Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
While the default controls in the Windows Phone SDK are nice, there are more free controls you can download and use as well to make your applications even better!
My continuing adventures exploring Windows Phone application development. If you missed my early stories, you can find them here. Don’t forget Canada, you only have until May 20th, 2012 to have your app published to get prizes from developermovement.com
I finally have a bit of time to go back to my Windows Phone app. I have a textbox for entering a time which forces numeric input. It works but I can’t help but feel there should be a better control than just a textbox. When I look at other windows phone apps I see a lot of really nice looking controls that I don’t see in my toolbox. After a little searching I discovered you can download a Windows Phone Toolkit and get more new Windows Phone controls for free!
In this blog post I’ll talk about.
So let’s see if I can figure out how to install this and take a look at what it gives me.
It’s installed, so now I launch Visual Studio and open up my project, but…uh… I don’t see anything different! When I go to the toolbox I still see the same list of controls. I look at the documentation tab ‘This project does not have documentation yet’, I read the page,lots of stuff about the controls, nothing about how to get them to show up in Visual Studio! Developer community to the rescue, a few Bing searches reveals the answer.
1. In the Solution Explorer, add a reference to toolkit.dll which was installed but may not be added as a reference to your project. It shows up as Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Toolkit after you add the reference.
2. Add a new tab to your toolbox by right clicking on the toolbox and choosing Add Tab (You don’t have to do this, but by creating a new tab you can put all the new controls in one place so you can easily find them)
3. Add the controls to the toolbox by going to your new tab in the toolbox, right click and choose Choose Items. In the Filter box type Microsoft.Phone.Controls so that all the phone controls are listed. Then select all the new controls you want to add. Just a quick note, some of these aren’t really controls unto themselves and are classes that are used by the controls (for example ListPickerItem is an item in the ListPicker Control). So you may not want to add all of them to your toolbox. Adding the reference allows you to use their functionality, adding them to the toolbox just gives you the ability to drag and drop them to your screens.
4. You should now see the controls in your toolbox
Wow there are a lot of them I’ll do what I can here to summarize, but I may not cover every single control. I’ll break it down the same way I did when I talked about the Windows Phone standard controls. There is no formal documentation of this toolkit so I have hunted for blog posts to help wherever possible.
Meet the teams who will be competing in the Windows Phone Game Design category at the Canadian Imagine Cup to win phones, Xbox, Kinect, mentorship opportunities and more!
Last week our judges narrowed down the Canadian entries in Phone Game Design to the top three who we have invited to come present their games on stage at the Canadian Imagine Cup finals April 30th at the University of Waterloo. Game development has become a huge industry over the years. These teams were challenged to not only build a game but tie it to the 2012 Imagine Cup Theme “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”. You can come out and cheer the teams at the finals, register here.
Let’s meet the teams who will be competing at the Canadian finals, in alphabetical order by team name.
Our Solution: Our team is attempting to solve the problem of world hunger by donating to an effective charity that makes a real impact in the world. We do this by raising funds via in-game advertising and raising awareness through gameplay.
Team Novarum: Ryan Bottriel, Zara Tooth, Matthew Fournier, Skye Gagne and Jean-Sylvain Sormany (mentor)
Our Solution: Humans have evolved to recognize patterns and solve visual problems efficiently. By abstracting multiple sequence alignment to manipulating patterns consisting of coloured shapes, we have adapted the problem to benefit from human capabilities. By taking data which has already been aligned by a heuristic algorithm, we allow the user to optimize where the algorithm may have failed.
Team Phylo: Chu Wu, Alfred Kam, Jerome Waldispuhl (mentor)
Our Solution: The goal of Project Beacon is to show, through a game, the impact of human activity on the planet, and how actions of one person can help to improve the environment. Our game will highlight the importance of renewable energy sources (sun, wind, water), and focus on the art style in order to show, visually, a shift between a polluted world and a clean world.
Team Project Beacon: Gar Lam, Clark McGillis, Curtis Field, Eva Demers-Brett and Jean-Sylvain Sormany (mentor)
Congratulations again to our Canadian finalists and to all the other great entries we received in the Windows Phone game category! It's students like you who inspire all of us to make a difference! We’ll see you at the finals!
Meet the teams who will be vying for title of Canadian Imagine Cup champions and a trip to Australia to represent Canada at the Canadian Imagine Cup Finals Monday April 30th at the University of Waterloo.
Last week our judges had to make the difficult decision of which three Canadian teams to invite to our Canadian Imagine Cup Finals. In the end three different schools with three very different ideas were selected. Congratulations to the teams and their schools! We can't wait to see your presentations at the finals April 30th at the University of Waterloo. If you want to come out to watch the finals you can register here.
In alphabetical order by team name
Team D19: Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan
Our Solution: Our Application name is Greeni. The system is based on the Kinect sensor that monitors human's motions in the cubicles and corridors. If there is anybody in the cubicle, the system will turn on the light and ventilation system
Our Solution: Our application, Global Pharmacy Connection (GPC), aims to make essential drugs available and affordable to developing countries. To achieve this, GPC provides a portal where healthcare providers (buyers) and pharmaceuticals (suppliers) can connect, which enables buyers to gain access to more drugs at lower pricing by obtaining drug supplies from multiple suppliers.
Congratulations to our Canadian finalists and to all the other great entries we received in the Software Design Category! It's students like you who inspire all of us to make a difference!
The finalists are selected, the big day of the finals is coming up. We invite YOU to come out and be part of a day that celebrates the power of students!
