Windows 8 app developer blog

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

  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Building a custom control using XAML and C#

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    You may already know that one of the most powerful features of the Windows 8 XAML platform is the flexibility the platform provides to create custom controls. XAML provides features like Dependency Properties and Control Templates that make it easy to create feature-rich and customizable controls. In the last post, “ Building a custom control using the Windows Library for JavaScript ,” Jordan Matthiesen walked you through creating a custom HelloWorld control. In this post I walk you through creating...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Building a custom control using the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS)

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    If you have developed Windows Store apps using JavaScript, you most likely have encountered the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS). This library provides you with a set of CSS styles, JavaScript controls and utilities to help you quickly build apps that meet the UX guidelines for the Windows Store. Among the utilities provided by WinJS are a set of functions you can use to create custom controls in your app. You can write JavaScript controls using any patterns or libraries you like; the library...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Multilingual App Toolkit for developing Windows Store apps using Visual Studio 2012

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    Windows 8 was designed to work better in more locales all over the world. Working with developers like you, we can complete these globalized experiences by releasing apps that are relevant in more locations around the world. By translating using machine translation or localizing using a human translator, you can make your Windows Store app available in more languages and reach more markets and larger audiences. While making apps available on a global scale has always been a priority, with Windows...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Creating a great printing experience in Windows 8

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    When we reimagined Windows, we took the opportunity to rethink all the different aspects of printing – the user experience, the developer platform, and the broad device ecosystem - and how they work together to give a great overall experience. In this post, I give an overview of the user experience and the developer platform of printing in Windows 8. I also describe how you can tailor the user experience in a way that meets your app’s requirements. Printing from Windows 8 apps First, let’s look at...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Make your HTML/JavaScript app accessible

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    One of the hallmarks of a Windows 8 app is that accessibility is built into the platform. You can use accessibility features to widen the reach of your app with very little effort. We have received positive feedback on this approach from both developers and users and have refined the platform. Now we walk you through how to think about accessibility in your HTML and JavaScript apps during the design phase, show how to implement and test accessibility for some of the common UI patterns, provide some...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Integrating your cloud service with the file picker contracts

    • 1 Comments
    In the past, users organized, shared, and maintained their documents, photos, videos, and music on the local PC. But the cloud is quickly providing users with much richer ways to access, experience, and manage the files they care about. Windows 8 embraces these new scenarios by allowing you to deeply integrate cloud services directly into your apps to create completely new experiences that were not possible before. You can see many of these scenarios highlighted in the SkyDrive app which uses the...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Embracing UI on demand with the app bar

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    Creating a great app requires honing in on what makes your app best in its category and making that shine. Windows 8 provides tools like charms and app bars to make it easy to really focus on what makes your app best in class and minimize anything that distracts from it. Learn to use those tools and your app and your users will be able to really enjoy what makes your app great. Focusing on what your app is best at When you watch a movie in the theatre, the movie is playing on a huge screen so it...
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    Automating the testing of Windows 8 apps

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    In the blog post for testing Windows Store apps , we’ve primarily covered what to test your apps for. While you can manually execute the verification areas we’ve discussed in the previous post, it is more efficient to automate some of these verification areas. Automating the verification of your app has many benefits. Automated testing saves time and money that you’d otherwise spend doing manual testing. Once created, automated tests can be run over and over again at minimal cost and are much faster...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Add cloud to your app with Windows Azure Mobile Services

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    Great Windows Store apps are connected . They use live tiles, authenticate users with single sign-on and share data between devices and users. To get all these great benefits of being connected, your app needs to use services in the cloud. Building cloud services is hard. Most cloud platforms offer general purpose capabilities to store data and execute code, but you have to author reams of infrastructure code to glue these capabilities together. I’m sure you are up for the challenge, but I bet backend...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Media Playback: What you need to know about playing media to make your app shine in Windows 8

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    For Windows 8, we made some changes in our audio system designed to improve the app experience. In this blog, I discuss these changes, and how you can take advantage of them in your media apps. Hopefully this info helps you better understand how audio works in Windows Store apps, especially when it comes to audio playback in the background. Let me begin by describing a common user scenario. You’re listening to your favorite band in a Windows music app, and a friend sends you an mp3 of a sweet live...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Testing Windows 8 apps using Visual Studio 2012

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    As we continue to innovate on the operating system platform with Windows 8, we also enhanced the toolset available in Visual Studio to increase your productivity in testing your Windows 8 apps. Ensuring a top notch quality of your app in this new modern OS environment through thoughtful design and testing will help increase the success of your app. In a previous blog post on Testing Metro style apps in Windows 8 , we highlighted some of the key areas you need to take into account for building a high...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Windows 8 RTM is available for developers

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    Two weeks ago we announced that Windows 8 released to manufacturing (RTM). Since then we’ve been preparing builds for distribution as described in the Windows 8 has reached the RTM milestone post on Windows Team blog. I’m happy to let you know that we are now ready with early access builds for developers. In this post I’ll give you some pointers on the best way to get and install the RTM build and I’ll also point you to resources you can use to get your apps up and running...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Liven up your app with location and sensors

