Metro 风格的应用开发入门

Getting Started with Metro Style Apps Ben Dewey Beijing • Cambridge • Farnham • Köln • Sebastopol • Tokyo Getting Started with Metro Style Apps by Ben Dewey Copyright © 2012 Ben Dewey. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472. O’Reilly books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Online editions are also available for most titles ( For more information, contact our corporate/institutional sales department: 800-998-9938 or Editor: Rachel Roumeliotis Production Editor: Melanie Yarbrough Proofreader: Melanie Yarbrough Cover Designer: Karen Montgomery Interior Designer: David Futato Illustrator: Robert Romano Revision History for the First Edition: 2012-07-23 First release See for release details. Nutshell Handbook, the Nutshell Handbook logo, and the O’Reilly logo are registered trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Getting Started with Metro Style Apps, the cover image of an American Crocodile, and related trade dress are trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media, Inc., was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and authors assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information con- tained herein. ISBN: 978-1-449-32055-3 [LSI] 1342718033 Table of Contents Preface ..................................................................... vii 1. Windows 8: A Quick Tour ................................................. 1 A User Interface for Touch 1 Start Screen 2 Start Bar 3 Windows Programming Reimagined 4 A New Native APIJ: The Windows Runtime 5 Language Support 6 Hosted Application Model 7 Single File Deployment 8 Windows Store 8 Inside Metro Style Apps 8 Application Bar 8 Semantic Zoom 9 Animation 10 Outside Your App 11 Tiles 11 Pickers 12 Charms 12 Sensors and Devices 12 Summary 13 2. Getting Started ........................................................ 15 Where Is the Hello World app? 15 Bing Search API 15 Getting Started: The BingSimpleSearch App 18 Bing Search API Service class 21 Calling the Bing Search API 22 Wrapping Up the UI 22 Running the BingSimpleSearch App 23 iii Unlocking WinRT (the FileSavePicker) 23 Summary 26 3. Application Architecture ................................................ 27 The Bing Image Search App 27 Goals 27 Usability 28 Non-functional 29 Development Process Goals 30 Design of the User Interface 30 Application Diagram 32 Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) 32 Who Comes First: the View or the ViewModel (the ViewModelLocator)? 33 Commands 35 Inversion of Control (IoC) Container 35 Navigation 37 NavigationService 39 MessageHub 40 Sending a Message 41 Alternatives to the MessageHub 42 Application Storage and Tombstoning 42 Settings 44 Summary 45 4. Interacting with the Operating System .................................... 47 Search 48 Declaring Your Search Intentions 48 Handling SearchPane.QuerySubmitted 48 Launching Your App Directly into Search Mode 53 Tiles 54 Updating the Tile with a Collection of Images 55 Updating Multiple Tiles with a Single Command 57 Pickers 59 FileOpenPicker 60 FileSavePicker 65 Sharing 68 ShareDataRequestedMessagePump 69 ShareUriHandler 71 ShareImageResultsHandler 71 Sensors 74 LockScreen 75 Summary 76 iv | Table of Contents 5. Windows Store ........................................................ 77 Marketing 77 Windows Store App 78 Opening Your Developer Account 79 Selling Your App 81 Ratings and Reviews 82 Distribution 82 Packaging Your App 83 Inside your Appx 86 Running Windows App Cert Kit 87 Publishing Your App 88 Global Reach 89 Exposure to Global Markets 90 Localization 91 Summary 92 Table of Contents | v Preface The personal computer (PC), which first hit the market over 30 years ago, has under- gone tectonic changes that, in turn, launched the PC era. PCs were primarily used in the workplace where software was simple and optimized for use with the keyboard; touching a screen was unheard of until recently. Slowly computers began creeping into the home and many users didn’t know what to do with them; they were glorified type- writers. When PCs started connecting to the Internet, possibilities reached a new level, which had a snowball effect. It allowed academia to share research; it spawned new means of communication from email and online chat to social networking, captivating the minds of people young and old. Soon consumers started using laptops and unplugging from the conventional desktop setting. This shift had little impact on applications, but helped define a new wave of form factors in phones, tablets, and slates. Eventually, users started demanding more and we ush- ered in a new era, the modern consumer era. We are all modern consumers, not only consumers of goods, but consumers of information. We are constantly connected through the use of mobile devices as well as more traditional computers. Whatever type of device, be it static or mobile, content is synchronized and up-to-date. These new devices are used as gaming machines and personal entertainment centers, and they are replacing books and magazines for many avid readers. Today, consumers expect developers to create apps where touch, mobility, and good battery life are a must. Tablets and slates leverage touch as a primary form of interaction while playing a critical role in the adoption of sensors and cameras in everyday com- puting. They are small and lightweight, making them extremely portable. Devices boot almost instantly so users can get to their content and put them right back in their bag without missing a step. Despite their youth, these devices are being embraced by work forces and consumers worldwide and they appear to be on a relentless progression. With