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All posts tagged "developer"

Friday, June 10, 2011

In New Survey Developers Pick Android Over iPhone

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"A new survey from Vision Mobile and Bluevia finds that Android is the most popular mobile platform amongst developers, with 67 percent of mobile developers indicating they're developing for Android in 2011-that's an 8 percent improvement over 2010."

We have a winner, folks! A new survey just released from Vision Mobile and Bluevia found that Android is the most popular platform for developers! But not far behind is development for iPhone. Does this mean that Android is slated to be the market leader in years to come?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manage The Presentation of Your Web Site With Viewport Tags

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:23 PM

"As web browsing on mobile devices continues to grow in popularity, it's more important than ever to design mobile web sites that match the look and feel of native applications. One of the features provided by the browser in Windows Phone that helps with this task is programmatic control over the browser layout viewport."

Image courtesy of

In the beginning, mobile surfing meant wap browsers. As devices gained horsepower with ever increasing screen sizes and faster connections, web sites have transitioned from the aforementioned wap browser to mobile versions to desktop view. Users now have an expectation that when they go to a web site on their mobile device, the page will look like it does on their desktop and not be overly compressed. There is also an expectation that the page will re-flow smoothly and format correctly when transitioning from portrait to landscape view.

Fortunately for web designers, WP7 OS and its browser allows for programmatic control over the layout viewport. When a page is rendered in the WP7 browser, the default layout viewport width is always 1,024 pixels. The browser then determines the appropriate zoom level to fit the screen. Click read to see how you can use viewport to control the layout viewport width.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Sessions List For MIX 11 Announced

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:50 PM

"Some of the MIX11 Windows Phone 7 sessions have just been announced a few minutes ago. Keep in mind that this isn't the full list yet and more are going to be announced shortly."

MIX 11 is quickly approaching. For those of you lucky enough to be attending the conference at Mandalay Bay this April 12-14th, the Windows Phone 7 sessions list have just been announced. Hit the read link to see the list of sessions being offered to assist developers and would-be developers get the most out of Windows Phone 7.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Developers: Planning a Cross-Platform Solution

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 05:30 PM

"I recently blogged about Flashcards.Show Version 2 for WPF, Silverlight, and Windows Phone, which features the Flashcards.Show application. I'm not going to (again) review the app, but I do want to talk about how we developed the application and the design the code base to support multiple clients.

The first version of Flashcards.Show was a Windows (WPF) application. This app was originally designed by IdentityMine, and used a few Windows 7 features such as multi-touch and taskbar integration. While the first version was great, we wanted to increase its value by enabling users to share the decks that they are creating. Therefore, when we set to work on version 2, we sought both functional and technological solutions to enable ease of use for the deck-sharing scenarios, as well as ease of development and maintenance of the code."

Yochay Kiriaty gives a good tutorial on some of the things to plan for if you are looking to bring your application to many different platforms, such as Windows Phone, Silverlight, and Windows Applications. This is the vision that Microsoft has been touting for a few years now (3 screens and the cloud). Development tools are getting better and better at providing this functionality, but it still takes some planning up front to ensure the code that will be portable and compatible accross the different platforms.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Are You a Developer in Canada? Microsoft Has a Windows Phone Contest For You!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 02:00 PM


"Windows Phone 7 has hit the market and Microsoft Canada is looking for the best and brightest in the developer community to join The Great Canadian APPortunity competition, a nation-wide search for the most creative and innovative applications and games for Windows Phone 7. In a nation of gifted developers, The Great Canadian APPortunity competition is sure to uncover some amazing apps while providing the community with a platform to showcase their skills and creativity and gain recognition. Entrants have the chance to win a grand prize of $10,000, along with some great prizes including promotion on MSDN Flash Newsletter, Developer Blogs and, Xbox Kinect Consoles, Windows Phone 7 handsets, a Dell Alienware Laptop Bundle worth $3.5K, and a Developer Conference Pack (1 ticket to the Mesh Toronto conference and travel voucher, worth $3K). It's time for the Canadian developer community to demonstrate their innovation and cash in on some great prizes."

If you're a Canadian developer and are thinking about developing for Windows Phone 7 - or maybe you already are - Microsoft has set up a great contest with a lot of tasty prizes. Submissions started on February 1st, and end on April 30th. Check out the official site for more details - and start developing!

VOIP Capabilities Coming to Windows Phone?

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 11:00 AM

"Socket-layers are critically needed for such services as VOIP aka Skype, Viber, etc. We now know that multitasking is coming to Windows Phone 7 with 'Mango' but now we have a very strong hint that socket-support, in some way, may be coming as well."

