Windows Phone App of the Day : FourSquare

Foursquare has been around since the release of Windows Phone but they have made some cool new improvements lately.  They are utilizing the deep linking of the new secondary live tiles to pin specific places to your home screen.  If you would like to see how to do this in your own application, you can check out my post on the subject here http://thesociablegeek.com/2011/11/09/live-tiles-in-wp-mango/

Why is this cool?  Well, if you are a FourSquare addict, then you can save yourself some time by pinning the place you go to the most onto your homescreen.   1 Click will Deep link you into that specific check in.

 

Besides my post (above), if you want more info on working with live tiles, check out the following :

Jeff Blankenburg has also created a post on Live tiles for his 31Days of Mango Series : http://www.jeffblankenburg.com/2011/11/11/31-days-of-mango-day-11-live-tiles

Or the Jump Start Video on Channel 9

http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Mango-Jump-Start/Mango-Jump-Start-10-Tiles–Notifications-on-Windows-Phone

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The making of the Nokia Lumia 800

As a developer, and I mean as someone who gets his hands dirty in the code that is NEVER SEEN by whomever uses my software, I am always facinated by the design process that goes into making things “Look Good”.  In this short video, you can see how Nokia went about designing their new Nokia Lumia 800 phone which runs the Windows Phone OS codenamed Mango.   Let me know what you think.

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Work on the Windows Phone Team

The jobs keep coming.  This is a great time to be a part of Windows Phone,  as you can see by my recent posts, there are a ton of great jobs out there for great people… Well here is one more.

 

Brandon Watson who runs Developer Experience for Windows Phone has a position on his team.   You can read his clever way of posting it here http://www.manyniches.com/windows-phone/windows-phone-is-hiring-on-my-team/  (Its all in Tweets)

 

Or you can look for the official position description here.

Either way, I can attest, it is a cool way to spend your day…. So send in your resume and join the team.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Video Chat for WP7–TANGO

They have been talking about it for a while and it has finally hit the market place.  Tango, the Video Chat application for WP7.  It will obviously work better with the new phones with front facing cameras… but it also works on my Samsung Focus… Check out the video below.

 

 

 

 

It of course works best over wifi, but will also work over 4G and 3G

 

image

 

Learn more at http://www.tango.me/ Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TangoMe Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/tangome Watch us on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/TangoMe Need Help? Visit http://support.tango.me

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Live Tiles in WP Mango

Ever since Windows Phone came out, I have always contended that Live tiles are the coolest feature and one that is :

1) Not on any other platform (Yes, I know that Android has widgets… not the same thing)

2) A great way to drive people into your application. (Which you want if it is add based.)

 

I will do another post later about why you should do Live Tiles from a Monetizing standpoint, but for this post, I just want to show you how easy it is to work with live tiles.

 

To begin with, live tiles have been around since 7.0 but to really take advantage of them you had to use Push Notifications.  While this is not THAT difficult, it did add quite a bit of complexity and the need to host your own service (or use scheduled tiles).  In the Mango release, we have made 4 great additions to live tiles.

 

1) You can change the live tiles from your code.

2) You can create secondary tiles to deep link into specific pages of your application

3) You can write on the back of tiles and have them flip

4) You can use background process to have them change when not even in your application

 

To create and modify live tile is fairly simple.

This firs thing we want to do is create a simple windows phone page that has three buttons on it:

  • Create App Tile
  • Create Second Tile
  • Delete Secondary Tile

Next we need to go to code behind and add a using statement for the phone shell.

 

using Microsoft.Phone.Shell;

Then inside the first button click we add the following code :

 

 private void button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {

            //Tile is always the first Tile, even if not pinned .
            ShellTile TileToFind = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.First();

            if (TileToFind != null)
            { 

                StandardTileData NewTileData = new StandardTileData();

                NewTileData.Title = "My Cool Tile";
                NewTileData.BackgroundImage = new Uri(
                    "CoolTile.jpg", UriKind.Relative);
                NewTileData.Count = 5;

                NewTileData.BackTitle = "Tiles Got Back";
                NewTileData.BackBackgroundImage = new Uri(
                    "CoolTileBack.jpg", UriKind.Relative);

                TileToFind.Update(NewTileData);

            }

        }
  • The first thing we do is get a reference to the Live Tile that comes with your application. (TileToFind)
  • Once we have a reference to it we can create our new tile data using the StandardTileData class.
  • We set the properties including the image we want on the live tile (a 173 by 173 png or jpg… make sure that your image is set to “content” in your project or you will not see it)
  • Next we set the back of the tile
  • And finally call the update method to change the live tile.

