Universal Windows apps - we've heard this term numerous times over the past few months. But what are they? Simply put, Universal Windows apps are developed for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 with little code changes.
In an official blog post today, Microsoft MVP Pavel Yosifovich offers developers an introduction to Universal apps. Creating apps for both Windows and Windows Phone was a two-app project, before the idea of Universal apps came along. Now that Microsoft is shifting towards the idea of having a unified platform, creating Universal apps is more important than ever.
"Universal Windows apps are there to allow the same app to be written for Windows 8.1 Store and Windows Phone 8.1 with little code changes. Note that it’s not the same as linking a Windows and Phone app in the Store – this can be done in the non-Universal model as well; here I’m referring to actual code sharing, whether the apps will be linked in the Store or not. Almost everything can be shared, and obviously some things will have to change, such as UI layout, or usage of special features of one platform or the other. But, as it turns out, most code, and even XAML can actually be shared; and that’s a real advantage we didn’t have before," Yosifovich adds.
He also adds that Microsoft realized nearly a year ago that the desktop is not going away. In fact, the desktop is important as ever and touch is not the answer to everything. In his personal opinion, Yosifovich adds that he sees no reason why the WinRT model, including the UI and XAML, does not bleed into desktop apps as well.
If you are an app developer, we highly recommend heading over to the VIA link to read Yosifovich's post in-depth.