Developers

WP Central

Backing up app data on SkyDrive--not cool with Microsoft?

An interesting controversy spring up over at the AppHub forums over the use of SkyDrive for backing up app data—not so much photos and documents (which is fine) but rather unintelligible files created by apps for app-specific data.

The crux of it was someone from the SkyDrive team made a comment that using SkyDrive for such a purpose goes against the user agreement for the API and it could result in the Windows Phone app being yanked from the Marketplace.

Justin Angel, Principal Engineer for Windows Phone experience at Nokia, fervently objected to this idea noting

“As SkyDrive API usage is not part of the Application Certification Guidelines I resent that team threatening app developers with expulsion from the marketplace for misuse of their API.”

It’s certainly a good point although we see the reasoning behind the SkyDrive team’s position. Luckily things are not as dire as expected.

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WP Central

Attending developers prepping for presentation

Last week, Wednesday 18th to be exact, we headed to the Windows Phone User Group meetup in London. The Shooting Star was the venue of the day's presentations and talks about Windows, Windows Phone, apps and other miscellaneous topics. It's a perfect chance for developers to pitch ideas, make contacts, receive help and advice, and meet us folk from Windows Phone Central.

The reason we pop along is simple - to help you (the developing community) receive as much exposure to our readership and beyond as possible. Without developers, apps and games we wouldn't have the same complete Windows Phone experience we have today, so it's important we provide developers with the opportunities to drive more traffic their way. From reviews to update coverage, Windows Phone Central has the means to help developers kick-start promotion and marketing.

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22

Microsoft announces BUILD 2012 developer conference

WP Central

Although Microsoft’s MIX conference is now kaput the plan was to merge that dev conference with the bigger, more exciting BUILD event. And today, Microsoft has announced BUILD 2012 is a go for October 30 through November 2 at home base, Redmond, Washington.

The timing is of course perfect—Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Surface, new Xbox updates and more. You almost get the feeling that Microsoft has been planning to sync all of this together for one big explosive event.

Registration opens August 8th at 8am PDT, so make sure you sign up and book your flight for what’s sure to be an exciting few days—especially since it overlaps with Halloween.

We’ll of course be there with our A-Team for live coverage and analysis should you not be able to make it.

Read more at Buildwindows.com

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WP Central

We last looked at PhoneGap, the Adobe-owned open source mobile development platform, when version 1.3 arrived which included support for Windows Phone. Adobe has now released 2.0 and further expands on the feature set provided to developers who wish to build apps that can easily be submitted to multiple platform app stores.

Using HTML5, CSS and Javascript, PhoneGap allows those who do not possess the knowledge of mobile platform native code to create and release apps for all the supported operating systems. So what's new in version two-point-oh? The team have implemented a new command line interface for building iOS apps, which removes issues surrounding Apple's Xcode tools, adds more support for enterprise app development, includes enhanced user guides and documentation, as well as security and stability improvements.

Cordova WebView is also present, which allows for the integration of PhoneGap as a larger native application. Listed with the new features is "Windows Phone support", which we're slightly confused at since it was added in version 1.3. We've reached out to the PhoneGap team for clarification just in case there are some incredibly useful features added. We'll update the article once we've received a reply.

Source: CMSWire

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WP Central Mark Osborn Interview

Mark Osborn, creator of the Windows Phone app Articles for Instapaper, is just in the process of uprooting from the UK and moving to the the US. We had been in touch with Mark for a while as he had shouted me on twitter to tell us about his Instapaper Client for Windows Phone.  For those not familiar, Instapaper is a free web service that lets you save web pages and articles to read later.  With Articles for Instapaper, you can tap into your Instapaper account from your Windows Phone to read your articles.

We were just in time to catch him before he headed off to frolic in Europe one more time before he left and had the opportunity to sit down, drink too much coffee and chat about the old, the now and the next.

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Podcast Lounge Nokia Lumia 800 Cyan

During last night’s WPUG meet in central London, we got a chance to catch up with Richard from Igneous Software. BBC Podcast lounge is a must-have app for those that want to catch up on all the amazing and free content from Auntie Beeb. Richard was able to give me a quick walkthrough of the latest update that is currently in testing.

The current app is great but with this update, Richard looks to be taking a logical and very welcome next step. From 1.4 onwards users will be able to subscribe to podcasts. Great news, even better is that it offers options to keep up to 3 podcasts of each. That is very similar to the options presented on the Zune desktop client. Whilst the Zune music hub in Windows Phone is great, it’s not possible to subscribe to podcasts or even browse and download manually. The only way to get podcasts on your device through Zune is to first connect to the computer, subscribe to the podcast and then sync with your phone, once that’s done it will grab them. It’s a far from convenient solution, something better needed to be found.

