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5 apps done and available in Windows 8 store !

At the end of last year, I took the personal challenge to create multiple apps for Windows 8, XAML and C#.

I had at the time one app ready but difficulties to pass the certification process. How things have changed since that dreadfu time ;-)

The whole experience of submitting an app and get it approved is so much better than on Windows Phone  (or other platforms).

All the apps below have been developed and released in less than 2 weeks! I don't consider myself a genius developer but as soon as you get the WindowsRT paradigms, like asynchronous features for example, everything goes fast, very fast.

In fact I spent most of my time tweaking the apps design, and it's still something I continue to do.

Because the update submission is so fast, it is not a problem anymore to submit multiple app version quickly. Thanks Microsoft for that, I wish you could apply this to the Windows Phone DevCenter.

I am currently finishing few projects, but app #6, #7 and #8 very close to completion.

#1 - BusFinder


BusFinder gives you access to live updates on the latest Dublin bus departures by searching for a bus stop or route.

BusFinder now works with maps!
- Search any route and stop
- Display on the map any stop location
- Display all the stops for any selected route
- Get any stop info including Real Time departures.

#2 - BikeFinder


Bike Finder is a free application that provides the bikes stations in Dublin.
You can list all stations or search for a nearby one.
You can also check if a bike is available, the maximum number of bikes for a selected station, the location of the station and if you can use your credit card.


#3 - Reskit


ResKit gives you easy access to educational resources, based on the official Irish Primary and Secondary level curriculum.

With an access to 15,000 educational resources, this app lets you browse through the subjects from the curriculum and select useful and interesting articles or resources.

All the lists are organized in an elegant way and a smooth animation to navigate through the selection process.

#4 - FotoBank


Browse more than 10 000 photos.

Whether you are looking for famous buildings, breathtaking landscapes, flowers, history, etc... FotoBank is always there!

- Browse by category
- Quick scrolling list
- A single tap then to see the selected photo full screen
- Save the picture to your phone to create high quality wallpapers (not available in Trial mode)

#5 - FotoIreland

This app present a gallery of snapshots from Ireland.

Browse an extensive collection of pictures all about Irish landscapes, plants and wildlife.
Posted: Jan 30 2013, 04:36 PM by | with no comments
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BusFinder - Dublin bus Real time for Windows Phone 7

 BusFinder NearbyBusFinder NearbyThat's my frst post in a year but hey what a year, busy with my little experiments on Windows Phone.

 The lates one BusFinder is doing well and with some other developers we are hoping to do even better in the next release.

I have to admit that the first version was a bit rough and we learned a lot from the experience. Open Data is not yet a reality in Ireland, looks like it's still too proprietary stuff to my taste.

We had reports that some routes were wrong.

But at the second release we got it better, the results provided by the real timeinformation is accurate. We are including in the next release a Report button for any missing data liek stops or wrong route. This will help us providing more reliable information.

Now we are finishing few things before releasing the version 2.0. We have decided to jump from 1.1 to 2.0 because so much has been done to improve the UI and the features of BusFinder.

One thing we are going to include sooner than expected is a Near By function. As you can see on this screenshot, the green pin is my current location and I can see with the help of a slider the nearest stops around me.

Tap on a pin and you get the next bus to depart. Quite cool.

So much fun with the maps that we are working on another future feature, a Route Planner.

Expect the version 2.0 to be published sometime next week.


 Cool app! Spritemapper is an application that merges multiple images into one and generates CSS positioning for the corresponding slices.



Posted: May 20 2011, 10:48 AM by | with no comments
Filed under:
How to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7

From the VBTeam

I have experienced lot of fun creating Windows Phone 7 applications in Visual Basic and writing about them here. In our last post, I explained how to create a Bing Maps application for Windows Phone 7. In this blog, I want to share a sample that will help you to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7. This application will display two setting pages - one where the setting changes will be updated immediately, and the other where the user will have to confirm the changes.

I will now demonstrate how easy it is to create a settings page for Windows Phone 7, using Visual Basic for Windows Phone Developer Tools. The settings page can be created in 6 simple steps as follows:

  1. Create a sample application and add controls
  2. Create a settings class
  3. Create a settings page that does not require a confirmation button
  4. Create a settings page that requires a confirmation button
  5. Build and debug the application
  6. Rebuild in the release mode before publishing



ASP.NET Mobile Handset Detection, Redirection & Development Made Easy

 Today almost all web sites are designed to operate on a desktop or laptop computer. Anyone operating marketing, ecommerce, information or entertainment web sites now needs to consider the mobile phone when designing content and services. Mobile web sites development is increasing day by day and so is the number of different mobile devices trying to access the web sites.

Major problems for web developers for mobile website development are following:

    * Detect mobile device and redirect user to mobile website E.g. practical client requirement: Apple users should be redirected to an Apple theme URL, RIM (BlackBerry) users should be redirected to a Blackberry theme URL and all other mobile devices should be redirected to a standard mobile theme URL.
    * Mobile device database to fetch mobile capabilities in order to deliver the best possible experience to mobile users

E.g. does this phone support java or flash, or what kind of entry method is available, such as a qwerty keyboard or a touch screen?



