Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

Windows Phone

There are 32 entries for the tag Windows Phone

Carriers Holding Your OS Updates Hostage

Just a small rant here. Today the Windows Phone 8 GDR2 update finally became available for Nokia handset users. Now I’m not sure that it is AT&T fault entirely that Samsung and HTC users got their updates two months ago and we are just finally seeing it. It may have something to do with the Nokia Amber update. But every Windows Phone update on AT&T from 7.1 on seems to have been delayed. How is it that the premiere Windows Phone carrier is always the last one to release updates? Smart phone ......

Windows Phone App Studio: The Social Developer Tool

Creating mobile applications is challenging, but Microsoft just made it easy for most people to create their own Windows Phone apps. People talk about Indie gaming. The Windows Phone App Studio allows people to create apps to share with their family and friends (as long as they have an App Studio account) using a WYSWYG style web site. Whether you want an app for your kid’s team, an app that introduces your company or an app for an upcoming event the App Studio can allow you to build them on your ......

Why Is Windows Phone The Best Camera Phone

I recently went on vacation and over the week was switching back and forth between taking pictures with my Lumia 920 and my wife’s iPhone 5. It really got me to thinking how much better the Windows Phone is as a camera. The images in this post were taken using my Lumia 920. The main issue that got my attention was the faster shutter, or at least the perception of a faster shutter. I think it is the fact that Windows Phone has a dedicated camera that I can prefocus in order capture action images where ......

BUILD 2013 - Build for Both: Windows and Windows Phone

This review is more person to me since I have known Matt Hidinger for a couple of years now and the fact that he just announced that he is leaving Chicago to join the Windows Phone team at Microsoft in Redmond. So let me first say congratulations to him again. Now I can’t say that I always agree with Matt, but I do respect him. One area that we disagree on (at least from his statement during this presentation) is that the official Twitter app is a good platform example. His point was more that they ......

BUILD 2013 – Summary

BUILD was a wonderful experience. It was great to see old friends, make new friends, learn about the latest Microsoft technology and party with a bunch of geeks. It didn't hurt getting some awesome swag. While I Know that some people were disappointed that Microsoft didn't Say more about the XBox One, I was pleased with the information we got for developing Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone applications. Add to that the ability to pick the brains of MVPs and product team members was really worth the ......

BUILD 2013 Sessions–Building Great Windows Phone UI in XAML

Even the simplest of smart phone apps can be a challenge to give a compelling UI regardless of the platform. Windows Phone and XAML are no exception. That is what got my interest in this session by Shawn Oster. He took a checklist type approach to the subject is good considering that is about the only way that many us get things done. Shawn started out giving us a set of bad design/good design examples. They very effectively showed how good design gives a sense of professionalism to your app that ......

Preparing For BUILD 2013

Going to conferences is a great way to keep up with the industry and recharge the batteries. As of the writing of this post there are less than two weeks until the start of BUILD 2012. While I haven’t been to BUILD before the other conferences that I have been to TechEd and Dev Connections in the past give me some expectations. Normally I would be spending the last couple of weeks going through the session schedule to see which ones I want to attend. BUILD is a little different. It doesn’t look like ......

Handling Sometimes-On Connectivity In Windows Phone Apps

There are a lot of conditions that you have to deal with when creating mobile applications that do not present themselves in other types of development. The largest elephant in the room is the unpredictable nature of network connectivity. This doesn’t just affect if you can send a message across the internet but also your location services. And strangely enough there are times where you may have one and not the other because of the type of network you are currently accessing. The first connection ......

Review: Feed Me for Windows Phone

Prior to the announcement that Google will be shutting down Google Reader I was using Feed Reader to keep up with a number of blogs. The announcement of course sent me scrambling like everyone else. The additional aspect of the problem is whether the mobile reader solution you are currently using offers more options than just Google Reader. In my case it didn’t. I ended up with Feed Me since it integrates with Newsblur. The Feed Me’s interface is definitely functional with the ability to share posts ......

Speaking At The 2013 Chicago Code Camp

It has been a couple of years since I last spoke at the Chicago Code Camp. Not for lack of trying. Our community has so many top quality speakers and subjects the team that runs the conference has a tough time weeding through all the submitted talk abstracts. It is always a great time and a good way to get an overload of technology in one day for free. It doesn’t matter which platform or skill level you are interested you should be able to find something that interests you. This year I will presenting ......

