Microsoft previewed the Windows 10 developer and universal app platform at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on 2 March.
The Windows 10 universal app has been designed to provide a consistent and familiar user experience across all Windows 10 devices, while ensuring that the app is configured to each device’s input model and screen size.
“Windows 10 represents the culmination of our platform convergence journey with Windows now running on a single, unified core,” said Kevin Gallo, Microsoft's technical lead for Windows universal apps, in a blog post. “This convergence enables one app to run on every Windows device – on the phone in your pocket, the tablet or laptop in your bag, the PC on your desk, and the Xbox console in your living room. All these Windows devices will now access one store for app acquisition, distribution and update.”
Using the platform will enable developers to incorporate natural user inputs into their apps, such as natural speech, inking, gestures, and user gaze functionality.
Meanwhile, improved base app models and the ViewStateManager will make it easier for them to create more adaptive experiences. This means that developers no longer need to create separate user interface definitions for small and large screens, although they can still select this option.
The universal platform also has an adaptive user experience feature, which enables the user interface of an app to automatically adapt based on the device the customer is using. Plus, Windows 10 will determine how the customer is interacting with the app and provide the appropriate user experience. For example, if they are using a touchscreen laptop, an app fly-out control will provide larger touch-targets for users.
In addition, apps can now be used with a number of Windows services including Windows Notification Services, Windows roaming data and the Windows Credential Locker. Apps can also be launched or accessed in Cortana search results, while the Action Center functionality will improve notifications across all Windows devices.
“Windows 10 is about making it easier for developers and their codes to do more and go further with a new platform built to maximise and extend their existing investments,” said Gallo. “We’ve designed Windows 10 to continue to support existing Windows apps and desktop applications on the devices for which they were developed. We’re working to make it as easy as possible for developers to bring those investments forward to the new universal app platform.”
Microsoft will reveal more technical details about the new platform at the Build Conference in April. The company will also showcase the first prototype of the Windows 10 Cordova platform in an Apache branch in April.
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