Windows Store device Apps for Printers
Windows 8 provides new opportunities and experiences for users with Windows Store apps. For apps that print, printing is now a common task handled using the Devices Charm. The standard printer experience allows users to easily manage many common options, including paper size and duplex settings, However, Windows 8 also allows device manufacturers to provide a customized experience in the charm by providing a Windows Store print device app. Windows Store print device apps allow IHVs to highlight the special features of the device through customized printer preferences and notification support.
Without a Windows Store print device app, Windows 8 printing will be generic and not specific to the print device.
For more info about printing in Windows 8, see:
Note on languages: Some of the links on this page point to documentation that has been translated into multiple languages. Each of these links has an asterisk (*) next to it. The following languages are available for these documents:
The v4 Print Driver: Prerequisite
In order to support the customization of printer preferences or printer notifications, the print device must be installed with a v4 print driver. The v4 print driver model was designed for Windows 8, with support for Windows Store apps and their UI environment deeply integrated into the architecture of the driver. For more information about the v4 print driver model, see:
General Resources for Windows Store device Apps
The Windows 8 environment provides a new style for how to author and present great touch-first experiences. To help you take advantage of these new capabilities for printing, we’ve provided resources and guidance for planning, designing and developing Windows Store device apps. The following sections will provide the information that you need for developing a Windows Store device app for printers.
Make sure you take a look at the Device Experience for Windows 8 page to learn what a Windows Store device app is, and familiarize yourself with the concepts, processes and tools used to build and distribute Windows Store device apps.
The Built-In Print Experience and Customization
The Building Windows Store apps that print video tells you more about the built-in print functionality available in Windows 8 that can be extended with your printer’s Windows Store device app. The type of apps shown in this video are examples of apps that could provide entry points to showcase the unique functionality exposed by your Windows Store device app for print.
Implementing the Windows Store device app
In general, the steps involved in implementing a Windows Store device app, include the following:
- Obtaining, installing a v4 print driver. This driver comes with Windows 8, so there is no extra work needed to obtain this driver.
- Authoring and specifying the device metadata. Device metadata is the collection of information that helps to tie the printer, the v4 print driver and the Windows Store device app together.
- Designing and developing a Windows Store app for the print device.
The resources below show you how to design and develop the device app:
- Developing a Windows Store device app for printing * – Whitepaper that includes a tutorial on authoring a device metadata package and some detailed programming examples. This paper also shows how to design and develop Print Settings and Notification dialogs for the Windows Store device app.
- Guidelines for print UI design – Guidelines for the user interface portion of your Windows Store device app.
- API documentation for the Windows Runtime classes used in Windows Store device apps for print.
Creating a Printer Extension
Printer extension applications provide support for the Print Preferences and Print Notification dialogs while a user is running existing apps on the Windows desktop. The UI for printer extension apps is very different from the full-screen, touch-first UI of Windows Store apps.
Printer extension apps can be build using any COM-aware programming language, but their design makes the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 an optimal language for their development. For more information about creating a printer extension app, see the “Printer Extensions” section of the Developing a v4 Print Driver whitepaper.
Building a great Windows Store device app for your printer
[video showing how to build a Windows Store device app for print]