Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Windows Store Apps Succinctly – by John Garland (e-book review)


After a short introduction about the core concepts of Windows Store Apps, you will learn the basics about XAML controls and pages.

The book shows you how to work with one of the most important parts in Windows Store development, which is the LayoutAwarePage class. You learn how to adapt your application to the different view states supported by Windows 8, such as full screen, snapped, and filled, and how to adapt your layout to make your apps look good on any screen, in any orientation.

Like Windows Phone, navigation is an essential part of every application and a serious part of the usability concept. You will learn how to invoke navigation and how to use events like Navigating and Navigated, and how to implement the different methods (OnNavigatingFrom, OnNavigatedFrom) to make your app shine.

Users want to share content with friends, colleagues, and their families. Windows 8 supports content sharing via the Charms bar. The author shows you how to use the Share Contract in your app and how to share content between your app and other apps. This includes text, images, file references, and more. Communication with devices, such as using the Print Contract to print, concludes the Charms chapter.

To make your application stand out in contrast with other apps and to give your user an additional source of information, Windows 8 offers you the possibility to present important updates using tiles, secondary tiles, and badges. You will learn how to update your tiles, send toast and push notifications, and how to add and remove secondary tiles.

Every modern tablet or laptop today offers a wide range of sensors and devices, like an accelerometer, a compass, or a light sensor. Garland describes how to utilize those devices in your applications and add additional value to your applications. Accessing and interacting with multimedia devices like cameras and microphones gives the Hardware and Sensors chapter the perfect happy ending.

The last chapter covers the Windows Store. It explains Windows Store basics like application submission, pricing, registering, and submitting applications. Monetization instruments like application trail modes, in-app-purchases, and ads for your apps are explained in depth, as well as other ways to distribute your applications.


John Garland is a senior consultant at Wintellect and has been developing software professionally since the 1990s.

The book reflects John’s development experience and in-depth knowledge of the Windows 8 platform, and can be fully recommended to every developer who wants to dive into Windows Store application development.


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