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Microsoft introduces an open-source toolkit for UWP app development

Microsoft has introduced an open-source UWP Community Toolkit that enables the developer community to collaborate and contribute new capabilities on top of the new Windows Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Windows 10. The project was announced on the official Microsoft blog for developers earlier today.

The toolkit was designed to allow simplified app development and includes helper functions, custom controls, and app services that simplify or demonstrate common developer tasks. It can be used to build UWP apps for any Windows 10 device - PC, Mobile, Xbox, IoT, and HoloLens – and even for existing desktop apps converted to UWP using the Desktop Bridge. Also, the feedback from the community on this project will be reflected in future versions of the Windows SDK for Windows 10.

The UWP Community Toolkit 1.0 can be used by any new or existing UWP application written in C# or VB.NET, and is compatible with apps developed with Windows 10 SDK Build 10586 or above. The toolkit is available as NuGet packages (Microsoft.Toolkit.UWP) that can be added to any existing or new project using Visual Studio. NuGet is a standard package manager for .Net applications that is built into Visual Studio. If you need to check out the toolkit in action before jumping into the code, you can download the UWP Community Toolkit Sample App from the Windows Store, and explore the toolkit capabilities even before installing the tools or downloading the SDK.

The toolkit is completely open-sourced on GitHub found below, including the source code of the toolkit, the source code of the sample app and even the documentation.

UWP Community Toolkit on GitHub

87 Comments
  • Interesting, whats left?
  • I guess we wait to see if they bite, this time. Lol
  • Microsoft changing its behavior toward windows mobile, even the ios has higher periorty to microsoft over windows mobile
  • It's not about higher or lower, as in on a vertical scale of comparison... Rather it's prioritization on a different set of horizontal necessities', and logic... Literally prioritizing on a definitive term. Tactic. Planning. A road map of steps to get Mobile where It needs to be.
    .....
    That doesn't mean MS should rest elsewhere. Some of you guys still don't get that. MS is a multifaceted company, and some areas will do better than others. Given the nature of iDroids market share it's only logical that we see a specific set of prioritization towards it.. Focus, for a better word, because it's not about MS's products competing for prioritization between themselves. Each product has it's own specific need, and MS sees fit accordingly.
  • well their strategy working windows phone users switched to ios and android even i switched from WP to android and from windows tablet to ipad. amazing MS strategy
  • And, to you that's a big deal, but to MS, even loosing all their MS in Mobile is small potatoes.. MS has to look at the bigger picture.. So, MS lost 4% market share in Mobile. At times Android has as well, and Google don't give a flip. At this point neither does MS, for the same reason. Small potatoes. A long term plan is better to focus on, and that's what they're doing.
  • probelm is not longterm planning, but having a longterm plan starting in every shorterm is a problem!  ya im happy now MicroTrumps
  • Long term plan ?  let me type some of MS plans for windows mobile in the 90's WM was research project, 2000 was the initial release, in 2003 it was renamed to WM and it was aimed at business and consumers, 2010 was the end of WM 6 and the release of WP7 then WP8 then in 2016 WM with UWP and the result 1% oh don't warry they got future plans keep waiting for these plans
  • And what has been the uptake of MS applications and services over that period, where they have faced competition from mobile platform leaders like google and apple? Consumer's choice in mobile devices were starting to influence their choices in the enterprise market. IMO if google/alphabet hadn't started pushing its own desktop os and productivity suite MS would have gladly stood back from the mobile os and 2in1 hardware space.
  • If you already joined Android and istaff,please don't worry about Windows anymore.
    We as windows phone lovers have trust in Microsoft.
    Microsoft UWP idea is already bearing fruits with new universal apps arriving in the store daily.So it will take some time for windows phone to rise up.
    Change does not happen in a day.
    Android market is already saturated and that is why Smartphone manufactures are adapting windows 10 mobile OS in middle East countries. We love Microsoft,We love windows
    We have trust.
  • Lol keep trusting Microsoft they screwed WM 6 users then WP7 users then WP8.1 users and so on for the future how long do they have to beat you up until you stop your fanatic ideas
  • And Middle East users don't use Windows Mobile they prefer ios and Android
  • Switching from Windows 10 Mobile i could understand, however switching a Windows 10 tablet to an iPad it's a dumb move... Really really dumb.
  • First Its not a desktop Its a tablet, a tablet needs tablet apps and tablet OS ipad got those, second its my choice not yours.
