Category Archives: dev

Yes, Multi tasking has been finally fixed in Windows Phone 8 with Fast Resume (Video)

Why did we not hear about this in the announcement yesterday? Anyways, looks like Microsoft has successfully implemented one of the two most requested WP8 feature – True mutli tasking (the other being Notification center which sadly is missing). Microsoft has come up with Fast Resuming – detailed here. Windows Phone 7 has Fast App Switching where you can save the state of your application and switch to and fro other applications however if you choose to open the application again from outside the multi tasking stack – it will open a new instance and you will lose your state. This was frustrating and Microsoft has fixed this in Windows Phone 8. What Fast resuming does is that it resumes the state of the running application instead of creating a new instance. Here’s a video of this in action, made by Dhruv Bhutani  

 

Developers must note that they need to implement this into their application – which also means that WP7 apps won’t have Fast Resume by default and I am assuming it’s going to take some time for developers to code it into their applications. Developers, please follow the steps noted here to make your app implement Fast Resume.

We’ll be posting about some more SDK bits since the new SDK is tasty and incredibly fun (NFC, Bluetooth, etc) – so we can’t wait to share some details with you. Stay tuned for more Windows Phone 8!

Unity announces support for Windows Phone 8

I have been waiting for a long  long time to post Unity on Windows Phone news. It didn’t happen in 7.0 or 7.5 but finally – WP8 scores a winner here. At Unite 2012 today, taking place in Amsterdam, Unity CEO David Helgason announced support for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Game developers absolutely adore Unity.

From Edge – Online:

Helgason also revealed that 53 per cent of mobile game developers have published games using Unity, demonstrating its extensive reach.

It is a big news. Windows Phone 8 users can expect some amazing games in the near future thanks to Unity support.

In case you don’t have an idea about the extent of usefulness of Unity support – let’s just say XNA developers who were depressed post lack of XNA support on WinRT will jump in joy because now they can make games in C# and avoid C++ (I am not a big fan!) or avoid taking  the route of mono game route which works just fine.

Developers, are you excited about Unity support? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Edge-Online  via @gcaughey

Windows-Phone-8-Summit

Windows Phone 8 SDK landing page should indicate WP8 SDK coming soon, right?

Windows Phone 8 was unveiled on July 26th. September 5  is the reveal  date of new Nokia devices running Windows Phone 8 and how many third party apps do they have to show off? Zero. Why? There is no darn SDK. From what we are hearing – It’s October launch for Windows Phone 8 devices which means less than month and a half for developers to actually do something about it. Oh and most importantly – there are still no devices for developers to test their application. There’s no denying that the emulator is good enough but how does one test NFC and Bluetooth via the emulator?

Robert Mclaws noticed the landing page for WP8 SDK. Take a look.

 

WP8 SDK launch / landing page

WP8 SDK launch / landing page

 

Nothing important here except the fact that there’s finally something about SDK on the dev center. Also take note that all the WP8 samples and docs are coming very soon so ignore the lack of redirection from app hub -> dev center for samples while the lack of redirection of msdn forums links is being worked upon.

It hasn’t been confirmed but looks like the final version of the SDK will be released directly. Yes, no beta. Which is quite strange to be honest. Anyways, any kind of launch is acceptable now. I know Microsoft doesn’t need us puny devs. on 5th of september. They already contacted some kickass wp7dev for wp8 apps and of course nokia makes great apps too – but the point is: let’s give developers a flexible time period to let them deliver applications at launch which is crucial.

p.s – Windows Phone 8 SDK was leaked sometime back. Pictures from emulator right here

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Control major appliances in your home with domcontroller

The idea of using a remote control to power on and off electronics is a luxury most people have. The ability to use your smartphone to control items in your house is a logical next step that users have seen on platforms since the Windows Mobile days. And while Android, iOS, and even to a smaller extent Windows Phone provides users with control of some elements in your home, wouldn’t you like a bit more control? Worry not, Julien Schapman, creator of TouchXperience and a bevy of other tools for Windows Phone has started developing domcontroller. The program’s goal is admirable – real time control of your home from any computer, tablet, remote control, or smartphone that has access to the world wide web. In addition, the user can get notification if something goes awry. We are definitely watching this project with bated breath, but if you must see how the project is shaping up, hit up the source link.

image provided by domcontroller

Is this something you’re waiting for? Let us know.

source: domcontroller

Chevron-WP7-Down

Chevron Labs closes up shop

In a total shocker, ChevronWP7 Labs, the quirky guys that allowed devices to side load homebrew xaps with their initial tool and then charge tokens for a similar unlocking process, has officially announced their service as no more. In a statement, chevron labs writes:

The goal of this experiment was two-fold: First, to determine if we could supercharge the Windows Phone beginner/hobbyist community by removing the initial cost barrier (i.e. App Hub membership.) And second, to convert potential developers into published developers.

