Jerry Nixon

Microsoft Developer Evangelist

Posts
  • Jerry Nixon

    DevRadio: Developing your Windows 8 Apps using Visual C++

    Abstract: clip_image002
    Jerry Nixon welcomes Eric Battalio, Ayman Shoukry and Raman Sharma from the Visual C++ team as they discuss how you can develop Windows 8 apps using C++. Tune in as they provide best practices and reasons why you would want to use this language.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Implementing SnapView in your Windows 8 App

    imageThere are four supported orientations in Windows 8. There is Full View, Snap View, Fill View and Portrait View. Each is important in the overall strategy of Windows 8. In order to get your app into the Windows Store, you must support the Full, Snap and Fill view. And to support them, XAML uses ViewStates that easily execute custom animations and show your tailored content.

    What view?

    The different views in Windows are something developers have to deal with but are fundamentally one of Windows 8’s core differentiators in the marketplace. Since a Windows 8 is only active when it is visible it means that only one app can run at a time – similar to the IPad. But because of SnapView, Windows 8 allows users to view more than one app at a time, even if the second app is in a narrow format. As a result, the user can enjoy more than one app at a time, increasing the opportunity for productivity.

    image

    The image above shows the Full, Snap, and Fill View on a slate device, respectively. It is an important note to say that Snap is not a touch-only mechanism. I run on a desktop that has no touch input. I use snap. It allows me to have more than one Windows 8 app up at one time. It also allows me to have a desktop app and a Windows 8 app running at the same time. It’s nice.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthough: Use XAML’s 3D PlaneProjection to Open a Window and See What’s Inside

    Here we go again, down the fun road with XAML. This time, since it’s Christmastime, I’ll throw together a Christmas-themed demo for you! Of what fun it is to code in XAML and Expression Blend, hey! So in the video below I will use some awesome features...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8 Play, Pause, Resume. Do you even know what it is?

    Join Jerry Nixon, Developer Evangelist for Microsoft and Brian Tyler, Principal Development Lead, Xbox LIVE Services, as Brian discusses Xbox Live for Windows which provides connections to the cloud and is all about you as a player. Gamers will be excited...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Hey IT Pros! What developers already know about Windows 8

    Remember how Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan ended? Spock saved the Enterprise but died from radiation exposure. Fortunately, Spock mind-melded with Bones before his famous “I am and always will be your friend”. That’s how Kirk restored Spock’s Genesis...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Choosing the Windows Phone That’s Right for Me

    Stop me if you have heard this one: so, a Microsoft Developer Evangelist walks into an AT&T Store and asks to see their Windows Phones. Which phone gets recommended? Since time immemorial, the recurring trend is this: people like what they know and...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Where is PhoneGap for Windows Phone 8? Right here!

    imageNative applications on mobile devices deliver a great experience to users. Only native applications can deliver excellent fidelity and performance, and support a disconnected state. But if you don’t know the devices mobile technology development can be difficult.

    Mobile web sites deliver a poor experience to users. Mobile web sites are simply web pages; they cannot access the device itself and necessitate an always-connected device. But because it’s just HTML, developers have an easier time supporting multiple devices.

    A Real Option

    Mixing native with web is PhoneGap – it executes local HTML and JavaScript in an embedded browser wrapper app. PhoneGap apps are not as awesome as native apps, but they are surely the next best thing – and are a viable option.  These types of apps don’t require developers to know much about a device – and can be deployed across the various mobile platforms with little investment. They also have access to the device itself (including sensors, battery and more); they support offline scenarios, too.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8 Design is Calm

    imageAcross the Microsoft platform we have Windows Client, Windows Phone, Windows Server, Microsoft Xbox, and Windows Embedded. Each exists to address a specific type of device and user scenario. But what’s great is that each participates in the Windows Design Language.

    What is the Windows Design Language?

    The Windows Design Language is a set of principles that help designers and developers layout excellent apps and excellent user experiences. It drives consistency across apps and across the Microsoft platform. And, it is beautiful.

    Note: The Windows Style varies from device type to device type. The Windows 8 style guide, for example, is only related to the Windows Phone style guide. It is not identical because the interface is distinct. Sometimes consistency is mistaken for uniformity. The flexibility within the Windows Style not only extends across device-types, but also to individual apps, letting developers innovate distinctive yet consistent apps.

    Consider this image. It depicts four separate applications. Their UI is quite distinct. However, each of them has acute similarities that are prescribed by the Windows Design Language. In this case, specific to Windows 8, it is illustrating compliance to the Windows 8 Silhouette.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Holy Smokes. Windows Phone on a Flexible Display? Awesome!

    imageAt the CES Keynote, some amazing things happened. For not being part of CES, Microsoft was all over it!

