A simple post today. The team here has done a lot of work encouraging, helping, incentivising and cajoling (?) students to write apps and submit them into MarketPlace. Grace and I (Phil Cross) have just called a few students to see how they were getting on and it was a great experience.
Nearly all the students had submitted their apps, they were all excited and enthused about their experience, some a little more than others
We’ll try and promote some of the apps when we can draw breath but I just wanted to highlight this one – cos we liked the solution and the design! Its not live yet but waiting for verification – well done Manfredas!
Students are awesome and the call-out really made me realise how much I enjoy my job.
A couple of weeks ago I took the jump into Windows Phone development and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. Using DreamSpark the tools were easy to set up and registering on the marketplace as easy.
Then there is learning the code. I was already competent in VB coding so this helped me but there were still some changes which I need to learn, this is where the resources available really came into their own. Windows Phone is already an extremely nice platform to program for but the tools available to everyone made life and switching to Windows Phone programming even easier. The tutorials can show you everything from starting on your very first program to moving to the Windows Phone platform, the new tools and how it works.
For me the best thing was using a platform which flows wells and gives you so much in the way of starting code. Every application you create is based on some sort of skeleton code meaning less work for you in design and more time for you to work on your code and get the best application possible.
There is also a great community on Windows Phone, on both the official forums and other forums such as XDA-Developers. The people there will help you with any code problems you help and endeavour to get you what you need to build the best app. These people are there because they love the platform, they love the development process (and why wouldn’t they?) and because they love to see new people joining them.
So where did I start? Design. The first thing you need to do is design your app so you know what you need to code and what goes where inside the app. Once this stage is done we can get started on the code.
Windows Phone is so simple to code. I started and within 6 hours my app was finished. The trick is to use the tools available on both the app hub and other online resources. Skeleton code can be your best friend if you utilise it well.
Then there is the app submission. I don’t think this process could have been easier. Upload your app, fill in a few details, upload some screenshots from the emulator and your logos with this you can submit your app for verification.
This is where the waiting game begins; fortunately this is a quick process and tends to take 1-3 days. Once this is done your app is in the marketplace and ready to go.
So I came from a background with previous experience in coding so what about someone who hasn’t? On Friday Microsoft came down to Bournemouth University to run a Windows Phone Camp. This went down very well with the students many of whom had never touched the tools before and some who had only just started coding. With their help and the tutorials online in the space of 3 days a novice had written and app and started private testing, with the hope of publishing his app by the end of the week.
That’s how easy it is to write your apps for this platform.
Another attendee who was previously a “I hate Microsoft” person and hardcore Linux user had a play with the devices, the tools and saw how simple and nice it was to code for the platform and made the switch. He is now going to start using Window Phone as his primary device and move from webOS coding to Windows Phone coding.
So as you can see there is something for everyone with Windows Phone, user or developer it’s the nicest experience you can have.
A student asked us on Facebook for ideas on where to get started with an app on Windows Phone. A great place to start with ideas is Microsoft Showcase Videos on Windows Phone 7 for inspiration.
However, there is a huge amount of other “stuff” as well so Geoff Hughes in the team pulled this list together….its long but a useful reference list – enjoy if you have a few minutes peace and quiet
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone is designed to make it easier for you to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services running in Windows Azure. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation. All this content is designed to be easily reused, simplifying your experience and optimizing your time when building your own phone applications leveraging cloud services.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Android - v0.8.0
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Android is a toolkit for developers to make it easy to work with Windows Azure from native Android applications. The toolkit can be used for native Android applications developed using Eclipse and the Android SDK.
The toolkit works in two ways – the toolkit can be used to access Windows Azure storage directly, or alternatively, can go through a proxy server. The proxy server code is the same code as used in the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone and negates the need for the developer to store the Windows Azure storage credentials locally on the device. If you are planning to test using the proxy server, you’ll need to download and deploy the services found in the cloudreadypackages here on GitHub.