Leveraging Generation App

Generation App is the place for developers to get started building solutions on the latest Microsoft technologies. I originally understood it to be for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 development, but you can sign up for a 30 day adventure to build web apps and framework based apps as well. When you sign up you get a list of subject areas to study in order to create the best application possible. You also get daily emails with links to content to help you progress and helpful YouTube videos. The real ......

Blog Goals For 2013

It is the beginning of a new year. No better time to take a look what we want to accomplish over the next year. My first goal is to have more Windows 8 and Windows Phone development content. This is a technology that I really enjoy developing for and I see challenges that every developer would like answers to. Things are also evolving on a daily basis which gives us a lot to discover and discuss. I am also looking to have more architecture topics. These will be both high level concepts and integration ......

Passing Certification For Enterprise Windows Phone 7.5 Apps

Your Enterprise Windows Phone 7.5 application has different requirements and restrictions than the majority of apps in the store. While we now have Windows Phone 8 with different distribution methods, your client may still have 7.X devices that require using targeted distribution via the store. You need to consider how to allow the certification team to test your app without exposing sensitive data or affecting production systems. There are a few choices you have: Supply the testing team with test ......

Microsoft Changes Developer Account Registration Requirements

Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that Microsoft seems to have changed the requirements for Corporate accounts. These requirements were not in effect when I originally setup the account for the company that I work for. We also recently had our corporate account canceled without explanation and are in the process of working to get it reinstated. This all seems to revolve around rules to increase confidence that in the producers of content. They are now having Symantec validate a company ......

Nokia Windows Phone 8 App Collection

I recently upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 920. Along with it came the availability of a number of Nokia developed apps or apps that Nokia has made available from other developers. Below is a summary of some of the ones that I have used to this point. There are quite a few of them so I won’t be covering everything that is available. Nokia Maps I am quite pleased with the accuracy of Nokia Maps and not having to tap the screen for each turn any more. The information on the screen is quite good as well. ......

Is The Ease Of Windows Phone Development Ruining Its Image

I was reading an article on Mashable recently by a long time iPhone user who is living solely on a Lumia 920 at the moment and giving her assessment. One thing that struck a nerve with me was her describing the Windows Phone ecosystem as immature. She wasn’t saying this because of the number of apps or the big names like most people do. She means the quality of the apps in the store. This hit a nerve with me. I find it hard to believe that the majority of app on iOS are of any higher quality than ......

Key Windows Phone Development Concepts

As I am doing more development in and out of the enterprise arena for Windows Phone I decide I would study for the 70-599 test. I generally take certification tests as a way to force me to dig deeper into a technology. Between the development and studying I decided it would be good to put a post together of key development features in Windows Phone 7 environment. Contrary to popular belief the launch of Windows Phone 8 will not obsolete Windows Phone 7 development. With the launch of 7.8 coming shortly ......

Building Enterprise Smartphone App – Part 4: Application Development Considerations

This is the final part in a series of posts based on a talk I gave recently at the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group. Feel free to leave feedback. Application Development Considerations Now we get to the actual building of your solutions. What are the skills and resources that will be needed in order to develop a smartphone application in the enterprise? Language Knowledge One of the first things you need to consider when you are deciding which platform language do you either have the ......

Building Enterprise Smartphone App – Part 2: Platforms and Features

This is part 2 in a series of posts based on a talk I gave recently at the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group. Feel free to leave feedback. In the previous post I discussed what reasons a company might have for creating a smartphone application. In this installment I will cover some of history and state of the different platforms as well as features that can be leveraged for building enterprise smartphone applications. Platforms Before you start choosing a platform to develop your solutions ......

Microsoft Build 2012 Day 1 Keynote Summary

So I have finally dried the tears after watching the Keynote for Build 2012. This wasn’t because it was an emotional presentation, but because for the second year I missed the goodies. Each on site attendee got a Surface RT, a Lumia 920 and a voucher for 100GB of SkyDrive storage. The event was opened with the announcement that in the three days since the launch of Windows 8 over 4 million upgrades have been sold. I don’t care who you are that is an impressive stat. Ballmer then spent a fair amount ......

Windows Phone 8 Launch Event Summary

Today was the official coming out party for Windows Phone 8. Below is a summary of the launch event. There is a lot here to stay with me. They started with a commercial staring Joe Belfiore show how his Windows Phone 8 was personal too him which highlights something I think Microsoft has done well over the last couple of event: spotlight how Windows Phone is a different experience from other smartphones. Joe actually called iPhone and Android “tired old metaphors" and explained that the idea around ......

