As was widely expected, Microsoft has just released the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK for developers to get an idea of how their apps will look on the updated mobile operating system.
If things go according to plan a lot of older Windows Phone 7.5 smartphone users will be able to download the anticipated update for their devices by the end of the month.
The software development kit was announced in a post on Microsoft’s official Windows Phone Developer blog:
“Most importantly, any Windows Phone apps that you build using the Windows Phone SDK (with this update installed) still target and run on Windows Phone 7.5. This update simply makes it easier to test how your apps appear on devices running Windows Phone 7.8.”
The SDK comes with two new emulators — one that allows app makers to see how their apps look on a normal Windows 7.8 smartphone, and another for smartphones with only 256MB of RAM.
Users will need Windows Phone SDK 8.0 or Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installed before this Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8 can be installed.
The most important change in this update is that apps running on Windows Phone 7.8 can now be made to support different Live Tile sizes, including wide and small tiles.
Microsoft is yet to announce a date when the Windows Phone 7.8 will be ready for action, but statements from various carriers point to a January 31 release. Just a matter of days, then, and this SDK can only mean good news.