After hovering around the top slot for a good few weeks (and a brief spell as a ‘paid’ app) I was very pleased to see that ‘learn Piano’ has the top spot this week in Lifestyle Apps.
Recent updates to the App include support for ‘Play To’, enabling lessons to be streamed to a nearby TV and the ability to download additional lessons via an in app purchase.
The App is currently in its ninth release (wow) with many more enhancements in planning – hopefully will help it to stay near (or on) the top of the heap!
Using the PlayTo functionality within a media application is a great way to enhance your media related app – but the methodology for the user to invoke the PlayTo feature in Windows 8 relies on a full working knowledge of the Charms bar (The user needs to select a device from the devices charm as he is about to play a video).
So in order to highlight this great feature I have added a new button on my Apps’ application bar that also invokes the PlayTo device menu:
NB If you don’t want to modify your StandardStyles.XAML – which is generally regarded as bad practice then you can add this mark-up to the XAML of your App.XAML file where it will also be automagically ‘found’!
The mark-up matches the mark-up for the existing “Play” button with only the text changing (to ‘Play To’)
And the button in your media page then calls the following method which invokes the ‘PlayTo’ Devices menu:
So after a very flat and uninspiring period after the launch of Windows 8 looking at my own stats today it is clear that things have started to change over the last Month or so – with a steep increase in downloads (which now total in excess of 37,000)
Hopefully this increase will continue a pace over the coming year.
Interestingly a similar graph for my Windows Phone Apps shows a much steadier increase over the same period:
Windows 8 Hardware
At the weekend I had the fortune to visit the ‘gadget show live’ event in Birmingham and was particularly impressed with the variety and quality of the Windows 8 devices that were on display (I particularly liked this Sony device that was equally usable in a tablet and laptop/desktop configuration and powerful enough for almost any scenario)
It was nice to be able to get hands on with all these devices in one place. (It did make me think that our PC retailers are not doing as effective a job as they might).