The word 'metro' is a no no.
When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, they declared that it used their design language called ‘metro’. It didn’t run ‘metro apps’ or anything like that, it just ran apps that were designed using the ‘metro’ style.
It’s like saying I re-decorated my bathroom with a minimalist look; it doesn’t suddenly turn from being a ‘bathroom’ into a ‘minimalist’.
There has been some controversy over the use of the word ‘metro’ which has many people a little confused.
So, just to clarify:
- Metro is : A way of designing the user experience of an app.
- Metro is not : A type of app.
Just had to get that out there first.
Now, when Windows 8 came along & had its own type of full screen apps which also used the metro style, people started calling them metro apps. This was never right, but it became the norm and developers got used to it.
This is where it gets a bit more confusing, because apps which run on the desktop (which are desktop apps/programs, not full screen metro style apps) can also be designed and styled in a metro way, in keeping with Microsoft’s metro design language. One example is the Zune program, which has been around since before windows Phone. It has always had a metro look to it & is in part responsible for giving birth to the design language in the first place due to being the first program to really showcase it.
An important question is if these apps built for Windows 8 in a Metro style cant be called Metro Apps, what should they be called? Well, Microsoft say they should be called Windows 8 apps. This is boring & a bit stupid, as this would mean that Windows 8 apps run on Windows RT as well (Windows RT is the name of Windows which will run on computers with Arm based processors)
Maybe we should call the full screen, metro style apps “apps” and then anything that runs on the desktop “programs“? Again, this would be stupid and confusing as generally the words application and program are interchangeable.
Personally I think we should just stick with Windows app, Windows desktop app/program, Windows Phone app & be done with it as people could understand what each of those are, but even this has problems as it may bring confusion as to which versions of Windows or Windows Phone these apps run on.
Despite Microsoft changing the name, I have a strange feeling that developers will just continue calling metro style apps for Windows 8 ‘Metro apps‘. We better get used to it.