Windows 8 app developer blog

Insights on building Windows Store apps by the Windows 8 engineering team

  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Introducing the Windows App Builder blog!

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    Hey everyone, I wanted to let you know that we’re bringing the Windows 8 app developer and Windows Store blogs together into the new Windows App Builder blog . With the upcoming release of Windows 8.1 Preview we have a lot to tell you about what’s new for Windows app builders, and we’re excited to do so in the new blog. With the new blog, you’ll be able to get what you need to build, design, and market your apps. For those of you currently subscribed to our RSS feed, don’t worry. We’ll automatically...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Optimizing ListView item rendering

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    For many Windows Store apps written in JavaScript that work with collections, cooperating well with the WinJS ListView control is essential for great app performance. This isn’t surprising: when you’re dealing with management and display of potentially thousands of items, every bit of optimization you make with those items really counts. Most important is how each of the items gets rendered, which is to say, how—and when—each item in the ListView control gets built up in the DOM and becomes a visible...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    All about promises (for Windows Store apps written in JavaScript)

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    When writing Windows Store apps in JavaScript, you encounter these constructs called promises as soon as you do anything that involves an asynchronous API. It also doesn’t take very long before writing promise chains for sequential asynchronous operations becomes second nature. In the course of your development work, however, you’ll probably encounter other uses of promises where it’s not entirely clear to see what’s going on. A good example of this is optimizing item rendering functions for a ListView...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Join the Game On Virtual Event

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    Games are a key class of apps in the Windows Store. If you’re looking to build a Windows Store game, we’d like to help you with this virtual game building event. The event is free and open to both new game developers and professionals. We’ll be using GameMaker: Studio from YoYo Games, to show you how to create and publish high-quality games in less time. GameMaker:Studio has a lot of great built-in design options and drag-and-drop tools that make it easy to get started even if you don’t have a game...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Credential Locker: Your solution for handling usernames and passwords in your Windows Store app

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    If you haven’t yet heard about the Credential Locker that's available for Windows Store apps, it’s time you did. Why? Because it not only simplifies the task of storing and retrieving user credentials , it stores them securely, and credentials roam with users “for free” along with their Microsoft account. Say you have an app that connects to a service to access protected resources such as media files, social networking, etc. Your service requires login information for each user. So, you’ve built...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Create location aware apps using geolocation and Bing Maps

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    By tying together a user’s location to the business logic of your app, you can easily provide app users with weather, coupons, sporting events, or concert listings for their current location. You can use the geolocation capabilities of Windows 8, along with the Bing Maps SDK, to create great location aware Windows Store apps . Let’s take a look at how your app can use the location service to provide users location-specific info with either an IP address, WiFi network, or GPS data. Once you have the...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Introducing a new Windows Dev Center experience

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    Since launching the Windows Dev Center in October, 2011, we’ve worked closely with developers and designers around the world to understand how we can provide the best guidance, inspiration, and samples for app builders. With millions of visitors and your feedback, we’ve been evaluating what’s been working well and what experiences can be improved. What’s new The Windows team is focused on growing a vibrant and thriving app ecosystem. This is manifested in three ways: great apps, great economics,...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Sharing to your target app

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    In Sharing from your app , we introduced the idea of sharing content from the example app Food with Friends to several target apps that let the user accomplish rich end-to-end scenarios. Apps in Windows 8 offer interesting content that your customers will want to share with friends or other apps. With a compelling and well-designed share target, your app can be at the heart of a social and connected experience for your customers. In this post we look at how you can use the Share target contract for...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Develop a cutting edge app with NFC

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    Near Field Communication (NFC) is an emerging, short range wireless technology. With a precise range of 2 cm, people can physically tap devices together to send/receive content. Tapping lets you select something (or someone) quickly. Not only is it quick, it’s also easy to understand. Once you see it, you get it; there’s no manual needed. For example, imagine you are looking at some photos with a friend and she wants your pictures; with NFC, you can simply tap your device against her PC to send the...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Creating connected Windows Store apps

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    People are continually surrounded by devices that are connected to a network. Even the latest refrigerators and washing machines can connect to the internet and home networks. So it’s no surprise that end-users expect their apps to be connected as well. These “connected apps” consume the latest content from the web—social media, digital media, blogs, and other types of content. Developing connected apps has become the norm, but it can still be a challenge to handle common issues like loss of network...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Register now for //build/ 2013!

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    Last week Steve Guggenheimer announced //build/ 2013. The conference is taking place June 26-28, 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. //build/ is a great opportunity to learn more about developing Windows Store apps. The conference will include great presentations, demos, info sessions, etc. for you. Many of us from the engineering team are traveling down to San Francisco to give these demos and answer your questions. There’s no better place to get the latest and greatest info on Windows...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Windows Store app support in jQuery version 2.0

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    If you’ve already done some web development, it’s likely you’ve used the open source JavaScript framework jQuery. And if you’ve tried building Windows Store apps using jQuery, you might have run into errors related to JavaScript runtime or dynamic content. With the upcoming release of v2.0, the jQuery team has addressed these concerns. The jQuery v2 beta now supports development in HTML5/JS for Windows Store apps. As a web developer, you can use your existing skills and assets to build awesome apps...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Developing Windows Store games

