Colinizer: taking up residence in your tech brain

Wednesday April 13 2011

What’s Coming for WP7 developers in Mango

Filed under: Microsoft, Mix11, Silverlight, Silverlight 4, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, WP7, WP7Dev, XNA — colinizer @ 17:44

Blogged from the Microsoft Mix 11 Day 2 Keynote in Las Vegas

On day 2 of Microsoft’s Mix 11 conference, they explain how they will (in May) be “Delivering happiness” to Windows Phone developers. New Windows Phone end-user features will be announced at a later date.

Opportunity

Ecosystem

· Nokia will be bringing mobile billing expertise

Countries

· 16 more languages

· Developers in 38 (up from 30) countries can register to publish applications

· Phone users in 35 (up from 16) countries will be able to purchase apps

Discoverability

· New Program list – has the ‘long list’ initial letter jump buttons, a search button (inc. access to marketplace search in the results)

· Marketplace – Separates Apps, music, & Podcasts (US this fall)) and shows more details in list with publisher/price/rating

· Marketplace App page has a pivot: details, reviews, screenshots, related

· One-click install for free apps

· Auto-nav to apps list after install

· Search Extras – A Bing Search result can have extras deep linking into an app

Capability

Browser

· Browser uses same IE9 code-base for HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3

· Address bar at the bottom

· Background audio for HTML5 in browser (use phone controls too)

· H.264 video in video tag in full screen with controls

Phone integration

· Sockets

· SQL CE Database with ORM and Linq to SQL

· More launchers & choosers (inc. deep link to directions)

· Better access to contacts and calendar

· Pin to start of application deep links

· Raw camera access

· Access to compass

· Access to gyro (new optional hardware coming this year)

· Motion Sensor API (for ease of using compass and gyro)

· Ringtone API

Multi-tasking:

· Fast app switching – apps are suspending, and only terminated if necessary

· Background audio from apps (leveraging the standard phone media controls)

· Background downloads

· Setup alarms

· Live tile updating including animations

· “Live agents” occasionally run by a battery friendly scheduler (with user control of which ones can run this way) – gets events and can get location

Dev Experience:

New emulator features for Accelerometer (with 3D model of position) and location (with Bing maps input)

Performance improvement (for list)

· Scrolling and input

· Image decode

· Garbage collector (no pausing)

· Memory usage

Built on Silverlight 4 including RichTextBox

Local Database using SQL CE with ORM and LINQ to SQL

Can compose UI with Silverlight and XNA

Profiler (still free)

Friday November 5 2010

Waiting for Windows Phone 7

Filed under: Microsoft, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, WP7, WP7Dev, XNA — colinizer @ 18:00

Windows Phone 7 phones are set for release next Monday, Nov 8 2010 in North America (though my local store seems very uninformed) and are already available in various other parts of the world.  Luckily I’ve had developer device access since September, so I’ve been able to share information with you along the way in various articles (see below) and publish a few basic applications.

If you are in North America and waiting for Windows Phone 7, particularly if you are a developer, here are a few things for you to consider doing while you wait:

  • Get an App Hub subscription to publish software for the phone.
  • Prepare your social and ID accounts
  • Pick a phone
  • Build applications
  • Submit application to the marketplace via App Hub

Get an App Hub subscription to publish software for the phone

It’s US$99 (with specific local currency variations) a year to get an App Hub subscription which now allows you to submit and sell both Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 Arcade applications for sale.  That includes the ability to publish up to 5 free applications on WP7 (US$20 for additional ones).  If you are a student you may be able to sign up for DreamSpark and get a free subscription.  Set up takes a few days including identity (personal or business) verification.

20101105 apphub

There’s an App Hub Developer Registration Walkthrough available on the process for registering for a subscription.

Prepare your social and ID accounts

WP7 brings data down automatically from various services that are associated with a single Live ID that you can optionally register on the phone.  This includes services from any associated Zune and Xbox LIVE accounts (as well as Hotmail and associated social networking site accounts).  You can also add feeds, email, calendar and contacts from optional additional accounts from various providers.  You’ll want to get your primary Live ID and service associations in a row before you get a phone.  This may take some careful planning and account configuration.