  • the fact that you stayed commenting here means that either you're paid to talk **** about Microsoft or you have a lot of spare time because you don't have anything else to do get a life
  • their actions talk about them not me and if everyone commenting here has no life then what are you doing here get a life
  • @sumton I was talking specifically about you. You switched two of your mobile devices from Windows to something else yet still have time to talk trash about Microsoft here.
  • Ah, you're the George W Bush of Windows Central comments. Offer two false options, and end up making yourself look a right ***. "You're either with us, or you're with them." According to you, the people commenting here are either paid by MS or they have two much time because they have nothing else to do. So, which are are you, arsewit?
  • Congratulations on your increased productivity! /s
  • Congratulations on your increased productivity! /s
  • Productivity for Desktop not tablet tablet for fun 
  • Exactly!
  • But you still come here, so there is some love left ;)
  • yes there will always be some love left
  • Yet, you can still tie into Microsoft's camp sought to speak. Remember many may have a different phone which is mainly IOS or Android but are using Windows as their primary desktop especially if at work. So making it possible to have an Android or IOS phone that can link to the Windows OS is just good business sense.
  • MS needs a passionate team like the original Xbox team, where they really could see beyond the initial hurdles of entering as a new player in a highly competitive market. I don't see that drive here, sadly.
  • The route to success is a very simple one.  You do something based on knowledge and facts, Measure what you do and ask, is this working? if yes do more of it, if no then change approach and start process again.  Microsoft over the years have been heading in one direction, Onecore and Windows Everywhere.  Apple or Google have nothing like the depth of penetration that Microsoft has (Software that we all run stuff on) Microsoft have created something incredible...today we are at the very begining days of this journey.  Dont worry about Mobile at all....that will automatically fall into place now that its windows everywhere, just look at HP and the X3.  Enterprise has been crying out for something windows based and secure, with Windows 10 thay have created a platform for everyone everywhere, stop thinking short term or using disjointed examples from the past while they were transistioning, step back look at the bigger picture and place a wry grin on your face, thats exactly what those people who can actually see whats happening are doing.  I really cant wait for this to evolve and expand, we can now run full windows applications (through virtualisation) using our Mobile devices, the future is bright and as enterprise adopts, it will have the Blackberry effect where consumers (consumers are already salivating at the X3) will want the cool business phone as it does what others only dream they can do. 
  • Very, very, very interesting indeed!!.. Can anyone elaborate more on this? Give some ideas of what might come about from this project?
    Seems like a seriously bold move. Totally un Apple like. With all these options for developers I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to develop for the platform.
  • I ask because I don't fully understand the benefits, or need for this... Although, I figure its a good way for MS to get new ideas, and help developers bring their ideas into fruition.
  • Most of them are just basic features that many devs may need to work in their project anyway. One example is hamburger menu. UWP doesn't provide native implementation of hamburger menu, but provides controls that developer can use to make their own hamburger menu. You see it's a waste of time for every developer do the same thing again and again for each app (and that's also the reason why even built-in apps hamburger buttons are slightly different from each other). This project just provide these most common features for developers to directly use in their app. It's actually something that should be done at the very begining, but still, better late than never.
  • Wow, is it really that basic?
  • Yeah, making a hamburger menu actually takes a while. Even if you do make one, you then have the fact that you even have to implement swiping from the edge yourself which is probably why most apps don't support that.
  • The swiping from the edge should've been part of the default toolkit were its ready to be used by developers unless they want something more custom. It seems that the Hamburger menu system is implement just for the sake of it, but the way where different apps tends to have some each of feel and implementation, even on own MS apps, makes me think if they even bother designing to have a well thought UX about it. I mean, they already have a real-world and already implemented solutions of Hamburger menu which is widely used on Android, but what we get is the more basic 2010 hamburger menu. Better late than never seems their philosophy. Rush half-baked implementations and fix it later. At least its slowing improving I think.
  • Also keep in mind that in a desktop mode swipe from the left is reserved (and non configurable) system action that brings app selection view, which makes using swipe for hamburger menu in any app on devices like Surface kind of useless.
  • If this means that more apps can have swipe from the edge to open the hamburger menu then I'm happy
  • One that immediately springs to mind is we could have a consistent swipeable hamburger menu in the "official" toolkit without waiting for Microsoft to implement it. And because it's their toolkit they may be much more likely to use it in their own apps.
