Finishing your Windows Phone 8 application isn’t the end of your Windows Phone journey. You’ve now got to get it into everyone’s hot little hands – by submitting it to the Store. Having developed for the Windows Phone platform now for a number of years, I can attest that just uploading your XAP file isn’t the only thing required to make this happen. Similar to my post on “Must have tools for Windows Phone” I'll try and fill you in on a few things I wish I'd known before I submitted.
This weekend a bunch of like minded people are getting together to hack on Windows 8 and Windows Phone to create some awesome applications and win sweet sweet prizes. You can be one of them – so why don’t you come rock out with Microsoft, eat and drink on the house and create some app awesomeness.
When you go to create a mobile app for each major platform you quickly realise that it’s a mind boggling task with many languages and tools out there to learn along the way. A number of products have arrived over the last few years that enable you the freedom of only having to care about one language and toolset, with the dream being that they take care of the rest. Does this type of approach work? DXTREME does a pretty good job of making the answer to this question Yes.
For the last 15 odd years we have continually expanded the amount of information available at our finger tips year on year exponentially. Thank you Internet for all your glorious contributions to our lives. Only recently has staying connected to the internet on a Mobile really started to take this to a level where I can truly say that I really am "connected on the go" and as far as technological achievements go that is a pretty amazing achievement to witness in our lifetimes.
I have been playing with the Windows Phone 7 SDK for a while now, however I have been lucky to still have a day-job while doing my tinkering and therefore haven’t sourced my main income from sales in the WP7 marketplace. There are others who don’t have the same luxury as me and have bet a considerable amount of their time on the platform to date. Whether these developers are aware of it or not they are fighting a silent battle that I want to bring more awareness to – a problem that every smart phone ecosystem has faced to date: Piracy.
Often you need to test a website on an tablet device such as an iPad using a local development machine’s web server. For whatever reason the available Wi-Fi when developing your site may be on another subnet or network entirely to you development machine (such as in an office environment). Situations like these call for a bit of creative thinking and a different approach, so if this is a problem you face here’s my take on a possible solution.
During my development journey with Windows Phone 7 , there have been a number of things that I overlooked when writing your first app – things I wished I’d kept front of mind. None of these items are necessarily difficult or complicated things to cover off, so I thought I'd mention them here to save you the trouble, and at the same time show you ways to overcome each of them.
Today marks the release of InTheKnow Google Analytics version 1.8 for Windows Phone 7 – there is a lot of little tweaks that have come about during the creation of this next version, and I'm excited that it is out there and getting great feedback. I spent a large chunk of the downtime in my Christmas break working on InTheKnow, so it is great to finally release the next version. If you haven’t tried the app, and are looking for and easy way to check your website’s Google Analytics on your Windows Phone 7 device, check it out – the trial is free.
After developing Windows Phone 7 applications in my spare time over the last year, I've collected an assortment of tools that make developing apps so much easier than when I first jumped in to Silverlight/Windows Phone 7 development. I only wish I'd know about them all when I first started down the Windows Phone 7 path. Whether you are just starting out or have been developing Windows Phone 7 apps for a while now, there’s something here for everyone.
I have recently changed mobile service providers. The experiences I’ve had calling my old provider (Vodafone Australia) to cancel my plan and my new one (Telstra Australia) to buy their products have made it clear to me that companies that employ call centres for customer enquiries (mostly) have it completely wrong by modern customer service standards. Its seems really simple – so why does no one get it?
During the big Mango update rush over the last 3 weeks i joined the rest of the Windows Phone 7 Development community and excitedly upgraded my phone from Windows Phone 7 Mango Beta to the real thing. I was so eager to upgrade right now that I did so on my work PC where I connect my phone as a Guest. This happily got me up and running (definite thanks to the WP7 team for doing such a great job of the upgrade experience). My troubles only began when i tried to synch my phone at home a couple of days later. Hopefully i can save a few of you the time i spent looking into this.
One of the subtleties I've found recently while working with the Windows Phone 7 SDK is found when working with the ApplicationBar programmatically. There are a number of differences that the ApplicationBar has when compared to a normal Windows Phone 7 Silverlight control – these very differences can be really frustrating if you are not aware of them as they stop you from interacting with it in the same way you do other Silverlight controls. Hopefully after we’ve taken a closer look it will make sense why they are so.
When users of Windows Phone 7 devices open up the marketplace application in the US, they are greeted by an Apple’esque pricing model that start at $0.99 cents – but what if you don’t live in the United States? Why aren’t we charged the equivalent US$0.99? As i discovered recently this disparity in pricing is beyond ridiculous. So is this just currency conversion or is it a bad joke that users are getting sick and tired of – let’s take a look.
If you’ve worked with Windows Phone 7 Live Tiles, you may have noticed a bit of a hole in the platform SDK’s functionality – the inability to programmatically update the current running applications tile without the push coming from a remote webserver. The purpose of this post is to show you that this is not the end of the world, and there is a way around this.
Last year I wrote a post on how to setup an ASP.Net HttpModule that detects and redirects mobile devices so that you can show a different version of your site to users browsing your site using whatever hot new mobile device is going around. Since then the lay of the land has changed a bit, so i thought it was time to reassess the solution i recommended and offer you a new updated one for 2011. The great thing about this solution is it’s a lot more future proof, so hopefully i won’t have to write another blog post next year.
So after submitting applications a few times for both myself and a few friends, i have learnt a few a few do’s and don’ts that can make the difference between it taking 2 weeks to get your application in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace, and only a day or two including registration. With the help of the tips below, hopefully i can help some of you avoid any of the frustrations that can come from starting development on a new platform.
In my early testing of Windows Phone 7 apps, it has become apparent that a lot of developers are simply not checking for network connectivity before attempting to access the internet – this gives a bad user experience as the user is left to wait until the connection times out. Checking to see if the device is connected to a network will improve this user experience dramatically.
Ever wondered what your favourite iPhone, Android or Windows Phone application is actually doing with your data plan? Wonder if its sending your data to the mother ship without you knowing – Fiddler can be used to easily check this data traffic in the same way that it can be used for web application and web-service troubleshooting and development work.
With all the advances and improvements in the mobile space of late, there is even more need to have a mobile presence/version of your website. Today I'm going to take a look at a quick and easy way to make sure that mobile browsers are always looking at the correct version of your site, and we’ll do it using a nifty little Http Module.