Learning to Live with Android

Android, Windows Phone
So, it’s been just over four months since I switched to Android (from Windows mobile) and I’ve slowly but surely been learning to live within the Android ecosystem. While I still appreciate the vast selection of apps available in the Google Play Store there are still plenty of things I’m not overly excited about when it comes to Android. In my post, Android:Two Weeks In, I talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. While I can’t resolve all the “bad and ugly” issues, I’d like to highlight one app that has helped me cope a bit better than I would have otherwise 3…2…1… Launch!One of the best features of Windows mobile is the various ways you can size and arrange the tiles on the home screen. I also…
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Android: Two Weeks In

Android, Windows Phone
Well, it’s been two weeks since I officially switched to Android. I’ve been spending years (literally) reading other people’s accounts highlighting their experiences with switching from Windows Phone/mobile to Android and/or iOS (and occasionally the other way around). I figured this was my chance to finally put my initial thoughts and experiences on paper (so to speak) since I’ve been using Windows-based phones for a long time (10 years!).So, two weeks in, what have I learned? For the Clint Eastwood fans out there, I’ll break it down into The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.The GoodHardwareAs I mentioned in my previous post I switched to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. When I first got this phone I was really impressed with the look and feel of the device. I had…
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When is Enough, Enough?

Android, Windows Phone
Ask anyone who has known me for more than a few hours and odds are they can tell you that I love technology! Specifically, I am a huge fan of the Microsoft software developer ecosystem. I was a Java developer before .NET/C# became available but, once I got my hands on C#, there was no going back (to Java)! To me, .NET & C# was what Java should have been from the beginning.Since those days, I’ve written many apps – web apps, “fat client” (Windows) apps and mobile apps. Since Windows Phone (7) came on the scene back in 2010 I’ve published 9 apps (some better than others :-)) for Windows Phone. For me, it was a natural fit – writing mobile apps using C#. It leveraged the skills and…
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Migrating WP 8.0 Apps to WP 8.1

Windows Phone
If you’re like me and have been developing Windows Phone apps for a while (several years in my case) then you just might have more than one app in the store. In my case, I currently have eight apps published in the Windows Phone store.At the moment, all of these target Windows Phone 8.0 (with a few of them also still targeting Windows Phone 7.1). As we get closer to the next release of Windows (Windows 10) and the unification of the Windows and Windows Phone stores, I want to start migrating my Windows Phone 8.0 apps to Windows Phone 8.1. I want to do this because I feel that it will help me toward my goal of creating universal apps so I can provide PC/tablet versions of some of…
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Build 2014–Quick Links

Conferences, General News, Visual Studio, Windows Phone
The Build 2014 conference ended just over a week ago and many of us are still sifting through the various announcements and downloads. This post provides a list of some of the various links to sessions and downloads that you might find handy. Sessions You can find the links to all the session videos and slide decks here. Visual Studio / .NET .NET Foundation – There were several open source announcements at this year’s Build event. The .NET Foundation will be the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for.NET, Microsoft’s comprehensive development framework. Here is a snapshot of what’s currently available (completely open source) on .NET Foundation: Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Release Candidate – this is a “GO LIVE” version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.…
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Office Lens for Windows Phone

Windows Phone
A couple of days ago, Microsoft published Office Lens, a new app, to the Windows Phone store. Simply put, it’s like having a scanner built into your phone. You can take pictures of whiteboards, business cards, or anything else for that matter and the images will be enhanced and automatically added to the Quick Notes section of OneNote. Office Lens will also scan the text (if any) in your snapshots allowing you to more easily search for your images. There are three modes in Office Lens: Photo – allows you to easily take pictures and have them automatically added to OneNote for easy sharing. Whiteboard – Office Lens will clean up whiteboard images (see below) making them easier to read at a later time. Document – Office Lens will clean…
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10 Enterprise Apps for Your Windows Phone

Windows Phone
With the Windows Phone Store now exceeding 200,000 apps, it’s no surprise that it’s getting easier to find the most of the popular apps from competitor’s ecosystems. Although there are many ways to categorize available apps, I like to think of them all as loosely fitting within one of three categories: Consumer apps – these are the everyday apps that you might use such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. Enterprise apps – these are the apps that you are likely to use in a business-oriented situation such as at work or while traveling for business. Examples might include e-mail clients, airline-specific apps, office productivity apps, etc. Games – this is a pretty obvious category and includes a wide array of apps built for entertainment. In this post, I’d like…
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Removing the Barrier to Entry for Windows Phone Development

Windows Phone
Until recently, if you wanted to develop for Windows Phone, and actually run your apps on your phone (as opposed to the emulator) you had to register for a $99 (USD) Windows Phone developer account.  This cost has always been a substantial barrier to entry for many would-be (Windows Phone) developers.  That is, until recently. Recently, two things have changed to make this much better. First, the $99 registration amount has been changed to $19 (annually).  This price is much more reasonable for most people (though free, it could be argued, would be even more reasonable :-).  The $19 price was originally a temporary promotion but, according to a tweet from Todd Brix (General Manager of Windows Phone Apps and Store Team), Microsoft is keeping the price at $19. Second,…
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Windows Phone App Studio–My First App

Windows Phone
Recently, Microsoft made available the Windows Phone App Studio (beta). The purpose of the Windows Phone App Studio is to make it simple for anyone with a great Windows Phone app idea to create, test, and share an app without installing any development tools.Getting StartedYou can sign up for a free account at the link above and give it a try for yourself. Note, however, that you may have to wait up to a day to get a registration code.Once you’ve signed in, click on the Create link to get started with building your first app. You will have the option to start with an empty app (not recommended for your first time using the site) or one of (currently) 19 prebuilt templates.  The templates are geared toward marketing your…
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WP7.x or WP8?

Windows Phone
I am designing a new Windows Phone app and I can't decide if I should target Windows Phone 7.x (which would also run on 8) or Windows Phone 8 only.  I can see pros and cons to both: Windows Phone 8 Only Pros: I can take advantage of some of the new features in WP8 (although I am not sure which ones, specifically, I would take advantage of at this time) I can develop in Visual Studio 2012 I can use my Lumia 920 to test on It's the "latest and greatest" Cons: I exclude the Windows Phone 7.x community (I have no idea what percentage is currently on WP7.x vs. WP8) Windows Phone 7.x (pretty much the opposite of the above) Pros: I can target all Windows Phone users…
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