Sunday, 12 January 2014

Beginning the Windows 8.1 App Journey

Today, I downloaded a Windows 8.1 App template and loaded it up.  Over the next couple of months I plan on creating and publishing at least 20 apps for Windows 8.1.  I thought I should probably get started figuring out where things are and how they are different.

This Blog will follow my findings, frustrations and successes over the next couple of months.  I'll let you know what apps I've done, what barriers I have encountered, what the 'store' experience was like, how successful the apps were and ultimately whether I'll end up doing more than the 20 apps.

I'm anxious to know how 8.1 apps are different from 8.0.  I already know that there are some UI differences like how snap works.  Snap is where you can pin multiple Apps to the same screen and see them all at the same time.  I know that contracts are different.  Contracts are the relationships you have with the charms bar that slides out from the right side of the screen.  In my previous Windows 8 apps I only really used the "Settings" charm and the "Search" charm.  Well, search is a completely different animal this time around and I'll try to document my experience with it here.

I'm going to start out with a couple of games and then maybe create a couple of apps that are Windows 8.1 versions of Windows Phone 8 apps I previously created.  I know I cannot just copy them across this time and want to take the time to design the interface properly.

I already have a number of Windows 8 Apps in the store.  Currently it stands at 16 and most of them are either versions of some of my Windows 7 Apps or they were "generated" apps and involved no coding but got me entries in the Developer Movement at the time.  In a previous note I have already admitted that the apps aren't all that well designed.  At the time, design wasn't as strong a motivation as it clearly should have been.  I am very much looking forward to what I will do with design in reproducing some Windows Phone apps to Windows 8.  Not all my apps will or should be converted but some have at least as much value if not more on a tablet type device.  Time will tell.

So, enjoy the journey, maybe fire up a copy of Visual Studio 2013 (there is a free version available at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229516) and write an app or two with me!

And have fun!