How to add touch input to Windows 8 Metro applications

People who are used to using touchscreens on their phones and tablets are increasingly looking for the same intuitive connection with their main computers. It’s not that touch is a replacement for a keyboard and mouse, it’s more that it can be a valuable additional input method and users like being able to swap between the mouse and touchscreen depending on what feels more natural at any given time.

With the launch of Windows 8, touch based computing is likely to become more popular, especially as Ultrabook devices with integrated touchscreens enable people to use touch on the move without compromising on the keyboard.

Clearly, successful Windows applications will soon need to support touch input, otherwise it won’t be long before they start to feel ‘broken’ to users. To give you some pointers on getting started, David Medawar, a software engineer with Intel, has written a tutorial on enabling touch in Windows 8 Metro Style applications using C#. It includes code samples you can experiment with and culminates in the creation of a simple maths game for children, based on touch. The source code was written using the Windows 8 release preview from 31st May 2012 and the Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 Release Candidate, so it provides an early insight into how we’ll all be coding touch apps in the near future. Read more about enabling touch in Windows 8 here.

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