This review is more person to me since I have known Matt Hidinger for a couple of years now and the fact that he just announced that he is leaving Chicago to join the Windows Phone team at Microsoft in Redmond. So let me first say congratulations to him again.
Now I can’t say that I always agree with Matt, but I do respect him. One area that we disagree on (at least from his statement during this presentation) is that the official Twitter app is a good platform example. His point was more that they are both built in modern design language and look like the Twitter site. My complaint is that Twitter didn’t go far enough to enable the rich functionality that we have come to expect in the third party apps.
So what was Matt really trying to show in the session? He started by comparing and contrasting the interface components and how the same information is displayed by the two form factors.
The main key he showed for building for both is using Portable Class Libraries (PLC). When you select the platforms you want to support in the PCL template it will limit you to the APIs that are available in all the platforms you have selected. This ensures that you won’t build code that works with Windows 8 but doesn’t run with your Windows Phone app.
He also pointed out that a good starting point for building the XAML of your applications is using copy-and-paste. While this will not give you a finished product, it can jump start your UI development.
There was tons of other good information that Matt presentenced. I would really encourage anyone who is looking to build both Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps to check out the recording of this session.