UWP Community // Launch 2019

Arlo
Arlo
Jun 7 · 7 min read
Graphic courtesy of Yoshi Askharoun

Today marks the first annual Launch event. Brought to you by the UWP Community discord server, a group of enthusiasts and developers who gather to share and discuss everything UWP and Microsoft.

This server has especially become a place for developers to help other developers, get feedback from users, and provide development updates. As such, it has attracted some very talented people. The devs behind MyTube, Huetro, Mixplay for Mixer, Quarrel, OneLocker, Nightingale, and many more have gathered in the UWP Community discord server.

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).

Today, I am please to announce the culmination of thousands of collective hours of work. We are launching 3 brand new apps, 1 major update, and 1 browser extension to wrap them all together.

MyTube 4.0 (Beta)

The highly praised YouTube client, MyTube, is getting a massive overhaul, both inside and out. Today, MyTube 4.0 goes into public beta

From the developer (Christopher Blackman / Ryken):

Hi everyone! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have myTube 4.0 launch this summer! This will be the app’s biggest update yet, with loads of new features, a new UI, reworked navigation, unity between Xbox and PC/mobile, and more!

I’m particularly proud myTube’s navigation shell UI, I’ve been working on it since October 2018 (and it’s still not done!), but it’s one of the coolest UI elements I’ve ever made, especially on mobile. myTube 4.0 will also mark the first major design change to the player controls ever since myTube first launched back in 2013. I hope you’re looking forward to its launch as much as I am!

Legere

Legere is a modern, powerful and full-featured Reddit client, built from the ground up as a UWP app and available exclusively on Windows 10, developed by Sergio Pedri (Creator of OneLocker) and Avishai Dernis (Lead developer of Quarrel).

In addition to all the advanced capabilities expected from a serious Reddit client, like support for multiple accounts, background notifications and the ability to view different media types directly from the app (eg. YouTube videos and Imgur albums), Legere also includes numerous features to make sure that the official website won’t be missed when using the app. This UWP client has full support for the new sidebar for subreddits, it supports multireddits (which can also be subscribed to), correctly renders all the markdown from the official Reddit.com specs, and more.

It also provides some unique features, like a complete markdown editor with live preview and an album creation tool, and it leverages the power of the Windows 10 platform to provide some exclusive options, like the ability to open videos in a compact overlay window, live tiles, Windows Timeline and Jump List support, and this is not even the full list!

From the developer (Sergio Pedri):

We’ve been hard at work over the last few months to build Legere from the ground up, without saying a word to anyone, and we’re super excited to finally share the results with all of you guys from the community! We really hope you’ll enjoy using this new Reddit client, and we’re looking forward to hearing what you guys think about the app!

Feel free to reach us at r/LegereApp for all the updates!

Download free from Microsoft 3

Spotimo (Beta)

Spotimo is a modern, fully featured Spotify client for Windows 10 and W10 Mobile that combines the best of Spotify and Groove Music.

From the developer (Arlo Godfrey):

In November 2018, I was doing what most Groove Music refugees had done at least once. I opened Groove and admired its UI, wishing Spotify’s was just as good. Groove is beautiful, modern, clean and quick, and it’s everything I’ve come to love about a good UWP app. For over a year, I had hoped Spotify would eventually make a true UWP app as good as Groove Music once was.

That day, I had accepted that Spotify would never create what we all so desperately wanted. Knowing that the best way to make something happen is to do it yourself, I jumped into the world of UWP Development with my only experience being as a Web dev. With ample help from the community, and over 7 months (400+ hours) of work, I created a UWP Spotify client from the ground up, with an evolution of Groove’s (slightly aged) UI.

Today, I’m launching Spotimo into an open beta, for everyone to try. Spotify Premium users get native Spotify streaming, and free users are supported via the experimental MyTube Embed Player.

Feedback and bug reports are appreciated, and since I am legally not allowed to charge for the app or use ads, donations would greatly help speed up development. See in app for details.

Download Free from Microsoft

Kanban Ink

Kanban for Windows 10, with an Ink Whiteboard

From the developer (Rob):

My favourite place to plan is a whiteboard. However I found I ended up with photos of whiteboards in my camera roll, but not much of this in my tasks. Things weren’t easily found. I couldn’t go back and edit the whiteboards as things changed.

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.

This is just the start for Kanban Ink, so try it now for free from the Microsoft Store to help guide the future of this concept.

Download Free from Microsoft

Bringing it all together — UWP Companion (Beta)

The UWP Companion is a brand new browser extension to serve as a companion to various 3rd party UWP apps, enabling an smooth, automatic transition from Website to App

From the developer (Arlo Godfrey):

This project is an evolution of another project of mine called the MyTube Companion, whose sole purpose was to redirect from YouTube’s website to the MyTube app. By using a third party app, you gained access to features that were unavailable to a web browser or that the big guys don’t want to implement, such as Picture in picture mode and ad-free viewing.

With cooperation from many third party UWP developers, a touch of Fabric UI, and little elbow grease, the MyTube Companion was completely torn apart and put back together again in the form of the UWP Companion. From the code that turns the gears to the design of the User Interface, everything has been turned up to 11.

At launch, the UWP Companion will support these apps: Spotimo, Xpotify, Legere, Reddplanet, Mixplay for Mixer, Quarrel, and MyTube. It will launch on Chromium browsers first, and launch on Firefox once ready.

All developers are welcome and encouraged to contribute to the UWP Companion by adding their app to the list or keeping their client’s companion code up to date. The extension was built to be highly modular, and a new client can be added in less than 20 lines of code. See the Github page for more details

See UWP Companion on Github
Download for Chrome

Going open source

The UWP Companion is launching as open source software, but Quarrel, a UWP Discord client, is an existing app that is opening to the community.

Quarrel

From the developer, Avishai Dernis:

Quarrel is a long developed UWP third party Discord client with a respectable user base. It also is a complete mess in a code base. In an attempt to clean up faster, and give back to the community, all Quarrel code will become open-source on GitHub. For a while, the developers will just be adding comments and cleaning up small issues here and there but the goal is a total refactor with public code. As a result, the client should see more rapid changes and may be a strong basis for others on UWP projects

Download Free from Microsoft
See Quarrel on GitHub

Join us!

We all know that the Microsoft Store could use a few more good apps, and today, we’re adding to the list of good apps. We enjoy developing for the platform, helping new people along the way and learning a few things ourselves.

If you’re a developer, new or veteran, or are just enthusiastic about UWP, then we HIGHLY encourage you to join the UWP Community Discord server.

Join the UWP Community Discord Server

We also give a home to apps that are too small to warrant an entire discord server, where users can provide feedback and developers can stay on top of the needs of their user base, plus other perks.

Next year?

This is just year one of Launch. 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.

This year’s event was coordinated by Arlo Godfrey (aka Arlodotexe).

Arlo

Written by

Arlo

Creating to live and living to create // Web & UWP Developer / Thing Maker / Music addict

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