Windows Phone 7 LG App Starter Competition: Final Round

Windows Phone 7 LG App Starter Competition: Final Round

Here’s the round that you’ve been waiting for – it’s the final round. This is your opportunity to submit your completed application in order to win a brand new LG Optimus 7 device.

Unlike previous round there is no topic. This means you can submit any Windows Phone  7 application you want you’ve written and have published in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

Make sure you read the post Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developersso that you enter correctly.

**IMPORTANT**

The deadline for applications has been extended to 6pm EST Sunday 27th February

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 4

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 4

Round 4 has started and the topic is Finance, News and Weather..

Round 4

Topic: Finance, News and Weather
End Date: 6pm (EST) Sunday 30th January 2011

If you missed out on the first three rounds but still have an idea related to Sports, Health and Fitness, or Business, Tools and Productivity, Travel, Navigation and Social. don’t forget you can still enter the final draw. All you need to do is submit your application to marketplace and send through the details.

Full details for the competition: Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

Windows Phone 7 Console Window on 64 bit machine

Windows Phone 7 Console Window on 64 bit machine

A while ago as part of my post http://nicksnettravels.builttoroam.com/post/2010/07/24/Howe28099s-my-Windows-Phone-7-application-being-used-Getting-started-with-the-Microsoft-Silverlight-Analytics-Framework-for-Windows-Phone-development.aspxdiscussed how you can enable the console window for the Windows Phone 7 emulator. Since I upgraded my machine to 64bit windows I haven’t got around to enabling the console window but today I decided to give it a shot. Now my previous post stated that you just needed the following registry entry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftXDE]
"EnableConsole"=dword:00000001

However, this wasn’t working for me…. and actually the XDE key didn’t even exist. Of course, I’m running a 64 bit machine and a lot of the Windows Phone 7 SDK runs in 32 bit mode. Doh! should have realised that of course I’d need to alter the registry key to the following (note the additional Wow6432Node key)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftXDE]
"EnableConsole"=dword:00000001

Now I can run the console window and write to it using Console.WriteLine (as an alternative to Debug.WriteLine which appears in the Visual Studio debug Output window).

eg Console.WriteLine("Application Loaded");

image

Windows Phone 7 Competition – User Failure and Update

Windows Phone 7 Competition – User Failure and Update

Ok, firstly an apology – it appears that in setting up the alias for competition submissions (ie competition @ builttoroam.com) I seemed to have not setup the email forwarder correctly. As such I suspect there were a few entries that went astray for the first two rounds of the LG App Starter Competition.

If you submitted your application in the first two rounds and didn’t receive a response from me, please resubmit them (same email address) and I’ll include them in this weeks competition round.

Mobile Camp Oz: Call for Presenters

Mobile Camp Oz: Call for Presenters

Update: The dates for this event have changed to May 7th and 8th

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been in the early planning phase for Mobile Camp Oz, a camp in the same format as Code Camp Oz (http://codecampoz.com/) in late April. Running over the ANZAC long weekend (23-24th April) the camp will cover topics on both designing and developing for mobile devices across the three main smartphone platforms, iOS, Android and of course Windows Phone 7.

Here’s a brief summary of the event so that you can pencil it into your calendar

Mobile Camp Oz: Outlook Calendar

Dates:                   May 7th/8th (Updated: 20/1/2011) 

Venue:                 Charles Sturt University (Bathurst Campus)
Cost:                      FREE

Now the important bit – we’re looking for presenters for the event. If you’ve been designing or developing for any of the mobile platforms and you think you have a unique angle, we’d love to hear from you. The call for presenters is now open and I’d encourage you to put forward your session. We’ll be reviewing the sessions as they’re submitted with the intent of preparing an agenda for the event by mid-February. This means that if you’re interested in presenting we need your session abstract as soon as possible.

Call for Presenters:          http://mobilecampoz.com/Presenters.aspx
(deadline – 1st February)

If you can’t think what you’d like to present on, here is a list of potential topics. If you already have an idea but it’s not in this list, please submit the idea anyhow!

· Performance
· Security
· MCommerce/Mobile Payments
· Advertising
· Economics of Apps
· Cross Platform
· Mobile Web
· HTML5 on a device
· Location
· Device Features
· Data
· Connectivity
· Designing for Mobile

We’re also taking registrations at this point (http://mobilecampoz2011.eventbrite.com/?ref=ebtn). Numbers will be limited so it may be worth getting in early.

