Windows Phone

Quick overview of Windows Phone 7 Mango hardware requirement

June 28, 2011 All, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 No comments

Today I am going to share a most important and informative topic I came across about Windows Phone 7 – Mango hardware requirement. Recently I have been busy lots of work around my workplace and lacking time to write my on my blog.

Here is the quick overview of the Windows Phone 7 – Mango hardware requirement.

These are excellent configuration specification required for Windows Phone 7 Mango, I am waiting to own a new Mango phone one it is released.

Thanks Microsoft for this image.

What is METRO on Windows Phone 7?

April 26, 2011 .NET, .NET Framework, All, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 No comments

Introduction

My intention with this article is to clarify the doubts among the .NET programmers having a misconcept about Windows Phone 7 and Metro.

When people first hear about METRO, they started believing that it’s a new programming language for Windows Phone 7 and they start referring to that in so many places.

 

What is METRO?

Metro is an internal code name for a typography-based design language created by Microsoft. It was created as a product of Microsoft’s user interface design work on Zune and Windows Media Center, for use in their mobile operating system Windows Phone 7. A specially made version of Microsoft’s Segoe font family, Segoe WP, is used as the main font family for all typographical elements.

METRO is a Design language or UI(User Interface) Guidelines, that defines how a Windows Phone 7 application should look like or set of design rules/standards Windows Phone 7 application developers/designers should follow.

 

Why we need such guidelines? Why can’t I develop it according to my wish?

A typical question to answer that let me explain a scenario, you cooked up some app(lets say “DemoApp”) and defined some styles and fonts according to your wish  and you deployed the application on your “Windows Phone 7 Device”. When you start browsing your application and your found that design is not looking consistent across when your change themes or fonts on the phone. This makes you or the user feel that application looks like an alien from outer planet.

Why is that? To ensure consistency across the phone and to cope with user environment configurations, you need to have a standard defined. So that It will ensure the application will match with all changes to actual device.

Suppose you change “Back color” on the device, application should have a consistent looks matching to that back color. Similarly you are changing “Theme” color, and the application font and color should reflect the same theme changes.

Thus we have UI Guidelines or design guidelines, that tells your that these are the set of guidelines(for fonts, color, icons, images and layout etc)  you need to follow to have an application that really suitable to “Windows Phone 7” environment.  Follow guidelines or not is up to you..

 

  How METRO was born?

Microsoft’s design team says that the Metro UI is based on signs on the Metro rapid transit system in King County, Washington. Metro places a large focus on typography and features large text that catches the eye and runs off the page. Microsoft says that Metro is designed to be "sleek, quick, modern" and a "refresh" from the icon-based interfaces of Android and iOS.

All instances use fonts based on the Segoe font family designed by Steve Matteson at Agfa Monotype and licensed to Microsoft.

For the Zune, Microsoft created a custom version called Zegoe UI, and for Windows Phone 7, they created the "Segoe WP" font family; apart from minor differences the fonts are largely the same.

 

A Seattle Metro sign, from which the design language was inspired.

 

What are these guidelines?

The Metro design language is based on the following principles and guidelines that Microsoft provides for developers creating applicatons using the Metro design language:

Clean, Light, Open, Fast
  • Feels Fast and Responsive
  • Focus on Primary Tasks
  • Do a Lot with Very Little
  • Fierce Reduction of Unnecessary Elements
  • Delightful Use of Whitespace
  • Full Bleed Canvas
Celebrate Typography
  • Type is Beautiful, Not Just Legible
  • Clear, Straightforward Information Design
  • Uncompromising Sensitivity to Weight, Balance and Scale
Alive in Motion
  • Feels Responsive and Alive
  • Creates a System
  • Gives Context to Improve Usability
  • Transition Between UI is as Important as the Design of the UI
  • Adds Dimension and Depth
Content, Not Chrome
  • Delight through Content Instead of Decoration
  • Reduce Visuals that are Not Content
  • Content is the UI
  • Direct interaction with the Content
Authentically Digital
  • Design for the Form Factor
  • Don’t Try to be What It’s NOT
  • Be Direct

and read more from references

 Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design & Interaction Guide

 Windows Phone Design System: Codenamed ‘Metro’

 Windows Phone UI and Design Language. http://live.visitmix.com/MIX10/Sessions/CL14

   Metro Design Language of Windows Phone 7

 

Future of METRO

The future of METRO is going to be interesting because Microsoft is going to follow the same steps in all their future products(Microsoft Office “15”, Windows 8 (leaked version demonstrates the METRO inspired interfaces in Windows 8), XBox and other releases are expected to follow the same guidelines).

So future of METRO is BIG guys..Smile

 

That is all for now buddies, thanks for reading through.  Formulated with help of Wikipedia, I am reporting from HYDERABAD..