Services such as Skype have long lamented the limitations in their ability to develop their applications for Windows Phone 7. Apparently Microsoft has heard their cries and are considering adding this functionality in an upcoming update. It's one of their "top 2 or 3 requests from developers". Official announcements have not been made, but Brandon Watson definitely hints here at a possible official announcement at MIX11. In any case, we can look forward to more exciting announcements at MIX11.

Microsoft-Nokia Announcement Spurs Windows Phone 7 App Development

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:02 AM

Businessweek Logo

According to an article found in Businessweek, Flurry Inc. has indicated that interest in WP7 app development has increased significantly since Microsoft announced their partnership with hardware giant Nokia.

In fact, when it comes to new projects, WP is now ranked as 3rd behind Apple and iOS.

"New projects for Windows Phone passed Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and now rank third behind new apps for Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google Inc.’s Android, Flurry said. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, which agreed last week to have its Windows Phone software power Nokia handsets, is working to turn around market-share losses to Apple and Google. A wide variety of applications is critical to attracting mobile-phone users"

While the overall percentage of new projects is still only at 4% (up from 1%), this is definitely a move in the right direction. Nokia has a large international appeal. With their commitment to Windows Phone, developers are likely seeing the potential for their applications and games to reach millions, if not billions, of people around the world.

Developing apps for Windows Phone may have suddenly went from a labor of love, to a real practical business strategy for maximizing profits. It's amazing how much could change so quickly isn't it?

How do you feel about the growth? Talk about it in the forums!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Use These Controls, Publish An App, Get $100 for Your User Group!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 09:00 PM

"If you create and publish a WP7 application that uses Telerik's controls and PreEmptive's analytics for WP7, then your user group gets $100. You as the developer get to keep the app and also get some sweet controls from Telerik and analytics from PreEmptive which will they provide free of charge through the end of 2011."

A sweet deal for developers and for user groups out there. Get $100 for your group, get some sweet controls, and have an app at the end of it that you own!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Windows Phone 7 + Azure + T-Mobile + Developer = Family Room

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 06:00 PM

"T-Mobile USA, a leading provider of wireless services, wanted to create new mobile software to simplify communications for families. The company needed to implement the application and its server infrastructure while facing a tight deadline. T-Mobile decided to build the solution with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional and base it on Windows Phone 7 and the Windows Azure platform. By taking advantage of an integrated development environment and cloud services, the company completed the project in just six weeks. Using a cloud platform instead of maintaining physical servers has also simplified management. As a result, developers have more time available to focus on enhancing the application. Customers will benefit from a streamlined, reliable communications solution with strong security, and T-Mobile is already designing new features for users to enjoy."

What happens when you put Windows Azure, Windows Phone 7, T-Mobile, and a creative development company together? An interesting application dubbed "Family Room" - think micro-social networking. I think it's a brilliant concept, because although it's yet "another" venue for communication, the fact that it's so focused can make it quite useful to the right groups of people.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LastPass for Windows Phone 7 Will Appear, As Soon As They Figure Out How to Fix It!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 07:30 AM

"We have had many users ask us when the Windows Phone 7 app will be available and our response for the last month or two has been 'any day now'. Unfortunately, it is still not available today. As a team that prides itself on trying to be quick to deliver LastPass on the newest platforms and devices, we feel like we owe an explanation to all users who have been eagerly waiting. As you might already know, Windows Phone 7 is nothing like the previous Windows Mobile devices. They changed everything, including the distribution model for apps. All installs must go through Microsoft (similar to Apple's control of iPhone apps) and all apps must be first approved. This is where the major holdup has been."

Part of the reason I use LastPass is because it runs on freaking everything I could ever use, and if it's a new product, it will have LastPass on it in fairly short order. Windows Phone 7 is no exception, however the LastPass crew has hit a small snag in the form of the Marketplace validation process. This is a process I have experience with as well, so I can vouch for the frustration the LastPass crew is feeling now. Don't get me wrong - it's not that the Marketplace validation reports I receive aren't helpful, in some cases though, they just aren't helpful enough. Case and point? A recent failure report I got listed the steps to reproduce as "Constantly change the values within the appropriate areas", which while true, could have been more helpful (e.g., "Constantly change the values (specifically to X) within the appropriate areas."). Don't get me wrong, it's a much nicer system than a blanket "You fail", but come on Microsoft, if you're going to give a report, at least go all the way with the usefulness factor! I mean, after all, your testers know what value they put in to crash my app, why not tell that to me?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Windows Phone 7 and Data Persistence - Not As Simple As You Might Think

Posted by Don Sorcinelli in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 07:00 AM

Now that users are getting their hands on Windows Phone 7 devices, many of the applications submitted to the Windows Phone Marketplace are getting their first real tests out in the field. While many of the applications are meeting or even exceeding user expectations, there have been some complaints. If you were to categorize the issues across applications, one area that seems to be a pain point among users has been some applications and their saving - or not saving - data properly, or at least to the expectation of the user.

