Dictionary 8 for Windows Store was developed by a bright student developer Zain ul-Abideen during Windows 8 Hackathon that was held back in November 2012. The app has more than 85,000 downloads at the time of this writing and the developer has recently launched a Windows Phone version of the same app. The app is a salient example of the potential associated with new and emerging echo system of Microsoft Windows with Modern UI for PC, tablet and Phone.
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I am Zain ul abidin. Currently in 8th semester, Bachelors in Software Engineering and also Microsoft Student Partner from International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Having passion of technology I am the guy, who enjoys the programming, reading technology magazines and having discussion on technology trend. I am always eager to learn new technologies in different areas of software development and on other hand my focus is to provide the real world problems solution using available technology which helps the man kind.
How the idea of the Dictionary 8 came to you?
There is a famous saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”, although Dictionary 8 is not an invention but this is little bit applies to Dictionary 8. I had some dictionary application installed on my Windows 8 but the problem with most of them was they were online. Whenever internet is not around I was unable to use these applications. I tried to find some offline dictionary applications but most of them were not good as they contained less number of words and very short definitions etc. These events inspire me to build a dictionary application for windows 8, which should be offline, contain plenty of words and provide detail definition with examples. I named it “Dictionary 8”.
Why you decided to implement this idea specifically on Windows 8 and Windows Phone?
There are several reason of this. As I said, my idea was inspired by some windows 8 applications so I choose to implement the idea for Windows 8 and Windows phone. Secondly I also want to participate in “WOWZAP2012 The World Wide Hackathon for Windows 8”. Thirdly, windows 8 platform was new and I want to learn windows store app development. So I decided to implement this idea for windows 8 first and then after getting the huge number of downloads I decided to implement this idea on Windows Phone.
What resources on Microsoft or community side you found most helpful while working on the app? Could you please take us on a quick tour to understand your application better?
I was new to Windows store app development and this was my very first app on windows store. Microsoft community speakers provide great help and motivation in this regard. The people at Microsoft Liaison office Islamabad were really helpful and provide me enough material to get started on windows store application development. On the other hand Channel 9 video tutorials were really helpful and MSDN forum provide solution to my technical queries and play important part during development.
Dictionary 8 is an unabridged English to English dictionary application contains One Million definitions, synonyms, and example sentences, verbs, adjective noun, preposition etc. Dictionary 8 provides detail and multiple definitions ofsingle word according to parts of speech as well as different areas like etymology, zoology, botany, astronomy, mechanics, music etc. Definitions stored locally and available without internet. Word suggestion feature helpsyou to find the right word.
Dictionary 8 Windows Phone version include some more feature like recent and favorite words list, inline search, pin tile of words and sharing.
What are your interests behind technology?
I always try to learn new technologies in different areas of software development. The focus is also to provide the real world problems solution using available technology which helps the man kind.
More specifically I love to develop mobile and web apps. I always feel comfortable when working with .Net, that’s why I prefer to develop windows store applications, web applications, WPF, WCF etc.
Any plans for news apps or projects in general?
Yes, I am currently working on some projects related to windows phone and windows 8. These projects include some educational application and utilities for windows phone and windows 8 and will be released in next couple of months.
What would you advise to Developers in the region who also would like to become Pakistan Hero?
I would like to advise that hard work is the key to success. If you want to do something, you make that thing your dream, no matter how difficult that thing if you have got your motivation right and you are willing to do it on any cost, you will do it with hard work. Do not waist time and always work on some target. Spend plenty of time on your work, generate innovative ideas and keep familiar with new technology.
Where the community can catch up with you online or offline?
You can always contact me via:
Windows Phone Link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-gb/store/app/dictionary-8/b7ee19bd-d202-40cd-9853-83efe42ccc5c
Windows 8 Link: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/dictionary-8/31ea82b0-4d12-4a20-9d57-d1c9d01cae15