All posts in Windows

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I’ve created a new app for Windows 8.1 to see a great collection of (mostly moving) webcams in wintersport areas. The app offers an overview per country, search and a way to mark webcams as favorite so they show up on the hub page of the app. The app was build using the Windows Starting Template provided by my colleague Rajen Kishna. And Michael Teeuw (Xonay Media) helped out with the design. The logo was designed by me 🙂

 

Download the app from the Windows Store

One of the design principles of Microsoft Design Style is Pride in Craftsmanship, or “sweat the details”. One of the important ways to do this is to align to the grid. I found this hard to illustrate when explaining this to others. Best I could come up with is showing the use of the grid in apps like Nick and Cocktail Flow.

Nick-grid  Cocktail-Grid

I just watched the presentation of Steven Abrahams at //build 2013 “Lessons Learned from Building Alarms and Calculator for Windows 8.1“. This is a very interesting talk with a very good example what it means to really sweat the details. Read more

Providing all the different formats for logos for a Windows (Phone) App is not always that easy. Various sizes, even various resolutions if you want to do it right. My colleague Shinobu Takahashi created a very handy desktop tool to generate all these logos from one selected image. So you only have to make/find your artwork once and then use the tool to generate the logos and include them in your project.

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Just start the tool, use Open Image to select an image from your disk. Select with the icon after the title if you want to generate for Phone or for Windows 8. Then click the square tile or wide tile on the right so you can draw a rectangle on the actual image to determine the content of that logo.

 

Download the tool

Most of the times the default templates used for apps have very basic color themes: black and white (okay, and some gray). Your app will come more to life if you use a good color theme, matching your content. Question is: which colors are best to use?

Select a color theme

Something I found very handy is the website http://kuler.adobe.com. This website offers a large collection of color themes, where each theme has 5 colors. You can search for a topic to find interesting themes, e.g. ‘vacation’, ‘beach’, etcetera. This is an example of one of the themes: Read more

Maybe you want to build your own Windows 8 app … but you’re not a developer. But you have an interesting hobby you want to share information on. Or you know interesting websites containing useful information. De App-in-a-snap template can help you out!

App-in-a-snap is a template that helps you in a few easy steps to create your own news reader app. The templates uses RSS feeds to do this. Here is an example of an RSS feed (for this blog): http://mtirionblog.azurewebsites.net/?feed=rss2. A link to an RSS feed is often indicated on websites with this icon: rss_41E042C4. It is very easy to add one or more feeds to the template.

Interested? Do you want to try it? Go to http://aka.ms/appinasnap. It contains the template and the documentation (in Dutch) to help you build your own Windows 8 app.

Is your app done? Is it complete? Didn’t forget anything? Or testing an app someone else created? The problem is – what to test, where to start and not to miss important things. Maybe this quick checklist can help you cover the basics. It was created by using information from the App Fast Track team. First here is the brief checklist, then we go a bit more into detail.

  1. User Experience
  2. Navigation and App bars
  3. Network
  4. Suspend mode
  5. Search
  6. Share
  7. Settings
  8. Scaling
  9. Interaction
  10. Tile and Notification
  11. Touch, keyboard and mouse
  12. Windows App Certification Kit (WACK)
  13. Performance

This information is also available in PDF format including a checklist for testing an app. Read more