Register For The Sept 2012 Chicago IT Architects Group

We are getting rolling again. This month I will be discussing Building Smart Phone Applications For The Enterprise. This is an area that I have been working with in my normal day-to-day work and think that more of us will be running across in the near future. Be sure to register and join us. Register here del.icio.us Tags: Mobile Development,Chicago Information Technology Architects Group,CITAG,Windows Phone,iPhone,Android ......

Local LINQtoSQL Database For Your Windows Phone 7 Application

There aren’t many applications that are of value without having some for of data store. In Windows Phone development we have a few options. You can store text directly to isolated storage. You can also use a number of third party libraries to create or mimic databases in isolated storage. With Mango we gained the ability to have a native .NET database approach which uses LINQ to SQL. In this article I will try to bring together the components needed to implement this last type of data store and fill ......

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 Announcement

Today Nokia and Microsoft had an event to officially introduce the Lumia 920. Below is a rundown of some of the things I found interesting. As a person who likes photography there was a lot to drool over. The main feature that caught my attention was PureView with its optical stabilization. This alone should improve the majority of you pictures. Add to that the SmartShoot Object remover that uses multiple images to remove unwanted people or objects that move through your picture and you never have ......

Using BingMapsDirectionsTask In Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone has a number of great capabilities built into it for developers. The Bing APIs allows you to easily give your application mapping functionality. You may just want to give users directions to a fixed location. What happens though when you want to give a user directions from their current location to an address that they are picking from application data? This article will cover just that scenario. Since almost everything in Windows Phone development is asynchronous this can get a little ......

Reading QR Codes In Your Windows Phone App

I have recently been working on an application for a client that needs to read QR codes. This has lead to some interesting findings. There are a couple of approaches you can use. One is to take a picture and evaluate it for a code and the other is more like the Bing Vision feature. Both of them can be accomplished by leveraging theSilverlight ZXing library from Codeplex. In order to have QR code images to test I would suggest going to QRStuff.com. It is a site where you can freely generate QR images ......

Features I’d Like To See In Windows Phone 8

With Windows Phone 8 around the corner I figured I would get the wish list out. I am encouraged by what we have seen so far. This is a short list of the things that have bugged me over the last two years of using and developing for the platform. I realize that some of them are pure fantasy and will never happen, but we can dream. So here we go. Separate volume controls for phone and alerts Videos can be taken in portrait and will be saved that way Tweets created in the People Hub should be able to ......

Creating Corporate Windows Phone Applications

Most developers write Windows Phone applications for their own gratification and their own wallets. While most of the time I would put myself in the same camp, I am also a consultant. This means that I have corporate clients who want corporate solutions. I recently got a request for a system rebuild that includes a Windows Phone component. This brought up the questions of what are the important aspects to consider when building for this situation. Let’s break it down in to the points that are important ......

TechEd 2012: Windows Phone Exam Cram

Usually speakers take offence if you wear headphones in their talk. For the exam cram session it was a requirement. This was because it was a cubical walled room with an open top next to a study hall. While no-one was going to come out of this session ready to take a test, I am glad that I took the time to attend it. There was a fair amount of material that you should know already if you have ever taken a certification test before. This was packed around a mix of key concepts and some tidbits that ......

TechEd 2012: A Little Cloud And Too Little Windows Phone

It is Monday afternoon and the last couple of sessions have been disappointing. I started out in the Nokia: Learning to Tile session. I guess I should have read the summary more closely because it turned out to be more of a Nokia/WP7 history and sales pitch. “I’m outa here!” I made a quick venue change and now we are learning about Private Cloud Architecture. The topic and the material were very informative. The speaker even had a couple of quotable statements. The first quote was “You can trust ......

TechEd 2012: Dude Where’s My Azure

It has been a fun first morning at TechEd North America. They keynote was both informative and entertaining. Some of the high points included a walk through of Windows Server 2012 and its new Hyper-V capabilities and use of ODX (offloaded data transfer). Between seeing stats like being able to being able run a Hyper-V VM with 1TB of memory and watching ODX move a 10GB file at a rate of 1GB per second was really impressive. The fun started when Scott Guthrie was doing his keynote demo and popped up ......

Organizing Your Work With OneNote Page Templates

If you have seen the Windows Phone commercial where the father is in the grocery store with the shopping list in OneNote you have gotten you first taste of the flexibility that can be had with OneNote. I like most consultants have a lot of fires going and once and I am finding that the templates in OneNote are helping me to get a handle on the different projects and tasks I need to track. I started using OneNote to do simply what its name suggests: take and organize notes. Lately though I am finding ......