Alex Yakhnin's Blog

Development and architecture for Windows Mobile devices. And a few useful tips on the way...

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  • Blog Post: FeedPoint updated for Mango

    I've finally published the update for my FeedPoint app for Mango. It's got a few bug fixes as well as Mango specific functionality such as ability to pin live tiles for your feeds which get updates via a background agent. The tiles would get updated with the latest post's image as a backround tile...
  • Blog Post: Sketchflow for Windows Phone 7.

    Would you like to be able to create your scetchflow designs for the Windows Phone 7? Now you can: http://www.uxmagic.com/blog/post/2011/06/08/Sketchflow-for-Windows-Phone-7.aspx
  • Blog Post: The recent release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools January 2011 Update

    Here's some useful information from the documentation team: The recent release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools January 2011 Update includes bug fixes, a new emulator, and utilities. Alongside the release of the tools we have also published an update to MSDN that focuses on documenting key aspects...
  • Blog Post: Is ANID unique?

    When developing the FeedPoint app I needed to encrypt the user credentials in order to store them in the isolated storage. So, I used AesManaged class to encrypt and decrypt the data. As a password key, I've decied to use the anonymous ID that we can retrieve utilizing the UserExtendedProperties class...
  • Blog Post: FeedPoint app has been published.

    The feed reader app that I've been talking about in my previous posts has been published on the marketplace: http://social.zune.net/redirect?type=phoneApp&id=ec451fcf-7b10-e011-9264-00237de2db9e I've decided not to make it a free app (it just a dollar) due to marketplace restrictions for a...
  • Blog Post: MY FEEDER is available for beta testing.

    The feed reader app that I described in my previous post is ready to for beta testing. So if you own a developer unlocked Window Phone 7, have Google Reader account and willing to beta test the app (I named it MY FEEDER) send me email at alex.yakhnin(at)microsoft.com. I've also recorded a short video...
  • Blog Post: (Y)et (A)nother (F)eed (R)eader for WP7

    I don't know how about you, but I love the Outlook app on the Windows Phone 7. I like its simplicity, readability, ability to quickly triage the email, etc... I also read feeds every day using the Google Reader on the web. I've been looking through a number of available feed readers for WP7 on the market...
  • Blog Post: Importing Outlook contacts into WP7.

    The Windows Phone 7 doesn't sync the contacts from the Outlook without a connection to the Exchachge server. I've seen a few customers asking about the ways to be able to do it. This KB article outlines the way you could do it: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2454811
  • Blog Post: Migrate PickerBox and ListPicker to SL Toolkit.

    As you already know, the SL Toolkit team has recently released the update to the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. This update includes a few controls that I developed in order to fill up the gap - ListPicker and PickerBox controls. So I would recommend to the people who have been using my versions...
  • Blog Post: The new release of the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit

    The Silverlight Toolkit team has just published the new release of the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit . The update includes the following goodings: AutoCompleteBox (fully themed for Metro) ListPicker (Works as a ListPicker for <5 items and as PickerBox for more) LongListSelector...
  • Blog Post: OData client source and binaries for WP7.

    The OData client library as well as its source are available for download from the codeplex . The download also includes the sample app utlilizing the Northwind database.
  • Blog Post: Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7.

    The full version of the book: Programming Windows Phone 7, by Charles Petzold is available for download .
  • Blog Post: Sync Framework for WP7.

    The Sync Framework 4.0 (they jumped over the v3) October CTP is available for download. This framework is built on a top a standard protocol - OData and implements an "assymetric" syncing - meaning that most of the synchronization logic will be running on the service side. The release includes server...
  • Blog Post: Update to the Progress Dialog.

    I've made some refactoring to the Progress Dialog code: First of all I changed the name. Now it's ProgressIndicator. Second, this class is now a custom control derived from ContentControl . And last, I twicked the styles and the code so it matches the look-n-feel of the native progress indicator...
  • Blog Post: Creating Progress Dialog for WP7.

    When creating Windows Phone 7 applications we'll inevitably encounter the situation when a certain procedure takes some time to complete. In this cases it's a good practice to show a progress indicator to the user. The UI Design and Interaction Guide specifies two major types of the progress indicator...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Training Kit has been updated.

    The Windows Phone Training Kit has been updated with the RTM bits. It's gotten even bigger with 5 new labs: Using Silverlight Map Control and Bing Services Building Silverlight Applications Using Panorama and Pivot Controls Catapult Wars - A 2D Physics Game Using Choosers and Handling...
  • Blog Post: Customizing Picker Box dialog.

    Today I am going to show you how you can customize the Picker Box dialog to display a color picking dialog similar to the one that you see in the Settings\theme applet in the emulator instead of just a list of strings: In order to be able to display the colored rectangle and the text we need...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Developer Tools RTM'ed!

    The WPDT has gone gold and available for download: Windows Phone Developer Tools The tools include the Panorama, Pivot and Bing Map control. Also the team has released the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit which includes the controls and components that are not included in the WPDT: ...
  • Blog Post: Update to the Picker Box control.

    Last time I showed you how you could create the Picker Box functionality in your Windows Phone 7 applications. There're a few updates that I had to make in order to match Picker Box's behavior to it snative counterpart. First of all you will probably notice that the native control will react on selecting...
  • Blog Post: Implementing Picker Box functionality on WP7.

    Last time I talked about the missing Combobox control in the Windows Phone 7 platform and the ways it could be replaced if you require similar functionality. Among the replacements I mentioned the Picker Box functionality. Today I am going to show you how this could be implemented. First of all in...
  • Blog Post: Do we need ComboBox on WP7?

    I've seen recently quite a few requiests from the developers externally and internally asking about the ComboBox control for Windows Phone 7 applications. The answer has been that the ComboBox control is not a part of the platform, however if you want to use it you can get one from the Silverlight toolkit...
  • Blog Post: Creating Scrollable TextBlock for WP7.

    There could be many scenarios when you'd need to be able to dipslay a text in your WP7 application which doesn't fit on the screen. The easiest way to approach to solve this would be to utilize the ScrollViewer control as a host for a TextBlock. Something like that: < Grid x : Name = "ContentPanel...
  • Blog Post: Update to List Picker Control

    I've made a few updates to the original code for the List picker control that I described here . When creating this control I made a mistake of relying on LayoutUpdated event to make calls to ScrollIntoView when animation is chaning the control's size. As Dave described it in his blog post "The LayoutUpdated...
  • Blog Post: Creating List Picker for WP7.

    For the application that I am working on right now I needed a control that would allow a user to select a single item from a small list. Similar to how the list picker is defined in the design templates : This document also specifies that when the user selects one of the entry points, the control...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Splash Screen with a progress bar for WP7 applications.

    If you have seen the demo of the sample application "USGA Shot Tracker" that was created by the UX and design team at Microsoft to demonstrate the principles of the UX on WP7 platform, you have probably noticed how the app is displaying a splash screen with an animated progress bar. The problem is that...
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