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How to develop a Windows Runtime app

[ This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation ]

If you're writing a Windows Runtime-based app and need to know how to get the most out of Visual Studio, integrate specific app features, or package, debug, and test your app, you're in the right place.

What's in each section?

Developing apps

These how-tos help you add functionality to your app, whether you're updating an app to engage with Cortana, creating a new Universal Windows app that'll leverage a cloud-based back-end service, like Azure Mobile Services, or integrating another specific feature.

This info contains task-specific code, so we've grouped the content by UI framework.

Step-by-step how tos


Platform overviews

The overviews in this section help you understand the platform and how best to develop Universal Windows apps. They go into detail on the basics of the platform, some key programming concepts, and selected depth topics.

Platform basics explains the foundations of the platform, including platform architecture, capabilities, app contracts and more.

Programming concepts provides the core programming concepts in the universal platform, including async programming, threading, and performance.

Device and sensor overviews highlights key concepts when creating apps that use sensors or work with peripherals.

User experience overviews digs deeper into tile templates, content ratings, the DirectX UI framework, and more.

Using the tools

This section, along with Debugging and testing apps, covers all things Visual Studio:

  • Descriptions of each app type (Windows Store app, Windows Phone Store app, and Universal Windows app) and the associated project templates.
  • Brief overviews of Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 which lets you share code between Windows Store apps and Windows Phone Store apps.
  • An intro to Blend for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, as well as short Blend tutorials.

Packaging apps

Need to find out:

  • What your app package contains
  • How to copy an app package to a target device for testing
  • What the packaging errors and warnings you're getting actually mean

The topics in Packaging apps have you covered.

Debugging and testing apps

Learn how to:

  • Use the Windows App Certification Kit.
  • Run Windows Store apps locally and in the Visual Studio simulator.
  • Deploy a Windows Store app to a local or remote device.
  • Run Windows Phone Store app in the emulator.
  • Analyze your app's code quality, CPU usage, UI responsiveness, and memory usage.

See Debugging and testing apps for more.

In-depth guidance

See In-depth guidance for info specific to developing games using DirectX, as well as end-to-end code samples that include:

  • A to-do list app supported by Mobile Services.
  • A news feed reader app.
  • A multimedia app that plays, records, and streams different kinds of media.
  • A PDF viewer app.
  • A Window Store business app.

Windows Phone Silverlight developer? Check out our Silverlight development resources.