Windows 11 is fast reaching the point where it’s impossible to ignore if you want to carry out c++ app development with Builder C++ or target Windows users with your apps. Despite the more rigorous hardware requirements, which meant that not every user could immediately install this free new version, it’s still reaching a huge percentage of the world. If you’re going to embrace Windows 11 and even use some of its new features in your apps, you should read on while we present our top 10 tips on how to develop applications that look gorgeous and behave like first-class citizens of the Windows 11 world. Read on as you’ll learn the top 10 tips for Windows 11 c++ app development.
Table of Contents
1. Download C++ Builder 11 (RAD Studio 11) Professional / Architect / Enterprise
C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio, and C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. It is the oldest IDE (it began as Borland TurboC in 1990 and was later renamed Borland C++ Builder). Under the Embarcadero brand, it comes with new versions, features, updates, and support. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups.
In 2021, Embarcadero announced the general availability of RAD Studio 11. This release introduces several new features, enhancements, and quality updates in key areas including:
- Provision apps for Windows 11
- Compile for Android API 30
- Compile for macOS M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
- Design on high-DPI 4k+ screens
- View VCL Styles in design time
- New & modernized VCL components
- Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely
Please check this post about the RADS 11 for more details;
You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition and develop Windows 11 applications, the download link is here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.
Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.
2. Update Your C++ Builder 11 (RAD Studio 11)
In parallel to development and changes in Windows 11, C++ Builder also adding new patches and may be new updates. Update your C++ Builder with the latest patches released in GetIt. If there is a new update, update to the latest version that will allow you to use much more improved version of C++ Builder 11.
3. Use High DPI IDE and Form Design in Development
RAD Studio 11.0 brings a much-requested and very big overhaul of the IDE, it comes with full high DPI support. RADS IDE and VCL/FMX frameworks renders crisply and clearly on all screens, with support for form designing at multiple scales, and clear text with a new but familiar font in the editor. This is one of the biggest changes and improvements in RAD Studio.
I personally also recommend you to use 32″ or more larger screens and 4K or more high resolution screens in development. In addition to size and resolution, 120Hz+ refresh rate screens makes movements more smooth, so you may check animations in your applications.
4. Use High DPI Styles Compatible with Windows 11
RAD Studio Form Designs and components comes with the support to Windows 11. When you run your application you will see your components are compatible with Windows 11 UI environment.
There are set of two new VCL styles specific to Windows 11, for light and dark mode. Type “Windows 11” in the search bar to locate them quickly:
Jim has new video that shows new Styles & Effects that can be used in Widnows 11 with Fluent UI. Don’t forget to check this video,
5. Add Both Dark and Light Visual Options
Light view, generally on a white background is lighter and feels good but it is little bit heavy for eyes especially if you are looking to same screen long time. In the last few years it is found that providing a dark version of the user interface can help prevent or alleviate eye strain. On the other hand, especially in day time, sometimes it is hard to read application texts in Dark mode. Thus, user sometimes may require a dark version sometimes light version of an application. Support both of these options in your Windows 11 applications.
In C++ Builder, you can support at least two kind of styles, Dark and Light versions. These styles are available in both VCL and FMX applications.
6. Use UI elements with soft corners
In Windows 11, application windows have new features like rounded corners and a menu with snap layouts that app will automatically receive in most cases. If you are using a customized window or title bar, you need to do some work to make sure these new features are supported.
In general the corners of window borders in Windows 11 are rounded. It is well known that rounded geometry psychologically provides a feeling of safety and makes the app’s UI much easier to scan. In these kind of designs, users feel less intimidated and the app feel more engaging. The amount of rounding means lost of space in and outside of components so it should be chosen carefully. Use as small as possible in accordance with the standard Windows 11 visuals, 2px, 4px are good radiuses. Try to balance between feeling professional and being softer and more inviting.
Use rounded corners for your windows and support snap layouts. There is a good article about how to control Windows 11 Rounded corders.
7. Check OS and Windows Version
If you want to develop more OS friendly application, if you have OS specific visuals or processes please check OS Platform and it’s version. In C++ Builder, you can check version of windows.
If you are developing in Windows 11 machine, I highly recommend you to check your application design in Windows 11 machine too. Also, check if you are using other OS platforms like iOS, Android. This may be helpful to see UI problems and allow you to adjust your user interface to better fit in with the norms of the chosen target.
8. Use New Platform Identifiers of RADS 11
RAD Studio 11 comes with new Platform Identifiers, you can use them for more Modern and Windows 11 compatible applications. Here is more information about these identifiers.
9. Use Responsive Design
C++ Builder allows you to create responsive application designs. Try to make your app scalable and responsive as much as possible. Use align feature with group elements,. Align your UI controls or menus with beautiful and simple animations. Use the latest Rich Edit, Tree View that comes with RADS 11. Allow users to change font size option. Check Landscape or portrait modes. Also check your application repaint by using OnPaint() event of the Form and check your resizing by using OnResize() event of the Form.
10. Use FireDAC and RAD Server Lite
RAD Server requires a backend database, based on InterBase, and it is generally deployed as a web server DLL module for either IIS or Apache. For this reason, a standard deployment requires:
- The web server and its configuration of the RAD Server module
- The RAD Server deployment and configuration
- An installation of InterBase with a special purpose RAD Server license (a license the user needs to register on the target device to activate)
For development, we have long offered a stand alone version of RAD Server, based on the Indy HTTP server, which offers limited performance but much easier deployment and the ability to be executed under the debugger (so you can debug your RAD Server modules code). The development version is not meant and it’s not licensed for deployment. It has a limit in the number of users you can create, and it can work with a local InterBase Developer edition (the license for it is part of the RAD Studio license).
RAD Server Lite (aka RSLite) offers a simpler deployment model for test servers and scenarios not requiring a lot of throughput, and it offers this by using the InterBase embedded database engine, IBToGo, instead of the full-blown server and combines it with a simplified licensing model. RSLite uses the same binary of the development edition (that ships with RAD Studio) along with IBToGo binaries and a license slip file you can deploy with your solution (requiring no registration on the computer you deploy it to).
C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.
There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups; it can be downloaded from here. For professional developers, there are Professional, Architect, or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder and there is a trial version you can download from here.