What’s a Universal Windows app?

A Universal Windows app is a Windows experience that is built upon the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which was first introduced in Windows 8 as the Windows Runtime. At the core of Universal Windows apps is the idea that users want their experiences to be mobile across ALL their devices, and they want to use whatever device is most convenient or productive for the task at hand. What’s a Universal Windows app? What’s a Universal Windows app?

Windows 10 makes it easier to develop apps for the UWP with just one API set, one app package, and one store to reach all Windows 10 devices – PC, tablet, phone and more. It’s easier to support a number of screen sizes, and also a variety of interaction models, whether it be touch, mouse & keyboard, a game controller, or a pen.

Windows-powered devices

So, what’s a Universal Windows app?

What makes a Universal Windows app special? Here are some of the characteristics that make Universal Windows apps on Windows 10 different.

  • You target device families, not an OS.A device family identifies the APIs, system characteristics, and behaviors that you can expect across devices within the device family. It also determines the set of devices on which your app can be installed from the store.
  • Apps are packaged and distributed using the .AppX packaging format.All Universal Windows apps are distributed as an AppX package. This provides a trustworthy installation mechanism and ensures that your apps can be deployed and updated seamlessly.
  • There’s one store for all devices.After you register as an app developer, you can submit your app to the store and make it available on all device families, or only those you choose. You submit and manage all your apps for Windows devices in one place.
  • There’s a common API surface across device families.The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) core APIs are the same for all Windows device families. If your app uses only the core APIs, it will run on any Windows 10 device.
  • Extension SDKs make your app light up on specialized devices.Extension SDKs add specialized APIs for each device family. If your app is intended for a particular device family, you can make it light up by using these APIs. You can still have one app package that runs on all devices by checking what device family your app is running on before calling an extension API.
  • Adaptive Controls and inputUI elements use effective pixels , so they automatically adapt themselves based on the number of screen pixels available on the device. And they work well with multiple types of input such as keyboard, mouse, touch, pen, and Xbox One controllers. If you need to further tailor your UI to a specific screen size or device, new layout panels and tooling help you adapt your UI to the devices your app may run on.