all this excitement, it’s hard to believe we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. We need a platform built from the ground up with these objectives in mind. This next version of Windows, code-named Windows 8, ships with a new application model for building user experiences tailored to the next generation of devices. vii The Windows Runtime The underpinning for that new user experience is the Windows Runtime. For years Windows desktop applications interacted with the Win32APIs in some fashion, whether they were opening file dialogs, rendering graphics, or communicating over the network. Instead of replacing this, Windows 8 continues its support for the Win32APIs allowing existing Windows 7 apps to run seamlessly. What they built instead is a brand new API from the ground up called the Windows Runtime (WinRT). WinRT consists of an application execution environment and a collection of new APIs, which enables a new line of immersive full screen apps called Metro style apps. Windows desktop applications are still available and continue to be relevant for many situations. In fact, desktop applications can leverage the power of the Windows Run- time API—for example communicating with sensors. Metro style apps are designed to communicate with WinRT via a language-independent projection layer, which enables apps to be written in statically-typed languages like C ++, C#, and Visual Basic, while also feeling natural to dynamic languages like Java- Script. WinRT introduces a new trust model for users, called base trust. Unlike full trust, this model isolates each application while funneling high-level action through the runtime broker to ensure users are aware when apps attempt to access protected resources. Even though Metro style apps promote a model where the user is in charge, you will find their ability to connect with other apps is far superior than its predecessor. Metro style apps can communicate with other apps using generic contracts and send or receive content in various formats—like text and photos. Contracts can also be defined to access core operating system components, like Search, to highlight your app even though it may seem irrelevant. (We’ll discuss contracts and search later in Chap- ter 4.) Once a revolutionary technology, like mobile computing, has been un- leashed it’s hard not to push its potential. You can already see signs that manufacturers and researchers are innovating well beyond what is on the streets today. Microsoft is committed to contributing to the future of technology in a big way and Windows 8 is just the start. For more insight and the impending possibilities into what’s next for Microsoft, a video of their vision for the future can be found online at http://www Disclaimer Windows 8 is currently in Release Preview; as such, some of the content in this book may change. viii | Preface Who This Book Is For This book is written for existing .NET developers who are interested in the changes introduced with the release of Windows 8. This book is intended to be a guide to developing complete Metro style apps. If you have an idea or you are just curious about the platform, this is the place to start. For a reference on all things related to Windows 8 development I recommend the Windows Dev Center at and the Windows Dev Forum at http://forums The samples in this book are in C# and XAML. All of the samples in this book are available for download on this book’s website at -with-metro-apps and at How This Book Is Organized This book focuses on helping you become familiar with the new Windows 8 landscape, WinRT, and writing your first Metro style apps, from creating a simple search app to writing a touch enabled app that responds to native sensors. This book will go through the steps taken to create a full application using the Bing Search API and publishing it to the Windows Store. It has been broken up into five chapters: Chapter 1 This chapter focuses on a high-level overview of the Windows 8 features that power Metro style apps. From the new OS features, like the new Start Screen, to the in app features such as the Application Bar. Many of these features will be covered in depth in later chapters. Chapter 2 Before building the full Bing Image Search application I will walk you through creating a simple version of the application that communicates with the Bing Search API and binds the results to a simple UI. If you choose to follow along you will need to obtain an account key for the Bing Search API service on the Azure Mar- ketplace. Chapter 3 Once you’ve seen how to create a simple application using the Bing Search API, I’ll show you what it takes to complete an application that leverages the full power of the Windows 8 platform. Chapter 3 will also focus on the goals, techniques, and designs used throughout the app. Chapter 4 Developers can create impressive apps of all shapes and sizes. At some point you will need to access some external resource. Whether you’re communicating with web services or responding to events from one of the many native sensors, this Preface | ix chapter shows you how the Bing Image Search application takes advantage of these various features and how to implement them in a maintainable fashion. Chapter 5 Windows 8 ships with a Windows Store that developers can leverage for marketing and distribution of their apps without having to focus on the nuances of building installers and accepting payments. As you would experience with other app stores, the Windows Store has a certification process. This chapter focuses on navigating that process and the details around app distribution in this new environment. Conventions Used in This Book The