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    Winners 2012 Start Something Top Windows Phone apps!

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    Congratulations to the Grand prize winners of Start Something, winners include two apps by students from Ryerson and Athabasca!

    We had a lot of fantastic apps submitted to the Developer Movement Start Something campaign this year and I know many of you are enjoying your rewards. I did want to highlight the grand prize winners of the campaign!

    Congratulations in particular to Dickson Lam and the Three Red Cubes team who show once again that students can build some amazing apps!

    Simply Tile Match by Dickson Lam of Athabasca University

    Simply TileMatch! is a free and ad-free game for anyone to enjoy. This is a great game to train your memory and keeping your kids occupied. Simply TileMatch! is a great choice for challenging your level of concentration and cognitive ability with over 20 tile levels and 5 selectable difficulty levels to choose from. Fun for people of all ages and its kid and family friendly interface with 10 categories of tiles keeps the fun going!

    Sudoku3D by Three Red Cubes of Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University

    Experience a whole new take on classic Sudoku! Sudoku3D is a puzzle on the surface of a cube where all faces contribute to one unique solution. Sixteen unique values! Six faces! One solution! Are you ready for a challenge in the third dimension?

    Blockoid by Slashmind

    Simple yet challenging, addictive and hypnotic Block Game, 'Blockoid' is guaranteed to give you a Retro/Old-School feeling

    You are in a Blocks Factory, being part of the production chain you need to collect blocks ready for shipment so the production can continue.
    - Collect combinations of 2, 3 and 4+ blocks of the same color.
    - Reach the Maximum Level with the Maximum Blocks and compete for the WORLD Positions !!!
    - Every 34 blocks collected, a bomb will be ready to be dragged to the game area and help you destroy blocks nearing the top of the game screen.
    - Use Bomb to destroy black blocks

    Space Junk! by FusionWare Integration Corp.

    Prevent the proliferation of space junk around our great blue ball, Earth!
    YOU are in control of all the satellites orbiting Earth!
    YOU are responsible for avoiding collisions!
    YOU must not add orbiting space junk by crashing!
    YOU must protect the International Space Station (ISS) from rogue satellites (Full version only)!
    YOU must protect "special guests" (Full version only)!

    Keep your wits about you as you maneuver satellites in orbit to prevent crashes. Using nothing but your keen eye and pointy fingers, direct satellites around each other while scoring points and climbing the Orbital Guardian Honor Roll (OGHR

    Tasks by CodeCreators.ca

    Live Tiles - If you pin the Tasks app to your Start page, you will get a dynamically, updated report on the Overdue and Tasks Due Today.

    Deep Linking - On the menu in the main page, you have the option to add a tile that will open Tasks directly to the New Task page. Once you have added a new Task, you will be taken back to the Main Page.

    Daily Update - At the end of the day (just after midnight), a Background Task creates and refreshes the Live Tile with updated data for the new day.

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    Thanks to all the great apps we saw as part of the developer movement!

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    My experience attending an app excellence lab

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    metroIf you want to pass the certification test at the excellence lab to get a token for the Windows 8 store, you need to attend an app excellence lab and read the tips below.

    Last week I attended the excellence lab here in Montreal. It is a great experience as I learned more on what you actually can implement in your app and all these amazing windows 8 features. Also, Microsoft engineers will advise you on what you could use and other ideas that would make your app best at . For those who don’t know what is an Excellence Lab Read here!

    So this is how it went, I was confidence that my app is about 80 –90 % done. Surprisingly this is not what I expected, it’s seems that my app as functionality is 80 % done but it’s about 50 % from a windows 8 design aspect.

    Here are the tips they gave me when I attended the lab.

    • Page should take less than 5 seconds to load
      1. Solution Load page and then show a progress bar
      2. Solution Load only for example top/random 5 of each group.
    • App should behaves well while off-line and on intermittent network connectivity
      1. Solution Use caching to save the data.
    • App must have at least an about page in the settings charm.
    • App must support Keyboard , Mouse ,Touch
      1. Keyboard Handling browsing content through a keyboard using Key up,Key down… events.
      2. Mouse Handle selecting tiles when using right click. *If your app supports selecting tiles*
      3. Touch Handle selecting tiles “right click using a mouse” as it might crash. *If your app supports selecting tiles*
    • Navigations should not be placed in the appbar.
    • Commands such as add,edit,delete,save … should be placed in the appbar.
    • Do not use toast notification or modal dialogs for error handling.
      1. Solution Error handling is inline
    • App should adapt to different form factors and aspect ratios
    • App should handle snapped, filled, and full view states
    • App should properly handle activation from contracts, secondary tiles, and notifications .*If you are using any*

    After all, I got my token and I’m so excited to be one of the first having my app in the store.

