If you are planning on developing a Windows 7 Touch application, you may be wondering what development platform is the right choice for your application. Reviewing your requirements for your application and picking the right platform before you start can help you avoid roadblocks and design around limitations. Each development platform that is enabled for designing for touch has pros and cons. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before picking a development platform for touch.
Existing code and Developer Skillsets
User Experience & Design Goals
Let’s walk through some of the capabilities of each development platform. The following capabilities will be covered for each platform.
If you want full control over your development, this platform has the least limitations to Windows Touch API’s. However, as with any native code project, you may have to write more code because there is less framework to do the work for you.
More info on native touch development: Windows Platform SDK – Windows Touch
.NET has two choices: Silverlight and WPF. Depending on the functionality of your application and your requirements, you may want to pick one of the development platforms over the other.
Silverlight can be hosted in the browser or out of the browser. For “in browser”, Internet Explorer forwards platform touch messages to plug-ins such as Silverlight that are running within Internet Explorer. For “out of browser”, Silverlight registers for touch input but there are some limitations when running out of browser (see below).
More info on Silverlight touch development: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd894494(VS.95).aspx
Windows Presentation Foundation has support raw touch data as well as manipulation and inertia. WPF applications can detect and respond to touch in a manner similar to responding to other input, such as the mouse or keyboard, by raising events when touch occurs.
More info on WPF touch development: Touch and Manipulation Input for .NET 4
HTML 5 is still under development but is quickly being supported by all modern browsers. While it is not targeted for touch, it is an option for cross platform, cross browser, web based applications.
The Windows Touch Guidance whitepaper is an excellent resource for details about developing for Windows Touch. A must read prior to starting your touch development.