Development, WP8

Check out these Windows Phone apps!

Here’s a list of neat Windows Phone apps for you to check out:

Name Link
Quick Run http://aka.ms/QuickRun
How To Create Apps http://aka.ms/HowToCreateApps
Notes Man http://aka.ms/NotesMan
KonnecT http://aka.ms/KonnecTapp
Movie Collection http://aka.ms/moviecollection
Numbers and Genius http://aka.ms/NumbersGenious
C Sharp Instructional Videos http://aka.ms/csharpvideoapp
Game maker Tutorias http://aka.ms/gamemakertutorials
ASP.NET Tutorials http://aka.ms/aspdotnet
My Minutes http://aka.ms/myminutes
BMI_Mobile http://aka.ms/BMImobile
Tally Tool http://aka.ms/tallytool
Car Locator http://aka.ms/CarLocator
TIC TAC TOE http://aka.ms/tictactoe
The Escape http://aka.ms/theescapefree
TipMe! http://aka.ms/tipmetipcalculator
Piggy Banker http://aka.ms/piggybanker
Time Attack http://aka.ms/timeattack
Applause Light http://aka.ms/applauselight

 

Give them a try, and let the author know what you think!

Development, Students, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Azure Mobile Services, WP7, WP8

Code to Win!

Our team at Microsoft is excited to announce the return of the Windows 8 Student App Madness Challenge! Create and publish a Windows 8 app by April 14th, 2014 and you could win* a $50 gift card. Promote your app and receive 100 downloads for the chance to win* an additional $50 gift card. Microsoft will provide you with all the software, resources and support you need to get started, build your app, and publish it to the Windows Store. This is a great opportunity for you to get some app building experience, and win prizes while doing it!

There are two ways you can win:

What could be easier!  There are a lot of helpful tools to get you started including some great app templates, like the SUPER-AMAZING Cross-platform Cloud Kit, advice on building great app logos for your new apps, and great training available online to help you build out the next great app.

As always, reach out to me if you have any question about building apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, or if you’re interested in learning more about Windows Azure. Our team is here to help you whenever you need us!

BootCamp, CodeCamp, Development, Events, Featured, Students, Training, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Azure Mobile Services, WP8

Upcoming Microsoft Events

Hey all – the team is starting up a new round of Microsoft events – they’re similar to what we used to do with DevCares and MSDN Events (if you can remember back that far) but all have an education + hands on component to them.  This schedule is for all of Central Region, and although we unfortunately can’t visit every city in the region, hopefully you can find a city near you so that you can attend!

Build 2013 Highlights – The Best of Build!

Were you unable to attend Build 2013 and hear about the latest Microsoft product announcements for software developers? Never fear! In this session, we will give you the best of Build, covering the major announcements and technology innovations you need to know as a developer. We will show code and demos to get you up to speed on the latest with Windows 8.1, XAML, WinJS, Bing, Windows Azure, and Visual Studio.

Agenda

  • Windows 8.1 and Windows Store changes
  • What’s new in XAML and WinJS
  • Introducing the Bing Platform
  • What’s new in Windows Azure
  • What’s new in Visual Studio and web
Date City
Sept. 24 Houston, TX
Sept. 24 Southfield, MI
Sept. 24 Indianapolis, IN
Sept. 25 Columbus, OH
Sept. 27 Overland Park, KS
Oct. 3 Edina, MN
Oct. 9 Austin, TX
Oct. 15 St. Louis, MO
Oct. 17 Irving, TX
Oct. 29 Chicago, IL
Nov. 14 Waukesha, WI
Nov. 22 Independence, OH

 

Monetization of Real-World Windows Apps

Often, as developers, we think of our pet software projects as a hobby. As it turns out, we have one of the most profitable hobbies in the history of hobbies! Billions of dollars have already been made by developers just like you that built an app for a mobile platform, and monetized it effectively. In this one-day event, we will share with you some modest and extreme success stories, some strategies for making money from your apps, and some technical instruction on exactly how to make that happen in your code. We will also demonstrate how easy it is to build one unified codebase that can used on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone.

