Alignment grid in Universal WinRT apps

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Alignment. So important and yet often forgotten by so many developers, especially the ones who don’t work with designers. Remember Grid? It’s here to stay with Windows Phone 8.1 and also with Universal apps. And yet, if you create a Silverlight Windows Phone 8.1 project, you get the alignment grid out of the box, but not in Universal apps. What if there was a Universal solution?

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Show a context menu using MenuFlyout on Windows Phone 8.1

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If you’re used to developing apps for Windows Phone, then you probably used a ContextMenu as a part of your ListBox, LongListSelector or some other UI control at some point. In new, Windows Phone 8.1 WinRT apps, there’s a much much easier way to get your context menu by using Flyouts – MenuFlyout to be exact, in the old-new ListView/GridView controls!

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Measuring startup performance when using .NET Native Developer Preview

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I got really excited about .NET Native technology last week when I first heard about it during Build. I wanted to measure performance in my Windows Store apps to see how it can improve it (especially startup times!), and in order to do that I was going to user EventSource and PerfView. Unfortunately, something didn’t work, but the team helped me go around it!

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MetroGridHelper performance with Windows 8.1

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MetroGridHelper is a small helper class for XAML WinRT apps developed by Mark Monster which helps build perfectly aligned apps. As far as I remember, the idea for a metro grid helper goes back to early Windows Phone 7 development and a version for Windows Phone by Jeff Wilcox (Mark also credits him in his blog post). I’ve been noticing performance issues with it in Windows 8.1 apps during loading. Basically, splashscreen stays on much longer. Even though you should only be using MetroGridHelper while testing your apps so it won’t make you fail during certification, it can still be somewhat annoying if you’re testing your app a lot. If you’re seeing the same issue – here’s how to fix it!

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#wpdev – which open source projects do you use?

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I am preparing a session about open source in Windows Phone development and I’d like to hear from the awesome #wpdev community! I am a real fan of open source in #wpdev and I admire people who invest their free time, energy and knowledge to make things easier for others. So, if you use open source in your apps, which ones are your favorite? Are there any that you add immediately after creating a new project?

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Windows 8.1 Developers Contest in 12 countries

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For the last couple of years, larger app contests for Windows Phone and Windows 8 devs in Croatia were held approximately every year or so. This year is not different – a Windows 8.1 Developers Contest is organized, only this year it’s much much bigger. There are more prizes than ever, and Croatia is just a part of the big picture – participants from 12 countries can apply! Read more to find out about the countries and prizes!

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