Windows 8 Apps Using JavaScript

Although I decided in the end to write my Windows 8 Apps in C++, you can write them in JavaScript. There is a Windows Library for JavaScript. It is called WinJS. It gives you a bunch of controls and a toolkit of sorts. There is an app host, which is an executable like a browser. It is really Internet Explorer 10 behind the scenes.

You launched your apps using a URI. You cannot use interprocess communication with other apps. That is blocked. The app splash screeen is the fisr thing that is displayed. There are a few view states that an app can be in such as full screen or snapped. The minimum screen resolution for using apps is 1024 x 768.

There is no close command in an app. Your app has to save its state when it is being suspended. The state will later be reloaded. The app settings can be done per user. You need a development account to create apps. To get into the Windows 8 Store, the app needs to pass some tests. Those tests will be conducted with the Windows App Certification Kit. It checks for things like malware and such.

The Windows 8 Store

You can write a Windows RT project in either the C++, C#, Visual BASIC, or JavaScript programming languages. Yeah. There are a lot of options. Initially I leaned toward JavaScript since I learned it recently. However I fell back onto C++ when I actually wrote my apps.

Windows 8 Apps are sold in the Windows 8 Store. You use Visual Studio to upload your app package to the store. The package file has an appx extension. It needs a manifest. The appx file is really just a zip (compressed) file.

When you start out, you should reserve your app name in the Windows Store. The app will then get licensed to the user when they purchase it through the Windows 8 Store. Kind of reminds you of the Apple store for apps, right? Microsoft is coming a bit late to the game. Let's hope they can catch up.

Windows RT

Been through some Windows 8 App Store development this summer. Did not do too much blogging about it because I was super busy. Now I got six apps in the Windows 8 Store. Still need to do some marketing for them. But the initial development for them is done. Time to reflect back on what I learned in a bunch of blog posts.

I first read a book that taught you how to write Windows 8 apps using HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Sounded good as I have been learning these technologies for the last few years. Just recently finished up an advanced Javascript course. Windows RT is a new API. It stands for the Windows Runtime API. This supports this like touch screens running on tablets and phones.

You need a couple things to start writing Windows 8 apps. Need a tool like Visual Studio 2012 express for Windows. Or you could use something called Blend. I recommend VS 2012. The express version is free. You also have to be actually running the Window 8 operating system to develop for Windows 8.