Chapter 5. Orientation and Overlays


  • How to detect and react to changes in device orientation

  • Using states to define different layouts for each device orientation

  • Working with the Soft Input Panel

  • Creating Application Bar icons and menu items

  • How to maximize screen real estate by hiding the System Tray

Imagine that you are viewing photos or scrolling through a table of data. Both of these actions are best suited to a landscape view. Alternatively, if you are scrolling through a list of contacts or viewing your schedule for today, you are most likely going to be in portrait view. Your Windows Phone application needs to know how the device is oriented so that it can optimize the user experience.

Windows Phone supports several overlays that can affect how your application is rendered. When you design your application you need to know how the Application Bar and the Soft Input Panel (SIP) will affect how users can interact with your application.

In this chapter, you will learn how to handle changes to the orientation of the device, how to control both the Application Bar and the SIP, and how you can run your application in Full-Screen mode in order to hide the System Tray.


A large proportion of applications written for Windows Phone will be designed with an elongated, or as it's more commonly known, portrait screen in mind. This screen layout, where there is significantly more height than width, is great for displaying lists of information because you ...

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