Meet Windows Store apps
A Windows Store app is a new type of application that runs on Windows 8 devices. Read on if you want to learn more about what makes Windows Store apps different from traditional desktop apps.
Apps have one window that supports multiple views
Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Windows Store app has a single, chromeless window that fills the entire screen by default, so there are no distractions.
Windows Store apps can support different layouts and views to create a great user experience across a variety of form factors and display sizes.
Apps work great with touch and pen input
Windows Store apps work smoothly with a variety of input sources, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard input. You can use a single set of events that work for all these input sources. Windows Store apps get a set of default styles that ensure UI elements work well for touch scenarios.
Apps can talk to each other
Windows Store apps can search across other apps and even share content with other apps by supporting the right app contracts. App contracts provide a way for apps to work together. They make it easy to access data stored or created by another app by eliminating the need to work with varying standards or app-specific APIs.
For example, Windows lets users share content from one app to another. The app that shares the content out supports a source contract by meeting specific requirements, while the app that receives the shared content supports a target contract by meeting a different set of requirements. You don’t need to know anything about the target app other than its declared support for the target contract—it just works.
Apps have new controls and UI surfaces
Windows Store apps provide several new controls that make it easier to create a great user experience. Two of these controls are the app bar and the charms.
The app bar
Use the app bar to present navigation, commands, and tools to users. The app bar is hidden by default and appears when users swipe a finger from the top or bottom edge of the screen. It covers the content of the app and a user can dismiss it with an edge swipe, or by interacting with the app.
The charms are a consistent set of buttons that appear in every app: search, share, connect, settings, and start. Through these charm buttons, users can:
- Search for content located in your app or in another app, and they can search your app's content from another app.
- Share content from your app with people or services.
- Go directly to the Start screen.
- Connect to devices and send content, stream media, and print.
- Use settings to configure your app to their preferences.
Apps use tiles instead of icons
When the user installs your app, it shows up as a tile on the Start screen. Touching or clicking the tile starts the app.
Your app can deliver content through its tile, even when it’s not running. Using these live tiles, your app can provide useful, at-a-glance data to the user.
Apps can configure the system to periodically ask for updates from a web service, regardless of whether the app is running. Apps can also configure Windows Push Notification Services (WNS) to send messages directly from a web service to the live tile.
Write your app in a language you already know
You sell your app in the Windows Store
The Windows Store makes your apps available to millions of customers around the world. You write your app once, set the price in your local currency, and the Windows Store can make it available in the worldwide marketplace in 100+ languages.
The Windows Store makes it easy to distribute, update, and get paid for the apps that you develop.
Now that you've learned what a Windows Store app is and how it's different from other types of applications, download the free development tools and get started building your first app.