Free Windows Phone 7 Programming ebook released

Charles Petzold’s Windows Phone 7 programming book has just been released on time for PDC10 and is now  available to download for free.

This book is a gift from the Windows Phone 7 team at Microsoft to the programming community, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Within the pages that follow, I show you the basics of writing applications for Windows Phone 7 using the C# programming language with the Silverlight and XNA 2D frameworks.

Yes, Programming Windows Phone 7 is truly a free download, but for those readers who still love paper—as I certainly do—this book will also be available (for sale) divided into two fully-indexed print editions: Microsoft Silverlight Programming for Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft XNA Framework Programming for Windows Phone 7. [Note from Devon: we should have these ready for order in December 2010.]

With the money you’ve saved downloading this book, please buy other books. Despite the plethora of information available online, books are still the best way to learn about programming within a coherent and cohesive tutorial narrative. Every book sale brings a tear of joy to an author’s eye, so please help make them weep overflowing rivers.

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Programming for Windows Phone 7 ebook free excerpt 2

The second excerpt of Charles Petzold’s upcoming Programming Windows Phone 7 ebook is now available for download free of charge. This new one contains eleven chapters (256 pages) compared to the 6 chapters found in the first excerpt that was released a couple of months ago:

Part I The Basics

Chapter 1 Hello, Windows Phone 7

Chapter 2 Getting Oriented

Chapter 3 An Introduction to Touch

Chapter 4 Bitmaps, Also Known as Textures

Chapter 5 Sensors and Services

Chapter 6 Issues in Application Architecture

Part II Silverlight

Chapter 7 XAML Power and Limitations

Chapter 8 Elements and Properties

Part III XNA

Chapter 20 Principles of Movement

Chapter 21 Textures and Sprites

Chapter 22 Touch and Play

Continue reading Programming for Windows Phone 7 ebook free excerpt 2 →

UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 released

Microsoft has updated the UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 to beta status. I must say that I’m happy to see that this isn’t a minor update, Lot’s of things have been added and I highly suggest you to download it if you are currently developing for Windows Phone 7. One interesting info is that unlike the current emulator and some of the builds I’ve seen on real devices, the browser will indeed have a application bar when running in landscape mode (hey that’s nothing groundbreaking…but it’s good to know that the emulator isn’t 100% how things will look like this fall). Download the pdf document here.

Continue reading UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 released →

Windows Phone 7 MultiTouch Behavior controls updated

Laurent Bugnion has just announced an upcoming (tonight) update to his MultiTouch behavior control for Windows Phone 7. This new update is meant to work with the newly released Beta Windows Phone 7 developer tools. He as also posted to new videos that you can watch after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 MultiTouch Behavior

Microsoft MVP Laurent Bugnion from has just posted 2 videos (after the break) of his MultiTouch Behavior control for Windows Phone 7. Laurent’s MultiTouch behavior will enable developers to incorporate features like scale, rotate and translate gestures into their Silverlight application and even simulate multitouch with a single mouse so you don’t have to buy a multitouch screen to test your application and see if two fingers input is working:

Features:
- Scale, Rotate, Translate are supported.
- Possibility to show markers on the screen for demos/projections/videos.
- Debug mode with addition on-screen information.
- “Mock” mode for development without multitouch screen. Simulate fingers with just one mouse.
- Enable/disable Scale, Rotate, Translate X and Y individually.
- Constrain Scale with minimum and maximum value.

Future plans:
Not supported (but in the plan) are:

-Multiple elements: Right now, the gestures can only apply to one element on the screen.
-Friction/inertia.
-Constraining the element to the screen.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 MultiTouch Behavior →

BART Train system Windows Phone 7 application


One more Windows Phone 7 prototype application has been unveiled today. This time it’s a BART train system application build in parts with Expression Blend 4 and that uses the DeepZoom Silverlight control for the map.

I started with a basic xml data feed displayed in a ListBox and then styled it up using Microsoft Expression Blend. The demo itself is not fully functioning but thanks to the easy-to-use development tools, I was able to complete the current demo in less than a day. In the future I will link BART stations to their corresponding schedules, so that you can check the times for any station.

Video after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 Action Pack: Video Tutorials available, package coming soon

Matt Van Horn is currently putting the finishing touches to his Windows Phone 7 Action Pack which is a set of tools aimed at making WP7 development easier by including some useful Extension Methods, Behaviors, Actions, Triggers and several controls. He is expected to make it available on codeplex next Monday but you can already check out some video tutorials after the break.