  • I see.. I need to see this as a more developer oriented project.
  • Oh yes, totally developer-orientated (Toolkit and SDK are referenced).
  • I guess somehow I saw it as a way developers could make apps outside of the restrictions of MS's regular kit.. Bringing us cool new features.
  • In a way, yes. It means that devs don't have to rely on Microsoft to bring consistent components and functionality that can become a standard across all apps. They can contribute to it themselves, and/or benefit off others doing the same. There was a very popular kit for WP7 that was updated for WP8 and I think WP8.1 as well. I can't remember if it was open source. It was definitely a community project, not quite as "official" as this one, and it wasn't on GitHub so it wasn't as easy to get in and contribute to by today's standards.
  • Perfect. I completely understand now. That's, Nick!
  • You're welcome :)
  • Template 10 had a ready made hamburger as a template but I found different issues with it, namely around resuming apps. I had a project that I was near complete on for the Microsoft Band but as I cou;dn't resolve these resuming issues I need to start again without that template, but then I need to build my own hamburger menu. I ended up giving up due to all the wasted time and effort. This could get me moving again :)
  • A lot of the juicy parts of this pack (the pull-to-refresh list and slidable listview item e.g. like outlook) have been around for a while. From what I undertand, what makes this a community toolkit is that they took user-generated code that was floating around the internet and made it more acessible with the MS seal of approval. Apart from that, some of the new composition animations (e.g. blur) might be intimidating to people new to it, so it might help to have some easy to digest documentation and examples. I had a play with it and incorporated pull-to-refresh into one of my apps in under a minute with this toolkit. As for why people wouldn't want to develop for UWP though... As a business do you really need to look beyond the tiny marketshare on mobile and low adoption of store apps on desktop? It's a sad reality, but it wouldn't be ignored if there was money in it
  • Thanks, I see, and I agree. They surely are stuck in the present, and don't foresee the long-term.
  • While I agree its hard to sell it on store performance and mobile, is there any interest in it on the future? XBOX integration and Holographic platform are pretty interesting in themselves arent they? I mean, for many developers the interest in the up and coming platform seems worth it to program for. Just look at how many people made apps for Android Ware day one. And how many make apps for WatchOS. Numbers are very small compared to Mobile numbers but they still make them.
  • Sure, people looking to be on consoles and holographic will probably take Windows into consideration if they don't already. But MS is ahead of the curve in those aspects since Hololens is futuristic and Xbox has a good marketshare. I don't think they're looking to win developers on that front. You say "many developers", but I would argue that many if not most developers are still working with mobile-centric apps because that remains how a lot of end users consume their services. It will probably change eventually, all things do. But as for what rodneyej was saying about the long-term, without developers buying in to UWP, the long-term won't deviate from the status quo too much
  • You can compare it to XAML UI Controls. This is another great app for showing the capability of XAML. Download link: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
  • I don't know much but UWP may be a very good move and it will automatically benefit the windows 10 mobile because developers have eyes on those 350 million windows 10 devices (PCs) not just windows phone.
  • Almost a hundred percent hardly anyone will use or bring their app to win mobile. Sad but true...
  • Well, you were dead before you started, because thousands already have. SMDH.
  • Almost a hundred percent hardly anyone will use or bring their app to win mobile.
    Honest question: who cares. UWP is not just mobile, it's Windows, it's HoloLens, it's IoT, it's Xbox. Why is everything here in comments by people so obsessed with Mobile? Move on already or learn to make comments more than about one topic.
  • What? Mobile phones will be around forever! They are the hub of everyones life and will be forever... Just like desktop... /s
  • HoloLens is just starting. But that too, is gonna be here for a very very long time. So Apps are necessary. Hence:uwp
  • Daniel, it did used to be called Windows Phone Central.. Lol. You can't blame us old guys for holding onto the past.. Lol
  • Maybe because the mobile branch is the one that is struggling the most.....