For the details on how this works, I’d suggest Paul Thurrott’s article – Getting Ready for Windows Phone 7

Pick a phone

There are a decent number of phone available at launch though there are spread over various wireless service providers.

You can go to the official Windows Phone 7 site, select your region in the top right corner and click the Buy link to see which devices are on offer.

20101105 phones

Mobile Tech World has published a handy specification table that may help with your selection.

20101105 comparison

 

Build applications

So far I have 4 basic utility applications in the marketplace (with other more sophisticated apps on the way) which you are welcome to purchase Winking smile by clicking the links below on a phone or with Zune 4.7 installed.

The first one is free of charge and you can see how it was built step by step from scratch in an article I recently published on DZone.

I’d also suggest you grab the free e-book from Microsoft Press, by Charles Petzold, Programming Windows Phone 7.

I’ve also authored a number of articles on DZone and Mobile Developer Magazine (free subscription required) including:

On Nov 15th 2010, a handy reference card will also be published on DZone for Windows Phone 7 development by .NET developers.

Die Roller

Dice Roller

Stopwatch

Presenter Timer

200 200 200 200
screenshot02 screenshot02 Screenshot02 Screenshot04

Submit applications to the marketplace via App Hub

There are important certification requirements you must comply with before submitting your application.

For a step-by-step example of building and submitting an application and submitting it you can see an article I recently published on DZone.

There’s also an official Windows Phone 7 Application Submission Walkthrough

The indicative certification turnaround time is 5 working days, though there are 1000+ applications queued for certification right now, so the timing may vary.

 

It’s almost time, so take the time to get yourself ready.

Tuesday September 21 2010

An Introduction to the Windows Phone 7 Development Platform

Filed under: Azure, Silverlight, Visual Studio 2010, Windows Phone 7, WP7, WP7Dev, XNA — colinizer @ 14:55

Need a brief introduction to the WP7 development platform?

Check out my article published today on DZone.

I like to call it a re-introduction because developers on .NET, Silverlight and Web services already have a significant leg up on this platform.

20100921 article

Enjoy Smile

Thursday September 16 2010

A Big Day for Windows Phone 7

Filed under: Microsoft, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, WP7, XNA — colinizer @ 14:49

It’s a big day today for Microsoft with the RTM of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools – potentially the last kick at the can for raising a successful mobile platform, at least amongst the current market competitors.

Update: The tools are not available – get the highlights.  A CodePlex-hosted toolkit of additional controls is also available.

There has been a lot of buzz and packed-out WP7 events, but success will likely – rightly or wrongly -  be measured publically in terms of how many phones are sold, how many applications are published and how many applications are bought; and all against what iPhone has achieved.

Microsoft has a lot of money to spend on this launch, though my sense is that the spend will occur closer to device launch (late Oct/early Nov) and during H1 2011.  The compressed catch-up timescale has created the sense of a developer-device shortage. 

Microsoft’s OS development track has been very short, and there would not normally be an abundance of devices at this stage.  The problem is that the absolute timing is very close to the festive season and Microsoft has been rallying developers since February this year, creating an expectation of device access.  Also, one cannot discount the ‘have-to-hold-one’ feeling that people have, though my experience having one in hand to show people is that they are not that quick to have a go. 

The WP7 emulator (available for some time!) is an amazing thing (more adept than Virtual PC in some ways) and is likely sufficient for 90% of Silverlight applications and some XNA games (single-touch).  The emulator’s usefulness wanes when developing applications with multi-touch input unless the developer has a multi-touch display.  Also, anything with high performance animation or intense XNA games requires a real device to get a true sense of real-world performance. 

I’ll sum up device timing issues by saying, that if you are willing to invest in a application development track at the same speed that Microsoft is going (which is a new standard for Microsoft), then they’ll likely work with you to get you what you need to publish on time.

