I’ve stumbled across a few useful things recently that I thought would be worth highlighting.

Updated Windows Phone Training Kit

An update to the Windows Phone Training Kit has been released. As well as refreshing nearly all the labs to fix bugs and ensure they work with the emulator and on devices, there are also two new labs; Accessing Windows Phone 7 Devices and Multi-Touch Game Development with XNA Framework. They also updated the push notifications same to use the Push Notification Server Side Helper Library.

The Push Notification Server Side Helper Library

Push notifications (server side) require a fair amount of plumbing code so the team have published a helper library that supports sending all three types of notifications. “The library provides an easy way for sending all three kinds of push notification messages currently supported by Microsoft Push Notification Services (MPNS): Tile, Toast, and Raw. Our main goal here is to extract any complexity for sending push notification (PN) messages from your website (or web service) to a Windows Phone. This library helps developers to send push messages using only a few lines of code.”

More details here.

Windows Phone 7 Recipes

It turns out that the Push Notification Server Side Helper Library is just one of a number of “recipes” the team have developed (and there are more on the way). These recipes are open source projects aimed at simplifying common application development patterns on Windows Phone 7. Here are the current recipes:

More details here.

Top 10 things to check when you think you’re done

This series is nearly complete now (at 8/10) and well worth a look.

  1. Start tiles and splash screens are your first impression… Make them great.
  2. Make sure your buttons are visible even when the keyboard is displayed.
  3. Managing themes on WP7. Or how to build your application to respect system color changes.
  4. Make sure your finger can hit the target and text is legible.
  5. Give feedback on touch and progress within your UI.
  6. Embedding web content should be done with extreme caution.
  7. Place your buttons well… Flying buttons, home buttons, and back buttons… Oh my!
  8. Understanding Pivots and Panoramic views.
  9. Right layout alignment and information hierarchy are key. (coming soon)
  10. Make your life easy.  Use our common controls, and use them right! (coming soon)

 

Documentation

There’s a great post about documentation – both signposting to documentation and how to improve your experience – on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Again, well worth a look.