Future of Windows Phone 7

April 23, 2011 All, Microsoft, mobile web, Mobile-Development, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 No comments

Windows Phone 7 been recognized as one of the major release by Microsoft, just like the way Windows 7 win the hearts of millions of Windows 7 users around the globe. Recent survey indicates that over 350 million licenses of Windows 7 has been sold across the world so far.

The MetroUI – Design Guidelines/language for Windows Phone 7 has made the phone look more interesting and snappier. Also Microsoft is planning to bring MetroUI guide lines as part of all future releases of “Windows” and “XBox” as well. Cool isn’t it.

Interesting face we all got to know in the past was about “Nokia” and “Microsoft” tie-up for WP7 as mobile platform for “Nokia” devices. Nokia already working on different variants of windows Phone 7.

Another interesting fact is recent surveys indicated that “Windows Phone 7” will be the “No.2” mobile platform by 2015.. So future is good for Microsoft and .NET developers like me who are targeting Windows Phone 7.

The Mango Upgrade

Upcoming upgrade of Windows Phone 7, called “Mango” platform is going to make lot other changes in Windows Phone 7. To provide more developer support and make developers life more easier Microsoft has made so many enhancements to Windows Phone 7 – Development Tools for Visual Studio .

With Mango release you will have local database(SQL Server 4 Compact Edition(CE) – a light weight edition of SQL Server for embedded devices and smart phones). So your application needs to have a local database hosted within your WP7 device ( the fact most of the applications nowadays utilizes the offline functionality, so that application can work fine with out the need of depending on the network signal. At certain period or frequent basis when the device is online the application will synchronizes with the server).. Good options right.. Android and iPhone applications are utilizing SQLite( a file system based database) and for WP7 soon we will have SQLCE 4.0

IE9.0 and HTML integration, Silverlight 5.0 and multi-tasking(an application can parallely run multiple tasks in device) capability are also expected to be part of Mango release.

Windows Phone Developer Tools for building Mango applications will be available for free next month, featuring improved emulator capabilities, including location simulation. Location simulation will help the developer to actually simulate the GPS location services in “Windows Phone 7 – Emulator

Profiler for Windows Phone 7 in Mango developer tools will help developers to profile the performance of the application and identify any memory leakage and slowness which execution of the application etc.

and with this release we can develop applications with “Silverlight” and “XNA” combination. Prior mango we were restricted to choose either “XNA” or “Silverlight” for development. With mango, both are clubbed together in WP7-Architecture base and we are allowed to develop applications with a combination of “Silverlight” as well as “XNA”. Great improvement.

I waiting to see Mango developer tools to get released to try out all the stuffs.

That’s all I thought of writing today. Read through it and leave any comments if you can. It would leave a good discussion thread started.

Reference links

Read more about Metro

More developer resources for Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft

  What’s New in the Windows Phone Developer Tools? | MIX11 | Channel 9

Smartphone market to grow 50% this year; WP7 to be No.2 OS by 2015

How to Download MIX 2011 Videos

April 19, 2011 .NET, .NET Framework, All, ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Azure, General, Microsoft, Silverlight, VB.NET, VisualStudio, VS2010, WCF, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone No comments

Scott Hanselman has shared a nice article on how to download the videos of MIX2011 – Conference LAS VEGAS, happened last week.

These are good presentations about Windows Phone 7,  MVC, Silverlight 5, XBOX, and Azure.. Don’t miss it!!

Read through the link Mix 2011 Videos – article by Scott Hanselman

Thanks Scott!! for such a nice article as well as informative sessions by you in Mix 2011 Videos..

Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7

April 17, 2011 .NET, All, Azure, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, ToolKits, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, Windowz Azure No comments

Today I was searching for good resources for Windows Phone 7 application development and I came across a cool set of libraries in Codeplex.com.

What is Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7?

The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 is designed to make it easier for you to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services running in Windows Azure.

The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.

You can get the latest version of Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7  from codeplex @ <a href=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/watoolkitwp7.codeplex.com” ” target=”_blank”>http://watoolkitwp7.codeplex.com/

Current version  of Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 -v1.1.0, Mar 23 2011 Release

My Experiment with Windows Phone 7

February 20, 2011 .NET, All, Announcements, General, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone No comments

My Experiment with Windows Phone 7

Note: This article is a modified copy of a mail I passed to my team and removed all references to our work from the content. Since this is for information purpose only, I thought it would be helpful for the Developer Community out there.

Recently few week back, I got a chance to take  a glance at Windows Phone 7  – Device that has been acquired for my organization team recently.

I was doing some testing with Windows Phone 7 device.  I love the snappier and smoothness of the device and the UI. The device is a HTC Surround – Windows Phone 7 device with 16GB, Dolby Digital Surround sound speakers.

Let’s Start with Experiment

I initially decided to know how we can install an Application from Windows Phone 7 – Market Place.

