• Finding the best Windows 8 Apps

    There is a media war raging between the various app stores about how many apps there are, but to turn this on its head, as Richard Cambell off of .NET Rocks said 'Over 100K apps in the Windows Store is a disaster'. No one needs that many apps and how are you supposed to find the ones you need. Also, a lot of them are rubbish.

    I often find myself asking what's the best x app for Windows 8 such as "what's the best eBook reader for Windows 8", or "what's the best RSS reader for Windows 8". It was to help answer these questions that I created the site Appy Ninja. It also seemed like a good excuse …

  • Top Ten Windows 8 Apps

    The Creative Bloq App Generator Contest was sponsored by Windows 8 and was a chance for UK developers to be recognised for their excellent work. I was very pleased that my app Font Picker was one of the top ten winners, particularly because of the high quality of the other winners. Here are the all the winners of the contest.

    Grand Prize Winner

    Didlr – Rich Holdsworth

    Didlr lets you draw and share your pictures.

    Top ten prize winners

    These are in no particular order, except I'm biased so mine is at the top.

    Font Picker – Richard Garside

    Font Picker is an app for designers that makes trawling …

  • Windows 8 Excellence Labs

    Font Picker at the entrance to Microsoft Reading

    Developing for a new platform, particularly one that's not finalised yet can come with a bit of a steep learning curve and a number of frustrating moments. It's also exciting and I can't wait for Windows 8 to come out and for my app Font Picker to be available in the new Windows Store. Something that has blown me away has been the support from Microsoft. The documentation is great, there have been roadshows and you could even get one on one time with a Microsoft engineer to fine tune your app and get it ready for the store. These were the slightly cheesily named 'Excellence Labs'.

    The …

  • Where are my application files in Windows 8

    If you install a Windows 8 store app the files don't get put exactly where you expect them to be.

    App files

    \Program files\WindowsApps\[company].[application name]_[version]_[random letters]

    App storage

    [User directory]\AppData\Local\Packages\[company].[application name]_[random letters]

    App manifest

    \ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\AppRepository\[company].[application name]_[version]_[random letters].xml

  • Creating a snap view with XAML in Windows 8 (WinRT)

    If you create a new WinRT solution using the Grid or Split Application Template you'll get all the code you need to create a layout aware page that shows a different view when in snap view. If you start of your project using the blank project template, you need to do a little bit more work to get it working.

    First you need to change the page to be a layout aware page. LayoutAwarePage is a class provided by the template and is in the Common folder. (Update: In Visual Studio 2012 RC LayoutAwarePage is no longer in the common folder for a blank page project. You need to copy the file from the …

  • Creating app bar buttons in WinRT

    If you start a new blank Windows 8 App in Visual Studio you get loads of app bar button styles to choose from in StandardStyles.xaml including:

    SkipBackAppBarButtonStyle, SkipAheadAppBarButtonStyle, PlayAppBarButtonStyle, PauseAppBarButtonStyle, EditAppBarButtonStyle, SaveAppBarButtonStyle, DeleteAppBarButtonStyle, DiscardAppBarButtonStyle, RemoveAppBarButtonStyle, AddAppBarButtonStyle, NoAppBarButtonStyle, YesAppBarButtonStyle, MoreAppBarButtonStyle, RedoAppBarButtonStyle, UndoAppBarButtonStyle, HomeAppBarButtonStyle, OutAppBarButtonStyle, NextAppBarButtonStyle, PreviousAppBarButtonStyle, …