Windows Phone 8.1 is an update that many Windows Phone 8 users are probably waiting for. After all the update is expected to introduce a host of changes and improvements to the operating system, as well as bring about new features, one of them supposedly being Cortana, the voice assistant feature for Windows Phone.
However the question about app compatibility remains and we have to wonder if Windows Phone 8.1 will be that drastic that it might “break” apps, or have apps run into compatibility or optimization issues. We’re assuming for the most part that it should be fine, but Microsoft is not taking any chances and has recently started noting Windows Phone app submissions as to whether the app is Windows Phone 8.1 compatible or not.
As it stands current apps available in the Windows Phone Store do not show the compatibility since Windows Phone 8.1 has yet to be announced/released, but presumably it will be once Microsoft makes their announcement at the BUILD conference which is scheduled for April.
In a way this is similar to how the iTunes App Store works, where it shows users which apps are compatible with which device, and which version of iOS as well. Some apps have not been updated in years but still play nicely with iOS 7, although they might not necessarily be optimized and their resolution is still based on older iPhones.
However the point is that these apps are still compatible, but it’s a good indication to users as to what they might be able to expect if they were to download it. In any case hopefully we will see many developers start taking advantage of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK and are updating and optimizing their apps accordingly.