There was also some confusion about the actual purpose of the ChevronWP7 serviceAs a result, both sides amicably agreed to discontinue the ChevronWP7 Labs experiment.

However, all is not lost in the land of side loading. For the users that paid for chevron wp7 services, Microsoft will give those users a free upgrade to a one-year membership of apphub!

Wanna know the specifics? Hit the source link and tell us what you think. Are you bummed about the news?

source: chevron wp7 labs

Tool for porting Unity games to Windows Phone now available in beta

We previously reported about the FFWD framework that allows porting of games from the Unity3D projects to Windows Phone and the Xbox 360. This framework was used to build excellent games like the Xbox:LIVE titles Max and the Magic marker and Tentacles. It has now been released in a preliminary form and is available for download now from the Github repo (under the MS-PL license).

This framework works like a plugin into the Unity editor and exports all the assets (other than some things that won’t work on windows phone, like javascript and custom shaders). These assets are exported in a format that XNA studio can read. Full 3D support is provided for graphics, but physics support is limited to the 2D Farseer Engine (so 3D games can be made as long as the physics works on a single plane).

Read more about the FFWD Framework on their wiki, or download it from GitHub.

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Add Dynamic Images to your Windows Phone Lockscreen with Dynamic Background (HomeBrew)

WindowsPhoneHacker is at it again and this time he has something which is a much requested feature – dynamic lockscreen. WPHacker’s Dynamic Background application lets you add dynamic images to your lockscreen which is infinitely better than a static lockscreen you get. Dynamic Background let’s you use Bing background on your lockscreen which will update automatically everyday or create your own custom slideshow by stacking up a bunch of images from your phone’s local storage which updates automatically every 30 minutes.Very nifty.

Here’s a video demo:

Unfortunately, unless you have flashed a custom ROM to your Windows Phone device, you will not be able to deploy your application. So if you have a device with custom ROM, hit the link below to download the xap right now. Also, let the developer know your feedback.

Dynamic Background for Windows Phone

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Toolkit for porting Unity 3D games to Windows Phone to be open sourced soon

As you’d probably know, as many developers have noted before – lack of Unity 3D support for Windows Phone is an omission that is costing Microsoft a lot of veteran developers. David Halgesaon, in an interview with Pocketgamer, confirmed that Unity will not be supported in Windows Phone 7 but they are optimistic for support in Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7 developers can create games with help of both Silverlight and XNA.

Press Play, developers of classic Windows Phone XBL game Tentacles, are about to contribute to the developer community in a huge way. Press Play built a toolset in house to help them port their games from Unity 3D to XNA (Windows Phone). Now they have decided to open source this tool set which would enable Unity 3D developers port their game to the Windows Phone marketplace. This is a commendeble move move by Press Play,kudos.

Here’s the official detailed post from Press Play Facebook status:

In Press Play we have built a toolset for porting Unity games to Windows Phones and now we want to make it open source. 
The toolset called (FFWD or “Fast Forward”) has been used in getting games like Tentacles and Max from Unity3D to the Windows Phone. 
What we have done is to recreate a version of the Unity framework within XNA. This allows us to build and design the game within Unity and build it in XNA and eventually play it on our Windows Phone. For a Unity centered studio like ours, it has been great because it has allowed us to maintain our usual workflow within Unity. Now we want to share it. Lately we have been contacted by several studios who wants a go with it – and we finally came to the conclusion “WHY NOT!”.  The idea is now to make it an open source project and see where it goes. If you are interested in using it, you may also be interested in contributing to it, and that way we may actually get something back from our efforts.  Our problem now is that making it open source takes an effort in itself. Thomas Gravgaard (the father of FFWD) is busy sprinkling his brilliance upon our other projects, but as soon as he gets a moment off those, he will be looking into uploading it somewhere, and we will let you know.  So stay tuned for more info on this.

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Job Posting confirms: Windows Phone Mango apps will run on Apollo

Guys at 1800PocketPC were tipped by an anonymous tipster and a simple Google search led me to a job posting.

 Windows Phone Apollo

Windows Phone Apollo

Job posting for the post of Senior Design Engineer in Testing above clearly states in the job description:

Automated testing of marketplace applications written for Mango, but running on Apollo.

Yes, that’s about it. This one line is very important, especially for developers. We know that with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is transitioning from Windows CE to Windows NT kernel which confused a lot of exisiting developers. Will their application run on Windows Phone 8? If not, then how will they port it? Currently, there are no resources to guide developers with regards to WP8 application development. All we know is that Silverlight is going out, that’s about it. Well, you may argue that Windows Phone 8 is far away from launch but developers usually think about long term and to be honest it’s better to gear up and get ready before it’s too late.  Here’s hoping Microsoft says a word or two about Windows Phone Apollo this month at Mobile World Congress.