Windows Phone 8.1 could support USB HID class; get your accessories ready

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Details about the new features Microsoft is cooking-up for Windows Phone 8.1 have really started arriving in earnest following the recent distribution of the WP8.1 SDK to select devs. So far this week, that’s meant leaked documents, videos, and a whole lot of screenshots. Our coverage of this next phase for Microsoft’s smartphone platform continues this afternoon as we hear about possible support for USB human interface devices.

The USB HID class works with a number of common input devices, including keyboards, mice, and game controllers. If this support comes to pass, you may soon be able to plug a keyboard into your handset and type away with the comfort and speed you enjoy from your desktop computer – and considering the platform’s expansion into more phablet-sized devices, that kind of thing sounds more useful than ever before.

Right now this is far from confirmed, but it looks like the change may be happening as a consequence of the ongoing merger between Windows and Windows Phone APIs. It sounds extremely promising, and we’re anxious to get a “yes” or “no” either way here, since HID support could be a boon for everyone from accountants to gamers. With any luck, we’ll hear some more over the next few weeks, or failing that get some real answers once Microsoft goes official with WP8.1, expected to happen in early April.

Source: WMPoweruser, WP Central
Image: CNET

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!