RT Desktop Store

Information-32As I am currently writing my bachelor thesis, I am unfortunately not able to keep the app updated.

RT Desktop Store is a desktop application for Windows RT, that provides simple access to a centralized repository of applications that have been ported to the Windows RT operating system (Windows on ARM). The project was originally published at xda-developers.com where you can find more Information regarding Windows RT related topics.

Features

  • 55 apps packaged
  • install/run/uninstall packages
  • start screen tile creation
  • auto-updates itself upon Launch

Available Apps


These apps originally come from awesome people who dedicate their free time to port these usefull applications and libraries. A listing of currently ported apps can be found on xda-developers.com, where you can also post questions/problems concering those apps and also drop a ‘thank you’.

Installation & Usage

First and foremost: you need to jailbreak your device (Windows 8.0 only, hopefully 8.1 will follow soon). To install the store client, simply download and run this Installer from my Server. The store client will get installed under your Program Files folder, creating a new Folder named "RT Desktop Store". Installation consists of 2 steps:

  1. The Installer downloads and then and runs the launcher for the store Client
  2. The Launcher downloads the latest store client files and starts the RT Desktop store (this will happen every time you start
    the store client)

Packages that you install from the store will not be installed under your Program Files folder, but a Folder called "Program Files (RTDS)" (same parent directory as your Program Files folder). This is for not confusing the packages installed from the store with any existing applications in your Program Files folder. Uninstallers for all all installed packages will be held in the "__storepackages" folder of your RT Desktop Store installation directory (like C:\Program Files\RT Desktop Store__storepackages).

If you install an app, the store client will also create a Tile on your start screen, using the command line interface of OblyTile – if a tile is supported by the package. If no tile is specified by the package, the application will start after installation, so that you can at least pin it directly to your task bar. Unfortunately, programmatic removal of tiles via OblyTile is not possible as of yet, so you would need to unpin them yourself. The same goes for checking of already existing tiles. The same tile will just get created a gain. But the will most likely be pointing to the same file, so just delete all but one of the tiles.

Shortcuts

As long as i dont release a proper installer that creates shortcuts, start menu entries and/or a live tile, you will have to pin the store client yourself. I recommend you to create a shortcut to "RTDStore.exe", not "RTDStore.Launcher.exe", because the launcher application may get renamed during an update process. That aside, it doesn't matter if you run the launcher or the store client directly, the launcher will be called either way to check for updates.

Technical Concept

Basically, it's 3 things:

  1. have a repository with packages
  2. let a store client download
  3. unpack and install

I've gone a bit further and tried to make the client look & feel like the normal windows store app (still a lot to be done, but it really looks alike). The current repository is hosted on my server. While i have plans to release my the package creator too, I will first release the client, because the package creator is not that, erm, user friendly right now. In fact I have, because of my store client design, divided packaging and the repository, because the basic packages that can be build contain more that what is needed to simply install the application. After building a package you can add it to a repository (using a repository manager) which then will unwrap all that is only needed for the store client presentation of the package (tile images, screenshots, etc.) and present the rest of the package as downloadable file for the store client.

If you want to see it, there is a screenshot from my package builder application (in the slider below) that I will release once it has gotten a bit more robust (thinking of a simple package creation service that spawns new guids, so that ppl creating packages for the same application will get the same application guid to prevent presentation of duplicate entries by the store client)

Screenshots