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Android is made available as an open source product under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
For additional questions or feedback, please contact the team.
The Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS is a toolkit for developers to make it easy to access Windows Azure storage services from native iOS applications. The toolkit can be used for both iPhone and iPad applications, developed using Objective-C and XCode.
The toolkit works in two ways – the toolkit can be used to access Windows Azure storage directly, or alternatively, can go through a proxy server. The proxy server code is the same code as used in the WP7 toolkit for Windows Azure (found here) and negates the need for the developer to store the Azure storage credentials locally on the device. If you are planning to test using the proxy server, you’ll need to download and deploy the services found in the cloudreadypackages here on GitHub.
The Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS is made available as an open source product under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
Facebook C# SDK
The Facebook C# SDK is a community driven open source project that enables developers to build Facebook applications across a variety platforms using any .NET language.
CodePlex 200+ Windows Phone projects
Mango Jump Start: Building Applications for Windows Phone
Microsoft MVPs Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are back! The "Building Applications for Windows Phone "Mango" Jump Start" was hosted by Microsoft Learning as a follow-up to last year's Windows Phone 7 Jump Start sessions. Mobile application developers rave about the fast-paced, demo-rich, real-world and often-times humorous approach Rob and Andy use to deliver this timely content. Now that "Mango" has made such a huge splash in the industry, we've asked them to put together another great course.
This course is specially tailored for developers looking to build cool applications and games for the new Windows Phone Mango Platform.
This introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone solutions, edit program source files, and add and manage program resources, build and run the solution. Next, they demonstrate options for debugging solutions using the Windows Phone Emulator or an actual device as well as managing the solution properties for deployment in the marketplace.
Source can be found here: http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/wpmango/m/mediagallery/default.aspx
1. Mango Jump Start (01): Building Windows Phone Apps with Visual Studio 2010
2. Mango Jump Start (02): Silverlight on Windows Phone - Introduction
3. Mango Jump Start (03): Silverlight on Windows Phone - Advanced
4. Mango Jump Start (04): Using Expression to Build Windows Phone Interfaces
5. Mango Jump Start (05): Windows Phone Fast Application Switching
6. Mango Jump Start (06): Windows Phone Multi-tasking and Background Tasks
7. Mango Jump Start (07): Using Windows Phone Resources (Bing Maps, Camera, etc.)
8. Mango Jump Start (08a): Application Data Storage on Windows Phone - Part 1
9. Mango Jump Start (08b): Application Data Storage on Windows Phone - Part 2
10. Mango Jump Start (09): Using Networks with Windows Phone
11. Mango Jump Start (10): Tiles and Notifications on Windows Phone
12. Mango Jump Start (11a): XNA for Windows Phone - Part 1
13. Mango Jump Start (11b): XNA for Windows Phone - Part 2
14. Mango Jump Start (12): Selling a Windows Phone Application
Suggested Resources for Windows Phone 7 Development
Programming Windows Phone 7 by Charles Petzold This book will show you the basics of writing applications for Windows Phone 7 using the C# programming language with the Silverlight and XNA 2D frameworks. This book is divided into three parts. The first part discusses basic concepts of Windows Phone 7 programming using example programs that target both Silverlight and the XNA framework. The second part of this book focuses entirely on Silverlight, and the third part on XNA 2D. The chapters in each part build upon previous knowledge in a progressive tutorial narrative, and hence are intended to be read sequentially.
Developer Guides Click the link above to visit Windows Phone site for a list of guides or click on any specific Developer Guide below.
· Application Platform Overview for Windows Phone
· Windows Phone UI Design and Interaction Guide
· Designing Web Sites for Phone Browsers
· Code Samples
This page lists a set of code samples for developers of applications for Windows Phone OS 7.0 CTP Refresh. You can download the samples listed here to see how the Windows Phone APIs are used in practice or as a starting place for your own applications. You will need to install Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh to run these samples. To get started, check out the Windows Phone developer portal.
