Archive for the Windows Phone Category

Microsoft buys Nokia

That’s quite some news today!

But Microsoft buys only Nokia’s devices and services unit, and will thus employ 32,000 employees, on the roughly 100,000 company’s workforce.

A few questions I have, which don’t seem to be addressed in the numerous articles I’ve read about this topic today, are:

1. Is it good for Nokia shareholders? Are they going to see any of that money? The Nokia deal is to be approved by Nokia shareholders in November, and I still can’t figure out if this is good news for shareholders. This shareholders issue is of the highest importance, since many of them don’t like Steven Elop this much. And just watching him first destroy Nokia value, then walk away and become Microsoft’s CEO as a reward, might just not please them too much. Unless of course, the deal is good for them. The first hint is Nokia’s value at opening in Finland this morning: +49%! But let’s just wait to see how the stock evolved after the surprise fades a little, and what happens until US close.

2. Is this the last bid? I can’t help but feel that the price of the transaction is too low. As a reminder, the price is €3.79bn for Nokia’s hardware and services divisions, and €1.65bn to license Nokia’s portfolio of patents. Total in $US: 7.17bn. So I will make a prediction: before the deal is closed, there will be another offer from a third party. I would not be surprised to see Huawei come up with an offer for the whole Nokia. So this is far from over, if you ask me. And maybe even some unexpected players might join the party. Well, this is a wild guess, but given their recent history, a Yahoo! offer could somehow make sense.

3. Should Elop become Microsoft’s new CEO? My answer is very clear: no. This guy has thrown an iPhone on the ground. This is enough for me. No class, no inspiration, too much Microsoft’s (lack of) culture in him. This wouldn’t make any sense. Just another Ballmer, with nothing but short term vision.

 

Short reflection on WP8 SDK system requirements

I know this is a veryyyy late post, but I want to share a few thoughts about the Windows 8 requirement for installing WP8 SDK.

I think with that decision, Microsoft, once again, made the life of a lot its own supporters – developers – difficult.

  1. A lots of developers actually use the employers’ computers to develop Windows Phone apps, and so just can’t choose to upgrade to Windows 8.
  2. A lot of people acutally use 4gb computers, who can’t decently run any VM. They can run VM’s, but using them is just a nightmare.
  3. A lot of developers actually own a WP8 device, and are fully ready to develop without the need for an emulator
  4. Windows 7 has been out there for so long, why no update with that capability?

I would like to develop for Windows Phone 8, and I just can’t, because of you Microsoft. You guys are starving for apps, and just make developers’life difficult. How does that make any sense? Happy Ballmer’s (soon) out anyway.

Honestly, no workaround for this?

Another Nokia Keynote: Zoom Reinvented!

As Mary-Jo pointed out today, Nokia has announced a 5 hour log (!!) keynote, to be held in New York on July 11th.

As shown on the invite below, the event is called “Zoom. Reinvented” and is suddenly quite interesting! I always regret to have to wait one month for that kind of events, and I generally think that the later the event is announced, the better, but, I must say I truly like this invite’s look.

I could also add that while I like the Nokia Lumia 925, I hope that this time, no one will put on basket clothes to demonstrate their former sports skills. Please Nokia, that moment hurt too much. It was just sooooo painful to watch. And please have everyone on stage shave. No small room like it’s a confidential event.

None of all this. No, make something classy.

 

Nokia invite

Scrollbar and Scrollviewer with Windows Phone

I just figured out a nice one concerning the interesting topic of the scrollbars with Windows Phone.

I had a hard time getting a scrollbar appear around my canvas. I then decided to change my code to replace the canvas with a grid, by replacing the SetValue (Canvas.TopProperty, y) and SetValue (Canvas.LeftProperty, x) with .Margin = new Thickness(x, y, 0, 0);

Still no result… In the end, after many tests,  I understood that somehow, the ScrollViewer computes the difference wetween its own height and its content height. And by setting its height to a smaller value than its content’s, it worked!

Like this:

<ScrollViewer Height=”800″ VerticalScrollBarVisibility=”Auto”>
<Grid x:Name=”MyGrid” Height=”1600″ />
</ScrollViewer>

And it worked!

My new Windows Phone app: Balloon Battle

It’s a game! I am happy to have it finally accepted in the market place! This app has been really fun to develop and to create, since it’s a game and it’s my first game. Here’s the link:

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/balloon-battle-free/034039f1-4981-40c2-b15e-a8796e8a0e40

While devleopping it, I really could get a deep understanding of Blend, storyboards, doubleanimations, rendertransforms and all these sweet little friends that you get to know in the wpf worls. I guess such an app is never really finished and can always be polished, but after 6 weeks work developing it (and I have a full time job, a wife and a kid), I feel quite exhausted and am just happy to relax a little.

