• DaveDev

    Windows Phone 7 Tip - How to automatically sync your OneNote documents to the Cloud

    • 12 Comments

    OneNote for Windows Phone 7

    OneNote is one of my favorite Microsoft Office applications and an amazing note taking tool.  I use it constantly to take screen shots of websites or applications, quick dictation, to-do lists, and even some sketching/doodles (via my Tablet’s pen).  One of the goals of the OneNote Team was to bring that note taking application to all three screens (PC, Cloud and Phone).  With the release of Windows Phone 7 that goal became a reality and we can now sync notes between all three screens.  Changes made on the phone will be available on our desktop and changes made on our desktop will show up in a web browser.  If you haven’t checked out the free Office Web Applications yet you owe it to yourself to take a peek.  Office Web Applications are part of SharePoint, are available when editing or viewing any Office document on your Skydrive as well as through other services like Docs.com and Office Live Workspace.

    Four Easy Steps to Cloud Sync

    What I don’t think we have done a good job of is actually exposing this functionality on Windows Phone 7 easily.  I had a conversation just last night with someone who was adamant about Windows Phone 7 not being able to cloud sync One Note Documents yet.  This prompted me to write this blog post in hopes I can make it easier for you as well. 

    Step 1 – Open Microsoft Office Hub

    When we first open up the Office Hub we are presented with a list of shortcuts to our most recently used OneNote Documents.  You can also tap and hold on these shortcuts to pin them to your start experience on the phone (I use this for quick to-do or shopping lists).  What is not obvious at first is you need to hit the All icon to get to the rest of your documents and open up the syncing option. In the below screenshot you will notice I have just created a quick OneNote document called DaveDev and I am now going to click on the All icon.

     

    Main Menu - Click ALL

    Step 2  - Click on Refresh icon on the Application Bar

    This will take you to a list of Pages in your current Notebook.  Windows Phone 7 only has one Notebook by default where all of your Pages will be stored.  When we enable syncing however we will start to pull down all Notebooks from the Cloud.  This means we can select these other Notebooks and create Pages in them right on the phone.  So while we cannot create Notebooks directly on the phone we can integrate with them existing ones.  If we bring up the full Application Bar we will notice a Refresh icon.  Go ahead and click that now.

    Document ListDocument List

     

    Step 3 – Confirm that you want to start syncing your documents with Skydrive

    You will be asked to confirm that you want to begin syncing OneNote with your Skydrive.  What Skydrive would that happen to be?  When you created/entered your Windows Live ID into the phone you were automatically given 25 gigabytes of free storage in the cloud (what a nice present eh?).  Office Documents on Windows Phone 7 are integrated with your Windows Live ID so it will take care of everything for you.  Exactly the same way the Zune Marketplace and X-Box Live integration works.  Go ahead and confirm that you want to enable Skydrive sync.

    SkyDrive Confirmation Prompt

    You will now be notified during the process of the sync status.  First it will connect up to Windows Live and then it will set up a default notebook (Unfiled Notes) if it does not already exist.

    Connecting to Windows Live!Creating Default Notebook

     

    Step 4 – Verify that your notebooks and pages have synced

    Now that we have enabled sync you will notice some changes.  First, all of your notes will now include the SkyDrive Folder (Personal) and OneNote Notebook (Unfiled Notes) they have been synced to.  You will also notice a Notebooks option that is now available.

    Notes-Synced!

    Swiping the screen to the left or clicking on Notebooks will take you to the new Notebooks screen.  This screen will display the status of all your Notebooks currently located in Skydrive as well as their Sync status.

    Synced Notebooks and Pages!

    Notice too that you now have the ability within each Note to sync immediately back to your Skydrive.  Clicking on the Refresh icon will kick off this process for you.

    DaveDev Note - Sync Button

     

    Viewing your One Note documents from the Cloud

    So now we have One Note running on our Windows Phone 7 device and we have One Note running on our Windows 7 PC.  But, let’s say we are out, maybe over at a friends house, and we need to pull up a quick One Note document.  I told you our stuff is in the cloud so we should be able to get to it from any Web Browser, right?  Of course! 

    Simply point your browser to Windows Phone Live and you will be presented with a bunch of functionality for your phone.  This is really where your cloud integration comes alive!  X-Box Live achievements, avatar customizations, contacts, calendar, phone tracking, photos as well as our newly synced OneNote documents are accessible here.  Simply click on the View All link under OneNote and you will be taken directly into the OneNote Web App.

