During our talk @ PDC we showed a number of demos aimed to high light the core value proposition of Silverlight 2 for mobile. Let me just walk through these quickly and re-iterate some of the key points on each of them.
Mobile Visual Studio : Clearly everyone enjoyed this little spoof we did to bring out that hidden geek in everyone. We walked through the entire Start to Debug experience of what Visual Studio running on mobile would feel like.
The idea here was to emphasize that mobilizing your apps is not about Miniaturizing. A lot more thought needs to go into build apps that look and feel nice on the mobile devices.
And Yes this app was created using Silverlight for mobile and was running on the IE Browser on a Windows Mobile 6.1 Samsung Omnia Device that we used for all the other demos as well.
Hello World + The ALT+F5 experience : showed our commitment to making the debugging experience of a mobile developer really easy. We call it the First Class Experience for Debugging Silverlight on Mobile.
Since Silverlight runs on the browser, just pointing the browser of your mobile device is all it takes to launch the apps from your mobile device but we even take this a step further and provide a much easier option by which simply pressing ALT+F5 would launch your device or emulator, connect it to your Silverlight Page and attach the debugger to the code behind.
This demo also showed a very important aspect of the consistency of the runtime. We created the project once and it worked exactly the same way on the desktop browser and on the mobile browser.
Not just do we make it easy for Visual Studio developers, in the next demo we showed how assets created in Expression Design can be used exactly in the same way on mobile and how well simple animations and storyboards work on Mobile.
The next of demos were then aimed at showing how Silverlight for mobile addresses some of the existing pain points developers face.
If you have ~2 year old at home and have not tried this, you are really missing some fun! http://www.hanselman.com/babysmash/ We talked to Scott a few days before his talk at PDC and were wondering how best to show this on a mobile device. Yes I love this idea because I have a 2 year old constantly wanting to play with my phone.
So in this demo we showed that all the XAML and other assets they had created for the desktop version just worked on mobile and all we had to go was to build the experience of how we want to present the app on mobile.
The slot machine
This demo focused on how developer should think about delivering the right content based on the device that is viewing this content. With XAML and it’s Scaleable Vector graphics capabilities, many of the apps will scale well to fit the available real estate on the device; however if you want to be in full control of what gets displayed, the Browser sends a wealth of information to the server and by reviewing that, you can redirect the client to the page that is optimized for that experience.
Navigating between pages in a application is always an interesting issue for developers. We used a simple game to highlight what such a work flow could look like. In addition to this, we had also used a fairly powerful algorithm for game solving that we written for the desktop and we could see how well it worked even on the mobile. An Yes Giorgio won, he know how to :-)
This demo shows how very amazing UI and experiences can be built using Silverlight. We also played Chords as we gently brushed our fingers on he screen of the device.
This was a demo that we included to show that not only can you play audio with ease, playing video is also extremely easy. Hence the use of a TV like screen with a “behind the scene”” footage of what goes on in the speaker prep room. While everyone is working hard on their decks and demos, the “geek” Amit is having good time.
Learning to Dance
The previous video did expose that the dancing gene is clearly missing and hence he need helps. We then used this demo to A) teach Amit to Dance b) show our developer how various input models can be used on the same app. In this simple learning to dance demo, we should how animations need to be hooked up to create these effects as well as using Gestures, Mouse and D-Pad inputs to control the application. While I didn’t see much improvements in my dancing skills, there were certainly some good insights on inputs models that I learned from this demo.
My daughter plays a very similar games (like a dance pad) and we felt this would have good sample to showcase challenges with Inputs models.
Clearly my favorite in terms on mobile design and features. Giorgio made this Paint application that you can use your fingers to draw with. He also uses this app to highlight the design principles of how mobile UI should be made and where menu and where the apps main surface should be placed.
The Picture Brower
By far the most complex in terms of coding, this demo used core networking using WebClient APIs to make calls to a webserver to get pictures and then present them in a very neat form that look nice on a device. Again showing the parity of code for Silverlight on mobile.
As a developer the message I take away with Silverlight on mobile is that , I have the power of using XAML to make very Rich UI and the power of .NET behind it to write as complex code as I want, coupled with that fact I don’t need to deploy you apps - so what I can develop with Silverlight of mobile now is limited by our own imagination !
Please visit http://silverlight.net/learn/mobile.aspx for more details and FAQ and this is the page we will also update once we have the public CTP available next year.