How to make a fast and fluid app launching in Windows8

In the latest blog post Micosoft says:-

“When users launch an app, they are immediately greeted by the splash screen. Every Metro style app has a splash screen, which consists of a 620×300 image and solid background color. Windows presents the splash screen on your behalf in order to welcome users while your app is activated. The activated event is received by all apps on launch, and gives your app the ability to perform any initialization work needed to present its initial UI. This might include reading basic settings, determining what page to navigate to, and/or identifying whether the app was activated for one of the various contracts. After initialization is complete and your app is ready to dismiss the splash screen, it must present its first window. No work is required for JavaScript apps, as this is done automatically when the activation callback returns. C# apps, however, must do this explicitly through a call to Window.Current.Activate. Be careful not to delay this operation, as your app will be terminated if a window is not displayed within a reasonable amount of time (~15 seconds). In addition, you’ll want to present a window as fast as possible because unnecessarily keeping the splash screen up can quickly deteriorate the user experience. We recommend that you present a window within 2-3 seconds to ensure that your app will always launch as expected, even on low-end hardware.”

According to the blog post there will be four app launch design patterns –

  • Default app launch

For apps that don’t require additional loading and are immediately ready to use.

Ex: A dictionary app that enables users to look up or translate various terms. The landing page consists only of a textbox for user input.

  • Skeleton app launch

Great for apps that fill the landing page incrementally on launch.

Ex: A reading app that tracks the user’s books, magazines, and newspapers. When launched, the app incrementally populates the user’s library.

  • Extended app launch

For apps that perform lengthy loading operations before presenting UI. This might include network calls or substantial file I/O.

Ex: A sports app that shows the latest scores and highlights. The app uses REST APIs to retrieve this information over the network and displays live data on the landing page.

  • Deferred app launch

Useful for apps that need to complete basic asynchronous tasks on launch, like querying app settings to check for first-run.

Ex: A game that needs to determine whether the user has already created an account. This information is needed to determine which page to present to the user.

Not only this the article shows the detailed on  the process displayed four different ways a Windows 8 Metro app can be launched from start to completion, along with example code for each type of app launch.

Creating a fast and fluid app launch experience


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