Tracking Windows 8 Metro app screen sizes explained

Windows 8 will be running on everything from large 30 inch (or bigger) PC monitors down to tablets that could have 10 inch (or smaller) screens. That means the creators of Metro apps must be aware that their software will be viewed in a variety of different sizes. The "snap" feature for Windows 8 also allows two Metro apps to be on the screen at the same time. Those same apps can also be viewed in portrait or landscape modes.

In the latest entry on the official Windows 8 app developers blog, Microsoft's Chris Jones offers some help to Metro app makers on how to make sure they look and operate well with difference sizes and states.

The highly technical blog entry offers up some example code that Metro app developers can use for having their software react to different screen ratios. Jones says:

The basic pattern for handling screen resize and view state changes is the same for Windows 8 apps written in XAML and in HTML: simply attach callback functions to the appropriate events that the respective frameworks provide, and query for any additional necessary info.

An app creator might want to include images that will scale up or down depending on the app's screen size or state. Jones says that Metro app makers need to make sure the ratio of the images are correct. He says:

In snapped mode, you might want to download a small image to tile in the background, and in filled mode, you might want a standard 4:3 aspect ratio image, or a 16:9 aspect ratio image in fullscreen-landscape mode. In addition, depending on the height of the screen, you might want to select different image resolutions for each aspect ratio.

Jones adds that if app makers follow the advice and the example code in the blog, they should see that the app's code will work correctly no matter how big or small the app appears on screen or in what state it is in.

Image via Microsoft

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18 Comments

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I do not understand the big deal. Use desktop mode if that is what you desire and use Metro when playing around with apps. Not all Windows applications are going to be Metro. Duh.

The tablets will have Desktop and Metro. But it is obvious that the Metro will be better on a tablet. And the last time I read about Arm tablets there was rumor that the Arm tablets will not have a Desktop.

Trying to make Metro look and behave like a Desktop is just stupid. Why would you do that if you do not have to. Stick with the Desktop if you like Desktop.

There are a lot of valid points in this post.

I do not understand the big deal. Use desktop mode if that is what you desire and use Metro when playing around with apps. Not all Windows applications are going to be Metro. Duh.

The tablets will have Desktop and Metro. But it is obvious that the Metro will be better on a tablet. And the last time I read about Arm tablets there was rumor that the Arm tablets will not have a Desktop.

Trying to make Metro look and behave like a Desktop is just stupid. Why would you do that if you do not have to. Stick with the Desktop if you like Desktop.

There are a lot of valid points in this post.

I do not understand the big deal. Use desktop mode if that is what you desire and use Metro when playing around with apps. Not all Windows applications are going to be Metro. Duh.

The tablets will have Desktop and Metro. But it is obvious that the Metro will be better on a tablet. And the last time I read about Arm tablets there was rumor that the Arm tablets will not have a Desktop.

Trying to make Metro look and behave like a Desktop is just stupid. Why would you do that if you do not have to. Stick with the Desktop if you like Desktop.

Well now that we know how to do this, maybe MS could fix their Store app so it makes use of the whole screen?

Windows 8 is completely new starting for Microsoft, It smells like Windows 3.1 second edition! So guys don't jump so fast to 8, give MS time to clean its Windows 8 mess... Windows 9 will be much better, finger crossed

veternan said,
Windows 8 is completely new starting for Microsoft, It smells like Windows 3.1 second edition! So guys don't jump so fast to 8, give MS time to clean its Windows 8 mess... Windows 9 will be much better, finger crossed

With any luck Windows 9 will smell like Win95, and Metro will be gone.

Condere said,

With any luck Windows 9 will smell like Win95, and Metro will be gone.

God I hope so.... And Aol wanted there interface back from the 90's

veternan said,
....

Things only get better if you PARTICIPATE.

With that said, I"m perfectly fine if you leave Windows 8 to us fanboys.

That way, windows 9 will be our idea.

