You may be thinking to yourself: “Self, I’d really like to get into Window 8 Metro style, but I don’t own a touch screen device or tablet. So, I’ll just wait until I get one.”
If you’re serious about app development, you’ll want to start now to get a jump on everyone else. And, believe it or not, you can start with what you already have.
The built in templates provide most of what it takes to make a good touch first app. For most scenarios, sticking to the templates is the wisest course of action.
To see how your app will behave when your app is on a slate, you can use the simulator that’s built right into Visual Studio 2012.
Switching to the Simulator
Using the simulator is easy: all you have to do is change where your app deploys when you debug.
With your project loaded, look for the drop down where the “Local Machine” option is already chosen.
Click to activate the drop down of choices.
Now, choose Simulator to set the deploy target to be the simulator.
Now, your debug play button should look like this:
Just hit F5 or click the green triangle to start a debug session.
Exploring the Simulator
The right side of the simulator window has a tool bar.
The first grouping if icons are concerned with input modes:
The icons from top to bottom represent mouse, touch mode, pinch & zoom touch mode, and rotation touch mode, respectively. These options let you explore how your app will react to touch and these kinds of touch gestures – even if you don’t have a touch screen.
The second grouping can rotate your screen.
This is helpful in examining how your app will look in portrait vs. landscape modes. For example, this is what my app looks like.
The next icon is the monitor resolution icon.
Click on it and you’ll see a list of resolutions pop up.
This is a great way to see how well your app scales up as well as down.
The next icon lets you enter custom geospatial location.
Click on it and this dialog comes up:
This is useful for location aware apps and you need to test out app behavior in different locations.
The next two icons are making screenshots, with the camera being the screenshot button and the gear icon brining up screenshot settings.
The final icon is for Help and links to you this page.
In my next post, we’ll poke around the simulator a little more.