following typographical conventions are used in this book: Italic Indicates new terms, URLs, email addresses, filenames, and file extensions. Constant width Used for program listings, as well as within paragraphs to refer to program elements such as variable or function names, databases, data types, environment variables, statements, and keywords. Constant width bold Shows commands or other text that should be touched, clicked, or typed literally by the user. Constant width italic Shows text that should be replaced with user-supplied values or by values deter- mined by context. This icon signifies a tip, suggestion, or general note. This icon indicates a warning or caution. What You Need to Use This Book To run the samples from this book, you will need to have a version of Windows 8 Release Preview. I recommend installing to a virtual hard drive (VHD) using the steps laid out by Scott Hanselman at BootingWindows8DeveloperPreviewOffAVHDVirtualHardDisk.aspx. x | Preface In addition, you will need a version of Visual Studio 2012 available at http://www.mi Subscribing to the Bing Search API Service on Windows Azure Marketplace This book uses the free Bing Search API service available from the Windows Azure Marketplace. This Service is a available for anyone to use as long as you register an account and subscribe. In order to use the examples in this book on your own you will need to create an account on the Windows Azure Marketplace and subscribe to the Bing service. This can be setup online by going to 5ba839f1-12ce-4cce-bf57-a49d98d29a44, signing in with you LiveID by clicking the button in the top right, and then scrolling down and clicking the Sign Up button under the free 5,000 transaction subscription. After you’ve subscribed, you can click the EX- PLORE THIS DATASET heading to play with the data feed. Using Code Examples This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, you may use the code in this book in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission. We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Getting Started with Metro Style Apps by Ben Dewey (O’Reilly). 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Subscribers have access to thousands of books, training videos, and prepublication manuscripts in one fully searchable da- tabase from publishers like O’Reilly Media, Prentice Hall Professional, Addison-Wesley Professional, Microsoft Press, Sams, Que, Peachpit Press, Focal Press, Cisco Press, John Wiley & Sons, Syngress, Morgan Kaufmann, IBM Redbooks, Packt, Adobe Press, FT Press, Apress, Manning, New Riders, McGraw-Hill, Jones & Bartlett, Course Tech- nology, and dozens more. For more information about Safari Books Online, please visit us online. How to Contact Us Please address comments and questions concerning this book to the publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, CA 95472 800-998-9938 (in the United States or Canada) 707-829-0515 (international or local) 707-829-0104 (fax) We have a web page for this book, where we list errata, examples, and any additional information. You can access this page at To comment or ask technical questions about this book, send email to For more information about our books, courses, conferences, and news, see our website at Find us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Watch us on YouTube: How to Contact the Author Feel free to visit the books website at -apps. You can also find me on Twitter @bendewey or via email at Acknowledgements I’d like to thank my employer, Tallan, for its support and for allowing me to attend conferences regularly. I’d also like to thank my editor, Rachel Roumeliotis, and my xii | Preface primary technical reviewer, Mark Freedmean, for putting up with me and the product throughout multiple changes as Windows 8 was a challenging, moving target. Finally, I’d like to thank my family for their undivided support and encouragement throughout the process. Preface | xiii CHAPTER 1 Windows 8: A Quick Tour When the Metro design language was first announced at MIX 2010, I knew Microsoft was on to something. I really enjoyed the simple use of typography and a focus on content. At the Build conference in September 2011, Microsoft announced its plans to expand the Metro design language to other products, including its flagship product, Microsoft Windows. This release marks a convergence of the latest versions of Win- dows, Windows Phone, and Xbox where all three use Metro and promote the concept with a trifecta of opportunities that will hopefully complement one another and grow consumer awareness about the collective suite of offerings. Metro style apps are designed primarily for touch interaction, and Windows 8 has been written with this in mind. Microsoft is calling this the reimagining of Windows. Every- thing from the desktop to the start menu has been redesigned and optimized for touch. The Windows Runtime (WinRT), a new application model for running Metro style apps, provides access to the new features of the Operating System (OS) and the native hardware capabilities that are available on modern computers, tablets, and slates. This chapter focuses on what it means to reimagine Windows and what’s available to help developers reimagine their apps as well. A User Interface for Touch In line with other Metro-focused technologies like the Windows Phone and Xbox, the main interface for Windows is a vibrant start screen where tiles are used to launch apps. They are big and easily activated on touch devices while providing content that is up- to-date and visible even when flicked across the screen. Unlike desktop apps, Metro style apps don’t have borders or windows, which are difficult to