Developing for Windows 8.1


Microsoft’s Build conference happened on Wednesday. I watched it, and it was great to see all the new features of Windows 8.1. I have yet to install the preview update as I am unsure of how stable it is or what it will delete. I’ve had a play around with it on a friend’s computer and I like what I see so far.

Currently (and very annoyingly), both of my apps (Kuler Touch and Cheap Ass Gamer) are not functioning properly due to Adobe and Twitter’s APIs changing. Adobe Kuler’s API is being rebuilt as their website has been updated a lot. I haven’t been able to debug the CAG app yet but currently the Twitter features are throwing errors.

I want to update the apps over the summer to fix these issues and add new Windows 8.1 features, such as:

  • Tiles will need to be updated
  • The search function is no longer accessed via the Charms bar, it will need to be in-app
  • More responsive layouts for the new dynamic window sizes

I have no idea when this will be done as I have work and the third year project to get on with. Both apps are currently fairly useless without the APIs working.

There are quite a few bits of news about 8.1 app development that I haven’t seen being reported on. I suggest all developers check out the documentation on Microsoft’s website on what has changed and been added. There are new controls like the search box, menu flyouts, hubs, and app bar additions. Also the hyperlink element is back! That could be very useful for the Cheap Ass Gamer app. Take a look here and here.