Input for Windows Phone 8

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

You have several options for user input in your Windows Phone app. These include the app user typing using the on-screen keyboard, interacting with the phone by using touch gestures, handwriting and drawing by using ink support, and speaking to the phone.

This topic contains the following sections.

On-screen keyboards

You can choose from several types of on-screen keyboards to use in your apps. Your choice likely will be based on the type of info the user is entering into the phone. By understanding the scope of input, you can assist the user by specifying an on-screen keyboard that is most useful for the type of info the user is inputting. For more info about on-screen keyboard support, see On-screen keyboard input scope index for Windows Phone 8 and How to change the on-screen keyboard input scope for Windows Phone 8.


Windows Phone users can interact with their phones using touch gesture. A touch gesture is defined as a user-initiated movement with one or more fingers on a touch screen. Controls that are supported on Windows Phone are gesture-aware. These controls support gestures such as tap, pan, and flick. You can handle simple gestures such as tap, double-tap, and tap-and-hold by using UIElement events that are present on almost all visual elements. For more info about gesture support, see Gesture support for Windows Phone 8.


You process touch input by handling manipulation events. By handling these events, you can move and scale objects in response to a user’s touch and multitouch input. Controls that are supported on Windows Phone are manipulation-aware. They support manipulation events such as the ManipulationStarted event, the ManipulationDelta event, and the ManipulationCompleted event. Manipulation events are supported on objects derived from UIElement. For more info about manipulation support, see How to handle manipulation events for Windows Phone 8.


Ink refers to handwriting and drawing content that a user inputs using touch. For more info about ink support, see Ink support for Windows Phone 8.


New in Windows Phone 8, users can interact with your app by using their voice. The types of voice interaction include voice commands, speech recognition, and speech synthesis (text-to-speech). For more info about speech support, see Speech for Windows Phone 8.


In-app speech support applies only to Windows Phone 8.

See Also

Other Resources

Navigation, orientation, and gestures for Windows Phone

Interactions and usability with Windows Phone

Speech for Windows Phone 8