Microsoft News gets more fluid performance with WinUI 2.1

What you need to know

  • The latest version of Microsoft News for Windows 10 features a more responsive layout.
  • Leveraging an update to the Windows UI 2.1 framework, the layout now reacts fluidly when resizing the window.
  • This experience is available now with the latest version of Microsoft News.

The next time you fire up the Microsoft News app on your PC, you might notice it feels a little more fluid. In the latest update to the app, it's now build on Windows UI Library version 2.1, which brings a new feature that makes the layout performance much smoother when adjusting the size of the window.

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The Windows UI Library is a set of open source controls and UI elements that apps can leverage in Windows 10. Version 2.1, which became available earlier this year, shipped with a new feature called "ItemsRepeater" that is built to make collection experiences, like those you see in Microsoft News, more performant. From the release notes (opens in new tab):

Unlike ListView, ItemsRepeater does not provide a comprehensive end-user experience – it has no default UI and provides no policy around focus, selection, or user interaction. Instead, it's a building block that you can use to create your own unique collection-based experiences and custom controls. It supports building of richer and more performant experiences.

While the explanation of how it works matters mostly to developers using Windows UI Library, the end result is an app that should feel much smoother in action.

Thanks to Mark N. for the tip!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • While there may be some improvements in the resizing animations, this app is still unusable due to the way that ads are integrated into the app. As you swipe to the next article, the app locks up while it loads the add and they stays locked for another 10 seconds or so to make sure that you see the add. This is the worst experience of any news app that I've ever used. Based on the quality of the adds that are shown, they can't be making much money off of them. Also, the iOS version of this app does not have ads and is a pleasure to use.
  • I never had an issue with it personally, but that sucks
  • While you're right, it used to do this right up until last week. This latest update fixes that, and the ad problem is no more. But, there are still ad's within the news articles, posing as other news articles, which to me is nefarious. But their loading no longer impacts the performance of the app.
  • Thanks for the reply. After seeing it I checked the app again, made sure that I had the most recent update, and unfortunately found that there is still a major lag in loading ads. The only way that I can use this app is to resize the window to the smallest size because when the window is the size of a phone, it does not load ads.
  • The Android version is pretty bad also. They bait you with a highlight but then you have to go through a pile of crappy other stuff before you can get to the highlight. I have just about quit using it and gone to something else. Typical Microsoft.
  • Meanwhile, 99.99999% of most news pages are html and java script...
    Microsoft is really bucking the trend on that one.... where’s the UWP windows central news app? I want to read all windows central news with windows 10 fluent design effect!