  • Mobile is core for the uwp idea.... On pc no app no problem that's what browser is for..... Plus most people on pc find it awkward to use an app while the browser is just there.... And all others you mentioned are really niche products which brings back mobile.. IT'S ESSENTIAL FOR THIS IDEA TO PROSPER
  • It is important but not essential. There are two other products that you're not taking into consideration: HoloLens and Xbox, the former requiring a lot more apps than the latter. FYI, windows mobile is used by a lot of business owners, corporates, and executives. How do I know? I deal with them all the time, and about 85% of them have a windows phone, some as a secondary, some as a daily driver. Microsoft, and it's offerings for enterprises and businesses is what attracts these people, and in countries like India and the UK, a lot of consumers own a windows phone, and the apps developed for use within the country by it's companies (banks etc) are available in their app store regions. So I think the UWP is amazing and will go a long way for Microsoft. Every enterprise can greatly benefit from the platform, and hence will surely adopt it.
  • I think your comment should give enough hints as to where mobile is heading, nothing is happening in mobile space, while ppl are still expecting great things to happen via surface phone, which may happen of course but not at this point. Btw Windowscentral started as WPcentral and microsoftcentral so yes ppl here came for mobile and still expect/wait(almost desperately) for any good news wrt mobile. I guess most of your readers do care about mobile still ;)
  • Quite simply because mobile matters to people. The fact that UWP goes beyond that is really irrelevant.
  • This is epic! I love these kinda tools, cant wait to implement this stuff! #excitement
  • Someone please bring a mighty text like app to Windows Mobile and Pc, until this happens Windows never an option for me as a phone. Android runs exchange fine now and has more business features than Windows phone, 2017 is the year to bring a carbon fibre light durable smart phone with sms text from Pc capability!!
  • WhatsApp❓
  • Whatsapp is not on PC, probably thats what he wants.  
  • You want to be able to send and recieve texts from your PC essentially? Wasn't this just implemented with Skype? I haven't messed with it, but I was getting SMS alerts on my PC yesterday. Was in the middle of a game so I couldn't try to reply to see how that worked.   EDIT: I could be wrong about it being part of the Skype preview, but I know it was coming through as new notifications with a textbox that it looke dlike I could reply in.  
  • Hi friend,please explain or send me any link that how I can convert Windows10pc app into Windows 10mobile
  • Windows 10 pc apps (those which are uwp) are already suitable for mobile. But if u mean you want to convert classic windows apps, you can't if it's not open source. Because only the developer who made the app have access to the source.
  • Not possible to convert classic x86 apps to mobile. They can be converted to store apps for x86 platforms and that's it.
  • Actually you can you have to use the x86 to uwp converter and it shows what dependencies etc need changing.
  • Great news for the millions, and millions of developers who are planning UWP apps...
  • Thanks for good morning laugh
  • Lets hope that GitHub servers are up to the task.
  • We are where our work is paid. Ms asks is 30%, Apple and Google 18%. If you develop uwp apps you are stupid.
  • Do you have a source for this? Apple was 30% in the past when I first got into development and I'm not seeing anything that says otherwise except for subscriptions services through apps, which is still 30% for the first year.
  • And devs earn 11k/month vs 3k on android...a survey of more than 1000 devs. So if that is the case...build for MS
  • Great!
  • Okay so it will make source code neat and clean for sure. Like For Pull to refresh features a lot of xaml markup required earlier. This will make it easy.
  • Like ImageEx function. It will download any images and will show progress bar too. Good..good. I'm in it.
  • These days, SDK apps will created for both WP, W10 PC, and tablet. If you have have a Lumia 950/XL and HDMI hub, you can try and play with Candy Crash Soda Saga on TV. All games and apps that are mentioned "built for Windows 10" can run on big screen like pc with hub, dlna, chrome, or Roku, and any streamcast. Android and iOS apps can't run like linux and OS X.
  • I'm sorry but I am going to respectfully disagree with anyone making a "broader picture" argument dismissing Mobile. I personally am not here for PC since I was with windows since Windows 95, and I am also not here for gaming since I stopped playing since Nintendo NES and not interested in my 40s nor am I here for Augmented reality. I am strictly here because I dread the thought of going to Android or iPhone period. Mobile is what runs my life and if MS doesn't see that footprint as desirable, then its bad business.
  • Smart move to let the dev community work for free to try to cover Microsoft errors. Good move Satya, not for me this time, no more...
  • Swipe enabled item list ;)
  • They want devs to work for free to cover what s missing on SDK (and ios/android have).... It s Satya s "insider" technique :)
  • So many analyst these days
  • Why there is no amazon app.. Windows is dead now
  • I think the new Anniversary Update from Awesome Tube used this new dev kit. The app looks beautiful, both on mobile and PC.
  • Waiting for an assured glory