Today the Windows Phone 8 version of What’s Shaking, NZ? was released - get it on the Windows Phone App Store now. If you’ve been using the Windows Phone 7 version on your Windows Phone 8 handset be sure to upgrade, as this new version is much faster, taking advantage of a number of features only available on Windows Phone 8.
In the recent post detailing the recent Windows Phone 7 update, I talked about the new features added in that update - quake status (reviewed/automatically reported), quake location and the option to show all quakes. These features are of course also present in this new Windows Phone 8 version.
On top of these new features though (which you can read about in detail in the post linked above, or on the Windows Phone page) are of course the WP8-specific features.
The first time you start What’s Shaking, NZ? you may notice that the app starts up faster - it no longer has a startup screen. Microsoft have now made these optional, which is useful for apps (such as What’s Shaking, NZ?) that don’t have a lot to do during startup. The list view should now be a little faster as well, as it uses a new, faster control. This wasn’t exactly a problem previously, but every bit of performance is important.
I’ve also enabled what’s called “fast app resume” - meaning that if the app is running already, you can now get back into it quickly by tapping the tile on the home screen. Previously this would terminate the old instance of the app and create a new one, which took quite some time. Now it simply brings the existing one to the foreground (which you could do previously by holding down the Back key and selecting the app from those shown). This makes for a much nicer experience when switching between applications, as the phone is much more responsive and apps appear to load a lot faster.
One of the biggest features Windows Phone 8 has over WP7 was multiple live tile sizes - these are included in this initial release. The medium tile shows you the same information as before (number of quakes in the last 24 hours, with magnitude, depth and time of the latest quake on the back of the tile), while the large tile now also shows you the location of the latest quake.
Those features (along with those mentioned in the previous post) are the most noticeable ones. In addition, there have been quite a few changes behind the scenes - bug fixes, changes, improvements, and preparations for future features. You can have a look at these on Github if you’re interested.
Feel free to tweet me if you have any comments or suggestions, or you can email me direct from the app.