Agenda

  • Overview of the platforms, success stories.
  • Monetization Strategies (trial, paid, ads, IAP)
  • Hands-on Labs
  • Implementing Pre-Lunch Strategies in App & Store
  • Using PCLs to share code and increase success
Date City
Oct. 15 Houston, TX
Oct. 17 Indianapolis, IN
Oct. 22 Detroit, MI
Nov. 6 Chicago, IL
Nov. 6 Dallas, TX
Nov. 6 Kansas City, MO
Nov. 6 Columbus, OH
Nov. 12 Edina, MN
Nov. 13 Austin, TX
Dec. 4 St. Louis, MO
Dec. 4 Cleveland, OH

 

Windows 8 + Windows Phone: Better Together

Trying to wrap your head around app development across multiple platforms? Trying to capitalize on the opportunities in both the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 marketplaces? Want to maximize your design and development resources and get to market better, faster, and stronger? Then come to this session and learn some real world techniques to maximize your efficiency of developing for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. See how you can minimize your development costs by maximizing sharing and reuse between the two platforms.

Agenda

  • Designing for sharing
  • Developing and sharing
  • Tips and Tricks / Architecture
  • And then there was 8.1… A quick tour of the new stuff
Date City
Nov. 5 Houston, TX
Nov. 14 Downers Grove, IL
Dec. 3 Indianapolis, IN
Dec. 10 Detroit, TX

 

Hands-on Labs: Windows 8 & Windows Phone

Build your first Windows 8 apps with an accompanying app on Windows Phone! We will start from scratch to create a Windows 8 app that is powered by the cloud AND includes a Windows Phone version too!

Agenda

  • Window 8 + Cloud
  • Windows Phone
Date City
Nov. 15 Irving
Nov. 20 Columbus
Nov. 22 Chicago
Nov. 22 Houston
Nov. 22 Edina
Nov. 22 Austin
Nov. 22 St. Louis
Nov. 22 Southfield
Nov. 22 Indianapolis
Featured, Product Announcements, WP8

Windows Phone 8 Starter Kit for WordPress

After many emails, and much procrastination, I finally had a chance tonight to update the Windows Phone Starter Kit for WordPress over to Windows Phone 8 and update it to support WordPress 3.5.1.

For those of you running the old WP7 version, the changes you need to make to support WordPress 3.5.1 are pretty simple, but do require a bit of code writing.  To make it as easy as possible, this set of steps *should* work for a simple update:

  1. Open your Starter Kit in Visual Studio 2012 (this is now a Windows Phone 8 project, not a Windows Phone 7 project, so Visual Studio 2012 is now required).
  2. Copy all the code from https://github.com/ChrisKoenig/Windows-Phone-Starter-Kit-for-WordPress/blob/master/Networking/WordPressPlugInReader.cs and paste over the top of the existing code in your Visual Studio project.
  3. Recompile and test locally

Basically what I had to do was add a variable parameter to each of the query strings on the URIs requesting data from the WordPress site as it seems that WP3.5+ is caching the data based on the query string parameters now, which it didn’t used to do before.

If this doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll try to help walk you through it.

Android, Azure, Cloud, iOS, Open Source, USCloud, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Azure Mobile Services, WP8

WNS Badge, Toast and Tile Reference

Using WNS as part of your Windows 8 Store app? Digging into Windows Azure Mobile Services?  The Windows Notification Service is a key part of the Windows 8 platform and really great apps know how to use Push Notifications to make their great apps awesome.

Here’s a reference I got from my teammate Nick Harris showing off all the variations of Push Notification messages you can send to a Windows 8 machine, either manually from your own code, or from node.js scripts in your Windows Azure Mobile Services.