    If you got an app and its above 60% completed and you still didn’t book an appointment for an app lab then we got good news for you, we added another week from June 25th – June 29th which you can do remotely.

    How do I register for a lab?

    Review the app-building content from the Windows Developer Centre to learn the fundamentals of building a great Metro-style Windows 8 App.

    Create a Windows 8 Metro-style app (or game) TODAY. Get it ready as if you were submitting it to the store for certification.

    Read through all of the great UX Guidelines online in the design section of the Windows Developer Centre.

    Contact win8cdn@microsoft.com and include the following information:

    • Your Name
    • Your Address information
    • A brief application description (no binary, optional screenshot, but only send if the screenshot is not confidential)
    • Wait for Thomas Lewis to respond letting you know where and when the closest lab will be, at which point we’ll schedule a time slot that is mutually beneficial.

    Book your appointment as this will be your chance to have your app the first in the store before everyone else.

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    Faculty Summit Live Channel

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    Watch and chat LIVE with Microsoft and guests below June 21, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern time!

    Video will start playing automatically below. The audio is muted by default. Unmute the audio when you're ready.

    Session evaluations

    Building mobile experiences that don’t suck by Paul Laberge (11:00 AM Eastern) - Evaluate Now

    Student thought leaders know the cloud by Jonathan Rozenblit (12:00 PM Eastern)- Evaluate Now

    Responsive web design - the view of the world depends on the glasses I wear by Thomas Lewis (1:00 PM Eastern) - Evaluate Now

    How to get your students to the Imagine Cup finals by Andrew Parsons (2:00 PM Eastern)- Evaluate Now

    The Windows 8 platform for Metro style apps by Thomas Lewis (3:00 PM Eastern) - Evaluate Now

    Collaborating with Microsoft Research Connections by Derick Campbell (4:00 PM Eastern) - Evaluate Now

    Microsoft IT Academy: Curriculum that leads to certification by Heidi Johnson (5:00 PM Eastern)- Evaluate Now

    Building games using Visual Studio 11 and DirectX by Amit Mohindra (6:00 PM Eastern)- Evaluate Now

     

    Read rules and regulations for the Faculty Summit Evaluations Contest

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    Windows 8 Update–New Hardware and events!

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    Windows 8 news keeps coming, new hardware, a developer camp, and free book!

     

    Windows 8 Events in Canada

    If you are interested in building a Windows 8 app, and you want some help learning the developer platform and some of the unique aspects of developing on the Windows 8 platform such as Share contracts, snap view, and app bars a Windows 8 camp is a great resource.

    Kitchener-Waterloo 

    Ottawa

     

    Free e-book for Windows 8 developers

    If you don’t live near an event, or even if you just want some reference material for Win 8 development check out this free e-book

     

    Microsoft announces new Windows 8 hardware

    A new surface tablet was unveiled this week. Check out pictures learn more at www.surface.com or read the press release

    App Excellence Labs

    Lots of Canadian developers are in the app excellence labs already presenting their apps and fine tuning them for the Windows 8 store. It’s great to see some strong Canadian apps in the store already! Last night I introduced my kids to Tete a Claques on my Windows 8 slate. Now my kids want a Willy Waller 2006 (T’aime ca les patates?). If you are working on an app contact Win8Cdn@Microsoft.com to find out how you can attend an app excellence lab and get your app into the store. Got your app around the 60-70% completed mark, you could even attend a remote lab next week! Get your app in the store early!

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    Teaching? Don’t miss our faculty summit Thursday!

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    Just a reminder of our faculty virtual summit this Thursday June 21st, 2012, pick the sessions that interest you!

    Canada is hosting a faculty summit, but since Canada is really big, we’re doing it online. Join us for sessions on Mobile, Web, Gaming, Imagine Cup, Certification, Microsoft Research. Get up to speed on what’s new in your field and find out what resources we have for you! In addition to some great Canadian speakers we’ve enlisted some of the great folks in Seattle at head office to spend some time with you as well.

    Check out more details about the session and register here!

    We’ve opened up the sessions to faculty from around the world, but first and foremost this summit is for Canadians! We even have a couple of nice giveaways and a faculty package of goodies for the first 50 Canadian faculty who register! Why should the students been the only ones who get cool stuff!

    Hope to see you there!

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