Currently Implemented (at some level)
OrientationChangedGoToStateBehavior – Forces visual state changes based on changes to the phone orientation
PhoneFileDataSource – Control that will read/write/list files in the applications Isolated Storage
MakeCallAction – Action that can be attached to any FrameworkElement that will make the phone call a number based on bound properties
CallMethodAction – This is just a simple port from Silverlight of the same basic action that calls a method on a target element
ChoosePhoneNumberAction – Simple Action that will bring up the phones contact list and allow the user to pick a phone number

Goals
PhonePositionControl – expose as dependency properties all useful information about the position of the phone
TakePictureBehavior – simple behavior that takes a picture based on an event on the attached object
AccelerometerControl – expose as dependency properties all useful information about the accelerometer on the phone so that visual elements can be bound to them.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Action Pack: Video Tutorials available, package coming soon →

90 seconds Video of Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone 7

Here’s a short 90 seconds video showcasing the development of Windows Phone 7 applications with Expression Blend 4. Nothing super exciting I know, but developing application with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) “editor” is really neat especially for artists and people who are not hüber coders..

Source: Microsoft

28 minutes long Windows Phone 7 Design video

Microsoft is really working hard on promoting Windows Phone 7 this month. After Tuesday’s Application Lifecycle video here comes a 28 mintues long video entirely dedicating to the OS’s  Metro UI and Design with Albert Shum –Design Partner, and Naud Frijlink – Senior UX Designer, from the Windows Phone team, and Yochay Kiriaty – Senior Technical Evangelist. Don’t forget to download the Windows Phone 7 UI Design and Interaction guide.

Source: Channel 9

Windows Phone 7 Series Icon Pack released


The Windows Phone dev team has just released a package of application bar icons for developers building apps/games for Windows Phone 7 Series. The package contains a set of 64 app bar icons in PNG format (32 dark and 32 light) and vector format (for use in Expression Blend) For more information on how to use those icons head over here. The package can be downloaded here.

XNA or Silverlight ? What’s the best choice for developing games on Windows Phone 7 Series?


In the first release of Windows Phone 7 Series, applications cannot mix the use of Silverlight UIElements with XNA Framework GraphicsDevice so developers will have to make a choice between the two frameworks before starting their project. To help them out in their choice, Microsoft’s Michael Klucher’s compiled the comparison table below:

Platform Features Windows Phone Application
(Silverlight-based application model)
Windows Phone Game
(XNA Framework Application model)
Application programming model Event-driven application model.  Great for heavily UI based games. Traditional frame loop for more simulation based content.
Control-based, data-bound UI development UIElement and related types None, the developer must write their own.
Video playback Rich video integration via MediaElement Fullscreen playback via the system media player
2D graphics Rich paths, shapes, and brushes, etc… High performance 2D rendering for large amounts of sprites.
3D graphics Perspective effects using PlaneProjection transform. Provides Hardware Accelerated 3D API’s.
Primary data serialization model XAML Content Manager
Designer tooling Expression Blend, VS XAML designer. XNA Content Pipeline integrates 3rd party tools for creating 3D model & texture assets for your application.
Device sensors Same API in either programming model  
Access to user’s songs and pictures Same API in either programming model  

Check the whole post here

Programming Windows Phone 7 Series Free eBook available now


Microsoft MVP, Charles Petzold, made available for free a draft preview of his upcoming “Programming Windows Phone 7 Series” eBook on Microsoft’s press site. The draft preview iw over 150 pages long and contains the following chapters:

Part I Getting Started

Chapter 1 Phone Hardware + Your Software

Chapter 2 Hello, Windows Phone

Part II Silverlight

Chapter 3 Code and XAML

Chapter 4 Presentation and Layout

Part III XNA

Chapter 5 Principles of Movement

Chapter 6 Textures and Sprites

If you are planning to start developing for WP7 and want to learn a bit more about Silverlight & XNA,waste no time and hit the following links : XPS format & PDF Format & Zip file of the code Samples.

Source: Microsoft Press via Pocketnow

Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design & Interaction Guide


Microsoft just released the Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design Interaction Guide. The Document is a 65 pages guide on how to design Windows Phone 7 applications:

The Windows® Phone 7 Series CTP User Interface (UI) is based off a Windows Phone design system internally codenamed “Metro.” The Metro design principles center on a look that uses type to echo the visual language of airport and metro system signage. The goal is to clearly direct end users to the content they want. Metro interfaces are supposed to embody harmonious, functional, and attractive visual elements. Ideally, good UI design should encourage playful exploration when interacting with the application and people should feel a sense of wonder and excitement. A clear, straightforward design not only makes an application legible, it encourages usage. This guide will provide design knowledge and fundamentals for this type of UI development. We highly recommend that developers adopt the Metro design style whenever possible. Although requirements may vary based on the application, paralleling this experience will create a more consistent, fluid UI experience from the custom and built-in application view.

