Microsoft offers tips to adapt Windows 8 apps for Windows 8.1 preview

Microsoft launched the public preview version of Windows 8.1 nearly a month ago, but that doesn't mean it wants current Windows 8 app developers to wait until the final RTM version is released to start adapting their app to the new operating system version. Today, Microsoft offered some helpful hints to give Windows 8 app makers a way to take advantage of the new features in Windows 8.1.

The highly technical post on the Windows App Builder blog says that as far as templates are concerned, Windows 8.1 does away with the LayoutAwarePage class for navigation Process Lifetime Management in favor of splitting up its default view model, handled navigation, and maintained state features, which Microsoft says gives developers a a more customizable model. The SuspensionManager class is still around for Process Lifetime Management, but Windows 8.1 also adds the new NavigationHelper class.

The blog also goes over some changes in the styles and data templates for Windows 8.1 apps. There are two new item templates for the preview versions, the Hub Page and the Settings Flyout, in addition to all of the other item templates that are available for Windows 8 apps. The blog also offers up the specific Windows 8.1 changes for app makers so they can remove the old components from their Windows 8 apps.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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11 Comments

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MS needs to update many of their own apps for 8.1.

My biggest annoyance is that many apps only multitask in "portrait" or half screen, and when you try to resize the half screen smaller the app snaps to "portrait" and the space leftover is just unused.

I'm hoping MS isn't even considering releasing this thing in the wild yet! Windows 8.1! It hogs system resources like crazy and is constantly accessing the hard disk. It's a long way from RTM as is right now; even as I admit to being the biggest MS "fanman"..

PoohGQ said,
I'm hoping MS isn't even considering releasing this thing in the wild yet! Windows 8.1! It hogs system resources like crazy and is constantly accessing the hard disk. It's a long way from RTM as is right now; even as I admit to being the biggest MS "fanman"..

Even though I haven't experienced anything like what you are describing... it IS a beta. So things like what you described are expected. It's probably due to software that isn't compatible with Windows 8 to begin with and/or drivers.

PoohGQ said,
I'm hoping MS isn't even considering releasing this thing in the wild yet! Windows 8.1! It hogs system resources like crazy and is constantly accessing the hard disk. It's a long way from RTM as is right now; even as I admit to being the biggest MS "fanman"..

If you didn't want to deal with bugs, you shouldn't have downloaded a beta!

PoohGQ said,
It hogs system resources like crazy and is constantly accessing the hard disk.

We've experienced this with Windows 8.0 Pro RTM too.

In our scenario, we saw this with 3 test Win 8.0 Pro machines.
Every now and then (later progressing to immediately after startup), the hard disk usage shot to 100% (literally "100%" in the Task Manager).

The entire machine slows down to a crawl, and the only response was when moving the cursor. Clicks, toggling between start/desktop, etc were delayed to 30-60 seconds, or simply not processed at all. Same when in Safe mode.

Since all reset to factory state (via PC Settings) made no difference, we thought the hardwares were failing. But upon installing Win7, the machines work like charm again. I guess we probably should have reformat and attempt to reinstall Win8.
But by then, we have spent so much time attempting to diagnose and fix the issue, we were mentally and physically exhausted.

That's one of the reasons we did not roll out Win 8 to our entire organisation.

letmesee said,

...

And what was using the 100% hard disk usage? Didn't bother mentioning that even while you were looking at it in task manager?

It either sounds like a program or driver you use, is bottlenecking the system.
Or somehow you managed to let Windows 8's background services (disk cleanup, fragmentation, search indexing etc) run while the system is under load.

I've seen Win8 run in dozens if not hundreds of configurations. And even on systems as low as a 3ghz P4 (no HT) with 512mb ram, Windows 8 has none of the issues you're describing.

CygnusOrion said,
Isn't a big change putting the search control in an app instead of relying on the Search charm?

I hope this is fixed for release... the search charm is one of the greatest features and Win+Q is ingrained into my workflow. It needs to come back.