Microsoft is making things easier for Windows app developers and, of course, the stakeholders who are looking for custom Windows app solutions to complement their business that would help them reach broader customers base. What used to be a redundant process, that is the Windows app development process for different devices, is no longer redundant. Microsoft, for the upcoming operating system Windows 10, wants to make all the Windows apps universal, meaning a single Windows app will work uniformly on different Windows-powered devices. So now, the developers will not have to write and test a particular app for different devices! Stakeholders, on the other hand, will have to pay less to the developers as the developers will be building only a single app instead of multiple apps suitable for different devices.
In order to assist the Windows app developers write and test the universal apps that work flawlessly on different Windows devices, Microsoft has already released Visual Studio CTP 6 (Community Technology Preview 6), for the Windows 10 technical preview.
If Windows app developers can build an app once and have it functional instantly on multiple devices, it will make things much easier for them to cover the entire Windows 10 ecosystem, including desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Xbox consoles, as well as wearables and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. By covering the entire Windows 10 ecosystem, the effort, time and the cost associated with Windows app development can reduce significantly.
In Visual Studio 2013, the in-use stable version, the developers have a separate project for each Windows device. Certain ways exist, in Visual Studio 2013, where developers can share the code and have the features of their development extend from one device to another with similar user controls, but a different UI (user interface). However, not all user controls work across all the Microsoft Windows platforms. This needs to be changed, and this is where the universal apps come in.
In Visual Studio CTP 6, Windows app developers have a single project for all the devices. Developers build the core app, whose code and application programming interfaces (APIs) are congenital by all device types. They, then using the extension software development kit (SDK), handle the device-specific elements as layers to the common core for each device type. The approach of Microsoft is similar to the approach Apple has used successfully in its Xcode development environment over the past several years for iOS apps.
Aside from the app code, Microsoft is also addressing the various devices’ UI differences with its Adaptive UX. The Adaptive UX not only adapt the screen size, but also the user input type, i.e. touch, keyboard, and mouse, for each device.
To ensure that an app functions flawlessly on every Microsoft device type, developers focus on utilizing the universal family of APIs. If developers want to target a particular device or a group of devices, they fetch those devices’ extension APIs. Therefore, they can build “one code fits all” Windows apps, device-specific apps, or a blend of the two. It is efficient and flexibility.
Now, for Windows app development, developers just have to develop the universal apps. It is the best time to go for Windows app development.