It's possible to develop Windows 8 apps on a non-touch machine. However, if you are going to design and build apps that function smoothly in a touch environment, you should become familiar with Windows 8 as a user. It's a good idea to acquire a touch-based Windows 8 machine, and use it regularly for a few weeks. Gestures such as swipes and tap/hold need to become second nature to you.
If you've been using a touch-based smartphone or tablet with a different OS, you'll be familiar with some touch conventions. However, Windows 8 has its own conventions for touch, and you'll need to be fluent with them.
You particularly need to understand how Windows presents its main visual elements. Some elements are managed by the operating system, and your application will need to interact with them. Other elements have a standard location, but vary by application, and you will need to create our own version.
When a Windows 8 style application is running, there are three main elements that can be brought into view with swipes from the sides of the screen: a charms bar (sometimes referred to as the start bar), an app bar, and a navigation bar. Figure 13.1 shows all three of these elements in a screen shot of Internet Explorer, with the browser content removed for clarity. Each of them is brought into view by swiping from their respective side: right for charms, bottom for app bar, and top for navigation bar. If your app has both an app bar and a nav bar, bringing either ...