     

    OneNote at http://WindowsPhone.live.com

    Like all of the Office Web Apps the One Note Web App is full featured and even includes the familiar Office Ribbon.  Notice along the top you can see the current Skydrive folder my Notebooks are synced under (Personal Web).  This is the same folder we saw displayed on our Windows Phone 7 device.  On the left pane you can now navigate between all of your notebooks and their included pages.  Opening up my newly synced document will display it in the editor on the write and any changes here will save back to the desktop and my phone.

    SkyDrive - Editing my OneNote Docs

    To the Cloud

    Hopefully this eliminated any confusion you might have had around enabled Cloud sync for Office One Note documents on your Windows Phone 7 Device.  Although we only do this for OneNote today we have already announced a free Windows Phone 7 update later this year that will sync your Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents as well.  These documents will be able to sync back to your Skydrive like we have shown here in addition to the already existing SharePoint functionality. 

  • DaveDev

    Numerous new Windows Phone 7 features coming out this year. First update to hit mid March.

    • 5 Comments

    Big day of announcements

    What a great time to be a Windows Phone 7 developer!  Hot off the heals of the recent Nokia partnership we announced some of the free updates that will be coming to Windows Phone 7 this year. Several new features were demoed at the Mobile World Congress expo today in Barcelona, Spain.  They include some long awaited features as well as some unexpected surprises.

     

    First update only weeks away

    The first free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phone 7 devices by the second week of March.  This is the long awaited update that includes copy & paste and faster application performance.  This update will also include support for CDMA networks.  That means U.S. mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint will be releasing Windows Phone 7 devices right on schedule for the first half of 2011.

    Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools - February 2011 Update

    The Developer Tools for this new update are already available and launched on February 4th.  Most applications should run just fine under the new update (my own DoodlePad app didn’t require any changes) and any apps using normal textbox controls will automatically take advantage of copy and paste.

    As pointed out on the Windows Phone 7 Secrets Blog copy and paste will also allow you to paste the text multiple times.



    People and Office Hub getting new Features

    I am very happy to report that Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.  This is great news if you are a fan of the current hub for all your Facebook updates and have been waiting for tweets to be included.  It was also announced that documents inside the Office Hub  will be directly integrated with Windows Live SkyDrive.  Expect these updates to hit in the second half of 2011.

    DaveDev - Windowsphone.live.com

    Don’t forget you can already do something similar today with OneNote by turning on Cloud Sync with your phone via the Zune Software. Above is the screen I get off Windows Live for my own Samsung Focus. 


    Internet Explorer 9

    We all know that the current browser in Windows Phone 7 is based off of Internet Explorer 7.  It is, like the rest of the mobile platforms out there, a mobile browser.  This means it comes across in the header as a mobile device to website owners.  Developers have to code custom screens for those mobile devices.  What if we could change all that?  What if an HTML5 developer could target just open web standards for their pages.  What if those same pages ran hardware accelerated across both phone and desktop without changing any code? Enter Internet Explorer 9!

     No Contest - Hardware Accelerated IE9 running circles around iPhone4 Safari Browser

    This is full Internet Explorer 9 running on the phone that is running on the desktop and the results speak for themselves.  I captured the above screenshot during the iPhone4 Safari  vs. WP7 IE9 mobile browser html5 showdown.  The Windows Phone 7 device was able to run 50 fish without any stuttering thanks to IE9 and the included phone hardware acceleration.   The best news of all is this will be a free update hitting devices in the second half of this year!


    Multi-Tasking

    Later this year users of Windows Phone 7 will have the ability to switch quickly between applications or run applications in the background (such as listening to music).  While the current build shown is not UI complete we were able to see how it will function.  To switch back and forth between apps you hold down the Back Button.  This presents a list of live thumbnails for your currently running apps.

    MultitaskingSend an Email then go right back to Fruit Ninja!

    I took the above screenshots during the keynote demo and you can see both Fruit Ninja and Rise of Glory running at the same time as E-Mail.  Both of these titles are currently available X-Box Live games on Windows Phone 7 and they appear to be multi-tasking just by running on the new build.  By simply holding down the back button after writing the e-mail, swiping over to Rise of Glory and tapping on its thumbnail the game got focused again.  Rather than showing the standard “Resuming…” screen like we are used to in the current builds today.  I am looking forward to this and imagine we will be getting a lot more details at MIX11!

     

    Kinect and Windows Phone 7?

    With over 8 million Kinect devices sold in just 60 days Xbox Kinect has quickly become one of the fastest selling consumer devices of all time.  If you haven’t seen one yet go to your local Best Buy and check it out.  That’s what got me hooked seeing how quickly my two little daughters took to it.  Several sore muscles later, thanks to Kinect Sports, my wife and I can vouch for it as well.  It truly is something revolutionary.

