Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

Summary: With most developers around the world having to wait until BUILD to find out how to develop for Windows 8, some companies are already cranking out Windows 8 apps! See two of them here.

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So far, all we've seen of applications utilizing Windows 8's new user interface is what Microsoft has publicly demonstrated. But now, just 2-and-a-half weeks away from Microsoft's BUILD conference, I've managed to unearth a couple of portfolios showcasing the first Windows 8 apps to be seen in the wild by 3rd party, non-Microsoft entities -- one of them, being from USA Today. Click on the image below to view the gallery containing all the high-resolution images:
Windows 8 App Gallery

Windows 8 App Gallery

First, you have undoubtedly noticed that the USA Today Windows 8 app is being showcased inside of a tablet/slate device which contains a front-facing camera and a fair share of buttons along the edges. Though the device itself looks unfamiliar to me, perhaps one of you fine readers out there will recognize it. While I'm fairly confident this is just a mock-up image altogether, the fact that the designer has chosen to showcase the app as though it's running within Windows 8 in a tablet/slate device is rather telling of where they see the trend heading. To note, I discovered this image within the portfolio of Robbie Dillon, Art Director at USA Today. Alongside the Windows 8 app image, Robbie says the following:
In preparation for the Windows 8 release, this app is being built to take advantage of the touch-first, native environment of Windows 8, while retaining the look and feel of the Windows Metro UI and showcasing the content of USA Today.
Clearly, USA Today is looking to get their content in front of their readers on the Windows 8 platform in app form by the time the OS launches, but since this is just a prototype for the time being, the final tile layout could very well change (though it will probably look about the same). Likewise, it's currently unclear as to if they plan on making this application available as a download from their site or from the Windows app store that Microsoft is supposed to launch around the Windows 8 RTM time frame. Beneath the tablet/slate image is a series of five screen shots of a Windows 8 application sporting the Windows Metro UI. It appears to be a social application that's specific to traveling, including connecting with those around you, the ability to quickly sync files/contacts/information to/from your Windows Phone, and the ability to watch movies in the app. (If you haven't yet, make sure you click that image above so you can see all the images in the gallery in high resolution.) The developer of this Windows 8 social traveling app concept is a company called Jetstream Software, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner who has the following to say about their development with Windows:
Jetstream has worked extensively with each new Microsoft Operating system long before it is released. We've been building applications on Windows 7 since early betas. By the time most companies begin development on applications for a new operating system, we've been using it daily for months. We've learned the pitfalls, what works, and most importantly what does not.
Their WPF page also has some interesting multi-touch-based applications that may or may not be early versions of Windows 8 applications. If you're underwhelmed by what you're seeing above, trust me when I say I'm right there with you. Personally, I can see this UI getting really boring, really fast -- much like the OS X UI where everything essentially looks and feels the same, sans the core functionality of the programs you're running. Then again, perhaps all we've really seen is but a fraction of what the OS is capable of where the new UI is concerned. I'm all for clean looks and streamlined productivity, but at this point, I'm really interested in seeing just how far someone can take the Metro UI to significantly differentiate their app from all other apps utilizing the same platform. With Microsoft's BUILD conference just around the corner, I have no doubt those answers and more are to come. Likewise, I rest assured knowing that a deluge of dynamic application demos will soon replace that of the static prototypes we're left to flesh out from a bit of Google Fu. What do you think of Windows 8 so far? Are you looking forward to it or do you think Microsoft is being a bit too ambitious? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! -Stephen Chapman SEO Whistleblower

Related Windows 8 content here on ZDNet:

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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23 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    Definitely looking forward to Win8, it's partly the reason I've not yet got a tablet.
    Jayton
    • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

      @Jayton me too. I am excited carrying a tablet with Win8 OS
      iluvmsft
      • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

        @iluvmsft mee too it looks groundbreaking
        AdnanPirota
    • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

      @Jayton Same for me!
      Haku.Mele-22603574676003001158929484094830
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    When Metro is done right in an app...nothing and I mean nothing beats it. These apps look beautiful, elegant and equally functional...I cant wait to see more. I find it a little odd you would think it boring...Ive never seen a person suggest such a thing about an app you might use everyday such as this. Wouldnt any app become boring in its looks over time? For comparison sake lets look at the same app for iPad.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSLJyd5dI4A
    I would get bored of that after 5 minutes...their's nothing outstanding about it, but more importantly, why comment on it at all? As long as it gets the job done, why would you complain?
    timotim
    • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

      @timotim I agree
      PriMinister
      • I think the Win 8 USA today app ...

        @PriMinister,

        ... looks better than iPad USA app - based on what little of them I'm able to see.

        Image 3 in the <a href=http://www.zdnet.com/photos/windows-8-application-and-ui-gallery/6285613?seq=4&tag=photo-frame;get-photo-roto>image gallery</a>, of the Jetstream app looks boring, and appears to be little more than a straight transfer of the WP7 app to Win 8. Image 4 looks better, and shows the potential of what Win 8 apps can look like. Still, I think MS needs to show premiere and example apps, that exemplify design possibilities of Win 8 apps. Overall though, I think Win 8 apps have more potential - design-wise and functionally speaking - than iPad apps.
        P. Douglas
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    If you look at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2mfc3AdyUg&feature=related" target="_blank">Metro UI</a> up close, you'll see prior art.
    Return_of_the_jedi
    • Congratulations! You qualified into ...

      @Return_of_the_jedi
      Congratulations! You are boring. And now classified on my ignore list.

      [i]~~~~~~~~~~
      Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
      {Wise idiom}[/i]
      WinTard
      • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

        @WinTard You will not be missed.
        davisnewman
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    I can't wait for Windows 8. That's great that they're not sitting around before developing. Having these now might get the train going for consumers.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    I have been using a Windows Phone 7 for 9 months now, and I can assure you, the metro UI never gets boring. Ever.
    SimonvanderPol
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    *cough* http://mosaicproject.codeplex.com
    Ludacris1990
    • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

      @Ludacris1990
      *cough*
      "What Mosaic is not?
      Mosaic is not an attempt to fully copy Windows 8 UI.
      Of course it uses some ideas from Windows 8, just because we like them and we find it useful, but it doesn't mean anything and could be changed in the future.

      Mosaic is in alpha stage and can work unstable"

      From the same page, just in case you missed it.
      Ram U
      • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

        @Rama.NET yep I know. I am co developer. Its just another example of an application that uses the Metro UI as base :)
        Ludacris1990
      • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

        I like it, Ludacris.

        Excellent work.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • It looks like an HP Slate 500 with the HP logo airbrushed out

    The button placement is exactly the same.
    TheWerewolf
    • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

      @TheWerewolf, yes, it looks exactly like my HP Slate 500.
      grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    what I'm wondering is are these app's going to work on windows 7 if ur running a UI orogram??
    dnationsr
  • RE: Windows 8: Two new 3rd party apps using the new Metro UI

    I have Windows 7 on a Sony all-in-one touch screen and I am looking forward to Windows 8 and its touch capabilities. Will it go on a tablet and replace my iPad? we'll see, I am always open to new possibilities.
    davisnewman