(For an overview of this series, please read this post.)
If you know me and my passion for cloud computing, you knew this post was coming. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have one device. You probably have a minimum of two (phone and laptop). At the time of this writing I have five devices on my desk (two Windows Phones, a laptop, an iPad, and a tablet running Windows 8). For me, the best apps are the ones that stay in sync across all of my devices (regardless of platform). The ones that come immediately to my mind are OneNote and Kindle. I use them all the time and it’s nice to know I can make a change on one device and that change will propagate to all devices via the cloud. Make sure your apps do the same.
Create a continuous experience across devices by roaming data that lets people pick up a task right where they left off.
Leverage Microsoft accounts and the per-user cloud storage to store and roam settings, state, and a small amount of user content.
Examples of app settings that are good to roam:
- Celsius-versus-Fahrenheit preferences in a weather app
- RSS feeds that users subscribed to in a news app
- Favorite teams in a sports app
Examples of app states that are good to roam:
- The furthest position read in a reading app
- The last checkpoint or move completed in a game
- The last track played in a music app
While the settings and states may not apply to the apps you have in mind, odds are that if you really think about your app has some settings and states that should roam with your user as they move from device to device.
Next up, give Metro a hug.