    So it was a great pleasure to see the X-Box team looking at ways of integrating Windows Phone 7 with Kinect and taking it to the next step. 

    KinectWP7

    A video was shown of the Kinect Adventures Rally Ball game (included free with the X-Box Kinect bundles).  The primary player was moving their body around to reflect the balls across the court and two people were controlling how those balls interacted on screen via their phones.  This included both the number of balls as well as their direction and speed.

    Pretty amazing stuff and I am looking forward to the coming year to see what other games start to integrate the two devices together.  Since we have X-Box Live already on our Windows Phone 7 devices how cool would it be to unlock achievements for both the person using the phone (right on the phone) as well as the person logged into Kinect!

  • DaveDev

    Announcing the MetroGameKit – a free, sample, starter project for Windows 8 Casual Games using HTML5 and JavaScript

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    spacecadet   Pew Pew! Fire Lasers!

    During the past couple of months I’ve been hacking around in the world of HTML5 Canvas and casual gaming.  The community that has formed up around HTML5 Gaming in particular is awesome and I am continually impressed by what I’ve seen.

    Not to mention I’m a big retro gaming fan – 8 bits anyone?

    With that in mind I wanted to contribute back to the community if I could.  I figured the best way I could do that was to take the experience I have writing Windows 8 Metro Style Apps and combine them with the world of HTML5 Canvas based gaming.

    Things were super easy to bring over from a code perspective.  All of my layout is done through CSS3 (including media queries for ViewState), the game loop is straight up HTML5 Canvas with requestAnimationFrame, the music uses HTML5 Audio Tags, and the sounds use third party JavaScript libraries like SoundJS.

     

    Get the Code

    You can grab the sourcecode from Codeplex here:

    CodePlex


    Or GitHub here:

    GitHub

     

    Summary

    I am replicating all the source back between GitHub into Codeplex so regardless of where you fork you will always have the latest source.

    If you decide to write a Windows 8 app and want to get into the Windows Store I would love to hear about it!  You may also want to check out my previous Windows 8 Metro Style Development Tips:

    Happing Coding!

    -Dave

  • DaveDev

    Everything you need to know about Windows Phone “Mango” Tools, Training Kit and Developer Phone Images

    • 1 Comments

    What a great time it is to be a Windows Phone developer!  Thanks to your efforts we just hit 25,000+ apps in the marketplace!  The next few months are going to be extremely exciting as we roll out the Mango update to existing Windows Phone customers everyone.  Now is the time for you to get up to speed and start playing around with an early build of Mango on your own phone.  The Windows Phone Team just announced some great stuff for all registered developers

    Windows Phone SDK Beta 2 Tools

    The first thing you will want to do is grab the new Windows Phone Beta 2 SDK for “Mango.”  This free download will install the latest SDK, Windows Phone Emulator, Visual Studio 2010 for Windows Phone and Expression  Blend 4 for Windows Phone.  If you already have a full installation of Visual Studio 2010 or Expression Blend 4 the tools will integrate with those products and just install the templates.

    Beta2

    There are a few things I want to point out about these tools:

    Multi-Targeting

    You will now be given the option to multi-target Windows Phone versions. Note that 7.0 is the current NoDo retail version and 7.1 is the Mango release.  If you want to continue targeting the current SDK for existing phones you will need to change the version to 7.0 as 7.1 is the default. 

    MangoVersionProject

    Applications that are built against the 7.1 SDK will require a phone with the Mango OS (the beta image version you receive as a developer is 7661) installed.  It is important to note however that existing 7.0 targeted applications should run just fine on devices with Mango OS installed.

    One of the questions I often get asked is how this will affect users of Windows Phone later this year when Mango is rolled out to everyone?  Microsoft plans to be very aggressive with this release and users will be notified of the upgrade both on the phone and when they connect to Zune.  What version of your application the user sees in the marketplace will be based on the version of their OS.  If they chose to not upgrade to Mango they will not see any Mango enabled apps in the marketplace.  This means you will need to have a version compiled against the 7.0 SDK for existing users (the same app you have today in marketplace) and an upgraded version compiled against the 7.1 SDK for users that have upgraded to Mango.  Users who have  upgraded to Mango will see all of the new Mango enabled apps as well as the 7.0 apps but they will only ever see one version of your app.

    Upgrade Wizard

    If you right click on a 7.0 compiled project in Visual Studio 2010 you will be given a new option to go through the migration wizard.

    Upgrade

    This will open a Wizard that will upgrade your project settings to the new Mango Release as well as point out any updates you may need to add to your code.  You won’t see this upgrade wizard in Expression Blend so be sure to open the project in Visual Studio if you want to check it out.