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iplayer radio app exclusive

Igneous Software, not content with making their excellent BBC Podcast Lounge are surely striving for greatness with their upcoming launch of the BBC Radio Player. We had previously reported on their plans but were finally able to get hands on demo of it at last night’s Windows Phone User Group (WPUG).

The new player will improve on the previous version in a number of ways. The UI has been updated to closely follow that of the official apps on other platforms. Igneous have taken great care to replicate the colours and visual cues from the iPlayer whilst taking advantage of Metro’s inherent slick delivery of typography and graphics.

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WP Central

UK newspaper The Guardian has taken five Windows Phone to the side to query them as to how they view the development process on Windows Phone and why they view the platform worthy of both time and effort. The results were extremely positive.

The five developers included 7digital (music service), Addison Lee (private taxi hire firm), IndieSkies (Kaleidobooth), Escapist Games (Star Chart), and Distinction (Weather Flow). The short conclusion drawn from the results was praise for the OS itself and how apps can be quickly prototyped and subsequently released. The only downside was the developers' restraint over download and sales figures.

We've previously looked at how the developer interest in Windows Phone has continues to remain at a high level, while the likes of RIM falls rapidly. So this shouldn't be too much of a surprise that established developers are singing praise for Microsoft. Head on past the break for more juicy details.

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Dave Lang

It’s time for another installment of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live Developer Interview series! We jumped at the opportunity to speak with Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios, developers of the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man for Windows Phone (based on Twisted Pixel's XBLA hit), Wreckateer for Xbox Live Arcade, and many other fine titles. CEO Dave Lang fills us in on the challenges of developing fighting games, working with the Kinect, bringing the same game to both Windows Phone and iOS, and much more.

Head past the break for our lengthiest interview yet, filled with brilliant concept art and exclusive Ms. Splosion Man screens!

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8

Windows Phone Dev Day: 28th July 2012, Bournemouth, UK

Windows Phone Dev Day

Developers, Scott Lovegroove and Dan Thomas are set to bring a Windows Phone developer event to the charming surrounds of Bournemouth. The seaside-based event is to provide a space for fervent discussion on the recent developments from Redmond, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. 

Whilst a full agenda for the day is still to be confirmed, the day is to be peppered with presentations, developer insights as well as some time to get in and hack away at some code. If that’s not enough for you they are also planning a ‘Geek Dinner’ where I’m sure the frivolities will continue with gusto.

With the coming opportunities to cross develop for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 coming edging ever closer. Events like these should be invaluable to those seeking to know more about these exciting changes. So if you have an interest in development I’d urge you not to miss out. As with all developer events like this, the more that attend and contribute the better. 

Windows Phone Central will be representing there too in the form of Richard Edmonds and myself. We are always interested in seeing any upcoming projects you may be working on so please do come by and say hello. We will endeavour to make ourselves known. Head on over to the WPDD website for more information and spot registration.

Source : Windows Phone Dev Day

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WP Central

Microsoft yesterday announced commercial availability of their Microsoft Translator Hub. The service has been designed to allow developers and business to deliver tailored, real-time translation in up to 39 languages.  The real-time translation is available as an Azure Marketplace application, enabling users to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to deliver more relevant machine translation applications to their customers.

The applications vary for this service but as an example, it will allow for fluid, real time translation of live web chat interactions from customer services representatives. It goes beyond plain machine translation by allowing the output to be fully optimised for that particular application. A private set of data can be uploaded and using the Translator’s machine learning training system, output can then be tailored as required. Manipulating the output could allow exclusion of business specific nomenclature such as names of products or abbreviations. These customised translation scenarios can then be tested deployed so that they suit each application for which they are targeted. Once the solution is deployed, it can accessed through the familiar Microsoft Translator Service API, all the time being kept private or shared, depending on what you require.

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10

Interview – Phonos Developer Andy Pennell

Robert Brand Developer Interview

As a companion piece to my review of the Phonos app, I thought it would be interesting to check in with Andy and get some background on his experiences whilst developing for Windows Phone. Originally, on the team that built the ill-fated Kin devices he has since been working on Windows Phone 8.0 Apollo. Andy shares his experiences with bringing his app to market. He tells us about hurdles hes overcome with the platform, thoughts on WinRT development and much much more... For these insights you’ll need to keep on reading past the break..

