Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adaptive Layout goes Native in Windows 8

Since Microsoft’s public release of Windows 8 Developer Preview back in September, 2011, I have been exploring all the new OS capabilities related to the touch centric interface on all the different language flavours.
One aspect that caught my attention is the ability to quickly implement adaptive layouts. As a quick prototype, I implemented a Windows 8 touch first application that allows users to browse colleagues across the different offices. The whole app took me less than 8 hours to implement, but the adaptive part took me around two hours for one of the views, taking into account best practices and including the whole snap mode layout design.
The nice thing is that you can centralize application style resources and create a story board to modify the layout when the view changes from full mode to snap mode. Then you can share the resource across all pages using the same layout template in your app.
I must say that with XAML and C# and the tools you get from Visual Studio and Expression Blend in Windows 8, it has never been easier to architect, implement and deliver cross resolution and size applications that can adapt dynamically to the display capabilities of the device running you app. You just need to know your stuff !

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