WYSIWYG Designers for PocketPC and Smartphone

Not long ago, all Pocket PC devices had the same size screen, and all Smartphone devices had the same size screen. In both cases, all devices always displayed as portrait. In Windows Mobile 5.0, different devices are now supported for different screen resolutions. Devices are available with portrait, landscape, or square displays, and some devices support dynamically changing the display between portrait and landscape layouts.

To simplify the process of designing applications that target these richer display options, Visual Studio 2005 has added several new features to the UI designer, such as anchoring and docking of controls. Anchoring designates that a control remains a fixed distance from the edge of the form. As the form size and orientation change, the control adjusts its position to remain the same distance from the form's edge. A developer can anchor a control to one or more edges.

Docking a control designates that the control positions itself directly against the form's edge and that the control occupies the entire edge. Developers can dock multiple controls against the same edge to create a stacked effect. As the user rotates the screen, a docked control automatically adjusts to always occupy the designated edge.

For managed applications that target both Pocket PC and Smartphone, the Visual Studio 2005 user interface designer is now device-aware and fully understands the difference in screen and control capabilities between the two devices. Plus, the designer toolbox automatically adjusts, so that only controls that work with the currently selected device are available.

Visual Studio 2005 even goes one step further. Developers can literally drag forms originally designed for Pocket PC from the Pocket PC designer to the Smartphone designer, and Visual Studio 2005 automatically updates the form for Smartphone. Visual Studio 2005 adjusts the control sizes and offers appropriate substitutions for form controls that are not supported by SmartPhone.

The PocketPC in Landscape orientation.