In the roadmap update post for Q1 2013, I announced that, among other things, our first release of the year would include Kendo UI Mobile support for Windows Phone 8. With tomorrow’s Q1 Beta, you’ll finally be able to get hands on and start building Kendo UI Mobile apps that target Microsoft’s latest flagship phone OS.
Before you grab the Beta, though, I wanted to share more about what you can expect out-of-the-box with Kendo UI Mobile for Windows Phone 8. I’ll begin at the very beginning, with a brief recap of the goal of Kendo UI Mobile, and how this goal informs our mobile device support across all platforms.
If you’ve used Kendo UI Mobile in the past, or walked through the demos at the Kendo UI Dojo or demos.kendoui.com, you’ve seen these features in action. We think it’s pretty powerful stuff, and you’ve told us that you do, too.
In order to provide you with that power, and enable Kendo UI Mobile to be your mobile web and hybrid development tool of choice, two requirements must be met. These are essentially the yardstick by which we measure the capability of a platform to be targeted by Kendo UI Mobile:
By “modern web features,” I mean things like touch events, CSS Flexbox, CSS Transitions, CSS Animations, and more. Kendo UI Mobile relies on all of these features. Without them, it’s not feasible for us to support a given platform.
This requirement allows you to write the same markup and code, and know that things will consistently work, as-expected, on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and others. For instance, every mobile platform has some concept of a ListView, so we deliver a ListView widget with Kendo UI Mobile that reliably adapts across platforms.
At a high level, this is the framework that we use to assess not just if and when we can support a mobile platform, but also exactly what platform support looks like.
With that covered, let’s talk Windows Phone 8 and Kendo UI Mobile.
We know that many of you have been clamoring for Windows Phone support for a while now, and trust me when I tell you that we’ve been wanting to provide it for as long as you’ve been asking! As Todd detailed in a blog post from February of 2012 the real blocker for Windows Phone support on Kendo UI Mobile has been the Windows Phone Browser. In short, Windows Phone 7.x never shipped a browser that met Requirement #1 above. This means that Kendo UI Mobile could not support WP7, no matter how much we wanted to.
Thankfully, Windows Phone 8 ships IE10 as its device browser, and IE10 supports everything you need in a browser in order to deliver a great experience to your customers, with the help of Kendo UI Mobile. Now that Windows Phone 8 is out in the wild, we’re happy to be able to provide support via Kendo UI Mobile widgets and a Windows Phone 8 theme.
It’s important to note here, however, that the latest version of Windows Phone 7x, version 7.8, still ships IE9 as it’s platform browser. Because of this, Kendo UI Mobile is not supported on any version of Windows Phone prior to 8 (7.8, 7.5 or 7).
The widgets we provide, out of the box, in Kendo UI Mobile will help you deliver great Windows Phone 8 web and hybrid apps that also look great on other platforms, as you can see in the screenshot above. That said, our Q1 support for Microsoft’s platform does not include some of the more unique “Windows UI Style” UX paradigms. For instance, we’re not shipping a Panorama mobile control, today. Because there’s no equivalent control for the other supported platforms, using this control would require developers to create platform-specific markup and code, something that runs contrary to why Kendo UI Mobile exists, in the first place. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to specifically target Windows Phone 8 in your applications, we highly recommend checking out our RadControls for Windows Phone where we’ve provided a ton of highly-customized “Windows UI Style” widgets for your Windows Phone 8 applications.
What Kendo UI Mobile does provide in the box for Windows Phone 8 looks pretty slick, and we’re confident that it provides everything you need to start targeting Microsoft’s burgeoning mobile platform. Just as with every Kendo UI Mobile platform we support today, you get the benefit of using web technologies to target multiple platforms, while your users get the benefit of a familiar UX that’s consistent with their preferred device.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out the Beta when it drops tomorrow, and let us know what you think!
Brandon is the founder of Carrot Pants Press, a maker education and publishing company, the founder and CEO of Tangible Labs and an avid tinkerer.