For installing  app from the Windows 7 – Market Place we would need Zune Software installed on your PC/Laptop.

Both “Zune Software” and Windows Phone 7 needs a “Windows Live ID” to get access to Market place.

Steps to follow

1.) Install “Zune Software” on your PC

2.) Connect your Windows Phone 7 to PC through USB. Zune will detect your phone.

3.) Login/Register to Windows Live ID using Zune. Fill in the details specify a Unique name for your self to display in Zune.

4.) Login to your Windows Phone 7 using the same Windows Live ID credentials.

5.) Open “Zune Software” again. Browse through the marketplace on the Zune. Search for “APP_NAME_HERE”, you can find it available FREE in market. Try to download it.

It will prompt you to disconnect and reconnect your windows phone 7 device again.

This is necessary since Zune will check whether you have logged in using “Windows Live ID” in Windows Phone 7 device as well. This check happens when we each time connects the device to the PC.

6.) Reconnect your Windows Phone 7 – Device.

7.) Try to download the ” APP_NAME_HERE ” app again, it will show a message that soon application will be downloaded and installed to your device.

8.) After few mins it appeared in the “Windows Phone 7 – Device” menu.

Developing & Deploying a Windows Phone 7 App

As part of understanding the Windows Phone 7 concepts we developed a PoC(Proof Of Concept) application “<APPNAME-IS-SECRET-COULD-BE-REVEALED>”. For now let’s call the application name as “X6”.

I tried to deploy a debug build of “X6” to the Windows Phone 7, and it prompt me with a warning that device is not “Developer Unlocked“. Only Developer unlocked devices can be used to develop and deply Windows Phone 7 Applications.

To get Developer Unlock the device, we would need an account with “AppHub” – Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 – Developer portal.

Getting  an Annual Membership(Developer Account) with “AppHub“, requires us pay an yearly Subscription FEE of around 99$ (4630/- RUPEES in INDIA). Unfortunately lack of enough balance in my budget, I opt out of registering πŸ™‚ :-).  I wanted to get registered and try out some apps etc. But I felt it would be good if Microsoft introduce some favorable annual subscription rates for individual developers like me, I develop for passion I have on the Technology, to get some insight in to that Technology. Any way after some time when I have enough balance I would add it up

After getting a developer account with “AppHub” we can “developer unlock” the Windows Phone 7 device(note that “network unlocking” or “sim unlocking” is different,  I am not talking about it here). I am talking about unlocking the device to allow to deploy and test with manual developer builds( without the need of publishing the application to Windows Phone 7 – Market Place).

The First Experience :

The device is HTC Surround – HTC T8788, 16GB Internal memory, Dolby Digital Surround sound speakers.

Pros :

  • The touch UI pretty awesome, flawless sensitivity. Multi-touch pinch to zoom is good in viewing pictures etc.
  • Well-built snappier UI, nice color combinations plus clarity of the HTC LED screen is made the device awesome.
  • Microsoft Office Mobile version looks cool with windows Phone 7 panorama view.
  • Panorama view is really good for the phone, if you have lots of information to be displayed in a single view.

Limitations :

  • No multi-tasking support. ( coming soon on March 2011 as a major update )
  • No memory card support. ( this is the case for most of the windows phone 7 devices available  in the market, because there were few issues for Microsoft fix with external memory card support)

What is AppHub ?

App Hub: is the website created just for Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE Indie Games developers that provides free tools, sample code, community support, and educational resources to help you develop your apps and games for Windows Phone and Xbox 360.

App Hub Annual Subscription : For a $99 USD(4630/- INR) annual subscription, you can submit your apps and games to App Hub for sale or free download in the Windows Phone Marketplace or Xbox LIVE Marketplace. We provide you with a personalized dashboard to manage merchandising, track downloads, and keep track of how much you’re earning.

Below are the 3 types of accounts available in “AppHub”

  1. Company
  2. Individual

  3. Student

Hope the features of different accounts are self-explanatory to you from the account name itself.

** Each developer account can be used to unlock or use against 3-4 Windows Phone 7 devices.

** Developer Account – Subscription tenure is “Yearly”

Hope this information would be useful any way. Please correct me if any missing points are there.

AppHub Url: http://create.msdn.com/en-US/

AppHub How it Works : http://create.msdn.com/en-US/home/about/how_it_works

Windows Phone 7 – Market Place : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/apps/default.aspx

Windows Phone 7 – Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2010 : Windows Phone Developer Tools RTW

Additional Developer Resource Links

Recent Updates to Windows Phone 7

January 2011 Update to the Windows Phone Developer Tools providing bug fixes, a new emulator, and utilities. This update is composed of two installation files and includes the contents of the deprecated October 2010 Update.

Scheduled March 2011 Update to the Windows Phone 7 – OS – include Multi-tasking, IE9, Twitter integration and Office document sharing on Windows Like SkyDrive.