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Mel Kirk

Welcome to an Xbox Live Developer Interview long in the making! Seriously, we’ve been promising this one for a while, and at last it’s ready. Today we chat with Mel Kirk, Jack—of-all-trades at Zen Studios. Zen is hard at work porting their XBLA hit Pinball FX2 to Windows Phone. Thankfully they made the time to tell Windows Phone Central all about their love for pinball, potential licensed tables for the future, and of course, their plans for Microsoft's mobile phone platform.

Head past the break for the full interview, tons of behind the scenes photos, and wonderful Marvel concept art!

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WP Central

The Windows Phone User Group is back, and the next event is set for July 16th. The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane is the venue where platform developers and enthusiasts will be gathering to talk everything Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo"). App demonstrations, presentations, and talks are listed for the evening with drinks available from the bar. Note that this is not the BarCamp, so the event will be kicking off at 7pm.

Be sure to check out the WPUG EventBrite page for more information, location details and to register your spot at the event. Myself and Rob Brand will be attending from Windows Phone Central. Do come say hello if you find yourself in town. We can help attendees out with website coverage, ideas and feedback on platform projects.

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Nokia Windows Phone Developers Workshop

Last month Nokia sponsored a Windows Phone developer workshop in St. Louis that was very successful. On the heels of that success, Nokia is sponsoring two more developer workshops. One in Orlando, Florida and another in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Nokia Ambassador Rich Dunbar,

This workshop will be focused on the tools and resources you have available as a developer/potential developer for Windows Phone development from Nokia and Microsoft. The event will begin with a brief presentation from Nokia and will then focus on ensuring all the proper tools are introduced. We will review some of the tutorials and quick start projects and then allow time for the attendees to work on the projects they choose and ask questions along the way. The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app.

The Nashville event is scheduled for Saturday, July 28, 2012 from 8:00am until noon at the Microsoft Offices. The Orlando event will be held on Friday, August 10, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Inn. There is a possibility the Nashville event will be pushed up to the evening of Friday, July 27th if space becomes available.

Each event have food provide along with Nokia swag to be given away including at least one Windows Phone. You'll need to register to attend (so Nokia will know how much food to order).

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2

Red Badger - Windows Phone Developer Insight

WP Central

Red Badger – Developer Insight

Back when Windows Phone 7 was new on the smartphone scene the choice of Twitter apps was limited. Birdsong was one of the most interesting clients of the time, it was 100% accurate in getting the aesthetics right for how an app should look and work on WP7. Making good use of smooth scrolling, panoramic slide overs whilst embracing the best feature of Windows Phone, Metro.

At the time Birdsong was innovative, indeed Red badger became a poster child for how Metro style apps should look and feel, receiving praise from its users and even Microsoft. I wanted to catch up with the team and see how their start-up is going and what brought them back to re-kindling development for Birdsong. I met with one of the founders, Cain Ullah and Red Badgers newest team member, Joe Stanton to see what’s happening...

 

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Verious partnering with Deutsche Telekom

It wasn't long ago that Verious Inc., a leader in connecting developers with components and services for mobile app development, partnered with Microsoft to add Windows Phone development to their catalog. Verious already had a strong presence in the iOS and Android development community and the addition of the Windows Phone platform was seen as a plus. Verious is able to provide hundreds of pre-built mobile app components, open source projects, SDKs, and other tools to Windows Phone developers.

Today, Verious has announced a new partnership with Deutsche Telekom which enables Deutsche Telekom to launch the Developer Garden Component Marketplace for developers across Europe. This partnership will add significantly to the number of developer tools available for mobile application development. Deutsche Telekom previously announced plans to develop and promote tools that will help developers using Microsoft Visual Studio to mash up Deutsche Telekom's world-class network services with applications built for Microsoft Corp.'s device and cloud technology platforms. The partnership between Verious and Deutsche Telekom, coupled with the Deutsche Telekom partnership with Microsoft is expected to boost Windows Phone development significantly...

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WP Central

This week we've had the pleasure of being joined by Fisayo Adeleke from Exnesys. He's the brains behind Markets & Me, a financial Windows Phone app for those who enjoy keeping up with stock levels and reports for personal interest. 

We think highly of Adeleke's app, which follows Metro to the letter. Be sure to check out what he has to say about Windows Phone as a platform, as well as the development process. Head on past the break for the full interview.

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WP Central

Todd Brix has announced on the Windows Phone Developer Blog that Windows Phone 8 will support 180 countries at launch. The platform currently covers 63 markets, making this a fairly sizeable improvement. Developers will also be able to make full use of this added support, which will be a bonus for consumers in those markets.