interact with using touch. Instead they are all full screen, enabling an immersive experience where your apps contain only relevant content. When an app launches in Windows 8, you use specific gestures—swiping in from the bezel on the right or bottom—to activate new touch-based menus. The system menu, or start bar, in conjunction with the Windows Runtime, provides a new model for connecting apps. Once an app is running, you can 1 change settings, search, and share content with other apps without having to leave the full screen experience. Start Screen Figure 1-1. The new Start Screen that powers Metro style apps in Windows The new Windows 8 start screen, shown in Figure 1-1, provides a fast and fluid way to interact with all your important content. From checking email or the latest news, glancing at the weather or your stocks, checking in with your friends on various social networks, or just listening to music, the start screen keeps you updated on your life. This means no bouncing between apps and the home screen just to check statuses. Tiles make up the start screen with their bright colors and clean text. They can be organized into groups and personalized for each user. Simply tapping a tile launches the app in a full screen view. Apps can have either small or wide tiles in a number of different styles, providing clean and exciting animation. In addition to the primary application tile, apps can define additional tiles. For example, the weather app might show its tile with information from your hometown in New York. Before going on vacation, you can add a secondary tile for your destination of London. The secondary tile can provide live information about the weather in London, and when you tap the tile, the weather app will launch directly into a detailed view of London’s weather. By default, start screen settings are stored in the cloud, which allows the layout of your tiles to be consistent across all devices. Using the pinch gesture for zooming out, you can get a broad glance at your start screen and see a list of all the application groups. 2 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour With this new user interface come many new features and ways to interact with Win- dows. In conjunction with the new start screen comes a brand new start bar, which allows users to get back to the start screen or communicate with other components of Windows or the other apps installed on the system. Start Bar The start button has been a keystone of Windows for many releases. It has undergone numerous changes, but this one is by far the most drastic: Microsoft has replaced the start button with a Start Bar, which is the hub of inter-app connectivity. In addition to the typical Windows logo that will return you to the start screen, the Start Bar contains charms. Regardless of which app is running, you can use charms to access common features such as searching and modifying settings. You can also use the Share and Devices charms to quickly send content to other apps or hardware such as your printer. To display the Start Bar, simply swipe your finger in from the right side of the screen and it will slide into place. With the Start Bar visible, you will see an overlay with system status information on the lower-left side. It displays notifications, network and battery monitors, and the current date and time (see Figure 1-2). The Start Bar, on the right side, contains the Windows logo and four charms. When using a mouse, take advantage of the screen’s corner features. Move your mouse to the top right corner and it the Start Bar will appear. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts: Windows key + C will show the Start Bar. Each of these charms are as follows: Search Windows has merged the All Programs list and the File System search into a common UI for searching everything on your computer (see Figure 1-3). The same interface for displaying apps is used to provide search throughout the Windows experience. You can search for apps, files, settings, and any information provided by your installed apps. When using a keyboard, you can just start typing on the start screen to search for an app. If you are in an app, you can click the Windows key and then start typing. A User Interface for Touch | 3 Share Share provides a way to send data to other applications without having to leave the app. Early samples treat this as an alternative to traditional copy-and-paste methods; examples include posting to Facebook, Twitter, or sending email, but the possibilities are endless. Devices Devices allows apps to communicate with the computer’s hardware. The initial exam- ples include printing, projecting, and sending content to your Xbox, other device, and/ or USB hard drives. Device manufacturers can communicate with apps in ways that are relevant to a particular device. Screens for this section will typically be developed by device manufacturers. For example, your printer will have specific screens for its use. Settings Settings is split into two sections: system settings and app settings. System settings contain quick access to networking, volume, screen, notifications, power, and key- board. App settings depend on the app and developers should determine what settings are relevant to their apps. Windows Programming Reimagined The Win32 APIs have been a core component to native Windows programming for over 15 years. In addition to all the changes to Windows, Microsoft is reimagining the Figure 1-2. New Windows Start Bar slides in from the right side 4 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour way in which programs, or apps, are written. Metro style apps can be written using the following languages: • JavaScript and HTML5/CSS3 • C# and XAML • VB.NET and XAML • C++ and XAML • C++ with DirectX • Hybrid All of the languages above are designed to be first class citizens. This means that no matter what language you choose, you will have equivalent capabilities. At this point, the decision of which language to use is strongly guided by the preferences of the team. Regardless of the choice you make, all Metro style apps communicate with the new Native Application Programming Interface (API) called the Windows Runtime, or just WinRT for short. A New Native APIJ: The Windows Runtime Metro style apps are based on a new application model that has been completely re- written from the ground up. While the Win32 APIs were written for C, WinRT APIs written in C++ and designed to be object oriented. This gives the APIs the flexibility to be used by multiple languages. Everything that is needed to host an application and Figure 1-3. New Windows Search offers a replacement view for All Programs Windows Programming Reimagined | 5 communicate with the operating system has been updated or rewritten in native C++ and is exposed out via an API Metadata format (.winmd file). This consistent framework allows the API to be optimized for performance. File access can be centralized and made consistent across all languages. User interface components can be hardware accelerated and common animations can become easily accessible. Resource management is handled at a higher level and currently running applications can be confident that they will be given additional resources if the system experiences pressure. In total, this gives users a better experience. Language Support Between the different languages and the new WinRT APIs is a layer called the projection layer. This layer maintains the proxies and handles the activation of WinRT objects. For C# developers, this means no more P/Invoke. Write the C# code just like regular code. While WinRT is designed for use with JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, and C++, this book will focus on C#. The techniques are often the same and the syntax is sur- prisingly similar considering they are different languages. JavaScript Metro style apps leverage the Internet Explorer WebHost, to render HTML5/CSS3, and the Chakra JavaScript engine to execute native web apps. These apps are as flexible as existing web apps, but they can perform tasks previously available only to desktop applications—tasks like using the camera to take a picture, accessing the accelerometer to determine the tilt of a device during game play, or reading and writing to a file on the local filesystem. In addition, JavaScript apps can communicate with other apps on the OS, as a source or a target of information, and provide interactive tiles and secon- dary tiles. C# and Visual Basic Existing WPF or Silverlight developers might wonder why the name changed to C# or Visual Basic and XAML and the answer comes from the addition of C++ and XAML. If you wanted to expose all of XAML to C++ as a UI technology, it wouldn’t make much sense to spin up the CLR just to parse and render some XAML only to revert back to C++ for the remainder of your code execution. The only logical answer is to push XAML down further in the stack and expose it out through the same projection layer that is used for other Windows Runtime objects. This means that the XAML consumed from these Metro style apps is now written in C++. Although many of the XAML controls and binding techniques remain, there are slight differences, and it is a complete rewrite in a completely new language after all. For developers who are familiar with .NET, you’ll find many of the APIs and libraries will still be available. Microsoft has created a new profile called the .NET Profile for Windows Metro style apps. Like the .NET Client profile, this is a subset of the full .NET 6 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour Framework that is specific to Metro style apps. In the process, they’ve removed dupli- cate and legacy code; optimized APIs for multiple core machines and asynchronous development; and hardware accelerated the UI layer. There may be new APIs to learn on the WinRT side, but .NET developers should find the developer experience ex- tremely familiar. You can think of this change as if Microsoft took Silverlight or WPF and cut it in half. The XAML UI and application hosting controls were moved into the Windows Runtime with many brand new native Windows features. The remainder of the .NET compo- nents have been moved to this new .NET Profile for Windows Metro style apps. C++ Microsoft has made changes to C++ in the past to make it compatible with managed languages, and they continue to do so with WinRT. There were similar challenges in order to cooperate with WinRT, but unlike the managed C++, developers need a way to transition between native and managed C++. Windows 8 comes with a new C++ compiler switch (/cx) that enables the C++ Compiler Extensions. This exposes typical managed concepts, such as reference objects, partial classes, and generics, but allows easy portability between their native counterparts. The WinRT libraries themselves are written through the same C++ ex- tensions made available to C++ developers. Objects that are projected out to other languages use a managed wrapper object, which points to the same memory as the native objects. Hosted Application Model Each Metro style app is loaded into a new application host. The most important re- sponsibility is resource management. The way Windows ensures that the current app has the necessary resources available is by closing down other apps when needed. The two main resources that apps typically consume are CPU cycles and memory. These shutdowns are handled separately. First to be taken care of are the CPU cycles; shortly after an app has left the foreground, it receives an event signaling itself to de- activate. This is the last chance to save state or consume the CPU, and this must be handled in a timely fashion. This is called tombstoning and from here the app is in a suspended state. The second step occurs when your system is low on memory. In this case, Windows will terminate the app without notification to free up memory. Devel- opers can gain some startup performance if they realize that their app is not always terminated and they retain items in a cache. More information on tombstoning can be found in Chapter 3. Windows Programming Reimagined | 7 Single File Deployment In the process of reimagining Windows, the application model, and the application programming interfaces (APIs), Microsoft overhauled the deployment process. This is the first time that Microsoft has allowed native apps to be installed from a single file. This file, or deployment package, is an .appx (pronounced App-X) file. This new deployment process includes incremental updates. They support side-by-side installs of different versions for multiple users. Each application package is digitally signed with a certificate and hashes are created and verified for each app before exe- cution. More information about .appx packages can be found in Chapter 5. Windows Store Getting your app to market and in front of Windows’ large install base is simple with the integrated Windows Store. In order to have apps published in the Windows Store, developers will have to submit apps for certification. Certification will verify code for a number of different conditions, such as invalid access to protected APIs, the use of proper capabilities, and proper handling of exceptions. More information about the Windows Store can be found in Chapter 5. Inside Metro Style Apps The Windows Runtime provides a simple model for building apps of any type or design. However, in order to make a cohesive experience for all users, Microsoft is promoting a few design concepts that you should follow when building apps. These concepts include designing with typography, placing the back button in a consistent location, using the Application Bar, and providing elegant animation. Metro style apps come with built-in support libraries and controls for these, so implementation is simplified. Application Bar With full screen apps and the lack of chrome on the windows, interfaces lose menu bars. These are the links you typically see at the top that say File, Tools, Help, etc. Metro style apps have included a new Application Bar that is meant to provide appli- cation-specific buttons. When the user swipes a finger up from the bottom bezel, it slides into place just like the Start Bar, but from the bottom instead (see Figure 1-4). To activate the application bar with a mouse, just right-click or click Windows key + Z on the keyboard. 8 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour Application Bars are optional and completely customizable. Many apps are built so the Application Bar varies based on the context of the current page. The checklist for de- signing Application Bars is available at dows/apps/hh465302(v=VS.85).aspx; it recommends right-aligning commands that vary in the app bar and left-aligning all the buttons that are consistent throughout the application. Application settings do not belong on the Application Bar and should leverage the Settings charm on the Start Bar. More information about the Settings charm will be described later in Chapter 3. Semantic Zoom Anyone who has used a touch device is familiar with the pinch and stretch gestures used for zooming. This gesture has typically been used for zooming images, maps, or applications that have a functional requirement for zooming. Microsoft is trying to prove that almost every app can benefit from this semantic zoom. For example, if you have a list with hundreds of items, you can pinch your fingers on the screen, change the icon size, and get a view that provides more items than a standard list. Semantic zoom must be something that you decide to incorporate into your app, since it does not work by default. The sample app from the Build conference provides a great ex- ample: by simply pinching on the schedule of sessions you can change the list from a full view to a high level glance of all days (see Figure 1-5 and Figure 1-6). The Windows Runtime provides built-in controls for SemanticZoom. This control has two zoom levels a ZoomedInView and a ZoomedOutView. To implement the control you provide a custom GridView or ListView for each view. Figure 1-4. Weather app sample in Windows 8 showing the Application Bar Inside Metro Style Apps | 9 Animation In order to build rich user experiences in your Metro style apps, consider the proper use of animation. Regardless of the language used, traditional forms of animation are still available, such as DOM manipulation in JavaScript, or storyboards in XAML. In addition, Metro style apps come with support for some common animations and transition. In XAML-based applications, you can use ThemeTransitions. These are provided by the Windows Runtime and as with any XAML control, you can create your own tran- sitions or use one of the built in ones listed in Table 1-1. Figure 1-5. Sample app from the Build conference in full view Figure 1-6. Sample app from the Build conference after pinching to zoom out 10 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour Table 1-1. A list of WinRT XAML animations from Windows.UI.Xaml.Media.Animation Methods Descriptions