Posts Tagged ‘WPResources’

WPDev Sin: Envy

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Windows Phone 7
Tags: , ,

null This is the Day #2 post in the article series “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.

What is Envy ?

From http://deadlysins.com:

Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Why: Because other people are so much luckier, smarter, more attractive, and better than you.

How does Envy relate to Windows Phone development ?

– jealousy, feelings of deprivation ..

Are you jealous of other successful Windows Phone App developers? Think you/your app isn’t getting the attention it deserves? Well, you may not be alone; and there’s definitely something we can do about it. Here are few ways Windows Phone developers can get around Envy:

  • Opportunity: Remember, we all started the same with the new Windows Phone ecosystem & you have equal opportunity compared to other app developers on the platform. And it is still a newer Marketplace; so if you write something really cool & follow it up right, you will shine!
  • ISV: Individual Software Vendor. That is what Microsoft calls us individual developers who produce Windows Phone apps for the Marketplace. Did you notice the word Vendor? Yes, it started with the Apple store; but still pretty exciting to have an immediate consumer base across the world for your code. Accordingly, a Vendor outlook needs to developed, where we are answerable to our users. We need to support & nurture our user/consumer base through detailed appropriate communication, visibility, regular updates etc.
  • Is your App discoverable? : Your million-dollar idea had a spark when it first launched; but is it discoverable now amidst hundreds of similar apps? Steps need to be taken to continually make our app discoverable in the Marketplace. Releasing to newly open Marketplaces, Search keywords, social buzz .. anything helps.
  • App Connect: Did you know your app could be featured in the user’s Bing searches for tight integration? This, is called Search Extensibility or App Connect and in my opinion, a great way to showcase your app & keep bringing your users back into the app. More info & code samples here & here.
  • Marketing: So, you spent a lot of late-nights coding up your dream app & just published to the Marketplace. Wait, you’re job is not done. Careful marketing will get you spikes of app downloads at the beginning & persistent numbers as your features/user base grows. Talk about your app to anyone who would listen. Get in touch with the MSFT User Community (@usercommunity) to make sure your apps are showcased.
  • Brand: Your app has greater chance of a loyal user base if users see your app as a brand and it is up to you to position your app accordingly. Start by making Twitter/Facebook profiles for your app, to give yourself an official channel to communicate with your users. Heck, make a website for your app for immediate brand recognition through screenshots/feature highlights. This WP7 App Site template on Codeplex is a great way to start.
  • App Reviews: If you think your app is nice & polished and you want an immediate burst of users, don’t be shy to reach out to WP7 sites like http://www.wpcentral.com/ or http://wmpoweruser.com/. App reviews by these heavily-followed sites will give your app immediate recognition & downloads.
  • Promotions: Once in a while, MSFT or partners may run campaigns like this or this. Make sure you don’t miss these golden chances, as featured apps in the Marketplace skyrocket in downloads.

That’s all I got for today. So, let’s put our Envy aside and do everything we can to get our Windows Phone apps the recognition they deserve. And it takes one tap from the user to uninstall .. so let’s continue doing all that we can to keep our app a first-class citizen on users’ phones. Hopefully, you come back tomorrow for the Day #3 article in this series of “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.

Adios!

WPDev Sin: Pride

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Windows Phone 7
Tags: , ,

null This is the Day #1 post in the article series “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.

What is Pride ?

From http://deadlysins.com:

Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Why: Well-meaning elementary school teachers told you to “believe in yourself.”

How does Pride relate to Windows Phone development ?

– Overconfidence, failure to acknowledge, boasting ..

Many of us swear & stand by our code with confidence. While that’s not a bad thing, let’s not be a victim of overconfidence in writing a solid Windows Phone apps & then continue delivering updates without breaking functionality. Here are few ways Pride can come in the way of Windows Phone developers, preventing us from delivering a quality product to our users:

  • OverConfidence in MarketPlace submissions: Check, check & check again on Application Certification Requirements before being trigger-happy on submitting your hard work to the Marketplace.
  • Did you know about the Marketplace Toolkit?: Run checks locally & submit to Marketplace with confidence. A full article detailing use of Marketplace Toolkit is here.
  • Not using Emulator Tools: Windows Phone Mango SDK brought along several enhancements to the Emulator VM that allows for better testing locally. Make sure to use them if they fit your app; a great article about Emulator Tools can be found here.
  • Why are you not using Beta testers?: Also new, is the way to publish your app to a closed group for testing/feedback before final release. This could be greatly beneficial in flushing out bugs & issues, if you have a trusted group of testers; more details about Beta Testing can be found here.
  • Unit Test before shipping: This is specially true as you ship updates to your app; it is important to start building a battery of Unit tests to make sure core functionality is intact. The Silverlight Unit Test Framework bits (details here) should help.
  • Device + Mom Testing: Your pride in how well the code runs in the Windows Phone emulator should not be a replacement for on-device testing, which is critical before any Marketplace submission. Physical devices often have quirks that expose edge conditions; additionally you get to see for a couple of days how your app feels in your palms. It is a great practice to have the emulator & device in contrasting theme/accent color for thorough testing. Also, a lot of users of your app may be non-techies, who may have different expectations on UX than we developers do. So, make sure you have your Mom or some non-developers test your app for feedback.
  • Use the Isolated Storage Explorer: Need to see how your app behaves as files/folders change in your Isolated Storage over time? Make sure to utilize the handy Isolated Storage Explorer to test out conditions of change in the isolated storage; details of usage here.
  • Being Aware of common certification/UX glitches:

    — Back Navigation
    — App Exit
    — Requisite Artwork
    — No-connectivity mode
    — Improper App activation coming out of Tombstoning
    — Declarations/User Permissions for using Location/Push Notification services
    — Non-Metro look & feel (great resource here)

That’s it for not allowing “Pride” to step in the way of being an awesome Windows Phone developer. Probably lot more to add; but need for brevity & my thought process are calling it quits for the day. Hopefully, you come back tomorrow for the Day #2 article in this series of “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!“.

