Mike Ormond's Blog

Musings on mobile development and Windows Phone 7 in particular.

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  • Blog Post: More Windows Phone Events (UK)

    We have another couple of free Windows Phone events coming up – one in London and one in Bristol. London is on Saturday 4th Feb (I’ll be there) Bristol is on Saturday 11th Feb (my fellow evangelist Andrew Spooner will be there) For full details see the UK MSDN blog (don’t ask me about that URL – that...
  • Blog Post: Star Chart–A Definitive AR App for Windows Phone

    I asked San Shepherd, co-founder of Escapist Games Ltd , a few questions about Star Chart, a high tech star gazing companion that allows you to see what’s out there in all its augmented reality glory. Q. Tell me a bit about your background and Escapist Games. "Our vision was to make the heavens...
  • Blog Post: The AdControl Requires Certain Capabilities

    In my post last week I talked about the Advertising SDK and using the AdControl in our applications as a means of generating revenue. I should have mentioned something that could catch you out – the AdControl requires certain capabilities to be defined in your app manifest. Specifically: For Silverlight...
  • Blog Post: You know the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone works in the UK right?

    If only I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked when Microsoft’s in-app advertising would be available in the UK. The Microsoft Advertising SDK was only available in the US for the initial Windows Phone launch. With the release of Mango however, 11 additional countries were added including the UK...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone eBook 1st Edition Published

    “It was with a sense of trepidation that I blogged a request for people who might like to help create a Windows Phone eBook back in February 2011. Despite my initial scepticism, there was an overwhelming response; both from people interested in the idea and those keen to volunteer their time and knowledge...
  • Blog Post: Mango Jump Start Training Recordings Available

    The Windows Phone “Mango” Jump Start Training with Rob Miles and Andy Wigley that took place on 23/24th August is now available to view on demand on Channel 9 . This is  a great way to learn about Windows Phone development and upcoming enhancements in the Mango release. There are a total of 14 session...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: From Zero to Hero - Getting your Apps on Marketplace

    Oops – somehow this one slipped through the net. Brandon talks about Marketplace, recent and future improvements and how to maximise your opportunity by building apps customers really want. View this video as a WMV Direct link to the video on the Tech.Days website.
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Expression Blend 4 – Design, Develop, Deliver

    Brennon Williams takes a look at user-centred design, Expression Blend, inspiration, SketchFlow and rapid prototyping, and design templates for Windows Phone whilst at the same time attempting a world-record for the number of libellous statements referring to Will Coleman in a single presentation. Good...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: SQL Server Compact and User Data Access in Mango

    In this session, Andy Wigley takes a look at the new local database features in Windows Phone Mango. Specifically SQL Server CE, how to deploy databases, how to access them and even how to update the database schema. Andy also explores the new APIs for accessing user data on the device (eg contacts)...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Liven up your WP7 Apps with sweet Mango sauce

    Jaime Rodriguez explores some of the new features in Mango by taking an existing application and updating it with local storage, background transfers, reminders, Live Tiles local API etc etc View this video as a WMV Direct link to the video on the Tech.Days website.
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: What's New in Silverlight in Windows Phone Mango

    Oren takes us on a tour of some of the upcoming Silverlight features in the Mango release of Windows Phone; inherited features from Silverlight 4, performance, controls, networking, media and graphics etc View this video as a WMV
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Lap Around Mango

    Brandon Watson takes us on a tour of the upcoming release of Windows Phone “Mango” with a strong focus on developer features including multi-tasking, framework enhancements, XNA & Silverlight integration, access to phone capabilities, performance, database access, push notifications, Marketplace...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Differentiating your Application - Integrating Platform Features and the Cloud

    In this session Ian Blackburn talks about Love Clean Streets and its use of platform features and Windows Azure services to create a more rewarding and engaging experience for users. View this video as a WMV Direct link to the video on the Tech.Days website.
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Blending Delicious User Experiences for Windows Phone 7

    The VerySoftware team share their experiences in building successful applications for Windows Phone 7. Using a Tech.Days sample application the guys take us through their learnings and offer some tips and tricks as well as stressing the importance of embedding design at the heart of your applications...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Building a Data Intensive Application

    Rich Griffin and Ollie Riches explore the use of data in a real-world application and how libraries such as wp7contrib can do some of the heavy-lifting for you. View this video as a WMV Direct link to the video on the Tech.Days website.
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Managing Data - Strategies for Mobile Applications

    In this session, Andy Wigley looks at accessing, storing and manipulating data in mobile applications. From local storage to accessing data in the cloud, persistence formats, databases and data presentation, Andy manages to cram a lot of practical information into an hour. View...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Banishing the Slow and other cheesy cliches

    In this session, Oren Nachman walks through some common performance pitfalls on Windows Phone (and mobile platforms in general) and offers guidance and advice on how to avoid them and how to get to the root of the problem if you do run into problems. View this video as a WMV...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application

    In this session, Gergely Orosz talks about Cocktail Flow and some of the lessons they learned in building it including the importance of “creating experiences” rather than “building applications” and knowing when to diverge from the guidance. View this video as a WMV ...
  • Blog Post: Tech.Days Live Video: Windows Phone – State of the Union

    It seems like an age since “Tech.Days Live” when we had two full days of Windows Phone sessions. All the sessions were recorded and they’re published on the Tech.Days website. To make things really easy I’m going to post the ones relating to developing for Windows Phone on my blog starting with Brandon...
  • Blog Post: SketchFlow Templates for Windows Phone

    Yes, you can now get SketchFlow templates for Windows Phone (or sketchy styles as they’re known) and I thought I’d have a play. (You must have a version of Blend 4 with SketchFlow enabled for this to work eg it wont work with the free version of Expression Blend for Windows Phone) First thing to do is...
  • Blog Post: All the latest Mango Goodness

    I’m sure most of you reading this will already know we released Beta 2 of the developer tools for Windows Phone Mango last week. In addition, if you’re a registered AppHub developer, you’ll be able to update a developer-unlocked Windows Phone 7 (retail) device to the matching Beta 2 build of the Mango...
  • Blog Post: TaxiRoute – A Windows Phone Application

    Some time ago, at a Windows Phone User Group meeting in Cardiff, I saw Trevor Daniel talk about his application TaxiRoute . It’s an interesting concept – and one we can all relate to – how much is a taxi going to cost me from A to B? (Or how much should this taxi I’ve just flagged down cost me to make...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Sessions at MIX11

    I’ve just spotted a great index of recordings of the Windows Phone sessions delivered at MIX11 on create.msdn.com . http://create.msdn.com/en-US/news/watch_MIX11_presentations
  • Blog Post: Blending the WebBrowser Control with your App

    In my last post , I talked about the risks of failing to adapt your app to the selected user theme with the consequence, in that particular case was failing Marketplace certification. There are other good reasons to adapt to the selected theme of course, primarily for aesthetics and user-experience....
  • Blog Post: Failing Marketplace Submission - A Dose of my own Medicine

    I’d been helping someone out with a Windows Phone 7 application. Like many other apps, the app retrieved data from a webservice. If there was an issue retrieving data, a message would be displayed to the user which, in XAML looked like a bit like this: <Border x:Name="NoDataMessage" Grid...
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