On Friday, Windows Phone emulator images were released, and should give developers a whole bunch of new tools to play with over the first weekend of 2014. The new emulator images are available for Windows Phone 8.0 with Updates 2 and 3 from the Microsoft Download Center.
There are two different sets of emulators available to download and have two different sets of features. They require Visual Studio and the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installed at the same time. These emulators are for developers but show the future of Windows in them.
In the batch of Update 3 Emulators, there are a new set of emulator images available that correspond to Windows Phone Update 3 according to Microsoft. They are updating the various screen resolution images and also now include a 1080P emulator image, which shows how the newest Windows Phone Update 3 will handle HD images.
This latest batch of emulator images allow developers to test their apps in HD, and for the newer Windows Phones that will be released soon. The HD media is a huge component of the Windows Phone Update 3, and it shows the app layout that is built for a larger screen. These updates are available starting today.
In the lesser know Update 2 Emulator release, Microsoft is giving developers emulator images that have been updated for those with Visual Studio 2013 RTM installed. Users who already have the Windows Phone 8.0 emulators on their machines won’t need to download this update though.
The installer in this update is targeting to include the RTM release of Visual Studio 2013 according to the tech notes. Users will want to have this Update 2 emulator batch along with the before mentioned Update 3 Emulator batch installed to test their apps and see the differences between the phones and how they look. Windows Phone will be going through a big change soon, and the HD images may not look great on some phones for some apps. But, developers will be able to see the wide variety of options for their apps thanks to Microsoft.
I enjoy Windows Phone 8 and this type of update. Windows Phone needs to adapt quickly, and Microsoft is giving developers the tools needed to succeed.