I’ve been quite silent these past few weeks and that’s because I worked hard to revamp the VLC Windows Store version, which is now a universal app.
I took my time to ask myself the correct questions: the first beta version (which I personally found slow and buggy) is released, what should I do then?
Should I target Windows 8.1 only and drop Windows 8.0 support?
- Yes, the update is free, more than half users are on running 8.1, I’m sorry for the rest of the users but it’s time to update.
Should I prioritize the work on touch interface, desktop interface?
- Both. I think the app has just to be responsive! A great design is a design that adapts itself depending on the device you're using, while keeping the same user experience.
Should I rebuild the app from scratch, again? Or should I try to fix bugs one by one and improve the current design?
- The first possibility is the faster but also the most dangerous one. So I decided to take my time, and build a great universal app based on the work we have done so far. I cleaned the code, which is now shared between Windows Phone and Windows at a 90 percent level, and have the exact same features, except DLNA support on WP (that might change).
The XAML code is nearly the same. I worked really hard to make a design that works well on phones, phablets, tablets, laptops and desktops thanks to the upcoming windowed mode Windows Threshold is rumored to bring (I tested with Stardock Modern Mix).
Performance-wise, the app is a lot faster than before, more responsive on tablet, and I am trying to have the best responsiveness possible on low-end phones like the Lumia 520 which has a big marketshare in the WP-world.
Some geniuses are also upgrading the VLC wrapper from Direct2D to Direct3D, which will bring another bunch of performance improvements.
The Windows 8.1 version is nearly ready to ship. It should be released very soon on the Store (spoiler: not this week, I’m really busy in Seattle with the MSP Summit and Imagine Cup finals).
What about Windows Phone and Windows RT?
- Well, we still have problems with the ARM compiler, that the team needs to fix. Once this is done, we will press the ‘release’ button.
Enough talk: here are some current screenshots. Please note, these are not mockups but real code working, and that design is not finished yet. Some things here and there might change.