Ultrabook™ devices are widely known for their sleek aesthetic design and high-end look and feel. However, the real advantage of Ultrabooks stems from their hardware capabilities that most standard laptops lack. In addition to the standard features supported by laptops, Ultrabooks are packed with features like touch screen, GPS, Accelerometer, Orientation Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, NFC, and other sensors. Today, consumers have a myriad of choices for personal computing devices ranging from desktop computers, laptops, tablets, etc. Most consumers still utilize desktops or laptops as their primary computers to run complex software applications and for data storage. With the availability of smart third-party applications and multitasking, extremely portable tablets provide a great alternative to laptops. Even though tablets can handle some work-related or business-oriented tasks, they still cannot replace laptops.
Convertible Ultrabooks bring the convergence consumers desire in a single device that functions both as a tablet and a laptop computer. They combine the capabilities of a PC with the ease-of-use and convenience of a tablet. OEMs are being very creative when designing convertible Ultrabooks. Some convertible designs feature a detachable keyboard, which when detached, allows the monitor to be used as a stand-alone tablet. Other convertible designs feature monitors that slide or flip to switch between tablet and laptop modes.
Convertible Ultrabooks running Windows 8 provide a powerful combination for a convergent device. Intel hardware running Windows 8 allows users to run both desktop and Windows Store (formerly known as Metro-style) apps. Microsoft’s new Win RT APIs provide the means for developers to create Windows Store applications on Windows 8. Additionally, some Win RT APIs can also be leveraged to develop desktop applications on Windows 8. This means developers can easily port their legacy Windows applications to Windows 8 desktop applications.
This series of articles dissect a simple Ultrabook photo application. The application showcases one way developers can utilize the unique Ultrabook features, like touch screen, GPS, Ambient Light, Orientation and Power-related sensors, to create smart and dynamic applications. The code snippets and source code provide pointers for developers seeking to port their legacy Windows applications on to Windows 8. The article also demonstrates how to access unmanaged code based on Win 32 APIs from the managed code on Windows 8.
Photo Application for Ultrabook
This is a simple Windows 8 application that allows users to take pictures, view pictures, geo-tag the pictures, etc. The application supports both touch and mouse/keyboard inputs delivering a good user experience in both tablet and laptop mode.
The articles below will walk you through the different aspects of application development for Ultrabook devices using code snippets from the photo application. The first section provides instructions on user interface design considerations to develop applications that are fluid and touch enabled. You will also learn how to include touch gestures like Flick, Swipe, Pinch and Zoom.
The articles in this section will walk you through code snippets that will help you understand implementation details for power awareness, context awareness and using sensors from within your application. Click through the article of interest to learn more:
Since this application is created for illustrative purposes, it also has an information panel that displays data from several sensors such as ambient light, orientation, power level, brightness, etc.
- Windows 8 Ultrabook Sensor Development Guide
- The Human Touch: Building Ultrabook™ Applications in a Post-PC Age
- Developing Power-Efficient Apps for Ultrabook™ Devices
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