Developing Apps For Windows 8 Metro

As Microsoft continues to guide users through developing for its upcoming operating system, Windows 8, it outlines the 10 ways to be successful with the platforms. Hopefully you’re paying attention.

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Know how to build apps for Windows 8? See if the 10 points, below, ring Windows 8 bells

Microsoft has outlined the 10 ways to be successful when building apps for Windows. We’ve covering them below, so let’s get started.

#1: Screen Management

Basically, Microsoft wants apps to work across the variety of devices running Windows 8. Test the apps on multiple screen sizes and pixel densities, along with landscape and portrait orientations of course. Microsoft offers a Simulator in Visual Studio 2012, so developers don’t need to buy multiple devices for testing.

Windows 8 is going to be running on devices from a 10-inch tablet to a 20-inch TV screen for a desktop PC, so there’s a lot of room to cover with the UI. I’d suggest make it as simple as possible, because less can go wrong.

#2: Understand Metro Design

Microsoft says four elements of Metro design have to be understood: text and typography (using fonts, colors, and sizes respectively); Silhouettes to become familiar with apps; know how to design navigation, including tabs and menus; and know how to use the App bar to place contextual commands. For links explaining the concepts in more details, click the source link below.

#3: Snapping Windows

A simple function in Windows 8, Snapping allows two windows to share screen estate. There’s the main app window and a smaller window (of a Twitter feed, for example). Ensure the app is functional when snapped, because the window is smaller. Microsoft also advised game developers to have a pause screen, or a similar display, when snapping to avoid ruining content. Users then resume when ready.

Prevent Losing Data

#4: Saving/Restoring Apps When Switched

Switching away from an app, or running multiple programs, may force a program to close or a user to save to restore good performance. Therefore, data cannot be lost. Testing apps to ensure the feature reliably works is crucial. Also test the app to see if it resumes quickly. The Windows App Certification Kit helps with the latter.

Throughout the week we’ll run through the rest of the points Microsoft outlined.