Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application

I’ve presented the talk Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application in two locations the past weeks:

Some useful resources to get started with:

Slides of the talk:

Cocktail Flow – Valentine’s Day Update

Cocktail Flow (on Twitter: @CocktailFlow) development hasn’t slowed since the Holiday update and I’m happy to announce that we’ve released another update for Valentine’s day. This update comes with a new, Valentine’s package as well as several small, but useful features added.

The most important things we’ve added this update are the following:

  • Valentine’s day cocktails – nearly 30 delicious, themed drinks are added to the application in the Valentine’s package
  • Packages can be deactivated and activated. This means if you’ve downloaded one of the holiday packages, but aren’t interested in those cocktails during the summer, simply deactivate the package to hide its contents.
  • Extended cabinet – we’ve added a few drinks to the cabinet and from now on the cabinet is dynamically growing based on ingredients in packages.
  • Search by ingredients – simply start typing the name of an ingredient in the search field and cocktails containing ingredients with that name are also returned.
  • Smarter cabinet – if you select dark rum, lime juice and coke in the cabinet, you’ll see that Cuba Libre is suggested as a cocktail that can be mixed, even though the official recipe suggests using white rum, not dark. However, we’ve introduced substitute ingredients, and in the case of Cuba Libre, both white rum and dark rum can be used to mix this drink.

And finally, here are a few screenshots of some of the new cocktails and new features:

Valentine’s Day package and the ability to deactivate (and activate) packages

Read More…

Stock Data Visualization Using Silverlight

I’ve written an article on CodeProject on visualizing live and historic stock data using Silverlight. In the article I’m presenting a pretty generic way of fetching, parsing and displaying the stock data.

The structure of the article is as follows:

Read the full article and download the source code on Codeproject: Visualizing Live and Historic Stock Data Using Silverlight

Cocktail Flow: Holiday Update

With the team at Distinction we’ve continued to work hard on Cocktail Flow and I’m happy to announce that we’ve shipped an update for the application with some new features and holiday themed cocktails!

So here’s a summary of what’s new:

  • We’ve added support for cocktail packages - these can be downloaded within the application for more cocktails.
  • We’ve released a Christmas and New Years package with over 50 new, holiday themed cocktail recipes
  • Cocktails can be browsed by color as well and we’ve added brandy and champagne to the base drinks category
  • New settings: the lock screen can be configured not to turn the application off and the currency can be changed in the shopping assistant

Of course the updates don’t stop with this; new cocktail packages planned to be released continuously. Should you miss some recipes, just send your suggestion on Twitter @cocktailflow.

Here are some screenshots of some of the new, holiday cocktails, the packages and the new start screen. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Read More…

Using Google App Engine as Proxy for Silverlight and Flash Cross-Domain Requests

When using Silverlight or Flash to fetch data from other domains one often runs into cross-domain access restrictions. For security reasons in order to access data from different domains, the remote server explicitly has to allow this by defining a crossdomain.xml (or, for Silverlight, clientaccesspolicy.xml is good as well). If this file cannot be found on the remote domain, the request is not executed.

This can be fustrating when querying against RSS feeds or JSON/XML web APIs that don’t define any of these files. The workaround for this issue is to use some sort of proxying service. In this article I’ll be showing how to use Google App Engine to create a simple proxy that will forward these requests for free – within a reasonable daily load.

Google App Engine Overview

The reason I’ve chose to implement the proxy using Google App Engine is because it has a free daily quota and getting started using it is really simple: all you need is a Google account and to download and install the Google App Engine SDK.

Google App Engine supports developing in both Java and Python. In my example I’ll be using Python. In order to use and deploy the code yourself as well, follow these steps:
Read More…

10 Things Developers Will Love About Silverlight

On the Silverlight Firestarter Scott Guthrie gave a preview of the new features being developed in Silverlight 5. I’ve written an article on the 10 most important new features Silverlight developers should be excited about. These are the following:

  1. Debug Data Binding Expressions by Using Breakpoints in XAML
  2. Animations Made Easy with Transitions
  3. Navigating Up the Visual Tree in Bindings using RelativeSource and Mode=FindAncestor
  4. Binding View Events to the ViewModel Using Custom Markup Extensions
  5. Changing Styles Runtime By Binding in Style Setters
  6. Networking No Longer Happening on the UI Thread
  7. Vector Based Printing
  8. HTML Content and Additional Permissions Within Trusted Silverlight Application
  9. 3D API
  10. Smaller Enhancements: Text Clarity and Performance Improvements

You can read the full article with details on all of these features on my Visiblox blog.

Manipulating Styles At Runtime in Silverlight

I’ve been writing a 4 part series on everything (I think) is worth knowing about styles in Silverlight. The previous parts were Silverlight Styles: an Introduction, Silverlight Styles: Advanced Topics and Silverlight Styles: Further Advanced Topics

The final part of the series is ready and it covers the following topics:

  • Modifying Styles Runtime: the IsSealed Property – modifying the Setters of a Style can only be done if the IsSealed property is set to false and this property is set to true as soon as the style gets applied to an element in the visual tree.
  • Cloning Styles – because sealed Styles can’t be modified, one needs to clone them to be able to manipulate them. I’m providing example code on how cloning of a Style can be done.
  • Merging styles runtime – I’m showing two ways of merging existing styles programatically, both using the BasedOn property of Style as well as just copying Style setters.

You can read the detailed article and download source code for examples on my Visiblox blog – I hope you’ll find it useful.

An Amazing Windows Phone 7 Application: Cocktail Flow

I’m proud to announce that the release version of Cocktail Flow, an application I’ve been working together with Distinction has been sent to approval and is planned to appear in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace in a few days. Before I go into any other details, watch the 45 seconds teaser video (recommended to do on fullscreen):

User Interface

The user interface has been designed to fit perfectly with the Metro interface of Windows Phone 7, while making the most out of it. It’s both visually stunning, clean, light and intuitive to explore. Some further screenshots:

Read More…

Slides, Code and Additional Resources for the Talk Developing for Windows Phone 7

Last night I’ve talked about developing for Windows Phone 7 in Edinburgh on a Scot Alt.Net meeting. Thanks for everyone who showed up, as well as Mike Ormond for coming up from London and showing off some developer devices.

As promised, here’s a list of resources that I think serve as great starting point on cracking on with WP7 development:

Also, here is the slideshow I’ve presented at the event:

Good luck on getting started!

Getting Started With WP7 Development: Learning the WP7 Ecosystem

In my previous post I’ve listed resources to help getting started with Silverlight for WP7 developers.

This article aims to collect the most important resources developers should go through in order to learn the WP7 ecosystem and build decent Windows Phone 7 applications using Silverlight.

Tools To Get Started Developing

  • Download the free developer tools (installs Visual Studio Expression or project templates, Expression Blend for WP7 or project templates for Expression Blend 4) (you can get them from the Windows Phone 7 developer site developer home page as well). You’ll need this to get started with development.
  • Download the Windows Phone 7 Silverlight training kit – it features some very useful examples with explained source code. I suggest going through it, or at least the parts you feel are relevant to what you want to develop.
  • Download theĀ Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. This component contains some essential classes for development such as GestureService (simplifying detection of gestures), DatePicker, TimePicker, WrapPanel and ToggleSwitch.

Get a Feel for Metro, the WP7 UI

To develop good WP7 applications it’s important to get the feel of the WP7 user interface, Metro. I suggest going through the following resources to get familiar with it:
Read More…

1 2 3 4 8  Scroll to top