Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions
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Thread: Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

  1. #1
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    Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

    I have been asked to look into the feasibility of porting an application that runs on Windows 7 & 8 to work on Window 8 phones and tablets. Our current application is mostly a service and I do not even know if you can have these on phones and tablets.

    Anyway I spent some time googling trying to get the basics of what you can and can not do in these environments. For example, are they sandboxed like Android and iOS devices? Can you run a program continuously, like a service? etc...

    Is there some start page that explains all the details to a potential developer that someone can point me too? I just keep finding stuff on MS site that asks me to download and install a development environment without explaining the basics first.

  2. #2
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    Re: Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

    services typically don't quite belong on a phone. The phone runs "short lived" apps, it isn't really suited to running anything that needs to have "constant up time" (mainly because of battery life issues) which is sort of the definition of a service.

    The problem with migrating something to a mobile platform isn't a matter of rewriting everything, but it's a matter of figuring out which parts of your app make sense in a mobile environment (low cpu power, low memory, none or limited bandwidth, low storage capabilities, small screen), and how to best visualise the output and allow for input on the small devices.

    Some apps just don't make much sense on a phone.

  3. #3
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    Re: Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

    'Porting' a windows app. usually means a big rewrite of the entire app. If it is written in a windows-specific language/c-dialect (for example MFC or C#) it means you need to start from scratch.

  4. #4
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    Re: Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

    Ok. So there is no way to write a program which will run indefinitely for a windows phone or tablet? I just want to confirm this.

  5. #5
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    Re: Windows 8 phone or tablet programming questions

    tabelts and phones tend to run without a constant connection to a power supply, so they run on batteries. for this reason, these devices tend to have very aggressive battery saving settings, as in: turning the screen off, going to sleep, reducing cpu power, shutting down network, etc. This contradicts with a "run inndefinately" approach.

    Now. I'm not saying it's impossible. Some mobile devices/OSes have a means to periodically awaken and allowing applications to determine if the device needs to power on to allow an app to do some work. Something like this might be necessary for a calendar or scheduler type app. And there may be other types of triggers that can awaken the device/OS. Without knowing more about the needs of your application, there's no way to tell for sure.

    If what you want is "100% cpu power 100% of the time", then the answer is goign to be "no", unless you can convince the user to always have his device plugged in to the charger.
    I know a guy that is running his corporate webserver on an iPhone. It's more a "proof of concept" (his bussiness is iphone apps) than anything, and it's obviously very limited, but he does have several hundred visitors a day and they are placing online orders via his website. The iphone is constantly plugged in the charger though.

    So "services" on a mobile device are definately possible, it just depends on your definition/needs of this service. And it may end up being restricted to certain brand/make of device and/or OS.

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