The Devices Charm

This charm is used to send/share data to the peripheral devices connected to your system. A peripheral device may be a secondary monitor of a dual-screen setup, a printer, sound system, a TV connected to the machine, etc.

How to Invoke It

  • Summon the Charms Bar, and select the “Devices” button.

OR

  • Simply hit Win + K key combo.

Requirements/Constraints

  • This charm is exclusive to Metro apps. The traditional apps have to be content with what the current ways.
  • The metro app needs to pre-define what devices it can use. The Devices Charm identifies such usable devices connected to the computer and lists them when the charm is invoked in the app.

Example

Figure 1 Device Charm listing devices for Metro IE

Figure 1 Device Charm listing devices for Metro IE

I opened a webpage in Metro Internet Explorer and summoned that Devices Charm. It shows me the above shown 3 device options that IE can “talk” to:

  • Send To OneNote 2010 – This will send the webpage content to OneNote, which might be further used by multiple users.
  • Microsoft XPS Document Writer – This will send the webpage for printing.
  • Second screen – If I select this, the webpage will be displayed in the secondary monitor of my dual-screen setup.

Another example might be of a video-playing application. In that case, the Share Charm will offer to play video on a connected TV instead.

Conclusion

This charm would mostly be used to print, send and play content. The main advantage of this charm is that the app will know what all connected devices it will be able to use. It also eases the user’s access to those devices in an intuitive manner.

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