April 12, 2021

BUILD 2015 Summary: Developing Universal Windows Apps with Visual Studio 2015




This is an important session in BUILD, just by looking the title. I suggest you find some time to watch some pieces of the video. Once you get over the accent, his speech is very clear, well organized. As always, if you don’t have time to watch, I put some notes after the video.



>> Before You Start
If you want to start developing for Universal Windows Apps, or want to follow along presentations, or browsing the example projects, or just want to play around, please do this,

  • Install Windows 10 TP 10.0.10075.0 (actually, the most recent Windows 10 Technical Preview Build is 10074, I think it won’t matter that much), from insider.windows.com. Check PCWorld see instructions on how to install Windows 10 Technical Preview.
  • Install VS 2015 RC, Custom install make sure check Universal Windows App Development Tools and all sub-options, from www.visualstudio.com. VS 2015 RC has two editions: Community and Enterprise. Its your choice, doesn’t matter.

>> VS 2015 can be installed on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 to develop Universal Windows Apps, but with limited functionality.

>> Project Template

>> Sample Projects For UWP

Microsoft have posted many Universal app sample projects on github. It’s important that you find time to look through some of your interest. The link is here,


>> Project Properties

Target Version: What version of UWP your application is tested against. It will go to the manifest as “MaxVersionTested”, which means if the machine your app is installed on has a newer version of UWP, therefore some APIs may change behavior, but your app still behave same way as the Target version specified. This should be the highest UWP version possible at the time you write the app.

Min Version: is the minimum version UWP your app will run on. If machine your app is installed on only have lower version UWP, your app won’t run, probably won’t even install. Basically this should be the lowest UWP version possible.

>> Extension SDKs
For device specific features, like hardware buttons on phones. On VS project, added required extension SDKs from references.

(the new intellisense shows sample code as you type, that’s great)

Run time type detection:
if(Windows.Foundation.Metadata.ApiInfomations.IsTypePresent(“sometype”)) {


>> Third party Extension SDKs
Windows 8.1 SDK goes here
Windows phone 8.1 SDK not supported

You can write your own extension SDKs.

Entension SDKs are located at: Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Kits\ExternsionSDKs

>> App Insights:
give you more detailed statistics about your apps. Highly recommend. See picture above.

>> For current 8.1 projects,
Create a new UWP project, use shared project to use current code.