Developing for Sets on Windows 10
Raymond Chen, Jason Watson
This session was about how to adapt our Win32/UWP apps to provide a great experience on Windows Sets and Windows Timeline.
Windows Sets allows to group apps together in a single window, much like a web browser do using tabs.
With this, we can group all apps related to do a single task.
For example, I have my solution opened in Visual Studio, I debug my website in Firefox, but I need to search a few Stackoverflow topics, while having my Outlook and Slack opened to stay connected to my colleagues.
I could group Visual Studio, my website and the stackoverflow posts inside a single set, while having my Outlook/Slack or anything else inside another Set.
Windows 10 can automatically restore a previous Set and/or tab from the Timeline.
In this session, we were told that in order to provide a great experience with Sets to our users we should:
- Support multi instancing: This is the default for Win32 apps, but not for UWP. Only a single manifest option is required to enable it
- User activities: We should store the user’s activities (such as interacting with an item in the app) in the Microsoft Graph. That way Windows 10 is able to display it into the Windows Timeline and provide the user with a really quick way to resume what they’ve done
- Support Window grouping: When our app need to open another app, we can specify if it should be opened in the same Set or in another one. The user can set their preferences globally in the Windows Settings
- App visuals: Our apps should customize its tab’s color and icon in the Set. Fortunately it is the exact same API than the Custom TitleBar API of UWP
- BackButton : Since Windows Sets introduces a new chrome for our app’s window. We should use the normalized BackButton provided by Microsoft
API wise: the ones for UWP are really simple.
Each bullet point is max 5 lines of code.
For Win32 (WinForms/WPF), the API is quite complex. We need to do P/Invoke call.