 

That is all you need to do to change your live tile.

If you want to create a secondary tile, it is slightly different.

 

for the second button click event we do the following

private void button2_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {
            ShellTile SecondTile = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault(
                x => x.NavigationUri.ToString().Contains("Page2.xaml"));

            StandardTileData NewTileData;
            NewTileData = new StandardTileData();

            NewTileData.Title = "Secondary Tile";
            NewTileData.BackgroundImage = new Uri(
                "CoolTile.jpg", UriKind.Relative);
            NewTileData.Count = 5;
            NewTileData.BackTitle = "Second Tiles Got Back";
            NewTileData.BackBackgroundImage = new Uri(
                "CoolTileBack.jpg", UriKind.Relative);

            if (SecondTile == null)
            {
                ShellTile.Create(new Uri(
                    "/Page2.xaml", UriKind.Relative), NewTileData);
            }
            else
            {
                SecondTile.Update(NewTileData);
            }
        }

 

There are a couple of noticeable change.  To find the secondary tile, we need to search for it since we are not guaranteed that it exists.  We do this by searching the ActiveTiles collection for the NavigationUri of the tile that we set lower in the event.  The only other change is creating the tile if it does not exist.  Otherwise we update it like before.

I have included all the code for the project HERE

If you want to run this code in the background so you can change the tile while users are not using the phone. You can check out my post on Background Agents

 

Enjoy

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Windows Phone App of the Day

Windows Phone 7 Hello World by eugenedotnet

Do you want to showcase that cool application that you created for the windows phone marketplace?  Do you want to get the word out?  For the next X number of days (30 or 365 I’m not sure yet)  365 days, I will be posting an Windows Phone Application every day.  If you would like me to consider your application,  you need to fall in one of these categories.

  1. 1   Applications in Marketplace
  2. 2   Cool Apps that are coming soon.

In order for me to post about your application, I will need a link to your application in marketplace (Web link not Zune link),  and a video of your application that you have posted on You Tube.     In addition, if you are in the middle of creating your application (maybe at one of our phone camps).  Let me know about it and I will also be showcasing some “Coming Soon” applications.  Again, a You tube Video works best but I may make some exceptions (screenshots).

 

If you have any questions, let me know.

Become a Developer Evangelist for Windows Phone


Are you looking to join the exciting life of a Developer Evangelist….

I know, this post looks eerily similar to my previous post, but this time the Evangelist position is for Nokia. Nokia is a great company and this is a great job.  If you want more information you can find it here.

 

http://jobs.nokia.com/job/Sunnyvale-WP-Developer-Evangelist-Job-CA-94085/1498545/ 

 

I would assume that if you got this job, our paths would cross… Let me know if you are applying.

 

 

 

New Windows Phones Announced

The Big Windows Phone in Herald Squre, NYCWith a giant phone leading the way, today Microsoft unveiled the new lineup for for windows phone preloaded with Mango.  While the giant phone in New York City is cool, the phones that are coming out are even cooler.  From a new white color to 1.4 GHZ power to a front facing camera, these new phones are ready to take the world by storm.  Check out some of the specs below.  If you have one of them already, let me know what you think.  I have heard some great feedback about the Radar already.

Samsung Focus S: This is the follow up to the Samsung Focus, the Focus S has some really great features :  Check it out here  (ATT)

  • 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus display. Like the original Samsun Focus, it is really beautiful to look at.
  • 8.55-millimeter profile
  • 8-megapixel camera
  • Front facing camera (Awesome)
  • 16GB Memory
  • 1.4 GHZ Processor

HTC Radar 4G: It is crafted from a single piece of polished aluminum, and is the only white handset in the Windows Phone lineup.  Check it out here  (T Mobile )

  • 1GHz processor
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • Wi-Fi Sharing
  • Front Facing Camera
  • And its White Smile

Samsung Focus Flash: It’s the fast and lightweight partner to the Samsung S  Check it out here (ATT)

  • 3.7” Super AMOLED screen
  • 5-megapixel camera.
  • Front Facing Camera
  • 1.4 GHZ processor