The UWP Community Toolkit is on its fourth release today. The previous version was packed with new controls, so we decided to focus on stabilizations and improvements on existing controls and services in version 1.4.
Among the improvements: better accessibility for all controls according to our contribution rules. Now every control can be used with keyboard, mouse and touch inputs. We also ensured that the controls provide enough information for Narrator to make them compatible with screen readers.
We also introduced a new project (and a new NuGet package) called Microsoft.Toolkit.Uwp.DeveloperTools. The goal of this project is to provide support tools for developers. For this first version of the project we started with two controls:
- FocusTracker: Can be used in your application to display information about the current focused control (name, type, etc.). This is extremely useful when you want to ensure that your application is accessible.
- AlignmentGrid: Can be used to display a grid, helping you align controls on your pages.
Developer tools are not meant to be deployed with your app, but rather used during development to help improve the overall quality of your app.
Along with the above improvements and stabilizations, we also added new features to this release. Here are a few of the main additions:
- Carousel: A new control that presents items in a list, where the selected item is always in the center and other items are flowing around it. This reacts not only to the content but also to layout changes, so it can adapt to different form factors automatically. The carousel can be horizontal or vertical.
- ViewExtensions: ApplicationViewExtensions, StatusBarExtensions & TitleBarExtensions provide a declarative way of setting AppView, StatusBar & TitleBar properties from XAML.
- NetworkHelper: Provides functionality to monitor changes in network connection, and allows users to query for network information without additional lookups.
- Saturation: Provides a behavior to selectively saturate a XAML element. We also introduced the CompositionBehaviorBase to ease creation of new composition-based behaviors (Blur now uses this).
- Twitter streaming API support: Twitter Service was missing support for Twitter’s streaming service; we added support for live tweets and events.
- Search box for Sample App: The new Sample App allows you to search for a sample directly from the main menu.
This is only a partial list of the changes in UWP Community Toolkit 1.4. For a complete overview of what’s new in version 1.4, please read our release note on GitHub.
As a reminder, the toolkit can be used in any app (across PC, Xbox One, mobile, HoloLens and Surface Hub devices) targeting Windows 10 November Update (10.0.10586) or above. The few features that rely on newer OS updates are clearly marked in the documentation and in the Sample App.
If you would like to contribute, please join us on GitHub!