XAML controls comparison between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8
July 21, 2014
Applies to: Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1 | Windows 8
This topic compares and contrasts the XAML control set available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. As we’ll see, the types of controls available for both are very similar, allowing you to plan and design your user interfaces using the same concepts.
XAML UI controls for Windows Phone 8 are defined in the System.Windows.Controls and Microsoft.Phone.Controls namespaces. In this release, we’ve added the LongListSelector to the control set and made some other improvements. The UI controls for Windows Store apps built using XAML are defined in the Windows.UI.Xaml.Controls namespace. The set of controls for each platform overlap conceptually. The following diagram shows this overlap in terms of types of controls available on both platforms.
In the preceding diagram, you can see that the majority of controls you are familiar with, whether coming from Windows Phone or Windows Store app development, exist on both platforms. These are not binary compatible, but the XAML used to define each one on your user interface and the properties available on each control are very similar. For example, if you have a page in your phone app that has a TextBox and two Button controls, you can copy and paste the XAML that defines these into a page in your Windows Store app. The controls will render. Of course, in a real app you would style your controls to suit the device on which the user interface is shown. The purpose here is to demonstrate the similarity of most of the controls on each platform. There is divergence in the controls used to manage the navigation of views within your app. On Windows Phone 8, you use Panorama and Pivot to create rich view navigation suitable for the phone’s form factor. Similarly, on Windows 8 you can use the GridView and FlipView controls to create rich views of data in your app that are suitable for a store app.
The following table shows the set of controls and whether they are available on Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8. Differences or other notes are called out in the notes section.
Windows Phone 8
For Windows Phone, use the ListPicker control from the Windows Phone Toolkit.
Represents a control with a single piece of content. Controls, such as Button, CheckBox, and ScrollViewer, directly or indirectly inherit from this class. This is only used when you create your own custom controls, not when you’re using the design surface.
Defines an area within which 3-D content can be composed and rendered.
A control that allows you to draw Direct3D graphics onto the background of your app. Use SwapChainBackgroundPanel in Windows 8.
Represents an items control that displays one item at a time, and enables "flip" behavior for traversing its collection of items.
Represents a content control that supports navigation. On Windows Phone, this class is only a base class for PhoneApplicationFrame.
Represents a control that displays a horizontal grid of data items.
Represents a control that can be used to present a collection of items.
Specifies where items are placed in a control, usually an ItemsControl.
ListBox is not present in the Visual Studio toolbox for Windows Phone 8 in order to encourage use of LongListSelector instead. However, it is still supported and you can manually add ListBox to XAML or code.
Represents a control that displays a vertical list of data items. On the phone, use LongListSelector.
Displays a list of selectable items with a mechanism for users to jump to a specific section of the list.
Represents an object that contains audio, video, or both.
Enables users to open a multi-resolution image, which can be zoomed in on and panned across.
Creates a panoramic view of items that can be panned side-to-side.
Represents an item in a Panorama control.
Provides a quick way to manage the navigation of views within an app. The control can be used as a navigation interface for filtering large sets or switching between views.
The container for items in the Pivot control.
Represents a control that indicates that an operation is ongoing. The typical visual appearance is a ring-shaped "spinner" that cycles an animation as progress continues.
Represents a control that raises its Click event repeatedly until the click mode is released. It's on the phone, but only used as a base type (in Primitives namespace).
Represents a rich text editing control that supports formatted text, hyperlinks, and other rich content.
Represents a rich text display container that supports formatted text, hyperlinks, inline images, and other rich content. On Windows Phone, use RichTextBox.
Represents a rich text control that displays formatted text, hyperlinks, inline images, and other rich content. On Windows 8, use RichTextBlock.
Represents a rich text display overflow container. This element cannot have direct content. The only purpose of RichTextBlockOverflow is to display text content that does not fit in the bounds of a RichTextBlock or another RichTextBlockOverflow element.
Displays the content of a ScrollViewer control.
A semantic zoom control.
Base class for controls that can switch states, such as CheckBox and RadioButton.
Represents a switch that can be toggled between two states. On Windows Phone, use the Toggle control available in the Windows Phone Toolkit.
Provides an informational window that appears as a result of moving the pointer over a control or sometimes when tabbing to a control using the keyboard. While this control exists on Windows Phone, it isn’t intended to be used from your code.
Provides a grid-style layout panel where each tile/cell can be variable size based on content. In Windows Phone 8, consider using the WrapPanel available in the Windows Phone Toolkit.
Defines a content decorator that can stretch and scale a single child to fill the available space.
Provides a UI element that hosts HTML content within the app.
Allows HTML rendering and navigation functionality to be embedded in an app.
Positions child elements sequentially from left to right or top to bottom. When elements extend beyond the container edge, elements are positioned in the next row or column. In Windows Phone 8, consider using the WrapPanel available in the Windows Phone Toolkit.