If you haven’t been involved with the WP7 euphoria yet, then you may easily fall into it.  The way I see it, most people out there are well on their way to being 100% WP7 developers and I now tend to break it down like this:

  • 25% if you are a .NET developer already
  • 25% if you are a Silverlight/WPF developer
  • 25% if you develop web services
  • 25% left over that is unique to the phone

There’s quite a lot in that last 25% and you’ll need to get up to speed on two major pieces to really work well on the platform:

  • Application Life Cycle – your application will fail miserably in the user’s eyes if you don’t support the necessary events
  • Push Notification Services – to keep data updated and get events from elsewhere you need to understand the mechanisms

Of course, having already training dozen of developers in the first professional WP7 boot camp across North America, I’m available for children’s birthday parties private training (which are the same thing once you’ve seen super hero training at a birthday party Smile) – see the about page – if your company needs to get up to speed quickly.

The developer tools are FREE – go and get them when they are released later today at http://developer.windowsphone.com.

Tuesday March 16 2010

quick Review of Mix10 Day 1 Keynote

Filed under: mix10, Mobile Application, Silverlight 4, Windows Phone 7 Series, WP7, XNA — colinizer @ 16:06

Due to flight delays I didn’t make it for the Day 1 keynote, so I couldn’t live blog it.  I will post more on the keynote contents later.  Overall, there were NO surprises (and sadly no phone hardware).  A Silverlight 4 RC was released along with development tools for Windows Phone 7 Series.  Installing the Windows Phone 7 tools (was straightforward, though the lack of a standalone installer is a little inconvenient).

The Microsoft wifi at the event is great considering the sea of laptops here.

I’ll be live tweeting (@colinizer) for Day 2.

Today’s keynote is likely going to be about IE9 and design – not as exciting as yesterday.

Sunday March 14 2010

I’m Going to Mix10

Filed under: Microsoft, mix10, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 Series, WP7, XNA — colinizer @ 3:41

A last minute decision…

I won’t be live blogging but may be live tweeting – @colinizer.  I’ll blog later in the evening.

I’ve been getting in the conference spirit recently (DevTeach, code camps, etc.), and I can work around the conference hours so… why not…  mixmas only comes once a year :-).

If anyone wants to meet up – DM me on twitter or email me if you know how ;-).

Sunday March 7 2010

On-ramp Ahead to the Windows Phone 7 Series Game and Application Development

Filed under: mix10, mix2010, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 Series, WP7, XNA — colinizer @ 18:50

So you want to get in the game, or even make the games?

Here’s a summary of what’s been announced and the impending activities which will come to a head (for the first phase at least) with major revelation sessions at Microsoft’s Mix10 conference starting March 15th 2010.

Microsoft came out of the gate about Windows Phone 7 Series (or WP7 for short) at MWC, for the first time publically showing off the new UI.

Since then Microsoft’s Joe gave a more intimate demo on Microsoft’s Channel9.

Charlie Kindel (a man leading the charge at Microsoft) has indicated that .NET, Silverlight & XNA are key technologies to WP7 development.  I’ve long been aware of the Silverlight angle on mobile device and had some preview access to mobile possibilities, so I can see that this is a great direction.  I hope Microsoft brings out the right caliber (and readiness) of tools that developers need – developer tools (and I don’t mean Blend) have been sorely lacking for Silverlight; it will be April 12th before the first of developer design tools for Silverlight are made available with Visual Studio 2010.

There’s been a video of the Platformer game running on Windows Phone 7, with the notion that someone can create a game with largely shared code which can run on Windows 7, WP7, Xbox & Zune.

At the Game Developer Conference this coming week, Microsoft may well be talking about XNA developer for WP7.

Microsoft has just announced the abstracts for the WP7-related sessions at Mix10 (starting the following week) and  Microsoft Canada’s Joey deVilla has a great summary of them.

It has been indicated that access to the keynote and sessions for Mix10 to not require attendance at Mix.

I’m aiming to live blog the MIX keynotes and follow up on what’s announced about WP7 from the sessions.

Be sure to follow the tweets and blog posts of these guys at Microsoft:

Andre Vrignaud: www.ozymandias.com / @ozymandias

Christian Schormann: electricbeach.org / @cschormann

Shawn Hargreaves: blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar / @shawnhargreaves

Todd Brix: windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsphone  / @toddbrix

Anand Iyer: www.artificialignorance.net/blog / @ai

Michael Klucher: klucher.com / @mklucher

In Canada keep an eye out here and on the Canadian Developer Connection blog.

The Shocking Blue Green Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.