EntranceThemeTransition Provides a subtle animation to slide content into place as it enters the UI RepositionThemeTransition Animates any change to an item’s position AddDeleteThemeTransition Provides animation for when items get added/removed to a parent panel ContentThemeTransition Animates changes to the Content property of an element ReorderThemeTransition Animates the changes to a panel in response to filtering and sorting children For a full list of XAML animations see dows/apps/br243232.aspx. Animations will not be covered in depth in this book. For more information about animation using XAML you can find separate documentation at .com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh452703.aspx. Outside Your App Almost every application needs to communicate with the Internet or devices in some fashion. Windows also contains numerous features that any compelling app will likely leverage. While the previous sections focused on the new features of Windows and the application development platform, this section focuses on the new features specific to Metro style apps and how they communicate with functionality outside the app. The tiles on the new start screen can be updated periodically to provide important details regarding your app. Apps can send and receive information from various open contracts allowing them to get content from a web of other apps on the users’ system that are unknown to developers at design time. Implementing these features appropri- ately adds to the users’ experience when they use your app, and creates a better web of collective apps for users. Tiles Every Metro style app comes with a primary tile. Developers must provide an image for every application to be used as the default tile. This tile is displayed until the ap- plication is launched and an update is sent. The default tile has to be a static image (150x150 for square tiles, and 310x150 for wide tiles). Once an update is sent, the tile becomes a Live Tile. Depending on the app, it may highlight an upcoming appointment, the weather in the neighborhood, or the latest sports scores for a favorite team. These apps are providing information even when they are not active. Outside Your App | 11 In addition to a primary tile, you can create multiple secondary tiles for your app. The difference is that secondary tiles can link to a specific page or section in your app, a process called “deep linking.” Pickers Due to the multitude of viruses, malicious software, and the like in the wild, Microsoft has tried to thwart these attempts by disabling raw access to the filesystem. WinRT provides a feature called pickers. Pickers come in a variety of forms, such as FilePickers, FolderPickers, and ContactPickers. They provide the functionality of a typical file di- alog box, except that they also can expose content from third party apps. If your app has data relevant to these pickers, you can provide a contract that allows your app to provide data to any other app that uses the same file picker. Figure 1-7 shows a file picker of images. Notice the Socialite app (Socialite is a Facebook demo) listed in the menu. This allows you to pick images from your photos that were previously uploaded to Facebook. Charms A big challenge in current Windows development is sharing content between applica- tions. Pickers do a lot to help this, but let’s say you wanted to share a link from a news article with all of your Twitter followers. This was possible in Windows 7, but it caused an abrupt context switch. You copied the link into your clipboard, started the Twitter client, switched applications, pasted the link, shared the content, and then you could switch back to your previous task. In Windows 8, you can simply activate the start bar, choose the Share charm, select a Twitter client, and click share without ever having to leave the application. Apps can define capabilities that allow them to be both sources and targets for charms. More information on charms can be found in Chapter 4. Sensors and Devices Windows 8 is packaged with support for more sensors and devices because of new devices like tablets and mobile computing. The sample tablet from the Build conference has a forward and rear facing camera, an accelerometer, a GPS, and even a near field communication card. As a developer, you have access to use them for any application. The Windows Runtime includes APIs for communicating with all kinds of hardware. Some of these devices may be relevant only to tablets. Regardless, these APIs make communication with these devices easier than ever before. They provide consistency and access to raw, native features so complex algorithms and streaming servers are not required. More information about sensors and devices can be found in Chapter 4. 12 | Chapter 1: Windows 8: A Quick Tour Summary You have been given a glimpse of what is in store for you as you begin to develop for Windows 8. This is one of the biggest releases for Microsoft in some time, with en- hancements to ensure a safe and optimal experience for the user. I hope this book will show you how writing Metro style apps can be a pleasurable experience for developers as well. Maybe your app will be the next featured app on the Windows Store, with downloads beyond your expectations. Figure 1-7. File Picker showing a drop-down menu with custom apps (Socialite) Summary | 13 CHAPTER 2 Getting Started Where Is the Hello World app? Rather than show you a simple Hello World app, which is good at teaching syntax but not much else, I’ll be building a practical app that can be used throughout the book. This allows me to progressively build on the examples and use the native features of Windows 8 in