So which countries are being added? Check out the chart after the break for all the juicy details...

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14

Windows Phone Geek opens Developer Marketplace to all

WP Central

The folks over at Windows Phone Geek have finally made their Developer Marketplace open to all. We last looked at the Marketplace when it was released in beta to a select few. The Marketplace enables Windows Phone developers to pick up (or sell) components, tools, templates, frameworks, and more.

The scheduled month to open up the Marketplace to all developers was September 2012, but with increasing interest Windows Phone Geek have decided to bring the release date forward a few months. Boryana Miloshevska, Founder and CEO, had the following to add in the press release.

"Previously, we announced that the private beta was expected to continue until September 2012. I am pleased to announce that, due to the huge interest, we are starting the public beta two months earlier! Starting today, our component marketplace is open to everyone."

Should you be interested to share any supported projects to the community, you can either give items away for free or publish a price tag to fund some beers. Be sure to check out the Marketplace regardless as the purpose of such a place is for developers to create better quality apps for consumers.

Source: Windows Phone Geek

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19

Qualcomm offering $200,000 for best Windows RT apps

WP Central

Qualcomm has announced a Windows RT Metro Style App developer contest at Uplinq 2012. Before you get yourself excited, the competition is only available to those who reside in the states, but should you be eligible you can pocket a chunk of the $200,000 prize - not bad, eh?

Winners will be selected in a number of categories, including 'Best Overall Windows RT app" ($100,000), "Best Compelling Connectivity Use Case" ($20,000), "Best Gaming App" ($20,000), "Best Productivity App" ($20,000) and "Best AllJoyn Peer-to-peer app" ($40,000). Each entered app will be evaluated by a panel.

To enter one must submit their working application where it will then be judged. The entry period is active until October 1st 2012. For more information, check out the competition website. Full press release can be found after the break.

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WP Central

Microsoft has finally started to talk about the highly anticipated major update to Windows Phone, codenamed Apollo. With it we get a glimpse into the brand new Windows Phone 8.0, we've had a chance to assess some of the features that are inbound with this update and for the developers out there, it's time to start getting excited about a few of the features we're going to highlight.

  • Native C++ development
  • App-to-app communication APIs
  • NFC & Bluetooth stacks
  • In-app purchasing and the Wallet

Some of the biggest news of course is the shift in the base of the system to the new 'WinPRT' (Windows Phone RunTime), a subset of Windows Phone 8 (WinRT) with a few COM and Win32 APIs available for good measure. That means that a fair amount of code written for WinRT will be directly portable to this new WinPRT based framework.

Read on past the break for our take on exactly how Microsoft has opened up a new world of development possibilities...

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St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop

We've got time for one more reminder on the June 22, 2012 St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar will be leading the workshop. If you're in the St. Louis area or happened to be visiting the area, this sounds like a great opportunity to network with other developers and get some help building your app.

The workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. until around 9:00 p.m. and will be held at the Microsoft Offices in St. Louis.

The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app. Nokia will be sponsoring the event and will provide pizza and beverages.  We will be providing a few WPCentral Store gift certificates to give away and we're still crossing our fingers that Nokia will have a few door prizes to give away as well.  

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and have the necessary development tools installed. You can find a full list of the tools that you'll need here in the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion. Registration is required (so enough pizza is ordered) for the workshop and you can find that easy process here at GroupSpaces.

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WP Central

Is Windows Phone a  "potential competitive threat" to Android?

We all know that there is a great war going on right now in the smartphone world. Apple and iOS continue to be taking most parts of the world by storm, where as in North America RIM's numbers have plummeted over the last year or two. So where does that leave Windows Phone?

Well it would seem that for most people it is apps that are important and that is where Flurry comes in, where we found this interesting report. Flurry is an analytic company that tracks developer support across all the major smartphone operating systems. The statistics are easy for Flurry to trace as when a company creates a new project in Flurry Analytics it will need to download specific SDKs.

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St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop

Here's a quick reminder for the June 22, 2012 St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar will be leading the workshop. If you're interested in developing for Windows Phone, it sounds like a great opportunity to network with other developers and get some help building your app.

The workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. until around 9:00 p.m. and will be held at the Microsoft Offices in St. Louis.

The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app. Nokia will be sponsoring the event and will provide pizza and beverages.  No guarantees but Nokia may also provide a few door prizes as well.  Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and have the necessary development tools installed. You can find a full list of the tools that you'll need here in the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion.

Registration is required (so enough pizza is ordered) for the workshop and you can find that easy process here at GroupSpaces.

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