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Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:43 pm
by riceboyler
And this great piece of investigative reporting about Microsoft comes from?

(It's a website called appleinsider.com. Yep, that's just where I want to get my news about Microsoft. :) )

Sorry, about being a little terse, but iOS and Windows 8 are playing on completely different playgrounds. Yes, tablet adoption in the Windows world has been slower, but the solid reality is that there are still MILLIONS of PCs sold every single day with Windows 8 on them. Just because they're not touch screens doesn't mean that there wouldn't be a need for Gospel Library or LDS Tools on them. I can't tell you how many times I've been using my laptop and would have much rather used LDS Tools to look up the contact information for somebody than have to go login to the website and use those tools. Perhaps it's silly, but there is a place for native apps, even on a PC.

And this comes from a web developer by trade...

PS: You might think about coming into a thread specifically about Windows 8 apps and the many people on the forum desiring and basically disparaging it. The reality is that the people posting in here, in very large part, have already "drunk the Kool-Aid" of Windows 8, and would like some support, rather than to be told that Church IT won't review acceptance of Windows 8 for some time.

(Yes, I'm feeling a little sensitive about this, and frustrated in the lack of any kind of communication, or request for assistance or ANYTHING related to the development of official apps, even though there have been many both clamoring for them, and volunteering to help. What else are we supposed to do?)

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:03 pm
by mprusse
Well, actually the article is quoting from the Wall Street Journal. I was going to post that link but you have to have a subscription.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:26 pm
by russellhltn
riceboyler wrote:but the solid reality is that there are still MILLIONS of PCs sold every single day with Windows 8 on them. Just because they're not touch screens doesn't mean that there wouldn't be a need for Gospel Library or LDS Tools on them. I can't tell you how many times I've been using my laptop and would have much rather used LDS Tools to look up the contact information for somebody than have to go login to the website and use those tools. Perhaps it's silly, but there is a place for native apps, even on a PC.
The church discontinued the scriptures on CD some time ago. LDS Tools has never been ported to the Desktop/Laptop PC world.

If and when the church does anything in Windows, it will likely be for the tablet/phone platform. Any ability to run on a Desktop/Laptop would likely be closer to a happy side effect then a concentrated effort to make it run on such a machine.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:31 pm
by riceboyler
It would appear that there may be some misunderstanding about Windows 8 and it's reach. Windows 8 is for all PC's, not just tablets. Now, there are certainly parts of it that are better in a touch environment, but I use Windows 8 on my work laptop, our home desktop, a media server and my Samsung ATIV Tablet and could use the tools on any and all of those devices.

There would be no "focus on the tablet" as if it's done for Windows 8, it covers all devices. That explains the ridiculous market share we're talking about. Let's face it, even if another Windows tablet never got sold, you're still talking about an opportunity to get these apps onto over 100 million devices.

This is a bit of a chicken/egg conundrum: if people don't build apps because the market share isn't there, the market share won't get there to make it worth people's while to build apps. In this case, given the large number of developers both in the church's IT department and the volunteers who've agreed to help on these forums who can develop for C# (and probably have some XAML experience), I just don't understand why it's so difficult to get this project rolling.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:47 pm
by russellhltn
riceboyler wrote:Do you understand that Windows 8 is the same OS for both desktop/laptop and tablets? It's identical.
It may depend on the tablet. There's Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT. Not quite identical. But it's my understanding that Microsoft's aim is to make it easy to develop for both at the same time.

riceboyler wrote:So, if the Church does something for Windows 8, they'll be doing it for all PC's running Windows 8, not just tablets. Now do you see the market share that we're talking about? It's NOT just tablets...
But apparently the church hasn't shown any interest in the PC/Laptop. So I wouldn't expect that market share to count for much in deciding where to put development resources.

I'm just reporting my observation. I'm not in a position to change or influence the development effort. Nor is the forum a particularly good pathway to getting your wishes known by those in power.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:51 pm
by riceboyler
Well, I think that all of those who have posted in this thread would be very appreciative if we knew what a particularly good pathway was. If you could help that in area, I would be very grateful.

PS: Good call on 8 vs RT, but unless you're doing something that specifically requires Intel based code, anything developed for the Windows Store (read: XAML/C# or HTML5/WinJS) will work on either 8 or RT equally well.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:10 pm
by russellhltn
riceboyler wrote:Well, I think that all of those who have posted in this thread would be very appreciative if we knew what a particularly good pathway was. If you could help that in area, I would be very grateful.
I can only give our standard answer: It's the Priesthood Department that allocates resources and sets priorities. Generally the best route is to have your stake president take up the matter with the Area Authority to communicate it up the line.

In this particular case, I'm sure using your Win RT as much as possible to access lds.org would help tilt the usage stats in your favor. I have no idea if anyone looks at them, but I'm not sure where else the leaders would look to see what the members are using (as opposed to market stats in general).

Of course, if you can figure out how to get a bunch of Win RT tablets in the hands of some GAs, that would certainly help your cause. ;)

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:15 pm
by riceboyler
russellhltn wrote:
riceboyler wrote:Of course, if you can figure out how to get a bunch of Win RT tablets in the hands of some GAs, that would certainly help your cause. ;)
I like your thinking. I know at least two members of the church who work for Microsoft. Might have to drop a little bug in their ear.

Thank you for the suggestion. I know my Stake President is probably sick of hearing me harp about the lack of support for Windows based devices (phones/tablets), but I'll continue to beat on his (ear)drum.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:50 pm
by Mikerowaved
I'm not a developer, but one has to look at this from their perspective too, and in that light, Windows phones have a pretty poor track record. When WP7 came out, porting WM6 apps was a significant rewrite, and now just a few years later, WP7 is toast in favor of Win8/RT, which will take yet another significant rewrite. That's a tremendous amount of effort for <3% of the phone/tablet market. If I were in charge of limited development resources, I would probably want to take a long hard look at the Win8/RT market trends to see if it will really mature before committing a team of developers to it.

With that said, I have no idea if the church has started on Win8/RT development, or are taking a wait-and-see approach. I'm only commenting on what *I* would do given the situation.

Re: Any efforts for Windows 8 applications?

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:48 pm
by Huhenyo
I know it has been mentioned a few times, and I haven't actually used it on a Windows 8 tablet, but Bluestacks will allow you to run android apps in Windows 8. This might be the part time answer until a full app is developed for Windows 8. In my view, if Bluestacks works alright, it would be preferable to the new Windows 8 app simply because it would have more features. I know as far as the Android app is concerned, it has been years in the making. Currently it is pretty nice and has many features. It might take years to get all those same features into a Windows 8 app and by then Windows will have some new version.

Could a few of you who have the Windows 8 tablets give the rest of us a review of your experience using Bluestacks to run the android app? I think this would help immensely those needing to use the Gospel Library App in their wards.

I'm interested in getting a Windows 8 tablet, but I want to know that the Gospel Library will work through Bluestacks first or it is pretty much a deal breaker for me.

Thanks all!