Windows Phone 7: Golden rule for MediaElement / IIS Smooth Streaming

Windows Phone 7: Golden rule for MediaElement / IIS Smooth Streaming

“If in doubt…. reboot the device and try again”

I spent a lot of today messing around with IIS Smooth Streaming, trying to get various things to work from a Windows Phone 7 application. It was only after a day of frustration that I decided to reboot the device, and then as if by magic it all started to work. I’ve seen similar things to do with the MediaElement so I imagine it has to do with the media stack on the device getting its knickers in a knot.

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 3

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 3

We’re now two weeks into the LG App Starter Competition and today’s the beginning of Round 3. This week’s topic is quite broad covering Travel, Navigation and Social.

Round 3

Topic: Travel, Navigation and Social
End Date: 6pm (EST) Sunday 23rd January 2011

If you missed out on round 1 or 2 but still have an idea related to Sports, Health and Fitness, or Business, Tools and Productivity, don’t forget you can still enter the final draw. All you need to do is submit your application to marketplace and send through the details.

Full details for the competition: Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

Bogus Windows Phone 7 User Agent String

Bogus Windows Phone 7 User Agent String

A question that repeatedly comes up is how to detect when your website is being accessed by a Windows Phone device. In most cases this discussion ends up with some form of browser detection via the User Agent string. A quick Google/Bing will reveal a number of articles on this topic. In the past I’ve simply referenced Mads Kristensen’s post, Windows Phone 7 user agent. In this post he indicates that the user agent string should look similar to

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows Phone OS 7.0; Trident/3.1; IEMobile/7.0) Asus;Galaxy6

This is consistent with what the document Designing Web Sites for Phone Browsersstates in the discussion around server side browser detection. Here the user agent string example they give is

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows Phone OS 7.0; Trident/3.1; IEMobile/7.0) <DeviceManufacturer>;<DeviceModel>

Unfortunately yesterday I was testing a new service I was building (more on that in the coming weeks) that uses the User Agent string. My initial testing with the emulator worked correctly. However, when I got to testing with my LG Optimus 7 device the service was failing because it couldn’t detect that the device was a Windows Phone 7 device. Turns out that the device is sending through a totally bogus User Agent string

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.1; XBLWP7; ZuneWP7)

My initial reaction is that this sucks! In fact, after further review, it still sucks! How can a device claiming to be a Windows Phone 7 device (and having gone through the Microsoft certification process) emit such rubbish in the User Agent string. The platform is Windows NT 6.1….. really??

Update: Here’s another list of user agent strings that at the time of writing is missing this one – http://www.elucidsoft.com/blog/2010/11/19/windows-phone-7-user-agents/

Update: Someone quite rightly pointed out that this user agent was a result of using the desktop browsing option in IE on the device. Flipping back to mobile browsing restores the correct user agent string as per the above posts. Upshot: you still need to be aware of the different user agent strings that may be sent by a Windows Phone device.

Windows Phone 7 Application Acceleration

Windows Phone 7 Application Acceleration

Welcome to 2011 for all you Windows Phone 7 application developers! This year is set to be a massive year for you as there are already two competitions up and running:

Windows Phone 7 App Challenge

LG App Starter Competition

Now, to give you even more Microsoft have invited me to help run three Windows Phone 7 application acceleration events. This time around we’re hitting Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with a two day event that will give you the skills (training on day 1) and advice (application workshop on day 2) in order to build your first (or second, third….) Windows Phone 7 application and get it into Marketplace.

Agenda
Day 1: Windows Phone 7 Developer Training
Session 1: Introduction and Windows Phone User Experience Overview
Session 2: Animation, Orientation and Overlays
Session 3: Application Lifecycle, Navigation, Application Tiles and Notification
Session 4: Tasks and Touch
Session 5: Working with the Accelerometer, Sounds and Location
Session 6: Connecting and Consuming the Web

Day 2: Windows Phone 7 Application Workshop
Phase 1: Present your application – 5 minute elevator pitch* with or without demo.
Phase 2: Workshop/Develop your application
Tips & Tricks: As many little bits and pieces Nick can cram into an hour
Phase 3: Continue working on your application
Phase 4: Round up – summarize what you got done and what still needs to be done to get your application into Marketplace**.