While Microsoft has done an admirable job in explaining and detailing the process for Windows Phone 7 developers for data persistance and the Windows Phone 7 architectural model, I can't help but think that some of the messaging hasn't made it to all developers. The simple concept of ensuring that data that needs to persisted or saved can be quite complex to implement. Not taking the proper care in this matter can result in a very poor user experience and very disgruntled users.

With all the talk happening around why data is not being saved, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some helpful reminders and tips around data persistence from a Windows Phone 7 development perspective. Hopefully, these friendly reminders from "your old Uncle Don" will make your application behave a bit better and make your users a bit happier.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VB for Windows Phone 7 Goes RTW!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 09:30 AM

"Back in September, we released the CTP of Visual Basic for the Windows Phone Developer Tools. Today we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of the RTW version of the Visual Basic add-on. You can immediately download VB support for the Windows Phone developer tools. The big news is that you can now build and release Silverlight applications and games for Windows Phone built in Visual Basic to the Windows Phone Marketplace. In addition, we've spent time beefing up our VB for WP sample code. Check out new VB versions of our released samples on MSDN. We're extremely excited to officially add support for Visual Basic to Windows Phone, and we can't wait to see all of the new apps and games you'll create with it."

The VB Haters out there might not like it, but VB can now be used for Windows Phone development in a more polished form - Microsoft has released the RTW version of Visual Basic for Windows Phone! So all you VB coders, get your game on and code up some WP7 goodness!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Windows Phone Live Tiles: Not All Tiles Are Created Equal

Posted by Don Sorcinelli in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 06:00 AM

If you've seen any of the incredible dearth of Windows Phone 7 pre- and post-launch coverage and press releases, you heard about them or seen them. They are those wonderful things on the Windows Phone 7 home screen that provide you with easy access to information - your email, Xbox Live games and other applications. Any application on your phone can have one. They are Tiles. The early demonstrations showed all of the amazing things they could do - provide animations to inform and entertain and update dynamically as new information becomes available. And they were referred to on a regular basis as Live Tiles. They made us all very excited about the Windows Phone 7 platform - well, almost all of us. For another audience, the concept of Live Tiles made us a bit nervous.

For those of us who have been involved with the Windows Phone 7 platform from the initial announcement back at Mobile World Congress and the launch of the development tools at MIX, there typically came a point of realization regarding Windows Phone 7 tiles. For myself, that realization made me look to the future and the launch of the platform to the public. There would be questions from users, and perhaps a bit of disappointment. There might even be some anger.

When Windows Phone 7 was launched in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region on October 21st, 2010, those questions started coming. They came in emails and in forums. The names might have changed, but the question was always quite consistent:

"Why isn't the Live Tile for [Fill in the application name here] doing anything?"

While my answers may have been slightly different in each case, they all always boil down to the same simple fact - Not all Windows Phone 7 Tiles are created equal. In many cases, the reason why they are not is based on very good reasons. Recently, a discussion with Jason Dunn made me realize that it might be a good time to explain some of the reasons to the community-at-large. Read more...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Developing for WP7 Not A Waste

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 04:30 AM

"The conventional wisdom among developers is to target the largest available platform. According to that wisdom, developing apps for Windows Phone 7 is at best a "wait and see" prospect, and at worst a total waste of time. But in this particular case, the conventional wisdom might be wrong."

The haters may even have to start admitting that WP7 (and thus developing for it) probably won't be a flop. Matt Rosoff isn't a hater, however his piece may make some haters recoil in disgust. Let's hope that more developers take notice!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Developer Two-Day Events!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Events" @ 11:30 AM

"The speculation is starting to run a little hot about when Windows Phone 7 will be in the market. We can confirm that the phone is coming. To celebrate, we are launching a series of two-day Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch events across the United States specifically for developers. The events are meant to cover technical topics, as well as marketplace topics, to ensure that you have your apps ready for sale, and can participate in the Windows Phone 7 excitement. The first day covers application development, with a heavy focus on the design language of Windows Phone 7. You will learn about how to make amazing and incredible applications, and deliver experiences on Windows Phone which are not available on other phone platforms. The second day is an app-building workshop. There will be plenty of resources on hand to help you get your idea from your brain to the phone. Be sure to check out the agendas for the events."

