Monday, 13 April 2015

Remote Taskbar

I own a Playbook and it's rotting on my table. A little while ago, my guilty conscience got to me, leading me to think about ways I could make use of my Playbook that I wouldn’t use any of my other devices for.

My first thought was to shift the Playbook from being an independent mobile device to an always docked device that offers desktop users more content and power. In other words, if this thing is going to be a paperweight on my table, I might as well make use of its touchscreen and turn it into an input device for my computer.

So then I started to develop this app that gives users a visual of all running programs on their desktop computer and lets users quickly switch between or close desktop programs (think of it as an “Alt-Tab” window that is always present on the tablet screen, but better ). This is especially useful for those who use two computers and want to avoid switching between keyboards/mice.

This project makes use of the Windows API to obtain the state of all opened windows, and sends the information to a remote device through TCP/IP. The remote user can then choose to open, minimize, or close windows from their device. The biggest hurdle to this project was using the Windows Hook API, which was necessary to intercept a window's create and destroy events.

I also made this source available at GitHub: