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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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    The Windows Phone Hunger Game

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    349MicroImagCup-349Carleton University students won second place winner at the 2012 Canadian Imagine Cup with a Windows Phone game that reminds us of the challenges involved in delivering aid and supplies to where it is most needed.

    The Problem:

    World Hunger. 3 billion people around the world survive on $2 a day. One seventh of the people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight.

    The Solution:

    Team Novarum from Carleton University (Skye Gagne, Zara Tooth, Ryan Bottriel, Matthew Fournier and mentor Jean-Sylvain Sormany) built a windows phone game to collect funds from advertising revenue and give it to Stop Hunger Now. Stop Hunger Now is a charity that provides meal packs that cost 25 cents and include rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavouring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals. By supporting this charity through advertising revenue in the game, players can make an impact when they play the game. Team Novarum understands by making a fun game you can engage and involve people who might not otherwise take the time to support the charity.

    The Game:

    Based on the hunger theme, the app challenges the player to get food to remote locations. Players have to steer a package of food from the top of the screen to the bottom where a group of people are waiting. Obstacles block the food’s path and must be overcome by manipulating elements such as water, dirt, and ice. For example you can use water to wash away dirt.

    Each level starts with a simple map. The player must determine what elements need to be added, or taken away for the food to reach the people.

    You can see a preview of the game in this video

    Feed The People

     

    The game graphics are straightforward but the physics make it fun! Congratulations Team Novarum for taking the time to try and inspire all of us to do what we can to make a difference!

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