Day 1 is designed to equip you with the fundamentals of building a Windows Phone 7 application. With these new found skills, Day 2 is designed to jump start your application development process. Whether you’re just starting your first application, wanting some assistance getting your application ready for Marketplace submission or help troubleshooting some issues, the application workshop is where you should be. During the day I’ll spend time reviewing your application, suggesting areas for improvement and help you resolve any challenges you might have encountered.

* This isn’t a traditional presentation – I will spend a few minutes with you going through your application idea. 0 stress! Just walk through what the idea entails, what you think will make it a rockin’ app and perhaps the areas that you think you’ll need/want some help with.

** For applications ready to submit to Marketplace there are a number of Marketplace tokens available.

Sydney (registration) – 24/25th January 2011
Perth (registration) – 27/28th January 2011
Melbourne (registration) – 31st January/1st February 2011

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 2

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition–Round 2

Last week the theme for round 1 of the LG App Starter Competition was Sports, Health and Fitness. Today is the beginning of round 2 and we have a new topic:

Round 2

Topic: Business, Tools and Productivity
End Date: 6pm (EST) Sunday 16th January 2011

If you missed out on round 1 but still have an idea related to Sports, Health and Fitness, don’t forget you can still enter the final draw. All you need to do is submit your application to marketplace and send through the details.

Full details for the competition: Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition Round 1

Windows Phone 7: LG App Starter Competition Round 1

Don’t forget that round 1 of the LG App Starter competition ends tomorrow (Sunday 9th Jan) at 6pm EST. Even if you only have an idea for a Windows Phone 7 application you can be in the running to win a book or a marketplace token!

Full details of the competition can be found on this post: Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

IT Book of the Year: Professional Visual Studio 2010

IT Book of the Year: Professional Visual Studio 2010

According to this website (http://blogs.dotnethell.it/ciupaz/IT-Book-of-the-Year-2010__16993.aspx)  the title Professional Visual Studio 2010, of which I was one of the co-authors, is the IT book of the year! Get your copy today at Amazon.

image

Translation (thanks to Bing Translator):

This year the winner’s responsibility to Palm this full-bodied volume from Wrox that manages to cover a multitude of topics all linked somehow to Visual Studio. Represents a kind of encyclopedia, and manages to provide a sufficiently thorough discussion on everything related to the development in .NET. It’s quite similar to the book of Troelsen, only that here the discourse is always brought forward by using the Visual Studio development environment 2010, with many images and a language more accessible. Much appreciated the gutter, flexible the right, and the excellent pagination, which follows the new style of publishing house.

Translation (thanks to Google Translate):

This year the prize winner is up to this full-bodied of the Wrox book that manages to cover an endless range of subjects all connected in some way to Visual Studio. It represents a sort of encyclopedia, and can provide a sufficiently detailed discussion on everything related to development. NET. And ‘quite similar to the Troelsen book, except that here the speech is always carried out using Visual Studio 2010 development environment, with lots of pictures and a more accessible language. Much appreciated binding, flexible right, and the excellent layout, which follows the new style of the publisher.

As a side comment I think the Google translation is much more accurate. If you speak Italian, perhaps you could leave a comment with a better translation.

Also don’t forget:

– You can get the other book I wrote last year, Professional Windows Phone 7 Development, from Amazon, and see the full list of books I’ve worked on on the Built to Roam website

– There are two competitions running for Australian developers who feel like building a Windows Phone 7 application. Checkout my post Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developersfor the full details.

– If you’re going to enter round 1 of the LG App Starter competition you have until 6pm (EST) this Sunday to send through your app ideas.

Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

Competition time for Australian Windows Phone 7 Developers

Update: The final round of this competition has been extended by two weeks to ensure you get your application into marketplace in time to enter the competition!

Update: In the initial post there was an error in the final paragraph that said round 1 would be open until 9th February. This is NOT the case. Round 1 will close at 6pm EST on the 9th January 2011.

Dev V’s Dev

 

Late last year Microsoft Australia announced the Windows Phone 7 App Challengewith the grand prize being a trip to Las Vegas for MIX11. To enter all you need to do is build an application, submit it to marketplace and then complete the entry form. Don’t forget to read the Terms and Conditionswhich outlines the relevant dates and the specifics for the competition.