    Windows Phone Emulator

    One of the first things you will notice about the new Windows Phone Emulator is the Additional Tools that come bundled.  Both the Accelerometer and Location tools we showcased during MIX10 will be available to you.

    Emulator

    It is important to not however that the Phone OS image in the emulator is actually based off Mango.  You can see this by the new search icon that is visible in the application list.  This is important to keep in mind as you are testing your apps.  Even if you are targeting the 7.0 SDK in your application will in essence be a 7.0 application running on a Mango device.  If you want to run against the 7.0 OS Image you will need to keep a machine with the older SDK installed or a device that has not been flashed to Mango.

    Mango OS Image for Retail Phones

    Now for the most exciting part – how about playing with Mango right now on your existing Windows Phone!  The team is happy announced that all registered AppHub users will be receiving invites to an early beta build of the Mango OS.  Invites will be sent out via MS Connect to the e-mail address you used to register your account on AppHub.  These invites will be sent out in batches so if you haven’t received your invite yet please be patient.

     

    Windows-Phone-Mango-Overview


    Once you received the invite you will login to the MS Connect website with the same AppHub account Windows Live ID and then need to accept the license agreement.  I have gotten some questions around the confidentiality agreement guidelines specifically around what developers are and are not allowed to share.  Thankfully the team has posted more details here that should clarify any confusion.

    Q: What are the confidentiality requirements of my participation in this pre-release program?
    By participating in this pre-release program, you are agreeing to not share the ‘Mango’ pre-release device image, binary dumps, or the applications used to update to this pre-release image, with third parties.

    Basically you can talk about it!  You just can’t download the Phone Image and start hosting and distributing it out to non registered developers or third parties.  Pretty common sense stuff. 

    It is all super important to read the instructions fully.  Microsoft will be supporting bricked phones through this process but only one phone per developer account.  Please take every precaution when flashing your device to the Mango build!  I want to bring particular focus to the step around backing up your retail Nodo Windows Phone Image.  This image will be placed in a folder inside your windows user account directory AppData folder and assigned a guid.  Depending on the size of your phone image (mine was 12 gigabytes) this directory may be quite large.  You should immediately back up this directory to some type of external data source so that you will not lose it.  In order to flash your phone to the retail Mango image later this year you will need to restore back to your retail Nodo image.  Don’t lose the backup!

     

    Windows Phone “Mango” Training

    Ok you got the new Windows Phone SDK Beta 2 Tools and the Mango image loaded on your phone.  How do you start playing with what’s new outside of the existing sessions we did at MIX10?  If you are a fan of self paced hand on labs you will want to head over to MSDN and grab the updated Mango Training Course.

    MangoTrainingKit

    This course will walk you through many of the new features such as SQL CE, Background Agents and Fast App Switching.  The kit is designed to work completely offline and will install everything local for you.

    AppHub has also been updated with many new Mango enabled tutorials for both XNA and Silverlight Applications.  You can get to the updated content by hovering over the education column in the header and selecting education catalog.

    AppHubCatalog

    The MSDN Code Samples website has also been updated with lots of Mango goodness.  Be sure to check it out!

    MSDNMangoSamples

     

    Microsoft Advertising SDK Update

    In the midst of all the Mango announcements last week we also released an update to the Microsoft Advertising SDK.

    AdvertisingSDK

    If you are using Ads in your Windows Phone application you will definitely want to check out this release.  There are many updates included such as additional end user privacy and auto-hide of the control when no Ads are available to be shown.

    Windows Phone Sketchflow Templates

    If you happen to be one of those lucky folks running Expression Blend 4 Ultimate with Sketchflow then I’ve got some additional goodies for you! 

    WP7Sketchflow

    The Expression Team released updated Sketchflow templates that will now allow you to sketch out Windows Phone applications.  You can head on over to Codeplex to download the free templates.  Keep in mind you will need a licensed version of Expression Blend 4 Ultimate with Sketchflow these will not run with the free Blend for Windows Phone edition.

     

    Students get first access to Mango hardware

    Finally, if you are a student looking to get your hands on some of the first Mango enabled hardware then we have exciting news. As the team points out we have 50 devices reserved just for you!

    Here is what to do:

    1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
    2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
    3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
    4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
    5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

     

    Summer of Must Have XBox Games on Windows Phone

    The Xbox Team has been busy as well these past few weeks with their Six Weeks of Smash Hit Games.


    With over 70+ quality Xbox Live titles on Windows Phone this summer suddenly became a lot less boring!  I personally plan to break 5,000+ points on my gamerscore courtesy of both Angry Birds and PvZ.


    Xbox-WP7Games

    Happy Coding this Summer I am looking forward to seeing another 25,000+ apps!  – Dave

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