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Windows 8 input changes and improvements discussed

Microsoft is making a big bet on Windows 8, particularly on its Metro touch screen interface. Now the company is giving some information to app developers about how it has developed the input features for the operating system and how developers can use them to make better Windows 8 apps.

In a new post on the Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft goes into some very technical details on how the company has created the different input layers for the OS. It states:

At the bottom are the Windows Runtime Input APIs – providing the most power and flexibility. Built on top of those are the gesture and pointer events in the HTML and XAML frameworks, which provide common gesture and raw data events for apps. Finally, the app templates and controls provide basic functionality that that you can use in a variety of situations.

Microsoft said it has tried to unify all of the different types of input methods for Windows 8 (mouse, touch, pen, touchpads) into one API surface it calls "pointer". Using it should allow app developers to more easily create input programming for their apps, instead of trying to develop separate input programming for each input method.

The blog post also goes into detail, with example programming code, on how Windows 8 apps can handle touch gestures, along with other topics.

Source: Windows 8 app developer blog

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