Mister Goodcat

Peter's home of all things life

Tuesday, 2/19/2013 1:03 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Speech

Tuesday, 2/19/2013 1:03 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

Windows Phone 7 already has some speech features built into the system, for example voice commands that can be invoked by holding down the start button. As with many other features of this first generation of the platform, accessibility to these was extremely limited for app developers. Once again Windows Phone 8 not only heavily improves this situation, but it also adds a variety of completely new features that both developers and users will benefit from. In this article, I'll take a closer look at text to speech and its counterpart, speech to text (speech recognition).

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Speech.aspx

Have fun!

Monday, 2/18/2013 7:57 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Developer's Best Friend

Monday, 2/18/2013 7:57 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

No matter how much touch and gestures talk is around, the keyboard likely will continue to stay developer's best friend for a long time. My personal companion for serveral years has been the Logitech UltraX keyboard [1]. It sure isn't a high-end or premium model, but it suited my style of typing extremely well. It's not particularly durable either, at least not for someone who's using it several hours a day and likes to write both texts and code – in the last years I have worn out approximately one every year. They start to turn ugly quickly, because the silver color is rubbed off in only few months if not weeks, but technically they're robust enough to see all four seasons. At a price of less than 20€ this is something I was willing to accept. More...

Tuesday, 2/12/2013 2:56 PM
by Peter Kuhn
3 Comments

Windows Phone 8: NFC-Near Field Communication

Tuesday, 2/12/2013 2:56 PM by Peter Kuhn | 3 Comments

In this third part about communication feature improvements in Windows Phone 8, I will focus on Near Field Communication, or NFC for short, which lately has found its way into many modern smart phones across different platforms like Android, Bada or BlackBerry. On Windows Phone, NFC support has only been added in version 8; there wasn't any support for it in Windows Phone 7 neither built-in nor available to third-party developers. The most prominent use case is for payment services like the "Wallet Hub" in Windows Phone [1], however the range of uses is not limited to that, and with the available API developers can adapt the technology easily for their particular needs.

Read the full article on SilverlightShow.net:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-NFC-Near-Field-Communication.aspx

Wednesday, 2/6/2013 7:00 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Bluetooth

Wednesday, 2/6/2013 7:00 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

When we talk about Bluetooth support in Windows Phone, we really have to look at two different sides of the same medal: user experience and features as well as developer opportunities. Windows Phone 7 had basic support for Bluetooth from the beginning, however more advanced options were not available to the user. For developers, the situation was even worse, as there was no public available API to support Bluetooth features in your apps at all. Both situations have changed and improved dramatically in Windows Phone 8, however, as we will see in this article, the situation is still not perfect.

Read the full article for free on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Bluetooth.aspx

Thursday, 1/31/2013 7:45 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Protocols and File Type Associations

Thursday, 1/31/2013 7:45 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

In Windows Phone 7 we had several options to communicate with the outside world, for example using Web Services, HTTP or low-level communication using sockets. This already enabled a large field of possibilities for interesting apps. For example, I built a remote controlling component named PAARC [1] on top of this to virtually communicate with and control any .NET application from your phone. However, despite these options support for a lot of alternate technologies was missing: app developers could not use well-established things like Bluetooth, support for new technologies like NFC was missing completely on the phones, and direct app-to-app communication on a single device was impossible. Windows Phone 8 improves all of these situations, and over the next three articles I'll take a deeper look at some of the new possibilities that have been added. This time, I'll concentrate on what options we have to enable a greater interaction between apps on the local device.

