I’ve stumbled across a few useful things recently that I thought would be worth highlighting.
Updated Windows Phone Training Kit
An update to the Windows Phone Training Kit has been released. As well as refreshing nearly all the labs to fix bugs and ensure they work with the emulator and on devices, there are also two new labs; Accessing Windows Phone 7 Devices and Multi-Touch Game Development with XNA Framework. They also updated the push notifications same to use the Push Notification Server Side Helper Library.
The Push Notification Server Side Helper Library
Push notifications (server side) require a fair amount of plumbing code so the team have published a helper library that supports sending all three types of notifications. “The library provides an easy way for sending all three kinds of push notification messages currently supported by Microsoft Push Notification Services (MPNS): Tile, Toast, and Raw. Our main goal here is to extract any complexity for sending push notification (PN) messages from your website (or web service) to a Windows Phone. This library helps developers to send push messages using only a few lines of code.”
Windows Phone 7 Recipes
It turns out that the Push Notification Server Side Helper Library is just one of a number of “recipes” the team have developed (and there are more on the way). These recipes are open source projects aimed at simplifying common application development patterns on Windows Phone 7. Here are the current recipes:
- Windows Phone Server Side Push Notification Helper – a server-side library that abstract the way the push notification backend works, plus a sample demonstrating how to use it
- Nonlinear Navigation Service for Silverlight Applications – a Windows Phone library that helps developers resolve loops in their navigation
- GPS Emulator – a Windows application and a Windows Phone DLL that together let you simulate GPS input on the emulator and on a real phone
- Basic In-App Logger –
- this little library is a simple logger that helps you keep track of the application between tombstoning events
Top 10 things to check when you think you’re done
This series is nearly complete now (at 8/10) and well worth a look.
- Start tiles and splash screens are your first impression… Make them great.
- Make sure your buttons are visible even when the keyboard is displayed.
- Managing themes on WP7. Or how to build your application to respect system color changes.
- Make sure your finger can hit the target and text is legible.
- Give feedback on touch and progress within your UI.
- Embedding web content should be done with extreme caution.
- Place your buttons well… Flying buttons, home buttons, and back buttons… Oh my!
- Understanding Pivots and Panoramic views.
- Right layout alignment and information hierarchy are key. (coming soon)
- Make your life easy. Use our common controls, and use them right! (coming soon)
There’s a great post about documentation – both signposting to documentation and how to improve your experience – on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Again, well worth a look.