Universal Windows Programming: What is it and how it can help
Mike Finley, Senior Application Development Manager, discusses how Universal Windows Programming can help you develop one application that runs on multiple devices and form factors with Windows 10.
More and more devices are now available for the end users to achieve an online and offline mobile experience. Gartner believes that by 2020, 25B connected “things” will be in use. Without a unified approach, building apps for all these devices could lead to multiple code bases, extended development and testing cycles, and slower time to value. It can also increase the effort to maintain a high quality bar.
With Windows 10, Microsoft is providing a universal platform to write applications with just one API (Application Programming Interface) set, one application package, and one store to reach all Windows 10 devices – PC, tablet, XBOX, phone, wearable and more. With Windows 10, it’s easier to support a number of screen sizes, and also a variety of interaction models, whether it be touch, mouse & keyboard, a game controller, or a stylus. There are many important features and architectural concepts that can be found in this new release of Windows such as the new Adaptive User Interface, enhanced Process Lifecycle Management, Adaptive Tiles, Notifications and the Action Center to name a few. Understanding how to design a user interface that will adapt to all form factors and allow for seamless integration with Windows features like tiles and toasts is a bit of a change for developers.
Consider the way users interact with devices today:
- Frequently alternate between connected and disconnected scenarios
- Accessible 24×7 in contrast to traditional (9 to 5) work days
- Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) blur the management boundaries of corporate and personal assets
- Explosion of devices in new markets: wearables, Internet of Things (IoT)
Windows 10 focuses on these challenges and enables opportunities by:
- Promoting productivity in both work and personal life scenarios
- Providing support for Automatic Updates so a device is always up to date and your data is always accessible
- Recognizes challenges and provides options for IP (intellectual property) protection and IT management
- Emphasizing Security is core: identity, threat, and malware protections are built-in; protection follows data wherever it resides; and two-factor authentication is easy to use and manage.
Consider the multitude of available form factors:
- Phone, Phablet
- Tablets and Laptops or varying size
- Surface Hub, Xbox, and Hololens
How does Windows 10 address these challenges?
- Windows starts with the user experience.
- The converged platform means that you can choose to create the same experience on all these devices or choose to change the experience according to the device.
- Building universal Windows Applications gives you the ability to take advantage of devices with greater screen capabilities and optimize experiences for smaller devices likes phones or wearables.
Windows 10 has a refactored common core:
- One hardware platform
- Universal hardware driver
- Standard network and I/O
It also provides a single API surface called the UWP or Universal Windows Platform:
- A consistent API surface on all devices