Windows 8 Secrets: Modern Reader

Part four in a series of co-posts by Windows 8 Secrets co-authors Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott.

There are two big pieces of news in today's revelation. First, Microsoft will apparently be including its own PDF reader in Windows 8. And second, this is the first app we've discussed that utilizes the new AppX application package type.

Modern Reader (displaying Windows Phone 7 doc.)
Modern Reader, displaying Windows Phone 7 documentation.

The application itself is simple enough. It displays PDFs in full fidelity, as you'd expect. You can zoom in and out, and there's a page scrubber on the side of the application window for document navigation.

Modern Reader (back button)
Modern Reader with Back button in upper left.

If you jump ahead using the scrubber, a Back button appears in the upper left corner so you can return to your previous spot. It also supports side-by-side page views.

Modern Reader (side-by-side)
Side-by-side page view in Modern Reader.

Of even more interest, perhaps, Modern Reader is the first actual AppX application we've uncovered. AppX is a new type of packaged application model in Windows 8, and it very closely resembles Windows Phone 7 application packages. For this reason, we surmise that the AppX application type could be common to both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (codenamed “Apollo”), providing developers with a way to write applications that target and can transition between a variety of devices, including traditional PCs, tablets, and phones.

-- Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott