Friday, October 8, 2010

WP7 on HTC HD2

Looks like there is hope on getting WP7 running on HD2 thank to Cotulla (you can follow his progress on Twitter )

In this case HTC HD2 will become the first phone that runs WM 6.5, Android 2.2 and WP 7.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WP7 Multi-language v2

 While working on my WP7 app I had to improve the multi-language library I've posted earlier on my blog

What's new in v2:

  1. The LanguageSingleton class has now resources that can be accessed using an indexed property. In the published sample the Save messagebox uses the indexed property lang["MainPage.Messages.saved"] ) 
  2. The LanguageSingleton class implements LanguageChanged property so that every window could set the localized resources when the language changes (in this case is the ItemSource for the PickerBoxDialog developed by Alex Yakhnin)
  3. Implemented multi-language support for ApplicationBarIconButton (the same mechanism using button index as the one used for ApplicationBarMenuItem

I am still not sure if this is the easiest way to implement multi-language support (if someone has a better way to do it please send me a message and I will post it). There is also the M.V.V.M. way, but I think it would be more code to write to obtain the same result.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

WP7 Device The End of the First Contact

            Today I got an email from Microsoft Italia telling me that I have to send back the test device :(. I think the main reason is that I was not able to deliver an App in short time, but it's not like I didn't tried. September was a crazy month with all my client coming back from holidays and start calling so the only time I had to develop was at night so the results were not as I expect them to be . Anyway I improved a lot the multi-language module (I will post later on the blog the new version) and the app for the Marketplace is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I wish I had more time to test/improve the sqlite library, the barcode library, but guess I will have to wait and buy a device. 
             So this concludes my first contact with a Windows Phone 7 device. It was short (2 weeks), but intense :). I used it as a daily phone and the overall experience was good. There are some things that I would want them different:

  1. This is the one that bothered me the most: when you are in a call the End call window doesn't cover all the display and the End call button is almost at the bottom of it and too small. The bad part is that a lot of times (especially when I was driving) I pressed a region lower than the button so instead of ending the call it went to the background and had to bring it back by pressing the title
  2. When reading the emails (especially the unread ones) and delete a message the phone brings you back to the list with all the messages instead I would like to automatically go to the next email in the list.
  3. The right arrow in the main screen "eats" a lot of vertical space. That space is completely wasted. It would be much better to take it out and navigate from Home screen to Application List using the Windows button. Maybe three tiles in a row on the homescreen would not be a bad idea.
  4. I really miss the Call and End Call hardware buttons.It is true that you have the OnScreen buttons, but you have to look at the screen and then press End Call button which is not very "intuitive" for a person that did not used an iPhone (my mom left the phone opened for 20 minutes because she did not pressed the end call button)
  5. It would be nice to be able to enable/disable WiFi and Bluetooth from the Homescreen this way you won't have to go to Start->Applications->Settings->Wifi ->Enable/Disable or Start->Settings->WiFi->Enable/Disable if you pinned Settings to start screen. It's something I used a lot in order to save battery power.
  6. Bing doesn't search inside your contacts, emails or calendars. You can however use search inside People hub and inside each of the inboxes (using bing search on the phone it would enable to search emails on all your inboxes in only one search). You cannot search inside your calendar that would be pretty useful feature (let's say you don't remember someone's birthday date)
  7. I miss the possibility to search a contact using the phone keyboard and not the extended one (the t9 search). The keyboard is great but I was used to search contacts with the onscreen phone keyboard in Windows Mobile
  8. Still hate the application list. It is as unusable as I thought it would be. Everything is in alphabetical order without possibility to reorder items so if you are a developer you should use the first letters of the alphabet to name your app this way you have a good probability to have it in the first screen of the application list.
  9. Need to add pdf read capability to emails. This is a MUST but I think it will be available at launch as the email app already takes you to the marketplace to download the reader that, for the moment, it's not available.  
  10. Office is not a theme aware application. If you use light or dark themes it doesn't change and it is light :)
What are the 7 :) things  I loved about WP7:
  1. Touchscreen experience 
  2. Fluid user interface 
  3. Great keyboard and loved that you can use more than one language keyboard at the same time
  4. One tile for each email account
  5. One calendar to rule them all, one calendar to find them all, one calendar to bring them all and in the darkness bind them :) - depends if your theme is dark or light
  6. Notifications
  7. Great development tools 
What I didn't test and used:
  1. Music and video
  2. Xbox Live
  3. Pictures
The success of the platform will depend a lot on the apps in the Marketplace so if you are a developer try to be there from the start.