Understanding and Using Gestures in Your Windows Phone Applications

Friday Jun 10th 2011 by Vipul Vipul Patel
Share:

You no longer need a stylus to operate a Smartphone; Gestures are the new normal. Application developers targeting the Windows Phone platform should be aware of how to work with this new type of user input in their application. This article walks you through the gesture support in Windows Phone platform and how you can handle gestures in your application code.

Introduction

Smartphones have evolved from being stylus driven to being gesture driven. Ever since Apple launched the IPhone, gesture based input has become the dominant form of interaction with these devices. When Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 in November 2010, the latest offering from Redmond had full support for gesture based input. Both the application development platforms for Windows Phone - Silverlight and XNA have full support for gesture based input.

Gesture Support in Silverlight Based Windows Phone Applications

 

Silverlight based Windows Phone applications handle the following events, which enable gesture support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event Name

When does it trigger

ManipulationStarted

When user touches the screen

ManipulationDelta

When user moves the finger(s) on the screen

ManipulationCompleted

When user removes the finger(s) from the screen

All Silverlight controls for Windows Phone platform handle and support gestures.

Gesture Support in XNA Based Windows Phone Applications

XNA has a more action-driven support for gestures. Different gestures are supported, such as Tap, DoubleTap, Hold, FreeDrag, VerticalDrag, HorizontalDrag, DragComplete, Flick, Pinch and PinchComplete.

Hands-On

Let us get hands-on and create a simple Silverlight based Windows Phone application that handles gestures.

Create a new Silverlight for Windows Phone project called WindowsPhoneGesturesSilverlightDemo.

Add a TextBlock on the MainPage.xaml.

Now, go to the properties for the MainPage.xaml and double check the event called ManipulationDelta to create the event.

Double check ManipulationDelta
Figure 1: Double check ManipulationDelta

Add the following snippet in the code for the event.

private void PhoneApplicationPage_ManipulationDelta(object sender, ManipulationDeltaEventArgs e)
        {
            textBlock1.Text = "Last touched at " + e.DeltaManipulation.Translation.X.ToString() + "," + e.DeltaManipulation.Translation.Y.ToString();
        }

In the above snippet, we are printing the manipulation delta from the last time the manipulation was executed. So, if we move our finger across the screen in short burst, we should see the TextBlock being updated at short intervals and at each update, it provides the delta in the movement of the finger.

Executing the Test Application

Compile and run the application. In the emulator, scroll the mouse with the left button clicked to fire the events that update the TextBlock.

Summary

In this article, we saw how we can handle gestures in our Silverlight based Windows Phone application. I hope you have found this information useful.

Share:
Home
Mobile Site | Full Site
Copyright 2017 © QuinStreet Inc. All Rights Reserved