This guide will also detail several possible methods of interaction that can be used by a Windows Phone 7 Series CTP application, including standard input, functionality within the UI framework, and the Metro-themed Silverlight® and system-based controls. By understanding and incorporating key design concepts and considerations within these areas, you can craft your application to provide a better end user experience. You will also have a deeper understanding of the number of different hardware and software interaction elements that are available to developers in Windows Phone 7 Series CTP. Diverging from the Windows Phone 7 Series CTP interaction model is generally not allowed. However, there are a few exceptions where the UI behavior is different as application requirements vary.

I highly recommend you to download the whole thing here. This document is currently the best overall source of info on WP7. You’ll find answers on every subject related to the Metro UI, gesture support, push notification, hardware buttons, themes etc… Eveything you ever wanted to know about WP7 is in there.

All Windows Phone 7 MIX10 Sessions Part 2

Below are the rest of the Windows Phone 7 Series MIX10 session made that have currently been made available.

Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 1:

PowerPoint Presentation: Click

Continue reading All Windows Phone 7 MIX10 Sessions Part 2 →

All Windows Phone 7 Series MIX10 Sessions Part 1

Here are all the Windows Phone 7 Series MIX10 sessions currently available online.

Changing our Game – an Introduction to Windows Phone 7 Series:

Continue reading All Windows Phone 7 Series MIX10 Sessions Part 1 →

Windows Phone 7 Series development infromation and Q&A


Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel has just posted a little blurb on what developers can expect in Windows Phone 7 Series. As expected (and leaked here in early February) the main development tools will be XNA and Silverlight (via Explression Blend):

I mentioned in my last post that one of our principles was “to build upon the shoulders of giants; where possible integrate instead of create.” It won’t come as a surprise to many to learn that the Windows Phone 7 developer experience builds upon the following GIANTS (among others):

.NET
Silverlight
XNA platform
Microsoft’s developer tools
Web 2.0 standards

The expertise and familiarity with our tools is not lost. If you are a .NET developer today your skills and much of your code will move forward. If you are Silverlight or XNA developer today you’re gonna be really happy. New developers to the platform will find a cohesive, well designed API set with super productive tools.

He also confirmed that their will be no backward compatibility with previsou and current Windows Mobile applications. You can check out his full post here

If you are not faimilair with XNA or Silverlight I suggest you go check out the offical site here & here.

The Windows Phone 7 Series Dev Team is running a Q&A session on Twitter right no. To follow it just click here or follow the #WP7DEV tag.

Silverlight & .NET developers unit. Windows Phone 7 Series needs you


Well all know by now that Silverlight and .Net (XNA & Visual Studio 2010) are going to be the main development tools used for developing applications on Windows Phone 7 Series. Independent .Net developer, Jim Wightman, posted his thoughts in a blog post:

Bring on the .NET developers…

Yep, the success of WP7 rests at least partially on our shoulders. We need to write bigger, better, faster apps and games and I can see Microsoft extending their excellent record of community support to really drive development on this new platform. The clever part of course is that many of us have been using the technologies we need for many years already…so Microsoft have not only given us the best chance possible to reuse our skills on a new platform, they have pretty much guaranteed that their version of an ‘app store’ will be a resounding success.

I feel confident in making that last statement based upon the hundreds of incredibly talented Silverlight/.NET programmers I know personally – and since of course they only represent a fraction of the programming talent in the industry, I know that the creation of WP7 apps is in safe hands.

Don’t forget also that many existing applications, if they have been written ‘correctly’, will be relatively easy to convert for use on WP7.

Another important point to consider is how Silverlight is such a delight to develop for and use that even if you’ve never touched XAML or used the SDK before, you’ll pick it up in literally hours. And Silverlight is available today, right now, and so is .NET. If you haven’t used either technology before, you can start learning now. By Holidays 2010, with a little effort, you could have written the ‘killer app’ for this amazing new mobile platform…

I personally feel exactly the same. Now is MS chance to build a rich library of mobile application and everybody .NET / Silverlight developer can be part of it.

Head over here to read the full post.

Windows Phone 7 has everything to succeed

Last week’s been really busy with MWC and the Windows Phone 7 Series announcement on Monday 15th in Barcelona. A lot has been said about it since then and the general consensus is that Microsoft is doing the right thing by restarting from scratch but some people are still worried or disappointed because of what seems like an “iPhonesque” shift in strategy. I’ll try to share my thoughts with you and hopefully give you a little insight on what can be Microsoft’s next Billion dollar business.
Continue reading Windows Phone 7 has everything to succeed →