Show file thumbnails in your Windows Store App

  If your app has a requirement where you use a filepicker and then show the files that the user selects as a preview/list, chances are you would like the option to show thumbnails of the files. A quick search tells you that the Windows.Storage.StorageFile.GetThumbnailAsync is the way to go! However, I didn’t find an…


How are shortcuts created and managed on the Windows 8 Start screen?

To summarize: Shortcuts can be created on the Windows 8 Start screen by creating a folder in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” Multiple shortcuts to the same exe or app with the same AppId results in only one shortcut on the Start screen, based on its name in alphanumeric ascending order. Windows remembers the pinned/unpinned status (including the…


Better control(s) with Visual State Manager

We had talked about Visual States very briefly when we were discussing how we handle different views and orientation in a Windows Store App. Let’s go a step further and understand the concept of Visual States and how we can leverage this to create better styles for the existing controls. To understand why this is…


The “Light” theme for Windows store apps

I was recently talking to a developer working on a Windows store app and he said: “Dude, why the dark background for the apps? Shouldn’t Windows 8 apps be a bit brighter and cheerful? I had to show a good amount of text in my app, so I ended up setting the background to white…


A non-traditional “Hello World” app with Windows 8

As developers, we start exploring any new platform/framework/language with a traditional “Hello World” program. Windows 8 is a re-imagined new OS, and so I thought let’s re-imagine the “Hello World” too. Consultant Jargon is my non-traditional version of “Hello World”. Windows 8 store apps have a few things we need to keep in mind other…


Handling different orientations and views with Windows Store Apps

Microsoft recently set the Guinness World Record for the maximum number of developers (2500+) coding for a single event at a common location (in my hometown, Bangalore) for over 18 hours. I was a part of it and it was a lot of fun! We even had an anthem for the event 🙂 If you…


Windows Phone and Windows 8 learning resources

That’s right – 400 million new devices on the Windows ecosystem this year obviously represents the largest opportunity for software developers. That’s good enough reason to start looking into getting started with Windows Phone and Windows 8. Here are a couple of blog posts from my friend Ujjwal which will help you do exactly that….