports 6 to 7-inch panel, vertically, at the resolution of 768 x 1280. For 6-inch and smaller display, Microsoft enable the new 800 x 1280 resolution, a scale up from the 700 x 1280, so no additional programming is needed to support this display. While we are on the topic of resolution and display size, Windows Phone has now also opened up to lower resolution, qHD (quarter HD, different from QHD), which enable two resolutions: 480 x 899 and the qHD itself, 540 x 960.
Other things as we already know, accessories like covers and wearable APIs, high voltage charging enable and Dual-SIM improvement and ability to create files are included.
Back to the real surprise here, the enabler of 6 to 7 inch display might be a step closer to actually merge two platforms, Windows Phone and Windows RT together, and make a universal app store for both tablet and smartphone like Apple, as well as getting the best of RT (snap) and Windows Phone (everything else) together, which can make up quite an OS in the market.