Windows Phone Resources
This week we hosted an App Development help live chat on Facebook with Microsoft Developer Evangelists Andrew Parsons and Dion Hutchings. For those of you who missed the chat, we’ve highlighted the top Q&A below and included resources. Stay on the lookout for future app development chats.
I am a college student pursuing a computer science degree and have a strong interest in mobile development. I am not as familiar with the Windows mobile platform as other platforms mobile platforms. Could you recommend any specific books or other resources I could use as I explore the Windows mobile platform?
Dion Hutchings: If you’re starting out I would go here first. Windows Phone 8 Getting Started Guide. There is good resources in there for getting started with Windows Phone app development. Then start exploring the Windows Phone dev site to go deeper.
I was trying to get some Open API for the weather that I want to include in the app, does Bing has one? Because the current API I have is only for U.S Weather, and I need an API that can give back International Weather. Thanks.
Dion Hutchings: You could use a data service from the Windows Azure Marketplace. I did a search on the marketplace and found this data. Hope this helps.
Are there any Azure cloud services for maps like Bing maps with tutorials and are there any Windows 8 phone UI and coding seminars or live teachings coming up?
Dion Hutchings: Have you seen this? I wonder if this is what you are looking for. I've not used this myself yet.
I want to start developing an app that has a rating system in real time. Kind of like Urbanspoon but specific to that day and second like Twitter. What services do you think I'd need to use? Would they cost?
Dion Hutchings: Very cool! I would use Azure Mobile Services for that too! You can store your recipe data for each user in simple to create tables. Also adding Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google user identification for your user to login into your app is really simple as well and built right in.
In the future, most apps will use the Cloud, What are your suggestion to developers?
Andrew Parsons: We have an Azure Getting Started Guide, similar to the ones we have available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, under development. It will be published very soon along with some videos to walk through how to use Azure for cloud services. We'll make sure we post that link here on this page when it's done. Edit: the Azure Getting Started Guide is now available, find it here.
May I ask, I am student learning Visual Basic. How do you update a database record using VB. A link would be highly appreciated.
Dion Hutchings: I would use ADO.NET if I had a connection directly to a data source like an SQL database. I'm not sure what kind of app you are working on. If it were me and I was developing an app for Windows 8 (WinRT) or Windows Phone then I would use Windows Azure Mobile Services really, really easy to add data to your app hosted in the cloud available everywhere!
Andrew Parsons: If you want to get a jump start in good design, check out the upcoming virtual course on April 24-25
Is it possible to calculate distances accurately using the devices accelerometer? If so, accurately enough to simulate a ruler?
Dion Hutchings: I'm just not sure. I guess you'd have to build a prototype app and try it. Or you could try posting your question here -> MSDN Forums.
May I ask about got any training kit for Office 365 development in Windows Store App??
Andrew Parsons: We currently do not have any official training kits for Office 365 development for Windows 8 apps.
I want to start developing a text automating app, any tips on that type of app specifically before I before I begin the process?
Andrew Parsons: Could you clarify what you mean by a text automating app?
I mean an app to send preset messages automatically according to a specific criteria, I want to create a simple app that automates texts between certain times of the day. Example: In a meeting from 1pm to 3pm, app replies "In meeting please send all business inquiries to my e-mail John.Doe(at)Work.com"
Dion Hutchings: I hope I understand the scenario correctly. You could build a Windows Azure Cloud Service or even Windows Azure Mobile Service and then use 3rd party SMS service (I think like Twillo) search the Windows Azure Marketplace.
There’s a lot of programming languages and it doesn't make sense to sit there learning each one inside out. What do you think is the best approach to making apps when it comes to different platforms? Are there any books you recommend? Or a thought process that's helped you?
Andrew Parsons: Using a technique like MVVM - Model-View-View Model - allows you to separate out the user interface, data and business logic layers in a way that you can often reuse code across platforms. I'd recommend taking a look at this series of videos to see how you can develop effectively for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone and see how MVVM can be used (in talk 3).
I want to make a mobile application what programs and language do I need?
May I ask about how to build Killer Apps?
Andrew Parsons: There are lots of things you could look at for building high quality apps. Here are six things you should consider: 1. Unique concept/idea - think of something that provides value 2. User Experience - implement great design principles and good logical flow. 3. Feature Richness - make your app different from others by implementing great features including those that are unique to Windows 8. 4. Quality Coding - make sure your app is great quality from the underneath with good code to avoid crashes, freezes and other bad experiences. 5. Multiple devices or contexts - consider making an app for both Windows 8 or Windows Phone, or if you're just doing Windows 8, make sure you handle snapped, filled and portrait views effectively. 6. Use the cloud - integrate Azure for storage or tracking users across devices so they can minimize duplicate efforts.
How can I learn app development? I'm interested...
Andrew Parsons: Sooraj, take a look at the awesome Windows 8 Getting Started Guide. It walks you through how to get the tools you need, sign up for the store and how to submit applications.
Can we have a tour of Microsoft Redmond?
Dion Hutchings If you can't make it Redmond, WA here is the next best thing – a virtual tour.
Hi, I am a student from Malaysia. May I ask about how can I get job offer from Microsoft and I was going to graduate soon. And may I ask about how about the company apps development because I see not have too many of developer developed the company apps?
Andrew Parsons: That's great that you're looking for your first step in your career. Please review the career and internship page. Company apps are created all the time by developers - sometimes they only publish them internally for their own company use though, which is why you might not see as many as you think.
How do I implement Bing maps into my Azure app? Is there any special way? Also for TouchDevelop programming on Windows the Bing maps works in the app on TouchDevelop but when exporting the app and testing it on my phone Bing maps no longer works do you know a fix for that problem? Or how to use it properly in TouchDevelop so I can use the app after I export it?
Dion Hutchings: I'm not sure about TouchDevelop. I know a couple guys in MSR who are working on TouchDevelop, can I get back you on that one?
Where we can submit created applications?
Andrew Parsons: Take a look at the awesome Windows 8 Getting Started Guide. It walks you through how to get the tools you need, sign up for the store and how to submit applications.
Hey sirs. Is it possible to detect the current location of the phone without using internet or SMS using GPS? I want to create an app that sends the current location of the phone whenever the location of the phone moves to the SQL server of the internet. This is for our thesis and its name is Vehicle tracking thru GPS. And if it’s possible, how?
Dion Hutchings: Yeah, you don't need an internet connection to use location services for Windows Phone. However you mentioned SQL Server and seems like your database is connected to the internet you could implement your app in a way that you update your database in batches when the device is connected to your network or the internet.
Andrew and Dion I salute you. I am doing the Imagine Cup competition but was wondering how best I can implement phone detection to changes or variation in temperature of surroundings especially explosive gadgets in specs. Thanks.
Andrew Parsons: The Windows Phone (and most other mobile devices) does not have a temperature sensor, so the only way you would be able to do this is with an external sensor providing the input data into the phone. Other students in Imagine Cup have done this in the past by building their own sensor, and I know of at least one company building a sensor (Robocat) that would do this.
Are you working on a dev project with Windows 8, Windows Azure or Windows Phone? If so – tell us about it in the comments below.