So here it is! I hope you won’t find it too badly designed, feel free to express your remarks and please don’t be too harsh… :)

Forcing the update to Windows Phone 7.8 on my Lumia 800

Update 1: I just received the update from build 8779, not the expected 8858. At the end of that update, I was disappointed to see Zune tell me that my phone was up to date. Apparently, repeating exactly the steps described below, from step 1, is what needs to be done. Still no luck for me though… I guess it’s a matter of  timing? Anyway, good luck with your update!

Update 2: After multiple trials, I finally got it! Apparently (this kind of guess is always to consider very carefully), it seems that disabling the airplane mode on the phone between the 2 updates,  before reactivating it, AND THEN reproducing the steps below, is the way to do it.

 

There a few places on the web describing how to do this, here and here among others. None of them seems to be accurate enough if you ask me.

So here’s the exact process I followed to manage to get it to work on my phone (10 minutes ago):

  1. Make sure your phone is disconnected from your PC and Zune is shut down
  2. Put your phone in Airplane mode
  3. Connect it to your PC
  4. Zune starts automatically: wait a few seconds for the phone to be fully connected to Zune. You know that it’s the case when on the phone page, you see total space used.
  5. Go to Settings
  6. Attention, prepare yourself to click Update, and immediately after that, to disconnect your computer from the Internet
  7. A few seconds after doing that, Zune should inform you that an update is available for your phone: don’t do anything!
  8. Connect your PC back to the Internet
  9. Now click Update and let the magic begin…

After that, make sure to check the Places Manager App and let me know if you like it :)

 

New Windows Phone app: Places Manager

I just recently checked this small app and I must say it’s coming quite handy.

The app is called Places Manager, it’s free (comes with ads) allows mt to quickly save the places that matter to me, like home.

Than for each place, I can add tasks with reminders! Like in my case, I have added “Get out the trash” to Home. Until there, nothing really fancy, except for the fact that can quickly see the tasks that are related to a specific place.

And, for each place, you also get its direction (heading with a compass) and distance.

And, for each task, you can decide it to be “geo reminded”. That however, works only every 30 minutes. So if you drive through the supermarket and forget to stop, pity… But if you arrive at work and stay there all day, then you’ll get the reminder!

And you can choose if the “geo reminder” happens when arriving to some place, or when leaving a place.

And you can also create itineraries, ie circuits including multiple places. I must indeed use that when preparing a trek during the summer holidays, when I know I will have no Internet. At least, I will know offline: the distance to the next stage, and the direction to it!

Worth a look.

Windows Phone ads not showing up

Just check that you have the following capabilities mentioned in your manifest file: (see here)

WP7:

  • ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER
  • ID_CAP_MEDIALIB
  • ID_CAP_NETWORKING
  • ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER
  • ID_CAP_WEBBROWSERCOMPONENT

WP8:

  • ID_CAP_IDENTITY_USER
  • ID_CAP_MEDIALIB_PHOTO
  • ID_CAP_NETWORKING
  • ID_CAP_PHONEDIALER
  • ID_CAP_WEBBROWSERCOMPONENT

Windows Phone Grid width: Auto or Star (*) ?

Here’s a typical XAML grid:

<Grid x:Name=”LayoutRoot” Background=”Transparent”>

<Grid.RowDefinitions>

<RowDefinition Height=”Auto”/>
<RowDefinition Height=”*”/>

</Grid.RowDefinitions>

<TextBlock Text=”Hello” />
<TextBlock Text=”Good bye” />

</Grid>

So what this means is :

  1. Auto means that the first row will automatically adapt to the size of its children or contained elements. So if it contains nothing, then the width will be zero.
  2. * means that the row will expand to use all remaining available space.

Long live Windows Phone!

Windows Phone: binding string concatenation

Imagine you have a textblock or button for which you want to display the object’s “name”. Let’s take a button:

<Button
Content=”{Binding Name}” x:Name=”Button”
Height=”70″ Click=”Button_click”
HorizontalAlignment=”Left”
/>

Now, you would like your button to not only display the bound object’s name, but to have precede it with “Name: “. No need to create a new get field in your class, you can use StringFormat like this:

<Button
Content=”{Binding Name, StringFormat=’Name: \{0\}’}” x:Name=”Button”
Height=”70″ Click=”Button_click”
HorizontalAlignment=”Left”
/>

Notice that everything after the equal sign is between single quotes, and that the curly brackets are escaped.