a complete system. All kidding aside, if you want a Hello World app, see the Getting Started Guide on the Windows Developer Center at library/windows/apps/br211386. Microsoft’s Bing, like many popular search engines, provides a service for retrieving its results. This service has recently been migrated to the Windows Azure Marketplace and is perfect for showing the power of Windows 8 apps. It allows me to communicate with a free online service and demonstrate how to search, share, update tiles, and much more with a vast collection of images. I’ll create a simple version first that is a single page application with a textbox and a button to execute the search. When the user clicks the search button, the app loads the results from the web service, attaches them to a listbox, and displays the results (see Figure 2-1). Before you start building the app, let me take a moment to describe the Bing Search API so you can become familiar with the results format. Bing Search API In the Preface, I outlined the steps to subscribe to the Bing Search API service on the Windows Azure Marketplace. Once you’ve subscribed for the service, you can explore the data in the API using the DataMarket service explorer. This tool is available from 15 the Bing Search API service home page by clicking the Explore This Dataset link. Figure 2-2 shows a screenshot of the tool after searching for Trains. Figure 2-2. Results from Bing image search for train using the DataMarket service explorer Figure 2-1. Bing Search App 16 | Chapter 2: Getting Started This page provides you with five important pieces of information: • The available options for the Query • The resulting data format and fields • The Service root URL • The URL for current expressed query • The Primary Account Key associated to the logged in user These items should be noted or recorded somewhere so you can refer to them through- out the remainder of the book. In addition to providing a UI for exploring the service, the Windows Azure Marketplace provides code that can be used within your .NET application to access the data. If you navigate back to the Bing Search API landing page by clicking on the logo in the top left, you will see a link to download a .NET C# Class Library, which is a single .cs file that you can include in your application (see Figure 2-3). Figure 2-3. Download .NET C# Class Library The Bing Search API supports two formats at the moment. The first is an XML-based ATOM format, which will be used by the C# class that was just downloaded. In ad- dition, the API supports a JSON format, which can easily be used by any HTML and JavaScript app. The documentation on the Windows Azure Marketplace contains more information about these formats, or you can put the URL for the current query into any web browser, providing your Primary Account Key as your username and pass- word. This will return the results in their raw form. Bing Search API | 17 Getting Started: The BingSimpleSearch App If you’ve ever created a new project in Visual Studio, you already know how to get started creating Metro style apps. To begin, open Visual Studio 2012 on a Windows 8 machine, and select File→New→Project. Figure 2-4 shows the full list of templates available for Windows Metro style apps. Each language contains a similar list of tem- plates for creating Metro style apps. Select Blank App (XAML) under the Visual C#→Windows Metro style folder, enter the name BingSimpleSearch, and click OK. Figure 2-4. New Project Dialog Now that you have created a new project, open Solution Explorer (View→Solution Explorer). You should see the files from Figure 2-5. The empty application template for Metro style apps contains two XAML files. Both of these files contain an associated code-behind file (i.e., a file with the same name with the addition of .cs). App.xaml App.xaml is the application entry point for your project. This simple application just loads the MainPage. As an application evolves, this file can be used for initializing your application dependencies (e.g., an inversion of control container), handling tombstoning and saving of settings, and providing activation triggers. 18 | Chapter 2: Getting Started MainPage.xaml MainPage.xaml is the primary view for the application, and it contains no content by default. As an application evolves, this file would likely contain a Frame control ( .frame), which allows your app to provide navigation between multiple pages. It would also be used as the primary shell of the UI for your apps global items like settings. Open up the MainPage.xaml file and you will see the initial XAML content provided by the template. This is where you will be adding the TextBox and the Button to perform your searching. Scroll down to the root grid (it should have a Background set to the ApplicationPageBackgroundBrush resource). Before you add the textbox and the button, you are going to layout the grid’s columns and rows as in Figure 2-6. To do this, you need two rows and two columns. The two columns will be evenly spaced at 50% and 50%. The two rows, on the other hand, will be set up to provide only the minimum amount of space required for the textbox, and the remaining space will be allocated to the ListBox (as seen in Figure 2-6). The XAML for the grid layout definition would look like Example 2-1. Example 2-1. Definition of Grid Layout Figure 2-5. Solution Explorer for New Project Getting Started: The BingSimpleSearch App | 19 Figure 2-6. Sketch of Grid Layout Immediately following the row and column definitions, add a TextBox and a Button like in Example 2-2. Example 2-2. TextBox and Button for use with search app




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