Play audio in a Universal App without interrupting the stream

Over here at Microsoft in the Netherlands we have limited spots for employees to park their car right below the building. In collaboration with Schiphol and SkiData, we received access to the actual counter for our garage, resulting in a Windows Phone app to check how many spots are left for employees and determine whether……


Trigger a Background Task using Geofence on Windows Phone 8.1

With Windows Phone 8.1, we now have a range of ways to trigger a background task of our app. Aside from the previously available periodic timer that could trigger a background task, we can now also use raw push notifications, system events, device use triggers and location. The location method is used to trigger a……


Modernizing the original Microsoft Surface

I was recently lucky enough to receive an original Microsoft Surface through one of our great MVPs in the Netherlands, Dennis Vroegop. If you’re wondering what the fuss is about, I’m not talking about the Microsoft Surface Tablets, but the original device which was called Microsoft Surface: a 30-inch tabletop device, originally released in 2008…….


Code sharing strategies with MVVM

On September 25th and November 21st I talked about MVVM as a pattern to build apps, as well as code sharing strategies for Windows and Windows Phone projects through either Portable Class Libraries or file linking. I’m sharing the sample projects I used in those talks here for reference. You can find the slides used……


Windows starting template (October 2013)

With the imminent release of Windows 8.1 on October 18th, developers are going to have to think differently about some aspects of their apps. Whether it be things like the new Window size model or the settings charms flyouts with the new SettingsFlyout control, the implementation of Windows 8.1 apps will be different if developers……


Build apps for a device

We’ve managed to secure another batch of devices for our awesome app developer community in the Netherlands. This time we have a variety of devices available, which can be obtained by accumulating points by building Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps. The timing could not have been better, with the announcement of the Windows Phone……


ReviewNotifier NuGet package

One of the things I’ve seen a lot of blog posts about and heard a lot of buzz around lately is the ability to ask users to review an app automatically after a number of launches. This is a really good mechanism to get a lot more ratings and reviews for your app, as it……


StorageHelper NuGet package

If you’ve taken a look at any of my starting templates (Windows Phone or Windows) or at my Windows Phone RSS Reader app template, you’ve probably noticed the StorageHelper class in there. It’s a convenient way of abstracting some of the logic of loading, saving and removing data from either the application’s state or persistent……


Windows starting template

Back in February, I posted my Windows Phone starting template, which serves as a helpful base to start developing Windows Phone apps. It provides some useful basics, such as review reminder, storage helper, settings and about pages and has its own MVVM implementation without relying on third party frameworks. The template also helps developers build……


Creating a smooth extended splash screen experience

It’s common practice to implement an extended splash screen when your Windows Store app has a long or unpredictable start-up time, because it’s loading data off the web for instance. About 99% of the extended splash screens I’ve seen so far implement a page that looks like the default splash screen with the addition of……