The UWP Community Toolkit was created with one purpose – simplifying the Windows 10 app creation process. Though very much in its infancy, the toolkit has already received three major updates, and Microsoft has now rolled out a fourth.
The latest toolkit release has a focus on accessibility and stabilization. Though it does contain some new features, most build on existing infrastructure.
One example is more accessibility options for each control. They can now be used via the keyboard, mouse, or touch input. This combines with better Narrator support so screen readers have less trouble.
Microsoft also rolled out new more support tools in the form of a new NuGet package. Microsoft.Toolkit.Developertools introduces the following:
- “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.”
UWP Community Toolkit 1.4 Features
Of course, there are also plenty of new features, and we've listed the major ones below:
- “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.”
The toolkit works with any app, with a target of Windows 10.0.10586 or higher. You can find the full list of changes on GitHub.