Microsoft announces UWP Community Toolkit 1.4, brings stability and improvements

The UWP Community Toolkit was announced by Microsoft last year in order to simplify app development for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and to allow developers to "collaborate and contribute new capabilities" on top of the Windows 10 SDK.

Less than two months ago, the company announced UWP Community Toolkit 1.3, calling it the largest update to the tool. Now, Microsoft has announced version 1.4, bringing stability and enhancements to controls.

UWP Community Toolkit 1.4 is a smaller update as compared to the previous one, and focuses mainly on improving the numerous controls that were introduced before. Microsoft claims that the update brings better accessibility to controls, saying that every control can be used with a keyboard, a mouse, or via touch input. Additionally, controls now provide more information to the Narrator, improving compatibility with screen readers.

Microsoft has also begun a new project called "Microsoft.Toolkit.Uwp.DeveloperTools" and introduced a NuGet package as well. The company says that it aims to provide support tools to developers. As such, it has introduced two controls namely "FocusTracker" and "AlignmentGrid". The company notes that these tools are not intended to be deployed with your app, but are to be used during its development.

Other changes included in UWP Community Toolkit 1.4 are:

  1. Carousel: A new control that presents items in a list, where the selected item is always in the center and other items are flowing ­around it. This reacts not only to the content but also to layout changes, so it can adapt to different form factors automatically. The carousel can be horizontal or vertical.
  2. ViewExtensions: ApplicationViewExtensions, StatusBarExtensions & TitleBarExtensions provide a declarative way of setting AppView, StatusBar & TitleBar properties from XAML.
  3. NetworkHelper: Provides functionality to monitor changes in network connection, and allows users to query for network information without additional lookups.
  4. Saturation: Provides a behavior to selectively saturate a XAML element. We also introduced the CompositionBehaviorBase to ease creation of new composition-based behaviors (Blur now uses this).
  5. Twitter streaming API support: Twitter Service was missing support for Twitter’s streaming service; we added support for live tweets and events.
  6. Search box for Sample App: The new Sample App allows you to search for a sample directly from the main menu.

The toolkit can be utilized in any app across PC, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, HoloLens, and Surface Hub, provided that they are running the Windows 10 November Update - which is build 10586 - or above.

It is also worth noting that the aforementioned change log lists only major improvements, the detailed change log can be viewed on GitHub here.

Source: Microsoft

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