 

LG App Starter

Optimus7-Gradation-logo

As I mentioned in my post Windows Phone 7 Competition time with LG. I’m running a small competition in parallel with the Windows Phone 7 App Challenge. Thanks to LG, Microsoft and Built to RoamI have a number of prizes to give away over the next 4-6 weeks:

LG: The major prize is an LG Optimus 7 device. I reviewed this device late last year in my post LG Optimus 7- Up and running in 5 minutesand it is truly a wonderful device to use.

LG Optimus 7_01

Microsoft: Marketplace tokens. Microsoft has been kind enough to donate a number of marketplace tokens. These cover the initial cost of signing up for a Marketplace account.

Built to Roam: Books. We have three copies of Professional Windows Phone 7 Application Development and two copies of Professional Visual Studio 2010 to give away.

Competition Playbook

In Short: This competition will run for six weeks. For the first four weeks I will be selecting a topic and you’ll have that week to come up with an idea for an app. To enter all you have to do is email me your idea before 6pm EST on Sunday. The weekly winner will be announced later that same evening. Each week we’ll be giving a way marketplace tokens and a book. The final two weeks are where you get to actually build your application, submit it to marketplace and email me a link to your application. The competition will close at 6pm EST Sunday February 27th and I’ll select the winning entry who will win the LG Optimus 7 device.

In Full:

Schedule

Competition Start : Right Now! (10am EST 3/1/2011)

Competition End : 6pm EST Sunday 13/2/2011

Round 1:
– Topic: Sports, Health and Fitness
– Deadline for ideas: 6pm EST Sunday 9/1/2011

Round 2:
– Topic: Business, Tools and Productivity
– Deadline for ideas: 6pm EST Sunday 16/1/2011

Round 3:
– Topic: Travel, Navigation and Social
– Deadline for ideas: 6pm EST Sunday 23/1/2011

Round 4:
– Topic: Finance, News and Weather 
– Deadline for ideas: 6pm EST Sunday 30/1/2011

Final Round:
– Submit your application and send through link to your Windows Phone 7 application
– Deadline for submission: 6pm EST Sunday 27/2/2011

Eligibility

In order to enter this competition you need to meet the following requirements:

– You, or your company, must be Australian

– You can’t submit an application you already have in marketplace prior to the beginning of this competition.

– To be eligible for the final round your application must have been submitted, certified and made available for download/purchase via marketplace (ie published).

– You are encouraged to enter your idea into one or more of the rounds but this is not a requirement. If your application doesn’t fall into any of the topics selected for rounds 1-4 you can simply put forward the application in the final round.

– My decision is final. I will publish the names of the round winners (and links to their blog/website if available) but not their application ideas. I will list all entries into the final round (unless you specifically indicate that you don’t want to be included in this list) along with the winning entry.

What to include

Rounds 1-4: You’re pitching an idea. You can submit as much or as little as you like. If you have a working prototype that helps convey what the idea is but you may decide that you just want to mock up some wireframes and send through in an email describing what your idea is.

Final Round: I only need a link to your application. Please do NOT include any further description of what your application is/does as it will be ignored. To make this a fair competition I will be judging this based on what is available via Zune/Marketplace (ie make sure you think about your application logo, description, keywords etc when submitting it).

Minimum Requirements: When you send me your submission for either stage, please include the following:

– Full name
– Contact phone number (ideally mobile number)
– Postal address (just in case you win!)
– Twitter/Facebook/Blog/Website (so I can link to you in the case that you win)

Please send all entries to competition @ builttoroam.com

What I’m looking for

You can think of this competition as a warm up for the Windows Phone 7 App Challenge. I will be judging the entries and will be looking for the applications that best make use of the Windows Phone 7 features. To get you started, here is a list of features that you could consider using:

– Push notifications (Tile, Toast or even Raw)
– Accelerometer
– Audio (playback or recording)
– Video (using MediaElement or IIS Smooth Streaming)
– Location
– Mapping
– Panorama and/or Pivot
– Animations
…… (the list goes on) …..

Time to get started

This post launches the competition and the first topic for round 1 is “Sports, Health and Fitness”. You have until 6pm EST Sunday 9th January to send through your application ideas. Email all entries to competition @ builttoroam.com