Wow after almost a year of planning it’s hard to believe it’s time for the Canadian Imagine Cup Finals! We have put together a fantastic day and we want to invite you to come out and be part of it! The students, the guest speakers and the judges are sure to leave you feeling inspired and empowered! This is a day to celebrate the power of students. We want you to be there!
Who: You! What: Canadian Imagine Cup Finals Where: University of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario When: Monday April 30, 2012 Why: because this is going to be one of those days where you walk away feeling energized, inspired and empowered! Two great speaker keynotes, amazing ideas from your fellow students as they present to our celebrity/invited experts panel, even a showcase area to see the entries up close or check out the latest Microsoft technologies. How: Register today! Price: Free! but space is limited make sure you register!
What: Canadian Imagine Cup Finals
Where: University of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario
When: Monday April 30, 2012
Why: because this is going to be one of those days where you walk away feeling energized, inspired and empowered! Two great speaker keynotes, amazing ideas from your fellow students as they present to our celebrity/invited experts panel, even a showcase area to see the entries up close or check out the latest Microsoft technologies.
How: Register today!
Price: Free! but space is limited make sure you register!
Take a look at the incredible speakers and judges you will see at the finals!
In order of appearance:
Presentations by our teams in Software design and Windows Phone game design will be judged by an accomplished celebrity panel!
Prior to Axonify, Carol was CEO of PostRank a software company that tracked where and when online audiences were interacting with content in the social sphere. After receiving acquisition interest from a number of parties Carol sold PostRank to Google in June 2011.
Carol has also been CEO of RSS Solutions and Fakespace, two other tech companies that she sold to strategic acquirers in North America. She has a finance background and a Master of Accounting from the University of Waterloo.
Carol was recently recognized for her contributions with an Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Intrepid Award for being an entrepreneur who is a strong leader and has great promise for future contribution. She loves all things technology, and sits on the boards of several organizations.
In the past, he turned his interest in technology into several successful online companies, including MyDesktop.com, which sold to Internet.com in 1999. In 2008, he was named by Contribute Magazine as one of 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy.
Michael has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, presented at TED, and was named one of Teen People's "Twenty Teens that will Change the World". Over the last decade, he has keynoted over 100 events across sectors, sharing his social media expertise and insights on youth engagement and educational reform to audiences in over 30 countries. He sits on several non-profit boards, including the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition, and on the International Advisory Council for Microsoft's Partners in Learning program
We’ll wrap up the day with an inspiring keynote from Tim Jackson, someone who is living the theme of Imagine Cup “Making a Difference” as a founder and partner of Social Venture Partners of Waterloo Region, a venture fund that blends volunteerism and philanthropy together to invest in social/community initiatives.
Tim has a long history as an entrepreneur and business leader. A founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners, he was earlier CFO and CEO at PixStream. He has also acted as CFO, CEO, or board member for numerous other technology companies. Tim is a frequent speaker on innovation, corporate culture, leadership, community building, acquisitions and investing, and related topics.
Active for many years in the not-for-profit sector, in 2009 Tim was awarded the inaugural annual Barnraiser Award for “inspirational, collaborative achievement” in Waterloo Region. In 2007, he was honoured with the Legacy of Leaders Award from the City of Waterloo and the Leadership Award from the Volunteer Action Center.
JOIN US AT THE CANADIAN IMAGINE CUP FINALS APRIL 30TH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO!
This week’s interview features Kam Shing (Joe) Yip a student from Concordia University who built a game called Road Trip Runner
To see more stories like this go here.
Road Trip Runner is based on the imaginary little man that I used to think was running next to the car as I was bored looking out the window during a road trip. The player can choose the side of the window from where he wants to play the game. The game displays a little man running across the scene on your car window as seen with the camera from your Windows Phone.
Tap on the screen to jump and dodge the incoming shurikens. The simple gameplay keeps the game casual.
I used both XNA and Silverlight, but the game is mostly made in XNA. In particular, the textures calls, game loop and logic are in XNA. However, the game cannot be completed with XNA alone as XNA does not have access to all the tools necessary. For Road Trip Runner, I needed the raw camera data which can be accessed only through Silverlight.
Save and load data. FileIO is not the same on the phone, I didn’t know the proper way of accessing data. In my mind I thought that a game is not the same if there cannot be a high score to beat! So I kept on pushing for the feature.
I wouldn’t say I solved the issue by myself. Fortunately, I have other friends working on their own apps and games which require save/load features. I asked for their help and they managed to help me solve it.
The menu, I wish I could have made a nicer menu system and better screen manager.
The simplicity of the camera API was a surprise to me. In the beginning I didn’t have the right tools. I was using the 7.0 SDK. Raw camera data access can be found in the 7.1 SDK only. It took me a little time before realizing this, but when I got the chance to code in the right environment, it wasn’t long until I got the camera working. It went smoother than I expected it would.
The game is very mobile specific I would say. It is design to use what is particular about the mobile platform. So, it cannot be just any game. Mobile may have less power in terms of process or graphic, but there are functionalities that are specific to the phone, so the game is designed to use what is particular about new smartphones, their camera.
The game uses tap for having the little man jump. It is the only way to control him
The idea I would say. It is funny how many people actually imagine a little man running alongside their ride. I saw a post on a webpage about the topic and I realize how many people actually imagine a little man running or at least something similar. I would like to bring this little game of ours to life and I did it.
Joe Yip, that’s my publisher name. People call me Joe, but some calls me Kam Shing which is my other name. I am a computer science student at Concordia University in the computer games option. I make games for school projects, personal projects or events. I enjoy making games, not only it is fun, but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Look for Road Trip Runner on the Windows Phone Marketplace.