Category - Windows 10

  1. AppUrlHandlers

    The promise of web-to-app linking is that a developer can associate an app with a website. That way when you load the website the app will launch. Really cool!image_4

    However, the sad truth of the matter is that you have to do a Windows Key – R to Run the website. Normally I, and I assume most people, go to their browser to view websites. There’s simply no point in running the web page. It would be just as easy using a protocol like vudu: to launch the app from this Run dialog.

    There is a note in the blog post that reads: 


    I’m on the Fall Creators Update now and I’m not seeing this behavior. Was this a feature that was dropped? Could someone update the blog post?

    Getting to the point where all of this works was fairly simple. Add an extension to the app manifest. Then add a JSON file to the well-known folder on the website. Finally tweak the OnActivated method of the app to handle whatever URL comes our way. It’s all straight forward and spelled out in the documentation.

    I just don’t see the point of this when we have Protocol handlers already. What do you think?

  2. Installing Windows 10 from a Flash Drive

    8 and a half years ago I wrote about Installing Windows from a Flash Drive. These instructions have served very well for all that time. Like most things, however, times change and instructions that used to work need tweaking.

    I recently got a Microsoft Surface Laptop and it’s a great machine. The first thing I did was to upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro. Then I installed a Windows Insiders build on it and that’s when things started going bad. All Win32 apps would fail to launch. Making it seem like this machine has gone back to Windows 10 S.

    So I decided that a fresh install of the OS was needed. However, when I built the flash drive to install the OS refused to boot from it. Someone in a forum suggested that I had secure boot enabled in the BIOS and that’s why the flash drive wouldn’t boot. Looking deeper into this situation I found that you need to use the GPT format instead of MBR.

    Okay, let’s try that. Here’s how to prepare the USB drive now. From an elevated command line run these commands:

    1. diskpart
    2. list disk
    3. select disk x
    4. clean
    5. convert gpt
    6. create partition primary
    7. select partition 1
    8. active
    9. format fs=fat32 quick
    10. assign
    11. exit
    12. robocopy D:\ E:\ /MIR

    As with the old instructions, we are assuming that the ISO image is mounted on D: and that the new thumb drive is E:. If either of these assumptions are wrong then modify line 12 accordingly.

    Again, line 2 will list out the disks and you have to decide which one is your thumb drive. This number goes in line 3 where the x is.

    Once all this is done, select boot to USB Device in the UEFI and good luck!

  3. Windows CompactOverlay Mode

    The Creators Update of Windows is coming soon. One of the new features coming with it is a way to keep your UWP app on the screen above all other windows. It’s called CompactOverlay mode, but you probably know it better as Picture-in-Picture.

    All of the examples that I’ve found online of how to do CompactOverlay mode (all? I mean all one of them) is written in C#. In my work on a day to day basis I work in JavaScript. Converting from C# to JavaScript in this case is fairly easy.

    First you want to check and see if CompactOverlay mode is supported:


    Then you’ll want to switch to the CompactOverlay mode. In this example it’s based on a click of a button:


    What this will give you is a small window containing your app! That’s the first step. From here you can customize the experience by specifying the height and width of the window:


    There are other great things you can do like specify a different display to be used while in CompactOverlay mode. I recommend reading the blog entry on Microsoft and if you have any questions about conversion to JavaScript give me a shout @spatacoli.