IE10 User Agent String Update in Release Preview; Creating & Testing Metro Style Apps in Windows 8 Explained

Microsoft made two additions to IE10's user agent string, which was originally introduced in the first platform preview of IE10 -- to aid server-side feature detection in Release Preview."These additions apply to both desktop and Metro style IE10 since they expose the same platform capabilities," posted Tony Ross, Program Manager, Internet Explorer. "We recommend optimizing […]

Microsoft made two additions to IE10's user agent string, which was originally introduced in the first platform preview of IE10 -- to aid server-side feature detection in Release Preview.

"These additions apply to both desktop and Metro style IE10 since they expose the same platform capabilities," posted Tony Ross, Program Manager, Internet Explorer.

"We recommend optimizing your site's experience around the capabilities of the system (like Touch) through feature detection, rather than browser or environment detection. Where content depends on plug-ins, use the requiresActiveX prompt to help users switch to desktop IE10 until the content can be made plug-in free," Ross explains.

"The first addition enables detecting whether a machine has touch-capable hardware via a new Touch token. Using this token you can present a touch-friendly version of your site to users with touch-capable hardware (typically, in the case where your normal site is not touch-friendly). While, the second addition to the IE10 user agent string is a new architecture token for ARM devices running Windows RT. This complements the existing values for other architectures."

Producing a Metro style app involves four main stages: design, development, testing and finally distribution. In a new Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft talk about design patterns that you can use in your planning process for the metro style app.

"Being able to crisply showcase the differentiation points in your offerings and staying focused on delivering the core scenarios that you are best at are crucial to a successful Metro style app that will stand out from the crowd," Bonny Lau, senior program manager, Windows, notes.

Figuring out what you are best in its category at is the first and most important step to creating great Metro style app that will stand out from the crowd. Lau explains, that "identifying and focusing on the differentiation points influences many foundational decisions that you will make around your content structure, landing experience, page layout, and navigation."

He introduce an example app, Food with friends, and start by answering the question that is key to standing out from the crowd: "What is my app best at in its category?". Then he illustrate some practical steps to designing the app's structure and layout to highlight the core scenarios and differentiation points that it is best at.

To review some of the resources that are mentioned in the post, take a look at the content on http://design.windows.com.

Creating Metro style apps

In another post, Microsoft cover a few high level verification areas related to testing your apps. "Testing your Metro style app and verifying its quality is a critical step to ensure that your users have a great experience with your app," Microsoft stated.

The post covers a few key areas related to verifying Metro style apps including:

  • verifying the behavior of your app when it is launched in different contexts
  • verifying the functionality of your app
  • and verifying the behavior of your app as it transitions through various states of the Metro style app lifecycle.

In other, Microsoft product, a leaked screenshot from a Microsoft video shows a new Windows Phone 8 lockscreen icons, just like Windows 8.

As seen in the picture below, these lockscreen icons mirror that pretty closely with what Windows 8 already has. This is a great iteration to the lockscreen as it allows quick access to information at just a glance.

Windows Phone 7 already has a feature similiar to this, but, Windows Phone 8 is expected to include more Windows 8 like version, such as third party apps and custom app notifications on the lockscreen.

Windows Phone 8 Lockscreen Revealed