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    Windows 8 has changed the PC landscape with innovative form factors, new chip architectures, exciting commerce models and huge opportunities. PC games have long been a staple of the way computers are enjoyed. Now, more than ever, games exemplify the value of this new landscape of devices. Thanks to the Windows Store, games are easier to acquire, play, share with friends and update safely. It’s no wonder then that games account for such a large number of downloads, generate a lot of revenue, and drive...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Alive with Activity, Part 3: Push notifications and Windows Azure Mobile Services

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    In Part 1 of this series we explored what “aliveness” means to a user and how apps participate in creating that experience. In Part 2 we looked at how to write and debug web services to support periodic updates for live tiles. Here in Part 3 we’ll complete the story by understanding how to deliver tile updates, toasts, and raw notifications to specific client devices on demand through the Windows Push Notification Service (WNS), and how Windows Azure Mobile Services simplifies the whole process....
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Alive with activity, part 2: Writing and debugging services for live tiles

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    In Part 1 of this series we explored the nature of tile updates, badge updates, and toast notifications that bring a sense of “aliveness” to the overall user experience of Windows 8. In particular, we saw how these notifications are composed with XML payloads that are then issued locally, from a running app or a background task, or can be supplied upon request by an online service. Generating an XML payload and issuing it from a running app is something you can easily develop and debug within an...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Alive with activity, Part 1: Working with tiles, badges, and toasts

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    Live tiles and the related capabilities of badges, toast notifications, and push notifications are one of the most distinguishing features of Windows 8 and Windows Store apps. They combine to create a system that is “alive with activity”: apps have a constant flow of info coming in from their services that’s visible on both the Start screen and the lock screen, even when those apps aren’t running. Previous posts on this blog have covered a number of the essentials where live tiles and notifications...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Preparing your Windows Store app for a world market

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    Do you want to make your new app accessible for a worldwide market and potentially increase the number of customers for it? Windows 8 makes it easier than ever to write an app that can be tailored for different languages and cultures. Here, I’ll show you how to design a new world-ready app with little to no code modification. Sara Thomas described the market opportunities available to you in her post about the Multilingual App Toolkit . I hope her mention of “a potential reach of over 4.5 billion...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Crash reports help you certify your Windows Store app

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    As the Windows Store continues to grow and offer app builders a significant market opportunity, we want to clarify the app certification process, so you know what to do to get your app into the Windows Store. We also want you to know how to proceed if your app fails certification. Most commonly, an app fails certification because it crashed or didn’t respond during the certification process. Due to any number of reasons an app might crash, it can be hard to know what happened and how to fix it, especially...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Building the Bing apps for Windows 8

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    Overview For Windows 8, the Bing team built News, Weather, Finance, Sports, Travel and Maps apps. This technical overview provides insight on the architecture of these apps, key Windows 8 features and the contracts they use, common controls they employ, and world readiness more generally. Several members of the Bing team formed an apps team approximately one year ago to deliver a set of apps powered by Bing for Windows 8. The focus of these apps is to keep users informed by delivering fast and fluid...
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    Security best practices for building Windows Store apps

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    As part of creating the app platform for Windows Store apps, one of our primary goals was to ensure that customers have confidence in their apps. We want customers to be confident that their apps will work as they expect, co-exist with other apps, and uninstall cleanly. This confidence comes from a variety of sources – from Windows Store onboarding, to frictionless install and uninstall, to consent for using your location and webcam, to the Windows App Certification Kit for testing that your app...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Sharing from your app

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    In Windows 8, sharing is a ubiquitous experience and a natural user expectation. Users often come across content in your app that they’re excited to share with friends or use in another app. As a developer you can meet this user expectation by using the Share contract which provides a lightweight, contextual and easy model for accomplishing app-to-app sharing. You may be familiar with the app Food with Friends, introduced in the post on Creating apps that stand out from the crowd . In this post,...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Designing a simple and secure app package – APPX

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    When we started working on the new Windows 8 development platform one of the first questions we had was “how do you package an app into a simple yet secure format?” Before Windows 8 there were two primary installation technologies: Windows Installer and ClickOnce . As discussed in the Delivering reliable and trustworthy apps blog post, many products help developers manage the complexities of installing and updating apps. However, app packaging, installation, and updating continue to frustrate developers...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Enabling great Play To experiences from your Windows 8 apps (and websites!)

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    Play To Overview The Play To feature allows you to stream music, photos and videos from apps to Xbox and other supported devices on your home network. Imagine being able to easily flick photos and videos from your app to the big screen TV. Or music from your app to your living room speakers. Using the Play To contract, you can easily enable those scenarios for your users from your apps. It’s a great way for you to make your apps more engaging in users’ living rooms. To deliver a great end-to-end...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    User experience integration testing for Windows 8 apps

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    In the blog post for testing Windows Store apps , we discussed what to test at the various runtime states for your app. We also discussed a few aspects of the Windows 8 user experience and how that affects the environment your app lives in. Now, we explore the new user experience a bit further and highlight some of the interesting interactions and scenarios your app can run into based on our testing of existing apps, and what you can do to make sure your app works correctly. A common layout and behavior...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Introducing Windows Store App Labs for app builders

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    Today we introduce Windows Store App Labs in more than 30 cities around the world for all app builders – developers, designers, and entrepreneurs. Windows Store App Labs are places where you can access the newest Windows 8 devices, get technical help from Windows experts, and receive design guidance from leading edge designers and digital agencies. All for free! Check out and test the newest Windows 8 devices The labs are stocked with the latest Windows 8 devices in multiple form factors...
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