Microsoft is planning a number of two-day Developer events around the country focusing on WP7. The big get is that Day 2 actually includes an app-building workshop. I'm planning on attending the events in NYC - it should be a great time!

Tags: events, developer, wp7

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Visual Basic Comes to Windows Phone 7

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 01:30 PM

"That wait is over. You can now download the Visual Basic CTP for Windows Phone Developer Tools. Provided in this download are all the templates, designer support, emulator (and phone!) support and IntelliSense for Visual Basic. We're not formally announcing the schedule for when Visual Basic will be fully supported. We're giving VB developers early access to the Windows Phone 7 platform so that they can start thinking about what amazing apps they want to build."

Most programming languages aren't super difficult to learn. Visual Basic is super difficult to remain ignorant in. While often the punchline of a joke regarding programmer's abilities, VB does provide a nice atmosphere to rapidly create apps, some aren't even that bad! And now it's coming to WP7. Not a bad thing for the smaller app writer looking to jump onto a platform.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WP7 Developer Tools are Final!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 05:00 AM

"When the Windows Phone 7 OS went gold two weeks ago, the Windows Phone ecosystem began the final preparations for the upcoming launch. OEMs and mobile operators have begun final testing of their handsets, but developers have had to wait just a little while longer to complete apps and games. Today, that wait is over. The Windows Phone Developer Tools have gone final, and we have released to the Web. This release is English only, but we will be releasing the French, Italian, German and Spanish language versions in the next couple of weeks."

Lots of great information in Brandon Watson's post - most notably that the "Final" versions of the WP7 developer tools are now available. English only for now, but this means that developers can finally build their apps in the completed environment. Good timing too - while no one knows for sure, launch can't be too terribly far off!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silverlight and Good Performance Can Peacefully Coexist?

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 03:30 PM

"As you've probably read, here and elsewhere, Windows Phone 7 constituted a dramatic shift for Microsoft. For this release, we decided that the core principle would be about delivering outstanding phone based experiences to end users. This principle guided everything we did, and was the basis for all the prioritization decisions that were made. It meant in many cases we had to focus, and not do as much as we've historically done in a single release, (focus has not been a strength of ours), but the things we did, we wanted to be outstanding."

If you're still kinda leary about going to Silverlight versus the native controls you've had access in the past for performance reasons, this short blog post might help ease your mind and give you a starting point to see if it really is as bad as you think (Who knows, it might not be!). If you've already jumped head first into WP7 development, you may still find a gem you've missed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

WP7 Developers: Final Tools Coming, Get Ready for Launch

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 11:00 AM

"August marks the six-month anniversary of the public unveiling of our next-generation mobile phone, Windows Phone 7. Six months is an interesting bit of time; it can fly by, or it can feel like it's dragging on forever. The gating factor tends to be how much fun you are having. For us on the Windows Phone team, it feels like just yesterday that we first introduced Windows Phone 7 to the world. Now, just a blink of the eye and phones will be on shelves. All of the work of the last six months is certainly paying off, as just about every conversation we have with developers focuses on their strategy for generating more business with Windows Phone 7. It's amazing to see so many inspired developers looking to create experiences for Windows Phone 7. In fact, to date there have been north of 300,000 downloads of the Windows Phone Developer Tools."

Lots of interesting points in Brandon Watson's latest blog piece, here's the basics:

  • 300,000 downloads of the WP 7 Developer tools... wow!
  • Final tools drop on Sept. 16
  • Marketplace starts taking submissions (e.g., opens) in early October!
  • Marketplace policies have been updated in preparation.

An exciting time to be a Windows Phone Developer!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Have The Tools, Now Here's The Style

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 07:00 AM

"With the Windows Phone Developer Tools in Beta and Windows Phone 7 in ,now is the time for you to build Windows Phone 7 apps in earnest. We have refreshed our developer documentation to help you build those apps, and we have two, new design-focused documents to help you make them look beautiful. First up, the UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 has been updated from the ground up for beta. With additional information and a new layout we hope you will find more readable, this guide provides detailed information about UI elements and controls, UI system behaviors, and the interaction model for the touch interface based on the design system internally named Metro. Designers and developers should read this guide to learn about the dos and don'ts of UI implementations for their Windows Phone apps. We've made it easier to find specific guidance by putting it in bold in the right-hand column of each page."

Style guidelines and more are now available to developers looking to not only write great apps, but make them look halfway decent as well. For all the docs, hit up Microsoft's site. If you want a really nice indepth review of the UI Design, take a look at this excellent piece from WMExperts!

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