Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Do Win 8 Phone and Surface RT Apps all play on Win 8 PC?

  1. #1

    Do Win 8 Phone and Surface RT Apps all play on Win 8 PC?


    I'm told that apps available for the iPad do not all necessarily play on a MacBook. Not sure if this is true. What is the situation with Win 8 devices? Do all apps meant to play on a Win 8 phone or on a Win 8 tablet (including the Surface RT) also play on a regular PC fitted with Win 8? I can imagine that some programs meant to be played on a PC fitted with Win 8 won't play on a Win 8 phone. But do all apps meant to play on a Win 8 phone -- except phone-specific apps -- play on a Win 8 PC as well? I'm thinking of all game apps, but also of phone & tablet utilities that might be handy on a PC. Does the Win 8 exercise aim to fully integrate and standardise the use of Windows over diverse devices? Or do I have this wrong?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Most apps in the Windows store will work identically on a tablet and pc (even RT). There are some apps known as "hybrid" apps that are really Win32 apps that have a Metro veneer. Chrome and IE are like this. Those kinds of apps won't work on RT (well, obviously IE does, but I mean apps that are like that).

    Windows 8 Phone apps are currently not compatible, but Microsoft will have a new version out soon that will bridge the compatibility. Unlike previous versions of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8 is based on the same RT OS as the tablets, but has limitations based on the reduced capabilities of the phone that Microsoft is currently working around.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    you have to compile the program for both Windows RT (ARM) and Windows 8 (x86/x64). but the programming tools makes this almost trivial.

    so it's possible for Metro programs that work in Windows 8 to not work in Windows RT. but since it's a relatively trivial process, most of the apps do run on both platforms. I believe if you see it in the Windows Store, it's compatible as the store app should be able to distinguish what OS you are running and show which apps are available and compatible for your region.
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  4. #4


    This sounds promising. I get the feeling that the new and upcoming devices playing all (or almost all) Win 8 apps & programs are still sorting themselves out. Perhaps one should wait another year before buying the best hybrid (or convertible, or all-in-one) tablet/laptop. The Surface Pro to be launched soon, is the one I have my eye on. My idea is to park a sizeable monitor, mouse-keyboard set, scanner/printer, plus external drives around the Surface Pro, all connected by means of Bluetooth to the Surface Pro. That way I would have a large "desktop computer" with at its core a small, super-mobile Win 8 tablet. Would such an arrangement be technically possible?
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  5. #5


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    You have to pull the trigger sometime. There is always a reason to wait. A newer version is around the corner, a better do-dad will be next month, etc..etc.. At some point you just have to go with it or you will never do it.
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  6. #6


    Do you have the answer to my last question? The question was: "My idea is to park (on my desk) a sizeable monitor, mouse-keyboard set, scanner/printer, plus external drives around the Surface Pro, all connected by means of Bluetooth to the Surface Pro. That way I would have a large "desktop computer" with at its core a small, super-mobile Win 8 tablet. Would such an arrangement be technically possible?" I specifically wonder if for instance a large flat screen computer monitor and external hard drives could be connected by Bluetooth to a Surface Pro (or another tablet running the full version of Win 8).
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  7. #7


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Bluetooth really isn't designed for video. It's too slow. Many new devices do have wireless projection capability, but this is Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth is designed for short distance, low data volume. Keyboards, speakers, microphones, a data link channel.. you wouldn't want to have your primary storage be on Bluetooth either, as it's much too slow.

    Bluetooth 4 has a maximum bandwidth of 3Mb/s (that's Mega, not Giga). that's about the speed of very very very slow cable modem speeds, and as slow as 3G.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    the Surface Pro will have a mini DisplayPort to hook up monitors. it also has a USB 3.0 port. it has the bluetooth for mice and keyboards.

    ideally, you'd probably hook up a USB 3.0 hub to connect multiple USB devices to the Surface Pro in a desktop scenario. That's how I'd hook up my scanner, my external hard drives, my HD-PVR, etc.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    For apps, technically no, Windows Phone 8 apps don't run in Windows 8. Basically, since the two are built from the same code, coding the apps from Windows Phone 8 to Windows RT and then to 8 is real easy. The developing team behind VLC media player are currently working on an RT and Windows 8 style app of the Desktop version. They weren't planning on a Windows Phone version until they saw how real easy it would be to code the RT app to Windows Phone 8.

    As for the Surface Pro setup, yes, you can fulfill the promise of Windows 8 and tablet PCs. You'd preferably need a USB 3.0 hub, of which you can get a wireless Logitech mouse and keyboard and use a unifying receiver. Then have the external drive connected as well. Use the Display port on the Surface, get an HDMI adapter to connect it. BAM! Ultra flexibility, full convenience of three devices in one, the true promise of Windows 8!
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  10. #10


    I already have one laptop computer, a powerful i7 machine with 17 inch monitor, hooked up via power-assisted USB hub to five other devices. The size, weight and battery requirements of the i7 machine, forming the "core" of the system parked on my desk, limits its transportability. I find USB connections to be unstable, especially with 5+ devices being connected, and especially at the connection points where USB plugs are inserted and pulled out regularly. The biggest headache is caused by the USB "ports" -- the female part of each USB connection -- because they become progressively less tight as USB plugs are being inserted and pulled out. These USB ports are usually welded to the motherboard, so you can't bend or pinch them to restore a tight fit. To avoid the steady deterioration of such USB connections, I have a short connecting USB wire with a female port on the one end. I avoid pulling the USB plug on the other end from the USB port welded to the motherboard as much as possible. But the whole thing remains unsteady, with frequent unexpected disconnections, and an ever-increasing loosening of the USB port welded onto the motherboard. For these various reasons I am keen on buying the smallest possible "core" computer, and on switching to Bluetooth connections as far as possible. Thanks very much for the info about the limitations of Bluetooth. It has sobered up my vision of what is possible. Some dreams need to fall apart to some degree. It would seem that some Win 8 Apps can't be played on all Win 8 devices yet, but that progress is being made to make many of those playable after all. As I've said in the beginning, waiting another year before changing to new Win 8 devices might be a good idea. We seem to be in an experimental phase with new Win 8 devices.
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Do Win 8 Phone and Surface RT Apps all play on Win 8 PC?
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