Handling XML data with Windows Phone 7

 Data storage and access is nearly an eternal topic in all kinds of applications. In Windows Phone 7, data manipulation still plays a fundamental and important role. Regrettably, in the current Windows Phone 7 Series there is no local database API that can be used. Windows Phone 7, though, does support access to data in several ways: XML, Isolated Storage, and Cloud Storage. In this article I will introduce to you how to handle XML data in Windows Phone 7 for Silverlight applications. In detail, we'll explore three cases: how to load and render a local resource-formed XML file; how to abstract components hidden inside an XAML (XML form in essence) file, and how to obtain remote XML data via a simple RSS reader sample.



Windows Phone 7 Isolated Storage
Isolated Storage aims to enable managed applications to create and maintain local storage. In Windows Phone 7 Silverlight-based applications, all I/O operations are restricted to isolated storage and do not have direct access to the underlying OS file system. Windows Phone application developers owe the ability to store data locally on the phone, leveraging all the benefits of isolated storage, such as providing security and preventing unauthorized access and data corruption from other applications.

As you may image, in Windows Phone 7 programming Isolated Storage manipulation is as important as memory handling in traditional desktop applications. So, in this article we are still going to focus upon the fundamentals associated with Isolated Storage via simple yet typical sample applications.

Read more....


Phoney Windows Phone 7 Project Now Available!

UPDATE: Phoney now has a NuGet package.  Search on NuGet to add Phoney to your project!

I started this project when I found I had a number of small classes that I'd built for my Windows Phone 7 application so I thought it was time to share. here is the information on the new library.  

It is currently in a very early Alpha stage, but I expect to have it at a release version by MIX 11 (Mid-April). Let me know what you think!

By Shawn Wildermuth


Windows Phone 7 Isolated Storage Explorer
WP7 Isolated Storage Explorer is a tool designed to help developers and testers interact with the isolated storage file for Silverlight Windows Phone 7 applications.
The explorer can work both as a desktop application for testers or integrated in Visual Studio for developers.
Whenever a WP7 application/project involves storing data locally the the device, it will be to the isolated storage file. A common difficulty is accessing the data for testing or rapidly restoring the application's data/state after the isolated storage has been reset, usually during the testing and development life-cycle.
One of the usual workarounds has been to add code to handle data transfers (to a WCF service or a remote Web Service) or just hard code test data, but this takes a lot of time and migrating the code from one project to another can take significant effort.
To help solve these issues and facilitate faster development for a WP7 application, the WP7 Isolated Storage Explorer includes the following features designed to make your life easier:
  • Easy installer. One simple setup file that sets everything up on a development or testing machine.
  • Easy integration. Add a single reference to your project and one line of code and you're done.
  • Display the isolated storage file from multiple applications at the same time.
  • Desktop client that handles all the common operations. The client handles operations such as bidirectional file transfer, creating folders, deleting files and folders and can perform parallel operations on multiple remote applications
  • The same intuitive client integrated in Visual Studio. Developers can debug and check the data in the isolated storage file without leaving the IDE.
  • Works in the background so your phone application will not be interrupted by operations. The explorer has been tested to handle invalid operations gracefully and to not interfere with the application's purpose.

Check here...


Why it is so difficult to find a good Ads SDK for Windows Phone 7

 This post try to address an issue with the Microsoft Advertising SDK, the main fact that today Microsoft is still refusing access to the Ad Center worldwide.

Yesterday they generously increase the number of free apps we can develop from 5 to 100. According to talks with other developers and the Windows Phone 7 team, I have the strong feeling the model of publishing free apps supported by apps is the right course to take today.

This probably why Microsoft has moved to a bigger figure.

Am I the only software shop concerns by the lack of support tools fro WP7 outside the US? I don't think so.

So currently I am trying to seek alternatives.

First AdDuplex. The name is abit misleading, this is more like a link exchange system and it works quite well. But it won't give me any revenue even if it increase the visibility of my apps.

Then one popular one is AdMob. However the lack of true WP7 Api make its implementation very difficult. A solution exist but it didn't work for me.

The one I had real hope was Smaato. True Api, easy to implement. Unfortunatly it's really buggy. If you need to use IsolationStorage in your app (who doesn't) this kit delete your keys without reasons. Smaato is aware of the bug but seems to be verys low on the answer department.

Finally by pure randomness, I found ZestAdz and they have released a native Api for WP7. However forget their support it's really too slow to get some answer to a basic question. At the moment I try the sample provided but no ads appears.

I have also no idea if Microsoft will approve an app with Google ads. It is not really difficult to code, but due to the lengthy approval process, I don't want to be the guinea pig in that domain. 

So at the moment I am left with no real strong solutions. Smaato display the ads but with a slight delay and the ad look and feel is really poor.

If only they could fix their Api quickly it might be an intermediate solution until Microsoft finally push their borders to the world.



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