It seemed like many people thought Windows 7 was great and Microsoft should stop there. However, Microsoft recognized that what people thought of as their primary computing device was changing. Apple’s iPad and the inexorable rise of the mobile phone meant people were starting to interact with the internet and the new streaming services in ways which threatened Microsoft’s traditionally desktop-bound Windows operating system. Microsoft’s response was Windows 8 which brought with it a new user interface paradigm which leaned hard on the lessons learned targeting mobile tablets: simplified user interface, touch-friendly controls, flatter, simpler UI elements. Windows 8 was to intended to be a new era where non-PC devices such as an XBox would merge with desktops running Windows 8, MS’ own Microsoft Surface tablet/touch friendly devices and the beleaguered and ultimately doomed Microsoft Surface phones.
While the idea of “one Microsoft operating system user interface to rule them all” eventually floundered – the Microsoft phones which were hugely loved by their users but failed to ignite enough sales to capture the interest of the carriers – the experience ushered-in some magnificent changes and new technologies that helped thrive with Windows 10 like WinRT (Windows Runtime – Language-Independent Application Binary Interface). This gave rise to a better Windows 10 app development environment for developers.
How did Windows 10 make things better for developers?
Applications built with Windows Runtime may run inside a sandboxed environment to allow greater security and stability and can natively support both x86 and ARM. To point out, you can use highly productive development tools like Delphi and C++ Builder to create modern Windows applications that support Windows Runtime among other new sets of features.
What is the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 app development?
Windows 11 operating system promises massive changes with various user experience transformations.
- The new Microsoft Store
- New native features for Windows apps
- The Fluent Design System and WinUI
- Advanced technologies for the Game Development industry
It seems like a significant number of Windows users are staying with Windows 10 either because they are concerned about change and wish to seek stability, or they are shut out due to Windows 11 having a more rigid set of hardware requirements which many devices cannot meet.
How to improve your Windows Apps
Before discussing improvement, I would like to discuss Embarcadero’s Delphi and Visual Component Library briefly. With its Visual Component Library (VCL), Delphi programming language brought new graphical user interface development concepts. Using Delphi and VCL, you can achieve 5x faster development and a massive pool of components to thrive in any development field.
By creating with Delphi and VCL, you can make native Windows-based applications with direct access to the hardware. Be sure to check out this article called: What You Need To Know – A Beginner’s Guide To Windows UI Toolkits.
Improve your Windows Apps by adding this sophisticated feature which is actually easy to do
Start using AI in your Windows applications! AI is one of the most significant trends in the app development industry. You do not need to create new machine learning models to use in your Windows apps. You can use AI APIs from Cloud Computing platforms like Google, APILayer, DeepAI APIs, and other services. Be sure to check out this tutorial to learn how to integrate those AI APIs!
Quickly modernize your user interface and UX with styles to look a million dollars
I remember when I won first place in a computer apps competition in my small city. I was 16, and most of my opponents were 4-5 years older than me and probably way more skilled in coding and algorithms. The task set by the competition demanded our solution had to be an educational app. Looking back, my app was not so good, but it had:
- Flash Animations (oh how times have changed!)
- A skill test with shuffling and randomizing feature
- Just a simple REST API integration to register users
And two available styles!
I got the first-place prize because of the UI&UX. Because in Delphi VCL, you can quickly transform your whole application to a new look with just 1-3 lines of code. I remember one judge saying that other finalists’ apps were boring, and mine was compelling because of the shiny UI components.
VCL and FMX styles are fast and easy to give your VCL application a modern UI. Delphi and C++ Builder comes in dozens of different types and High-DPI. They’re a REALLY easy and fast way to add a hugely professional look to your applications with almost no effort from yourself. They make it look like you have an expensive team of designers working for you when, in reality, you can add the fashion model looks to your apps for free and just a few seconds.
Be sure to check out these workshops to learn more about how to utilize styles in your VCL Windows and FMX cross-platform applications!
Modernize your data access pipeline to add new capabilities and a speed increase
FireDAC is a multi-device data access library with RAD Studio Delphi and C++ Builder. With FireDAC, you can connect dozens of different databases with just several clicks. Its robust universal architecture enables you to get native high-speed direct access to all relational and non-relational databases.
Be sure to check out this workshop about modernizations of data access pipeline:
Try the new native Windows UI Framework – WinUI 3
Windows App SDK contains a new native UI framework called WinUI 3. The WinUI 3 is the current UI framework in the Windows Runtime architecture. With the latest update on WinUI 3, now you can create a Delphi GUI application purely out of WinUI 3 framework as a regular app.
To learn more, be sure to check out the latest tutorial by Delphi Product Manager Marco Cantu.