What you need to know
- Universal Windows Platform developers have teamed up to kick off an annual event for launching new apps and shipping major updates for established apps on the Microsoft Store.
- Simply called "Launch," the event is marking its first year with a major new update for myTube, along with the release of three new apps.
- The three new third-party apps bring a new Spotify client to the Microsoft Store, along with a modern Reddit experience and a whiteboard app for organizing your tasks.
The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) community is rallying the wagons, kicking off a new, annual event for developers to showcase major updates to popular apps and introduce new, polished experiences on the Microsoft Store. Called "Launch," the event is the result of the work of several high-profile developers teaming up through the UWP Community Discord server over several months with thousands of hours poured into the first round of apps for Launch 2019.
From developer Arlo Godfrey's blog post announcing Launch 2019:
With so many UWP developers in one place, it seemed appropriate to join together and do something big. For the last 8 or so months, we have been working in secret on many new projects. Today, as a community, we Launchtogether, in the form of the first annual Launch event (named in the style of existing Microsoft events, such as Build, Ignite, Inspire, and Connect).
After all of that work, here's a look at what the community came up with for Launch 2019.
The first major drop for Launch 2019 is the reveal of myTube 4.0, one of the most popular third-party YouTube apps on the Microsoft Store. Available today in beta, the update brings a whole new UI, along with the "first major design change" for the player controls since the app was launched.
Upon installing myTube 4.0, you'll find a newly polished UI for the navigation controls. The developer, Christopher Blackman of Ryken Studio, is also promising greater unity between the PC, mobile, and Xbox versions of the app, along with lots of new features coming down the pike.
If you're curious, you can grab the myTube 4.0 beta from the Microsoft Store today.
Legere is a slick Reddit client that has been built exclusively as a UWP app for Windows 10. All of the basic features you'd expect are here, and then some.
The app supports multiple accounts, playing different media types within the app, and background notifications. There's also support for the new subreddit sidebar, multireddits, and a full markdown editor is built into the app. There's also quite a bit of Windows 10 flavor here, including Live Tiles, support for Timeline and Jump Lists, and the option to open videos in a compact overlay window.
Legere will be available from the Microsoft Store starting today.
We've already seen how third-party developers can improve upon the Spotify experience with Xpotify, and Spotimo is another example of that.
The app aims to "combine the best of Spotify and Groove Music" now that Groove has been largely retired. For anyone who used Groove Music to get their streaming kick, you'll find a lot to like here. The UI looks super polished and certainly resembles Groove, with some added touches.
Today, the app is launching into open beta, so it's still very much a work in progress. Spotify Premium subscribers can use the app to stream tracks from Spotify, while free users will be able to stream through an "experimental myTube Embed Player."
Spotimo is available today in beta from the Microsoft Store.
Kanban Ink is a new app intended to make it easier to pull your ideas from a whiteboard into a list of tasks. From the developer:
I created Kanban Ink to bridge this gap by using Windows Ink to insert the whiteboard digitally into the task list, available across all my Windows 10 devices thanks to (optional) cloud sync. I used colour to replicate the 'post it' note style and assisting focus with the ability to open a single task, along with its ink, full screen.
Kanban Ink is available now from the Microsoft Store for free.
UWP Companion Beta
Rounding things out is the launch of the UWP Companion Beta, an extension for Chrome browsers (Firefox is coming later) that bridges websites and UWP apps. The app is actually an evolution of myTube Companion, which would open YouTube links in myTube.
UWP Companion expands myTube Companion to encompass several other services and third-party UWP apps, allowing you to open things like Spotify and Reddit links in your app of choice. At launch, UWP Companion supports Spotimo, Xpotify, Legere, Reddplanet, Mixplay for Mixer, Quarrel, and MyTube. However, all developers are invited to add their apps to the list.
The apps listed here today should go live at 5AM ET (9AM UTC) or sometime thereafter.
The developers involved plan on making Launch a yearly thing, and have invited all Windows developers to join in for Launch 2020. From the blog post:
We plan on doing this again next June, and encourage every Windows developer to join us. Anything UWP related is welcome to join us for Launch 2020: New apps, major updates or open sourcing. The details depend on this year's reception of the event, but joining the UWP Community Discord server is the place to start.
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