Windows Phone App 4: BabySoother

They say necessity is the mother of invention… A new baby plus a few weeks of paternity leave were the drivers in this case. The idea for this app started as a simple white-noise generator, and was basically a big “Play” button that played a recording of me saying “Shhhh”. Soon after I realized that…

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The simplest way to do design-time ViewModels with MVVM and Blend.

  The problem is this: You’ve created your Views and ViewModels, but when you view them in Blend, you either see nothing, or the data you see is not useful for testing what you want in the view. There are various ways to deal with this, including writing code (either in the ViewModel or in…

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Windows Phone App 3: Fact-Of-The-Day

No prizes for guessing what this application does, but I will reveal it just in case: When you start the application, it loads a bunch of trivia/facts from its own database as well as various RSS feeds, then shows them to you randomly. Here’s the marketplace link: http://social.zune.net/redirect?type=phoneApp&id=8a5fd405-f9de-df11-a844-00237de2db9e You just swipe the screen to reveal…

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Windows Phone App 2: MobileMobile, a fun game for toddlers.

The second application I wrote for WP7 is a simple and fun game for tiny kids. The name – which I expect will confuse people – is a combination of “mobile” as in “This is running on a mobile phone”, and “mobile” as in “babies like to bash the animals hanging from this mobile”. Here’s…

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Windows Phone App 1: Feedr, an RSS reader.

My favorite way to learn a platform/language/technique is to just dive in and experiment, so for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) I started writing some apps. The first one I wrote is “Feedr”, which is an RSS reader: Here’s the marketplace link (you need Zune installed): http://social.zune.net/redirect?type=phoneApp&id=7ee2f072-dbd5-df11-a844-00237de2db9e It’s pretty no-frills at the moment, but it does…

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Expression Design: Problems with exporting slices, wrong image sizes.

These little things can drive you nuts… I found a great blog post that makes it trivial to [re]generate the multiple images required for a Windows Phone Marketplace submission. For some reason, it was pulled (maybe due to the bug I’m about to describe), but here it is from the Bing cache: Creating Windows Phone…

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Programmatically supporting Windows Phone themes with differing colors for text

The marketplace guys just rejected my application because the text was unreadable when the user switched from the “Dark theme” to the “Light theme”. Firstly, amazing that they went through manual testing to find a bug like this. Secondly, I feel silly for not finding it myself My problem was that I forgot to go…

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Windows Phone: Taking screenshots for marketplace submissions

When you submit your application to the marketplace, there’s an option for including screenshots. However, your submission will be rejected if the screenshots aren’t exactly to spec: They must be 480×800, and not include any of the emulator chrome. Taking a specific snippet is difficult because you either have to manually select just the right…

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Windows Phone: Frame/Page navigation and transitions using the TransitioningContentControl

Windows Phone 7 supports the built-in Silverlight Frame/Page navigation system, which is easy to use and maintain. Unfortunately, it’s not as slick-looking as the panorama navigation shown in all the phone demos. Sooner or later there will be a few panorama implementations floating out there, but I still think that Frame/Page navigation has its place;…

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