If you’re using a Windows Phone you know that some sites have enabled browser detection and they give you a popup or redirect you to a link to their app. In fact, our forums do it through a script. In Windows 8, the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 has a feature that can be enabled to quickly help you see that there’s an app for the site. There’s a wrench icon for options at the bottom. If there’s a plus sign shown on the wrench then you know that by pressing the wrench a normally greyed out option “Get app for this site” is enabled. Of course, pressing that then launches the Marketplace for that app. If you’re using IE10 now head over to WordPress.com and you’ll see the wrench icon change. ...
Windows 8 Metro style apps let developers take their Web sites’ experiences to the next level. With Metro style apps, developers can build experiences that are more immersive, beautiful, and better connected with other apps and the rest of Windows. Apps can utilize the Windows Runtime to deliver features beyond what’s possible in a browser alone such as seamless access to local files and folders, integrating with Windows 8 Charms for sharing and search, and interacting with locally-connected devices. The Windows Store will deliver a great end-user experience to browse, find, and get apps users care about. This post describes the features of Metro style Internet Explorer in Windows 8 that connect Web sites to apps. It also describes the mechanisms Web developers use to create that connection.
Browsing for Apps
Browsing the Web is a natural way to find and connect to Metro style apps. Metro style Internet Explorer lets you know when apps for your favorite sites are available. Starting from the address bar, you can seamlessly acquire apps from the Windows Store and you can switch to installed apps from their associated Web sites.
After building a Metro style app, developers can reach their existing Web site audience by adding simple markup to their site that establishes a connection to their apps. This connection makes it easy for users discover your app directly from the Metro style Internet Explorer address bar when they visit your site.
Get the App
You can simply browse to your favorite Web sites and discover they have apps associated with them through the site icon. The site icon turns into a button when IE discovers an app for the site. Tap on it to take you to the app’s description in the Windows Store.
Switch to the App
When you navigate to a Web site with an associated installed Metro style app, you can directly switch to that app using the site icon button. For example, a friend shares a link to Web content via email or social media and the link launches the Metro style browser. If there is an app associated with this site, you can tap on the site icon and select “Switch to the app,” which launches it and takes you to very same content within the app.
Getting to be about that time where we start adding these kinds of things to our sites. Oct 2011 was to early, but now, now is time...