Toast variants: http://aka.ms/wnstoast

Tile variants: http://aka.ms/wnstile

Badge variants: http://aka.ms/wnsbadge

For the Mobile Services developer, these manifest themselves in the node javascript code something like this:

var parms = {
    image1src: 'http://link.to/myimage.jpg',
    image1alt: 'Alt tag for my image',
    text1: 'Text to put into the notification'
};
push.wns.sendToastImageAndText01(channel, parms);

Check out these links to learn what badge, tile or toast message options are available, and choose the one that makes the most sense for you and your app.

Azure, Cloud, Development, Featured, ITPro, Open Source, Silverlight, Students, USCloud, Web, Windows, Windows 8, WP7, WP8

BizSpark for Startups

My good friend and colleague Taylor Cowan has begun working on a blog post series entitled “25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark”.  Even if you haven’t already formed a company around your latest great idea, Taylor’s series will help you understand how startups can take the best advantage of all the amazing features that BizSpark has to offer. Today was Day 6 (I know, I’m a little behind) but there are still 19 more days to come!

Tune into 25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark at http://taylorcowanonline.com

BizSpark, for those that don’t know, Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility.  The program also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive, and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services.  In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,000 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters.  Since it was established in 2008, more than 45,000 companies in over 100 countries have joined BizSpark.

Here is the BizSpark membership critera:

  1. Privately-held company
  2. Less than 5 years old
  3. Earns less than $1M US per year
  4. In the business of developing software (on any platform, with any language, for any type of device)

That means, if you are building a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application that you intend to sell on in their respective marketplaces, you qualify for BizSpark and can get access to ALL of those amazing benefits!  Contact Taylor today via his blog at http://taylorcowanonline.com to find out more about joining the BizSpark family today!

Azure, Cloud, Development, MVVM, Open Source, Silverlight, USCloud, Windows, Windows 8, WP7, WP8

Scaling Collaborative Applications

One of our local MVPs, Michael Perry, has written a great article about scaling collaborative Windows 8 applications with Correspondence and Windows Azure.

Azure is a great way to quickly deploy and scale your web sites. Correspondence is a rich framework for bringing collaborative experiences to multiple platforms. When these two come together, amazing things can happen.

http://qedcode.com/content/scaling-collaborative-applications-azure-and-correspondence

For those that don’t know, Correspondence is Michael’s innovative collaboration framework for occasionally connected smart clients and web applications. Correspondence is hosted on CodePlex at http://correspondence.codeplex.com/ and samples can be found on Michaels blog at http://qedcode.com.

Development, Open Source, Windows, Windows 8, WP7, WP8

Starter Kit News

Couple of quick announcements about the Starter Kits I’ve been working on over the past year:

First, I just made an update tonight to the Windows Phone Starter Kit for Schools (a.k.a. the Windows Phone Starter Kits for Schools, Organizations, Teams, Clubs, and Just About Everything Else). Since Google recently decided to discontinue their Weather API, I needed to find another source. I was using Bing originally, but the Bing API requires developers to pay a subscription fee to access the API after the first 5,000 transactions. Instead, today I switched over to a free Weather API from http://www.worldweatheronline.com. World Weather Online allows for developers to get a free account providing current conditions as well as (up to) a 5-day forecast.  For this starter kit, that would fit perfectly! I made the updates tonight in both the GitHub repository as well as the MSDN Code Gallery so you can get it from either place.

Second, I’ve been getting a LOT of questions about Starter Kits for Windows 8. Many people have asked if there are any plans to create Win8 versions of all the existing Starter Kits. So far, there has not been any plans, but I think I might be persuaded to start working on some, if I could find some interested community members to work with me.  The primary ones to move over would be the Starter Kit for Schools and the Starter Kit for RSS, as those are the 2 most popular Starter Kits of the bunch. There are quite a few bits that would need to change considering the new UX with Windows 8 Store Apps, but I think it’s perfectly manageable in a relatively short period of time. After all – these are starter kits/sample code – not completed applications. There is every expectation that people will need to make additional customizations as well as UI updates before submitting the applications for publication. If you are interested in helping out with this, please let me know and we can get to work straight away! There might even be a prize in it for you for getting the code completed and published 🙂