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    If you’re developing an app for Windows 8 tablets or convertibles, you have access to cutting edge hardware and software services for sensors and location. By tapping into these hardware capabilities, you can add value to your apps and also make them exciting and useful. Imagine an app that automatically loads a 3D environment based on the user’s current location, and then allows them to navigate the 3D world (pan, tilt) by moving the tablet around in 3D space. The pictures here show a Photosynth...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Building your own Windows Runtime components to deliver great Metro style apps

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    For Windows 8, we completely reimagined the platform, allowing you to choose the programming language and technologies you already know to build apps tailored to the device and form factor. With the Windows Runtime, you can even easily use multiple languages within a single app. You can build a great Metro style app with HTML and JavaScript that can interact with the Xbox 360 controller through building your own Windows Runtime component in C++. You can build reusable XAML controls exposed via Windows...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    App building events for Windows 8 app developers

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    With the announcement that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM) and will be available for customers to buy on October 26, now is the time to build apps. On August 15 th , all developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need including the RTM release of Visual Studio 2012. In the meantime, check out a selection of free events to help jumpstart your app development. Bringing Windows 8 to developers across the world Since we introduced...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Using HTML controls to create great Metro style apps

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    With Windows 8, you can use HTML to build Metro style apps. What you might not realize is that by using HTML controls directly, you automatically get the new Windows 8 experience. We have done work in HTML so that you can build industrial strength apps that have touch capability while still maintaining the great flexibility of using HTML. We want you to quickly and efficiently build apps that shine. In particular, we want you to continue to take advantage of common HTML controls like <button>...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Creating beautiful views for local files

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    Part of Metro style design is building clean views that allow content to shine and help users accomplish their tasks. We explore in particular how you can create beautiful galleries with content from user’s files and folders on the local file system. Being able to display local content is a key requirement for many gallery apps that let users browse and consume their content – photos, videos, music, or documents. Windows 8 provides tools to do this in a simple, efficient, and customizable way. To...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Roaming your app data

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    Windows 8 keeps users always connected. They can be connected to the internet, cloud services, and their other Windows 8 PCs. Your app can participate in this always connected ecosystem by taking advantage of roaming app data. In this post I tell you more about roaming app data, what it is, why it’s important, and best of all how easy it is to implement in your app. Why roam data Roaming personalization settings is key to feeling connected to Windows, and Windows 8 does that for many Windows settings...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Testing Metro style apps in Windows 8

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    In the world of Metro style apps, your apps are the focus of the whole experience. For this experience to be delightful to your users, you want to ensure that your apps are well tested and represent a high level of quality. Producing a Metro style app involves four main stages: design, development, testing and finally distribution. A number of previous blog posts focus on the design and development aspects of Metro style apps. In this post, we cover a few high level verification areas related to...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Creating Metro style apps that stand out from the crowd

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    When you submit your app into the Store, there will no doubt be other apps in your category that will compete for people’s attention. Being able to crisply showcase the differentiation points in your offerings and staying focused on delivering the core scenarios that you are best at are crucial to a successful Metro style app that will stand out from the crowd. Windows 8 provides a set of design patterns , common controls , and built-in platform functionalities such as contracts that can help you...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Modernizing input in Windows 8

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    In Windows 8, we set out to modernize our input platform. We wanted to make sure that developing for it became more straightforward, but also to build a foundation that can grow and support new input modalities as Windows and apps evolve. To do this, we went back to basics and focused on core principles that guide our design. In this blog post I share with you why these principles matter, and how you can take advantage of the platform to build great apps in Windows 8. Platform principles Windows...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Best practices when adding single sign-on to your app with the Live SDK

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    A few months ago I wrote about how to bring single sign-on and SkyDrive to your Windows 8 apps with the Live SDK . Since then we made the Windows 8 Release Preview publicly available and we’ve begun to see some inconsistency in the design patterns forming in how apps expose entry points for users to sign in, connect accounts or sign-out of their experience. To help you with these design patterns, we put together some guidelines for apps that want to use a user’s Microsoft account. In this post I...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Exposing .NET tasks as WinRT asynchronous operations

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    In the blog post Diving Deep with Await and WinRT , we discussed the new async and await keywords in C# and Visual Basic and how you can use them to consume Windows Runtime (WinRT) asynchronous operations. With some assistance from the .NET Base Class Libraries (BCL), you can also use these keywords to develop asynchronous operations that are then exposed via WinRT for other components built in other languages to consume. In this post, we’ll explore how to do so. (For overall details on implementing...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Windows 8 UX fundamentals–free virtual training

    • 14 Comments
    Metro style apps are the focal point of the user experience on Windows 8 Release Preview. Great Metro style apps share an important set of design traits that provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience. With the first apps in the Windows Store, it’s exciting to see app designers begin to push the boundaries of the Metro style design principles on Windows 8. There’s plenty of innovation and beautiful apps to come. If you are a developer or designer creating a new user experience...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    The Windows 8 Dev Center: Everything you need to design, build, and sell a Metro style app

    • 4 Comments
    For Windows 8, we completely reimagined not just the platform, but also how we share app development info with you. Launched 9 months ago, the Windows Dev Center is the one place where you can find all the info and resources you need to get going. Whether you’re new to development, seeking inspiration for the next great app, or you’re simply stuck and need help, you can find it here. We talked to many developers, and heard a lot about how difficult it could be to find the right info in the MSDN Library...
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