Windows 8 app developer blog

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

  • 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

    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

    Bring single sign-on and SkyDrive to your Windows 8 apps with the Live SDK

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    Thanks to the cloud, Windows 8 customers can work and play seamlessly across devices. By signing in to your PC or device with a Microsoft account and taking advantage of free personal storage in SkyDrive (see Connecting your apps, files, PCs and devices to the cloud with SkyDrive and Windows 8 for more info), your apps, settings and personal files are always with you. As an app developer, you can take advantage of these cloud capabilities by integrating with the Live SDK in their Metro style apps...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Diving deep with WinRT and await

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    The recent blog post Keeping apps fast and fluid with asynchrony in the Windows Runtime includes examples of how the await keyword in C# and Visual Basic enables developers to use WinRT asynchronous operations while still maintaining and reasoning about good control flow. In this follow-on post, I dive much deeper into exactly how await works with WinRT. This knowledge will make it easier for you to reason about code that uses await , and as a result, will enable you to write better Metro style apps...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    How to improve performance in your Metro style app

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    Nobody likes slow or unresponsive apps. Users expect that apps respond immediately to touch, taps, clicks, gestures and key-presses. Users expect that animations are smooth, that they can play, pause and restart their music and videos quickly, and that they never have to wait for the app to catch up with them. This is the first in a series of posts on how to make your apps "fast and fluid." We invested a lot of time in the engineering teams thinking about how we can ensure the performance...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    What’s changed for app developers since //build/ (part 2)

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    As promised, I’m back to tell you about more of the important work that we’ve done since //build/. In part 1 of this post, I covered DirectX and XAML integration, improvements to the Blend designers, CSS independent animations, and more. But I’m sure you’re eager to dig into more of what’s new, so let’s jump right in. Tile and toast notifications Tiles and toasts are key parts of our Metro style design principles. They allow you to see important info at a glance, even when your app isn’t running...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Being productive when your app is offscreen

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    In the Managing app lifecycle post, Adam Barrus described the new app lifecycle introduced in Windows 8. The most common question we hear is “what if my app has to do something important when it is not on screen, for example, download a file or email or play music”? In this two part series, I’ll tell you about the different types of activities that an app can do when it’s in the background and show some code examples to that support these scenarios. Windows 8 background model Efficient battery usage...
  • 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

    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...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    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

    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

    Migrating your apps from Developer Preview to Consumer Preview

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    Hi, I’m John Sheehan, Partner Architect on the Windows Development team. We really appreciate you building apps for the preview releases. Your feedback helps us make Windows 8 great. Of course, building on a preview means that you need to make updates to your apps for each preview release – that’s what this post is all about, migrating your projects from the Developer Preview to the Consumer Preview. I’m going to highlight some of the changes here, but for a detailed guide to the changes, you can...
  • Windows 8 app developer blog

    Creating a great tile experience (part 2)

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    In part 1 of this post , we learned how to design tile updates and choose the templates to match the content you want to show on your live tile. We got the app set up with a wide default tile and now we’re ready to start updating our tiles. Now, we dive straight into the code. First, we’ll see how to set up polling on our Contoso Food Trucks app tile, including what our web service code looks like. Then we add a secondary tile to the app and update it using the NotificationsExtension library provided...
  • 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

    Creating a fast and fluid app launch experience

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    App launch is a principal part of the fast and fluid Windows 8 experience, so it’s important that you prioritize your app’s launch UX. A highly-polished launch flow is sure to improve the initial reception of any app. In this post, I’ll discuss how to craft a well-designed, responsive app launch experience and explain why app launch is a critical time to make a positive impression on users. I’ll introduce four app launch design patterns that can be applied to your apps and point out some key things...
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Trending forum topics: Answering your questions

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    When learning a new development platform I always find some hurdles getting my app working just the way I want it to. Like me, many of you have used our forums to get answers to the issues you run into. For this post we selected some of the most popular forum topics to highlight and provide more resources to help keep you coding. App settings and data, applying consistent colors and styles, designing for multiple languages and cultures, and Animating Metro style controls were all highly posted, viewed...
  • 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

    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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