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Microsoft has unveiled a very useful update for developers named Windows Phone 7.8 SDK. The main purpose of this update is to add latest two emulator images into the existing SDK installation. According to Microsoft, these emulator images will enable the users to test the appearance and behavior of Live Tiles with Windows Phone 7.5 apps running on Windows Phone 7.8.
Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 7.8 (256MB) are the two emulator images available with the update. The former one emulates the apps on 512 MB device powered by Windows Phone 7.8 with firmware build 8858 where as the latter concentrates on Windows Phone 7.8 based 256 MB device having the same firmware build.
Even so, the update won't make any changes in existing emulator images of Windows Phone OS 7.1. Thus, the users can develop and debug the apps with a phone based on Windows Phone 7.5 image after installing the update. Also, the update won't provide new APIs to the apps available in Windows Phone 7.8.
After the installation of new SDK update, the apps will run in one of the two emulator images with familiar user interface and Windows Phone 7 skin. It is possible to pin the app to the start screen in this user interface which will minimize the app's tiles. On the whole, 7.8 update displays a smaller version of the typical app tile. Additional work is required to customize the look of small tile.
In addition to the SDK update, Microsoft is looking forward to bringing up Windows Phone 7.8 itself for the devices based on WP 7.x OS. The most noticeable feature of this update is expected to be the small-sized live app tiles. The tech giant has earlier hinted that the update will arrive in early 2013. It also added the phones based on 7.8 have started shipping.