And maybe you'll all have a grasp on linux at that point.

veternan said,
Windows 8 is completely new starting for Microsoft, It smells like Windows 3.1 second edition! So guys don't jump so fast to 8, give MS time to clean its Windows 8 mess... Windows 9 will be much better, finger crossed

Hence the pattern of skipping a version each time; buy 95, skip me, buy xp, skip vista, buy 7, skip 8......

Buttus said,

Hence the pattern of skipping a version each time; buy 95, skip me, buy xp, skip vista, buy 7, skip 8......


And 98? People who quote the skipping thing always warp the Windows release schedule to fit their own needs.

deadonthefloor said,

Things only get better if you PARTICIPATE.

With that said, I"m perfectly fine if you leave Windows 8 to us fanboys.

That way, windows 9 will be our idea.

And maybe you'll all have a grasp on linux at that point.

You are all welcome!! Windows 8 with all its mess is yours
And We will see...

Microsoft's Chris Jones and his team got it all wrong and Metro and apps are in completely wrong size and ratio compared to resolution which means that Metro Apps look to big and it is plain ugly and make 30" monitor to look as 18" with regular desktop. And bigger doesn't mean it is easier to access, whoever did that research and study is wrong.

Dear Microsoft your 80/20% split screen philosophy is absolutely useless because anything displayed in that small portion of the screen is unreadable and confusing.

Dear Microsoft your design team needs to gtfo company...

Still can't get my head around the limitation of Metro apps on the screen, and in a dual screen setup why the second screen isn't used It harks back to the days of Windows 3 when Windows couldn't overlap.

For now, I'm back on Windows 7 (after using the Windows 8 CP since early March).

Neobond said,
Still can't get my head around the limitation of Metro apps on the screen, and in a dual screen setup why the second screen isn't used It harks back to the days of Windows 3 when Windows couldn't overlap.

For now, I'm back on Windows 7 (after using the Windows 8 CP since early March).

Possibly because multi-screen support hasn't been added yet? Anyone's guess.

im guessing that most people who have a multi monitor setup are still going to use the desktop for most of their work. but i do get what your saying so having the option of multiple metro apps on multiple screens would be good. with that said it is handy having the metro start screen up when on multi monitors because you can easily get to all your programs

dafin0 said,
im guessing that most people who have a multi monitor setup are still going to use the desktop for most of their work. but i do get what your saying so having the option of multiple metro apps on multiple screens would be good. with that said it is handy having the metro start screen up when on multi monitors because you can easily get to all your programs

I've been trying to work with a friend of mine who is a bit narcissistic and is/was trying to make Win8 work with him. Two monitor setup, and one of those guys who loads his desktop with shortcuts to files and folders.

Even though he tries to stay on the desktop, he still ends up quite often in Metro. So he tried putting some of his stuff up there, but then he hated that. We tried grouping tiles, registry hacks, etc, etc, etc.

Long (or not so long of a) story short, he definitively is on the Metro has to go bandwagon now.

Condere said,

Long (or not so long of a) story short, he definitively is on the Metro has to go bandwagon now.

Anyone who uses multiple monitors in a professional environment is going to hate Metro in its current incarnation.

Metro is great for small touch screens. Useless everywhere else...

Condere said,

I've been trying to work with a friend of mine who is a bit narcissistic and is/was trying to make Win8 work with him. Two monitor setup, and one of those guys who loads his desktop with shortcuts to files and folders.

Even though he tries to stay on the desktop, he still ends up quite often in Metro. So he tried putting some of his stuff up there, but then he hated that. We tried grouping tiles, registry hacks, etc, etc, etc.

Long (or not so long of a) story short, he definitively is on the Metro has to go bandwagon now.

Yeah, I can see how he would dislike Metro. I'm hoping the final version of Win8 will have some hooks for effectively modding the behavior or appearance of the start page. Sadly, though, I don't think that will be the case. Maybe in Win9?