Re-targeting Windows 8 apps to Windows 8.1

Monday, October 21, 2013

Windows 8.1 is latest version of Microsoft’s operating system which brings many improvements over Windows 8 released year ago. Windows 8.1 brings updates to the end user experience, support for new types of devices, improves performance and new features which were not available before. Why re-target? While Windows 8 apps works on Windows 8.1, the upgraded apps will enjoy better performance even without code changes. In most cases recompiled app will see improvements in startup time (5-30% percent when app uses ListView on the main view), faster panning (up to two times for long lists), lower memory...

I’m Microsoft MVP for Fifth Time!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I received an email presenting me with the Microsoft MVP Award in Silverlight! I am very honored to receive an MVP Award for the fifth time in row and I will continue contributing to the online and offline developer community worldwide. This is a great opportunity and place to thank quite a few people who helped me to win this Award again: My wife and daughter for having so much patience and providing the best support I could only dream about! My current and past managers (David,...

Windows 8 Live Tiles – take 2

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quite some time ago I blogged about Live Tiles & Toast Notifications Windows 8 feature. About a week ago I was delivering Windows 8 training and as a part of this course was delivering a sessions about Live Tiles and Windows 8 PLM (PLM = Process Lifetime Management, session which discusses when Windows 8 runs apps and some point about Windows 8 background tasks). The PLM session mentions, that Windows 8 apps are permitted to run background tasks, but they will be executed approximately once in 2 hour and will be getting few seconds of CPU time. I’ve...
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What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (8 out of 8)–Wallet

Friday, November 9, 2012

Windows Phone 8 adds new interesting feature – the Wallet – which helps users to manage their virtual cards (membership, credit, debit), coupons and use them for in-app and real-world transactions. The documentation states, that Wallet helps users to: Collect coupons, credit cards, memberships, loyalty cards, and more in one place. Manage the payment instruments that they use in the app and music store. Link items in the Wallet to apps on their phone. Make contactless transactions, using Near-Field Communication (NFC), in...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (7 out of 8)–In-App-Purchases

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This post talks about new monetization feature in Windows Phone 8 – In-App-Purchases (IAP). According to multiple industry sources (link1, link2, link3) IAP can actually make more money that free/ad-supported application. Let’s see how to add this feature to application. In this post I will show how to build simplest “virtual” shop app. All IAP functionality process allocated in Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace. First let’s understand the terminology associated with IAP process. Product – something you are selling in application. Unlike Windows 8, in Windows Phone 8 we got two different product types: Durable and Consumable. Durable –...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (6 out of 8)–Location services and maps

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Windows Phone 8 brings long awaited updates to location services and brand new map control (with associated services) which is based on Nokia maps. Location services So what’s new in location services. First of all – the new WinRT API which is shared with Windows 8. To use location services application must declare the following capability in application manifest: <Capability Name="ID_CAP_LOCATION" /> The “main” class – Geolocator – belongs to Windows.Devices.Geolocation namespace and enables location tracking in good old “events” way and also new async model as follows: ...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (5 out of 8)–Quick tip: creating hybrid applications

Monday, November 5, 2012

One important feature in Windows Phone 8 is ability to develop high performance applications using Direct3D graphics and C++. While this feature clearly targets game developers, many applications could also gain performance combining native code with C++ components. Moreover, even when developing XAML/C# applications, it is possible to fully leverage modern GPU in Windows Phone 8 device by mixing XAML flexibility with Direct3D graphics. Note: Pure native development using Direct3D are not covered in this post. Let’s overview two other options: first is to use Direct3D graphics is XAML/C# application. Windows Phone 8 SDK provides very...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (4 out of 8)–Protocol handler and file extensions

Friday, November 2, 2012

This post is dedicated to new extensibility feature – ability to associate file extension and protocol type to automatically launch your app when another app launches a specific file type or URI. When launched, a deep link URI is used to send the file (a reference to the file) or URI to application. You can also use the association launching API to launch another app in the same way. File type association is useful when your app need automatically launch on invoking specific file type from email attachment, NFC tag, text message, another application. Protocol association is...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (3 out of 8)–Voice Recognition

Thursday, November 1, 2012

This post dedicated to additional interesting feature in Windows Phone 8 – voice recognition and speech synthesizing. Speech synthesizing Let’s start from speech synthesizing. The functionality localized in Windows.Phone.Speech.Synthesis namespace. Using classes in this namespace you can create text-to-speech (TTS) scenarios in your application. The functionality enables read some document identified by URI, string of text with SSML markup or plain text. My sample focuses on plain text scenario. Class responsible for speech synthesizing is SpeechSynthesizer. To speak plain text use code snippet below: SpeechSynthesizer synth =...

What’s New in Windows Phone 8 (2 out of 8)–Lock Screen

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In previous post I described how to enrich user experience by customizing application tiles. In this post I will show how to enable your application to present some information on phone’s lock screen. In Windows Phone 8 applications could provide 3 pieces of info on lock screen: application’s icon, count and text. On screenshot below my sample application provides icon, count and some text: If application selected by user, the lock screen could show app icon defined in app manifest, count and text pulled directly from the application's primary tile. The secondary tiles does not...