First Look at WP8 - Project Template and Manifest File

Microsoft recently released Windows Phone 8 SDK which you can install in your Windows 8 Pro x64-bit version to get started with the development process with Visual Studio 2012. Keep in mind that, your CPU should support Hyper-V and SLAT in order to run the WP8 emulator.


Today in this post we will have a quick look into the new WP8 SDK template, the project structure and improved manifest file.


What’s New in the Project Templates?

The first thing that you will notice just after installing the Windows Phone 8 SDK is the project templates. You can find few project templates newly added in this release like Windows Phone XAML and Direct 3D app, Windows Phone HTML5 app. Rest of the other project templates are similar to what we have seen in previous version of the SDK. Here is the screenshot of what you will see in the project template:


Windows Phone Project Templates


The new Windows Phone OS Version

This is the second thing that you will notice just after the project template section. Once you chose the project template, the Visual Studio 2012 IDE will ask you to chose the target Windows Phone version. Here you will find two OS version listed in the drop down named Windows Phone OS 7.1 and Windows Phone OS 8.0.


Windows Phone OS Target Version Selector


Based on your requirement, you can chose the targeted Windows Phone version for your application.


WP8 Project Structure

You will find a little difference in Windows Phone 8 project structure than the previous version of the SDK. In the “Assets” folder, you will find a “Tiles” folder containing the icons for your Windows Phone 8 applications.


You will also find a new folder named “Resources” and a file named “AppResources.resx” inside it. This is the default English translation for your Windows Phone 8 string literals. You can now use various localizations for your apps.


WP8 Project Structure


The “LocalizedStrings.cs” file provides you easy access to the string literals to support the localizations of your WP8 applications.


What’s new in App Manifest File?

Windows Phone 8 SDK brought few changes in the application manifest file. When you open the WMAppManifest.xml file, you will see a new tab named “Requirements” in the screen along with the existing three other manifest tabs, as shown in the below screenshot:


A new Requirements tab in WMAppManifest.xml File


The “Application UI” tab now has few changes. In the supported resolutions section, you will be able to set the supported resolutions of your WP8 applications. There are three different screen resolutions named “wvga”, “wxga” and “720p”.


The “Tile Template” allows you to select the proper template for your tile and you can set whether your application will support large tiles. Similarly, you will now be able to set the small, medium and large icons for your Windows Phone 8 applications. Check out the below screenshot for details:


Application UI changes in WMAppManifest.xml


The “Requirements” tab has support for hardware support. You can chose the hardware that your application will need like NFC, Front Camera, Rear Camera, Magneto Meter, Gyroscope etc.


Requirements tab in WMAppManifest.xml


The packaging tab has support for localizations. You can now select the supported languages from this screen in your Windows Phone 8 applications. You can chose from a huge list and more specifically, Indic language supports are now there for your phone apps.


Packaging Changes in WMAppManifest.xml


There are no changes in the capabilities tab and hence, I am not describing them here. This post will help you to start with the WP8 application development.


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