I’ve been meaning to take a look at the set of controls available from www.beemobile4.net for a while now. Here’s a brief getting started:
There are three control sets to pick from: ColorPicker, ProgressBar and OpenSaveDialog. Each of these has a trial download. There is also a free set of utils, which mainly just a set of code samples for wrapping native calls. It includes things like resetting the idle timeout, resetting the device and getting device (eg IMEI) and application information (eg application directory).
Unfortunately they have elected to go with a zip deployment for each of the trial downloads. Whilst for most of us this is fine I don’t believe it’s the best way to deliver developer tools – building an installer with Wix isn’t that difficult after all. Once you have downloaded the zip file you need to extract it; you will notice there are versions of the controls for both v2 and v3.5 of the .NET Compact Framework.
Once you have extracted the zip file you need to manually add the controls to the toolbox. I’d start by creating a new tab to hold these controls together.
Next use the Choose Items…. dialog to browse to the extracted folder, select the version of the controls you want to use and then select the dll.
Once the controls are in the toolbox you can simply drag them onto the designer
Here you can see the static colour palette and the colour picker. The Palette has a series of predefined colours but can also contain one or two rows of custom colours.
The colour picker has two modes, Office and Professional, that determine how the colour selector is laid out. Both the palette and the picker have a SelectedColorChanged event that you can listen for.
The OpenSaveDialog control provides a reusable control (ie not a separate window) that you can host in your own forms.
Unfortunately I’m not able to comment on the ProgressBar as it wasn’t available for download as a trial. Well, the link was there, but all I got was a second instance of the OpenSaveDialog control 🙁
Updated: This link has now been fixed and the ProgressBar is available from the site for you to try.
Using the right controls is just part of building a full featured application. I’d suggest giving these controls a bit of a whirl as they can save you time.