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Windows App Development: What is Universal Windows Platform (UWP)?

An introduction to Microsoft's new development strategy for software developers.

· Mobile Zone

Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud, brought to you in partnership with IBM.

With the rise of Windows phones, Windows App Development has seen a steady rise these days. The Universal Windows Platform, or UWP, was first introduced as Windows Runtime in Windows 8. A UWP app is an app that is build upon this platform. The main idea behind using this is to make sure that the users get the same Windows experience across all their devices. As such, they could use any device they have in hand or one which is most convenient or productive.

Using the UWP, Windows App Development has become relatively easier. With just a single API set, one app package, and just one store for all the Windows 10 devices, the developer has got very little to worry now. Moreover, it also offers multiple screen support and a number of interaction models like mouse, keyboard, touch, pen, or a game controller.


UWP is compatible for Windows 10 and Windows 10 mobile. Apps developed on the platform do not run on the earlier versions of Windows. The apps are created using Microsoft Visual Studio. With a few modifications, it is possible to migrate the older Metro style apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 to the new UWP.

Why a UWP app?

UWP makes an app special. This is how:

    • A device family is targeted, not an OS. The APIs, behaviours, system characteristics, and other features you expect are identified by the device family. It also decides the devices on which your app could be installed.
    • The .AppX packaging format is used to package and distribute the apps. This format makes your apps trustworthy and makes sure they can be deployed easily.
    • A single store is sufficient for all devices. A Windows developer could submit an app and make it available across all devices or as per your preference. There is a single place to manage all such stuff.
    • App can be made light on specialized devices by using extension SDKs. Specialized APIs can be added for each device family. As such, they make your app lighter.
    • A common API surface. The core APIs for the UWP are the same no matter what device family you are targeting. As such, your app could run on any Windows 10 device if you have any of these APIs.
    • Controls and Input are adaptive. The UI elements automatically adapt based on the screen pixels on the device. Moreover, they even work with multiple types of input. For further tailoring, you even have layout panels and tooling options.

With UWP, you could use any language you know, like Visual Basic with XAML, C#, JavaScript with HTML, or C++ with XAMP or DirectX. Now, Windows App Development need not specify a specific OS in the manifest build, but one or more device families.

Start Windows App Development using the Universal Windows Platform and make app development much easier and more effective than ever!

The Mobile Zone is brought to you in partnership with Strongloop and IBM.  Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud.

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