Adios!

December 19, 2011. It’s Holiday Party time at the Central Ohio Windows Phone User Group (http://cowpug.org/). With BBQ food, custom shirts & cakes, it’s time to celebrate the first 6 months of our user group – a wonderful group of passionate Windows Phone developers.

However, despite the Holiday spirit, it is our single monthly meetup .. so something productive was called for before we started the good times. Just for kicks, I did a 30 minute talk titled “7 Deadly Sins for Windows Phone Developers!”. Nope, nothing religious or biblical about it :). This was a short talk built by simply drawing pointers from past Windows Phone development experiences .. some common sense Do’s & Dont’s. I believe it was well-received or may be the folks at COWPUG are way too lenient with me. Anyways, I had some fun mapping the 7 Deadly Sins to what we developers should stay away from while developing for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Accordingly, I thought it might be a curious exercise to take the 7 slides for each of the “cardinal sins” for WPDevs and make a short article series out of it.

So, here goes. This post is the introduction to the series & will serve as the indexed home for the article series posts. Today, we begin with what the 7 Deadly Sins are. During each of the next 7 days, you’ll see a post each day which takes one sin & translates it to some no-no’s for Windows Phone developers. I might make a few pointed comments, which I hope you would not take personally .. I am in violation of several principles we will talk about in my own Apps, which I am trying to fix. This is barely an attempt to summarize some best practices & great tools at our disposal as Windows Phone developers. These posts would not have any code to show; rather tons to links to point you to awesome resources. Would really appreciate if you point out resources I may be missing out.

So, what are the 7 Deadly Sins ?

null

From Wiki:

The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the sins are usually given as pride, envy, sloth, wrath, greed, gluttony and lust.

In each of the next seven posts, we will pick up one of these cardinal sins & see how it relates to Windows Phone Development:

Again, at the end of the series, all posts would be indexed here. Hope this would be a fun exercise. Thank you very much for reading.

Adios!

[Roadsign Courtesy: http://salary.com/%5D

I guest-blogged on Jeff Blankenburg’s (@jeffblankenburg) famed “31 Days of Mango” series on Windows Phone Mango development. The home for the article series is here.

Let’s just agree – our smartphones are pretty smart these days. But all the emails, social integration, games & applications do take a toll on the smartphone’s comparatively tiny processing system & memory, but more importantly battery life. It is thus crucial for any mobile OS & third-party applications to be very responsible in optimizing the use of resources in a smartphone, so as to provide the most fluid, responsive, yet lasting user experience. This is where Execution Models come into play & it becomes important to understand the various states/events during an application’s lifecycle. In this article, we talk about what the Execution Model looks like for Windows Phone & what has changed in the Mango release for consumers/developers.

Full article with code samples, screenshots & downloadable code over at Jeff’s blog HERE.

Enjoy!

I guest-blogged on Jeff Blankenburg’s (@jeffblankenburg) famed “31 Days of Mango” series on Windows Phone Mango development. The home for the article series is here.

Windows Phone SDK 7.1 includes a new utility for Windows Phone Developers, called the Isolated Storage Explorer. In this article, we shall begin with the basics of Isolated Storage usage & see how the new Isolated Storage Explorer could become handy in testing applications that use Isolated Storage for files & directories, targeting both Windows Phone OS 7.0 & Windows Phone OS 7.1 runtimes.

Full article with code samples, screenshots & downloadable code over at Jeff’s blog HERE.

Enjoy!

Last Tuesday, Aug 30th, I had the wonderful opportunity to head up a little north to Findlay OH and talk about Windows Phone development at the Findlay Area .NET User Group (http://www.fanug.org/). Thanks a bunch to @FANUG leader Brian Cobb (@brianjcobb) for having me over.

I thought we had very nice turn-out and hopefully I was able to get folks somewhat excited about Windows Phone & developing for it. We started out with some basics of why & where we are at with the Windows Phone platform and moved on to some demos. In retrospect though, since not many people had done Windows Phone development before, may be it would have been better to show some more basic stuff about Project templates & toolsets; guess something for me to learn & keep in mind. After the meeting, we headed out for the customary drinks at a local sports bar & had wonderful conversations over how the MSFT Surface should change the world etc. :) In all, a great experience with a wonderful group of developers, with logistics working out perfectly. Thanks @FANUG!

My slides for the day can be found here.

Also, below are some useful links if you are looking to get started with Windows Phone Development:

  • Commercial home of Windows Phone is here. Learn about the phone, features, carriers, devices & upgrades.
  • For the Windows Phone Development SDK, head over here. The App Hub is also the one-stop portal for signing up with MarketPlace Registration & application submissions. It has a large number of links to very important resources & also an active forum for Windows Phone Developers.
  • Developer Resources on App Hub here.
  • Windows Phone Team Blog is here .. tons of news & great articles.
  • What is Mango & resources for developers here.
  • Lots of Windows Phone code samples can be found here.
  • Want to look around Windows Azure? Start here for a free trial or here to activate your Azure benefits from MSDN.
  • Home for OData is here .. learn about the technology, producers, consumers & SDK.

 

Thanks to everybody who attended. I hope to be in Findlay again sometime soon.

Adios!