The first keynote on Wednesday, April 1 was really about the client. Meaning Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update. There were so many things thrown at us that I won't try to cover all of them here. I was lucky enough to sit near the front right be the press tables during this keynote and it was just about as interesting to watch their reactions as much as the developers. Clearly we have different definitions of "cool".
Another item that caught my "User" love is the Action Center. It's not just a notification center. From within this action center you get quick links to flight mode and other common settings along with past notifications. This was one of the major things missing from Windows Phone and now we have it. I can't tell you how many times I missed a toast notification and then could never figure out what it might have been. I will use this feature as a user, all the time. As a developer I want my notifications to be important before I send them. However, even if they are important, there never was any guarantee that anybody would ever see it. The toast could come and go and nobody would ever know. I pledge to add more notifications (where important) to my apps.
Other Cool StuffOther items that got my interest but to a lesser extent as a user include: (and were interesting but not immediately affecting my developer alter-ego)
- 3 tiles across even on screens smaller than 5 inches
- the new Calendar was nice
- the personalizing of the lock screen was cool and has developer implications for making a cooler lock screen. Way cooler!
- WifI Sense (for auto-enrollment in public wifi hotspots)
- Shape Typing Keyboard