Read the full article on SilverlightShow for free here:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Protocol-and-File-Type-Associations.aspx

Friday, 1/25/2013 10:30 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Live Tiles and Lock Screen

Friday, 1/25/2013 10:30 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

The most prominent change in Windows Phone 8 (and 7.8 for that matter), because it's immediately visible to everyone at first glance, is the redesigned start screen with the new sizes for live tiles. In Windows Phone 7, the only option we had were square-sized tiles. Yes, phones had large landscape tiles too (for example for the pictures app), however these were not accessible to third-party developers. With Windows Phone 8, we now have three available sizes for tiles at hand, and we also can choose between multiple templates to get different looks more easily. Best of all, as we will see in this article you can even make use of a lot of the new tile features even if your app does not target Windows Phone 8 or 7.8, but only 7.1. Another feature that is tightly related to tiles (even though it may not seem like that at first) is the new lock screen notification options that we will look at in the second half of this article. Read the full article on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Live-Tiles-and-Lock-Screen.aspx

Thursday, 1/17/2013 7:49 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Der Emulator, Fiddler, und die große weite Welt

Thursday, 1/17/2013 7:49 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

Früher oder später kommt jeder Entwickler in die Situation, seine mühsam erstellte Anwendung wegen eines Fehlverhaltens im Debugger genauer inspizieren zu müssen. In meinem Fall wollte eine Windows Phone 8-Anwendung einfach nicht mit einem Web Service sprechen, obwohl nach allem Dafürhalten die clientseitige Implementierung korrekt aussah. Nun ist das Debuggen, und insbesondere das Debuggen von Netzwerktraffic in diesem Bereich nicht ganz so trivial wie bei gewöhnlichen Desktop-Anwendungen. Aber mit heutigen Werkzeugen und sonstigen Hilfsmitteln ist es auch kein Hexenwerk. Dachte ich.

Das komplette Post ist im AIT-Blog zu lesen:

http://blog.aitgmbh.de/2013/01/17/windows-phone-8-der-emulator-fiddler-und-die-groe-weite-welt/

Wednesday, 1/16/2013 8:19 AM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Contacts Integration

Wednesday, 1/16/2013 8:19 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

One of the cool features of Windows Phone from the start has been its tight and seamless integration of various sources into common and central places on the phone, like the people hub. To this end, multiple contact entries can be and often even are automatically linked together so information from different origin like Facebook, Twitter or Outlook is aggregated and merged into a single profile. However, this mechanism of deep integration was something that was managed by the operating system and first party apps. As developer, you had no chance of using similar features from within your own apps. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has improved this and added a way for us developers to integrate with a user's contacts list. Read the article over at SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Contacts-Integration.aspx

Monday, 1/7/2013 5:26 PM
by Peter Kuhn
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Windows Phone 8: Localization

Monday, 1/7/2013 5:26 PM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

With Windows Phone 8 the number of markets where users can get apps and games has been increased to a whopping 191 [1]. And even with Windows Phone 7.8, by the time of writing 95 markets are available [2]. These are quite impressive numbers compared to the opportunities we had when Windows Phone was released initially. Naturally now topics like localization become more and more interesting even for smaller apps, to stimulate customers' interest outside the English-speaking world. Windows Phone supported this from the beginning, however the tooling was somewhat inferior to what we were used to from other Microsoft platforms. In Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has improved the developer experience for localization and made it significantly more comfortable to translate your applications to different languages. In this article, I'll take a detailed look at what has changed.

You can find the full article on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Localization.aspx

Friday, 12/28/2012 10:03 AM
by Peter Kuhn
0 Comments

Windows Phone 8: Enterprise Development

Friday, 12/28/2012 10:03 AM by Peter Kuhn | 0 Comments

Windows Mobile, the discontinued predecessor of today's Windows Phone, had a strong position in the field of enterprise development. Not only were companies able to manage devices comfortably, it also had all sorts of valuable additional business features available. Development options were rich, ranging from native development in C++ to managed code using the .NET Compact Framework, to various other development environments provided by third parties. With Windows Phone, Microsoft took a bold move into the direction of consumer satisfaction and focused a lot on end-user features. Although great for average users, it implicated a lot of simplifications and dropped features for the enterprise world, for which it hence was considered a step backwards by a lot of people with focus on business software. In fact, a lot of companies dogded Windows Phone 7 and kept using Windows Mobile as their preferred platform for internal applications. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft now has put a lot of effort into offering sufficient choices and features for that target audience too. In this article, we'll cover the most important ones of these.

The full article is available on SilverlightShow:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-8-Enterprise-Development.aspx