    “It should be clear that there is no rule that says displays or computers need to be flat, opaque or rigid.“

    “Microsoft vision is that sensors like Kinect combined with flexible, transparent and projected displays will bring us to a point where any object can be a surface and can be a computer.“

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Here’s Microsoft Surface as a Windows Phone (concept)

    If only. Awesome.
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Dynamically Skinning your Windows 8 App

    One powerful feature of XAML is the ability to make any control look however the developer or designer wants without having to change the control itself. Similar to, but far more powerful than CSS, skinning a control in XAML lets you change how it looks...
  • Jerry Nixon

    DevRadio: Windows Phone 8 Features Overview

    Technical Evangelists Jerry Nixon , Daniel Egan and Ryan Lowdermilk discuss their Top 20 (give or take) Windows Phone 8 features. Tune in as they discuss NFC support, Data Sense, Geolocation, Writable OS Tasks, Bluetooth and Skype APIs and much, much...
  • Jerry Nixon

    DevRadio: Integrating Bing Maps into Your Windows 8 apps

    Abstract: Jerry Nixon welcomes Ian Bennett and Jim Blizzard to the show as they discuss how they integrated a Bing Map into their Windows 8 app. Tune in as they chat about the Bing Maps SDK , along with the why, how-to and lessons learned from developing...
  • Jerry Nixon

    DevRadio: Using Xamarin to Create the Draw a Stickman app for Windows 8

    Abstract: Jerry Nixon welcomes CEO of Xamarin , Nat Friedman and President of Hitcents , Chris Mills to the show as they discuss how Hitcents used Xamarin’s MonoTouch to launch their app, “ Draw a Stickman EPIC ” on Windows 8. Tune in as they chat about...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Locking Asynchronous File Operations

    imageWhen I started writing Windows 8 apps, one of my first productions was wrapping file operations in a helper class called StorageHelper. This class has successfully been leveraged by thousands of Windows 8 developers. I certainly use it every time I interact with a File or a Setting.

    But the StorageHelper isn’t perfect in every scenario. For most mainstream applications it is perfect. But for some edge cases where file operations occur in parallel, an asynchronous read or write may not complete before another operation is attempted on the same file. This causes parallel locking. Hans Windhoff, a community developer in Colorado, took my StorageHelper and updated it with the solution – solving locks with some smarts and voodoo.

    Here’s Hans’ experience:

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  • Jerry Nixon

    App Challenge: Windows 8 Apps For Social Good Contest

    Entries must serve a "social good". WE define this as a good or service that provides some sort of benefit to the general public and doesn’t solely exist to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders. Some classic examples of social...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Binding to an ENUM in Windows 8

    You create a Settings flyout for your app so users can configure their experience. Sometimes, your settings are based on a ENUM that you use throughout your app. But how do you bind to an ENUM in XAML? Our sample ENUM The first thing you should know is...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Best Windows Phone Commercial Ever

    “Siri, search one-trick pony” “Aren’t you a little young to have an IPhone” “Isheep” “Copy-bots” “Auto-correct… this!” Boom! “Is there an app for that?” “Siri, search karate! No, Ka-ra-te!” “Do you think if they knew about the Nokia Lumia they would stop...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Ready to learn XAML?

    Daren May and I teach the basics of Windows 8 XAML in a Jump Start course for Microsoft Virtual Academy (Recorded May 2013). If you are learning XAML, come learn with us in this free, all-day course (now available on demand). We have a lot of fun in these...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Horizontal Screen Breakpoints for Web Designers to Support

    It’s difficult to create a site that looks great across browsers. The weaker web developers simply give up – supporting only a piece of the market, squandering opportunity for themselves or their customers.

     image

    But, now the ante is raised with responsive web design. Leveraging CSS media queries, developers rearrange content to accommodate the width (et al) of different screen sizes. And it’s not simply a normal site with a mobile site, too. Users are coming at you with a myriad screen sizes.

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  • Jerry Nixon

    Star Trek into Darkness plot holes

    I would like to take a second and compliment the latest Star Trek movie: Star Trek into Darkness. The reprise of the new-timeline series brings back their solid cast to fight a classic enemy. The Enterprise refit is beautiful, the uniforms are stellar...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Windows 8 and Windows Phone Exclusive: Halo Spartan Assault

    What’s this? A new Halo game? Yes! And what’s this? Exclusive to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Yes! We’re starting to see what we’ve been expecting for some time – Microsoft titles being released as exclusives to the Microsoft platform. This, Smart Glass...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Walkthrough: Windows 8 Extended Splash Screen

    So we have two real problems: If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, Windows 8 will assume your app is frozen and will terminate it. If your app does not present a UI to the user in a given time, the user will assume your app is...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Cash for Clouds

    Beginning June 3rd, the Windows Azure Trial, MSDN, MPN, and BizSpark benefits will change. Instead of a confusing set of “free” services, customers will receive monetary credits toward their Azure usage. This allows them to apply their benefits toward...
  • Jerry Nixon

    Starfleet Avatar Store on Xbox Live

    imageYou know how people take a great idea and go too far? You know how a joke suddenly goes serious and the whole group gets a little uncomfortable. It reminds me of Galaxy Quest (1999) when the Captain Kirk spoof, Jason, call his obsessed fan, Brandon (Justin Long from Ed!):

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