Windows Store Developer Solutions

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  • Blog Post: Constraining manipulations

    Touch screens are cool. Being able to drag and manipulate pictures and objects on the screen is fun, and the Xaml manipulation system makes it easy to drag and zoom controls by touch. Touch down, zip your finger across the screen, and watch the control slide away. But what if we want to apply more...
  • Blog Post: Including Self-Signed Certificates with your Windows Runtime based Windows Phone 8.1 apps

    The concept of Universal apps lets you share common code targeting the Windows Runtime between a Windows Store app and a Windows Phone 8.1 app. However there are still some areas where there isn’t a 1:1 mapping. When using self-signed certificates with your Windows Runtime based Windows Phone 8...
  • Blog Post: Frame of reference: keeping the music playing across pages

    A musical score is a great way to add zip to your app, but many people are stumped because the Xaml MediaElement will play music only when it’s in the visual tree. When the user navigates to a new page the music stops. This brings up the frequent question: How can I keep the music playing when...
  • Blog Post: Cheat-Sheet for using Brokered Windows Runtime Components for side-loaded Windows Store apps

    Starting with the Windows 8.1 Update that was announced at //Build 2014, the functionality of performing “Inter Process Communication” – which is commonly referenced to as “IPC” between a side-loaded Windows Store app and a Desktop process has been enabled to leverage existing...
  • Blog Post: How to apply an “Opacity Mask” to an image by mixing XAML and Direct2D

    If you are a XAML graphics dev you may be lamenting the fact that in Windows Store 8.x apps the “opacity mask” property is conspicuously missing from the XAML image based controls. This is an unfortunate omission because there really isn’t an easy way to facilitate the opacity mask...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility Gotchas 2: High Contrast

    The next accessibility gotcha that we see regularly is poor support for high contrast modes. The high level concepts are the same for Xaml and for HTML, but the specific methods to solve them and some of the low level issues are different. High contrast mode makes it easier for some low-vision users...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility Gotchas 1: Xaml ListView speaks in tongues

    I keep having the same conversation with a blind colleague: It always starts out well: Rob! Did you hear that Contoso has published their app to the Windows Store? It should be great! I’ve really been looking forward to this one! But then goes down hill: But I can’t use it… it...
  • Blog Post: DatagramSocket Multicast functionality on Windows 8.1 throws an error 0x80072AF9 (WSAHOST_NOT_FOUND)

    We have noticed multiple customer reports of using the Multicast functionality of the Windows.Networking.Sockets.DatagramSocket class on Windows 8.1. Most of the reported issues are with sending Multicast packets to the Multicast DNS address of 224.0.0.251 and port 5353, however the same could be...
  • Blog Post: Swipe-Down-to-Kill Changes in Windows 8.1 Store apps

    I worked on a recent forum post concerning the "swipe-down-to-kill" behavior in Windows Store applications, and want to fully explain what's going on with a small but important change between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. History In Windows 8, we introduced Windows Store apps – and one of the great...
  • Blog Post: Background Tasks – Myths and Realities

    A few weeks ago I was searching the forums looking for “hot spots” and noticed that there were a lot of misconceptions around Background Tasks. After about an hour of searching I was able to put together a list of what I feel are common misconceptions about Background Tasks. In the spirit...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility Gotchas: Introduction

    Accessibility is about enabling everybody to use your app even if limitations or environment prevent using conventional user interfaces. Enabling applications for accessibility opens up new and enthusiastic markets. You can mark your app as accessible so it shows up in searches and you can crow about...
  • Blog Post: Binding HTML to a WebView with Attached Properties

    It's been said that if you aren't data binding you aren't really using Xaml, and a frequent topic on the forums is how to bind HTML from a data model to a WebView. The problem: we bind data to properties, but the WebView doesn't have a property to bind to. An app sets the WebView's HTML by calling...
  • Blog Post: Don’t trust your TCP/IP printer’s status

    I recently ran into an issue with a customer who was experiencing an unstable experience querying for the System.Devices.Connected property of a printer from a Windows Store app. The printer was configured using a Standard TCP/IP port (For information on how to configure a printer via a Standard TCP...
  • Blog Post: Direct2D Windows Store app has distorted rendering (Windows 8.0)

    There is a situation where your Direct2D rendering can be distorted. This has been fixed in Windows 8.1 if you retarget your app for Windows 8.1 and rebuild it. This problem occurs when you create your DirectX surfaces in one orientation of the device and before you attach the context to the Page, you...
  • Blog Post: How to store JSON data in Windows Phone 8

    There have been a couple of forum questions on how to store JSON data and retrieve it in Windows Phone 8.  This post will explain how to do this with a simple example.  As a bonus I will show the code you can use to store a List of objects! JSON serialization is a great way to store objects...
  • Blog Post: Developing an app for both Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 platforms

    This article surveys various approaches in porting an application for use in the Windows Store and Windows Phone platforms. The Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 – building together article identifies some benefits of this approach. You can plan in advance to ensure that the programming technologies...
  • Blog Post: Dealing with Documents: How (not) to use the documentsLibrary capability in Windows Store apps

    Many people posting in the forums express confusion over the documentsLibrary capability's " Special Use " categorization. This capability is highly restricted and not intended for general use, and apps which try to use it generally will fail certification. While the requirements that business...
  • Blog Post: Your Windows Phone 7/8 application tests fine, but fails after publishing to Marketplace or after private app distribution

    *EDIT* 20 June 2013 This information has since been amended and published as KB Article 2859130 . So, you tested your application using the Windows Phone SDK tools. Everything ran flawlessly. You publish your app. You download your published app. Users download your app and report that the app crashes...
  • Blog Post: Datagram Socket Communication in Windows Phone 8

    New to Windows Phone 8 is the Windows.Networking.Sockets namespace. This namespace is also used in the Windows Store app development environment, which makes it convenient for developers who wish to port networking applications to both targets. Windows.Networking.Sockets is the replacement for the...
  • Blog Post: Where did all my gestures go?

    A common problem we’ve seen from customers is how to handle pointer input and manipulations on elements inside of collection controls such as ListViews, GridViews, and FlipViews. The app can get the PointerPressed event on items inside the View, but after that the pointer events disappear and the app...
  • Blog Post: Registration of the app failed. Another user has already installed a packaged version of this app. An unpackaged version cannot replace this…

    Deployment of a development version of your Windows Store app package through Visual Studio 2012 can sometimes lead to an error that looks like this: Registration of the app failed. Another user has already installed a packaged version of this app. An unpackaged version cannot replace this. The conflicting...
  • Blog Post: Skip the path: stick to the StorageFile

    To build user confidence, a user’s files are protected from arbitrary access by Windows Store apps. This has produced a large number of threads in the Windows Store apps Forums from developers who are used to having full access to the file system and who don’t expect to need the user’s permission to...
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