Microsoft Announces “Largest Update since launch” to UWP Community Toolkit

Microsoft released the UWP Community Toolkit back in August 2016, in an effort to make it easier for developers to build Universal Windows Platform apps. In October 2016, Microsoft announced the first update to the UWP Community Toolkit (update 1.1), which added support for the LinkedIn and Microsoft Graphs services, as well as Blade and GridSplitter controls.

Now the company has announced another update to its toolkit, claiming it to be the “largest update” since its launch. UWP Community Toolkit 1.3 brings a great number of new features, such as ten new Controls, support for two of Microsoft’s services, and three new animations.

Huge developer community contribution

What makes this update more special is the fact that according to Microsoft, over 82% of contributions came from the company’s developer community. Microsoft notes that 59 contributors assisted in creating update 1.3.

The UWP Community Toolkit can be utilized in any app across PC, Xbox One, Surface Hub, HoloLens and Windows 10 Mobile, provided that they are running the Windows 10 November Update (build 10586) or above. The toolkit is entirely open-source, and you can find the code on GitHub here.

The change log for UWP Community Toolkit 1.3 is as follows:

  • “Controls. Several new controls were added in this release, including some very popular requests from the community:
    • WrapPanel. Positions child elements in sequential position from left to right or top to bottom, breaking content to the next line.
    • TextboxMask and TextBoxRegex (attached properties). Allows setting common or custom masks (like telephone numbers) for input.
    • SurfaceDialTextboxHelper (attached property). Extends any Textbox control to be controlled directly from a Surface Dial.
    • MarkdownTextBlock. Embeds and renders in real-time markdown syntax.
    • TileControl. Enables repeatable tile content.
    • ScrollHeader. Builds upon FadeHeader and enables Quick Return, Sticky and Fade behaviors.
    • Expander. Provides an extendable container to show/hide any content by clicking the header.
    • AdvancedCollectionView: Builds upon CollectionView and easily sorts and filters collections before displaying them.
    • Loading control. Shows an animation with some content when the user should wait in some tasks of the app.
  • Services
    • OneDrive service. Roam user files through the new OneDrive service with a simplified API model (similar to StorageFolder). The new service makes it easy to authenticate OneDrive users and more in the same consistent way you have come to expect from the toolkit services.
    • Microsoft Translator Service. Translate text in 60 languages supported by Microsoft Translator Services. The free tier supports up to 2 million requests per month.
    • We’ve added support for geographical metadata to tweets.
  • Animations
    • Light. Add light effects to your page or controls to draw user attention.
    • Reorder grid animations (attached property). Add smooth animations when resizing a grid view.
    • Parallax Service. Allows to create a parallax effect for items contained within an element that scrolls like a ScrollViewer or ListView.
  • Notifications
    • New toast features. Allows group toasts notifications (only available on Creator Update).
    • With the support of the community, we started the journey to add accessibility capabilities to all the controls in the toolkit. You can track progress here.
  • Sample App
    • The Sample App now has embedded documentation (using the new Markdown control).
    • The Sample App provide pointers to a few external OSS resources, for example, the newly released Windows SDK for Google Analytics.
    • It is now available for preview on Xbox One.
  • UserVoice
    • The community can now submit and vote for new features on UserVoice.