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Visual Studio 2012 Windows Store App Simulator

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  • cbae

    Has anybody tried using it? This thing is insane. The simulator is almost like an RDP connection the same computer that you are using but running inside the simulator window.

    I'm going to try running Visual Studio inside the simulator and try to launch the simulator. Smiley

     

  • Dan

    @cbae: Agree, Visual Studio has some pretty sweet features for Windows Store apps that many developers probably don't know about, like using the simulator to test suspend+terminate, touch, and location. Another great feature is on the Device tab that let's you record changes in different visual states automatically between snapped, portrait & filled/full mode so that way, the only code you write is code that changes properties for that Visual State.

  • cbae

    I wasn't able to run another instance of VS or SSMS from inside the simulator, but I was able to launch  most other applications, such as IE, Chrome, Word, and any of the Windows Store apps. But launching Outlook caused a problem since it was already running in the desktop session. I ended up having repair my Office installation as a result.  Sad

    Anyway, I guess this is one way to run a Windows Store without it taking over the entire screen (apart from running dual monitors, of course).

     

  • Bas

    , Dan wrote

    Another great feature is on the Device tab that let's you record changes in different visual states automatically between snapped, portrait & filled/full mode so that way, the only code you write is code that changes properties for that Visual State.

    I've used all the other things you mentioned, but how does this work? I've used the different device states in the tab to see how the layout looks in the designer, but what's this about recording changes automatically? Is there a tutorial or video somewhere?

    By the way, the device tab is a pain in the * to find. Not putting it in the View or View/Other windows menu? That was just cruel, guys. Tongue Out

  • Dan

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*...but what's this about recording changes automatically? Is there a tutorial or video somewhere?

    No, but I'm recording some videos and I want to make sure to show this feature!

    • First, start with a Basic Page template (since it includes states like the snapped state)
    • In the Basic page template, add, say, a StackPanel with Orientation = Horizontal and three images.
    • Turn on Device, and simulate the snapped view. Images 2 & 3 should be cut off because of the orientation is set to Horizontal
    • Now click the checkbox to record changes. The border around the designer changes to red (similar to Blend) to let you know that whatever properties you change now will only happen in Snapped View.
    • Select the Stackpanel (use Document Outline if it's a pain to select), go to properties and change the orientation to Vertical. All of the images should now show since they are vertical.
    • Turn off recording and run the app. Notice how switching to Snapped view auto-magically changed the StackPanel orientation and you were able to do this all in a GUI! Underneath the covers, you'll find the code to do it in the Visual State Manager if you need to tweak it.

    Very cool stuff

     

  • Bas

    @Dan: Awesome! I find it a total pain to tweak stuff in the visual state manager by hand, it's so verbose that often I often have to scroll around a lot just to change two or three settings. This sounds much better.

  • Bas

    What's needed now though is an update to the Visual Studio XAML designer so that it'll actually work with user controls. If I add a user control to a page now it'll tell me the control doesn't exist in the namespace, and sometimes it'll even refuse to render the page, claiming Invalid Markup, even though the control does exist in the namespace and the project compiles and runs fine regardless.

    So at the moment, as soon as you use a usercontrol, the XAML designer becomes useless, which is a major pain.

  • bcorrea

    How about simulate with other languages? can i use it to test all languages that my app supports?

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