After getting a Lumia 900 last week, I decided to write an app for myself. One of the complaint that I had is that I need a minimum 4 taps to dial a number from a contact list, something I would like to avoid when I am driving. I can pin a few my most frequently used numbers to a tile; from there I can dial them with 2 taps. I set out to write an app and hope I can dial 30-40 number in 2 taps. The hear is the idea:
- I group my phone number in groups, such as family, friends, colleagues, etc.
- I display the groups using the panorama control and phone numbers within each list in a list control.
- I need a tap from the tile to start the application. I may or may not need a swipe to get to a contact. I do another tap to dial the phone number.
It turned out that I need another tap after I tap the phone number. The reason is that the PhoneCallTask does not trust me; it prompted me to confirm if I really wanted to dial the number. I hope Microsoft can make this a policy that can be granted when the application is installed.
I am an experienced WPF and Silverlight developer. This is my first Windows Phone app. I hoped I can write this app is a couple of hours, but it turned out that I spent almost a whole day to learn unique features in Windows Phone. The WindowsPhoneGeek.com site is immensely helpful. So here are a list of things that I learnt through this simple app:
- Panorama control and data binding to panorama control.
- Windows Phone Toolkit ContextMenu control and reference the tapped item from the context menu click handler.
- Application bar icon button and menu.
- WP7 navigation framework and pass an object from a page to another page.
- WP7 built-in theme resources.
- PhoneNumberChooserTask and PhoneCallTask.
- WP7 application and page events.
- WP7 icons, application icon, background icon, marketplace icon.
- WP7 Isolated Storage.
These appear to be minimum to get started with an app. I was able to deploy my app to my phone. I cannot deploy to my app to marketplace yet. That is because I unlocked my phone with my employer’s account but I could not possibly release my app to the marketplace using my my employers account. I either have to pay $99 to get my own account, or release my source code to make arrangement to have someone else release the app for me.
[Edited 5/3/2012 to add some pictures]