Windows Application Development Site Visit this site for material such as Code Samples, Videos and other Windows Solutions.
Essential Windows 7 Downloads This site will provide you with items like the Windows SDK, Windows API Code Pack for the .NET Framework and the Windows Driver Kit.
Create Games for Windows Phone 7 Educational Series The App Hub launched Phase 1, Part 2 of the Create Games for Windows Phone 7 Educational Series, designed to help developers get introduced to making games for Windows Phone 7. Included are source code and assets to learn and start building various game types and features.
Getting Started with Windows 7 This site provides links to learning and developing applications with Windows 7.
Windows Phone Development This is the Windows Phone Developer Tools documentation site. The documentation is organized into the following sections. The Fundamental Concepts for Windows Phone and Design Guidelines for Windows Phone sections provide you with an overview of the fundamental concepts and design guidelines that you should first review and understand. The Common Application Development Tasks for Windows Phone and Application Features for Windows Phone sections review some of the common development considerations and tasks and introduce some of the key features and functionality that you can add to your Windows Phone application.
Microsoft Showcase Videos on Windows Phone 7 View these 60+ Windows Phone 7 videos on the Microsoft Showcase site.
Windows Phone Programming in C# This material, created by Rob Miles, is an introduction to Windows Phone development for anyone learning to program. It contains 8 sections with labs, PowerPoint presentations, demos and detailed notes. It assumes some knowledge of programming fundamentals, but will teach you programming concepts in the framework of Windows Phone development. This information does not teach basic programming principles. The assumption is that you already know how to write and run simple C# programs on a Windows PC.
Windows Phone 7 Sensors and XNA These tutorials are designed for faculty members in higher education who have worked with XNA and are interested in including Windows Phone 7 (WP7) as part of their courses or research programs. The tutorials are designed to illustrate the details of working with the WP7 sensors. It is assumed that faculty members will have their distinct requirements for abstraction. The tutorials do not attempt to wrap or hide the sensor APIs. The tutorial does not attempt to address any application-level issues (e.g., game-design, game-play), or general issues concerning programming with the XNA Framework. General developers in the XNA community may find the tutorials helpful as an initial guide to working with the sensors on the Windows Phone 7 device.
Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit This Training Kit will give you a jumpstart into the new Windows Phone world by providing you with a step-by-step explanation of the tools to use and some key concepts for programming Windows Phones. It is geared for beginners who want to get started with developing applications for the latest Windows Phone operating system. Even if you don’t know Silverlight or XNA Framework, you will find this Training Kit useful. More seasoned Silverlight developers should also find this kit useful, as it explains some of the differences between Silverlight and Silverlight for the phone.
Did you get this far? If so then the first 5 people to email me at email@example.com with DreamSpark Hoody in the subject line can have a free hoody.
We’ve checked all the entries and will be emailing the recipients of the phones later today – keep an eye on your inbox……
For anyone developing an app for Windows Phone, don’t forget you can get prizes through our rewards programme.
Here’s a sample of what you can get for 1 app
and for 4 apps you receive something like
Check out the site (after you have registered here) for all the rewards.
Got a Windows Phone App in development? We have 20 phones to give away to students aged 16 or over in full time education at a UK Educational Institution.
You must have registered on AppHub using your DreamSpark login credentials. You then need to complete this form and email it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. First 20 complete entries get the phones!
If you are under 18 then email us on email@example.com as there is a way to get you onto the system with parental “approval”
Please note: this offer is limited to a total of 20 phones to be given away as per this blog entry. By signing the form you agree to return the phone, at your expense and via recorded delivery, to the address below if your app is not published in MarketPlace by December 23rd. If you have already received, or are due to receive a Windows Phone from us through another programme you are not eligible for this offer. One phone per student.
Phil Cross, Microsoft Ltd, Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1W