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Posts Tagged ‘windows phone’

Do you have a hard time keeping track about all the goodies available for Windows Phone and Windows Store app developers? There are many opportunities out there to get free training or even get incentives for your Windows/ Windows Phone application development activities. You are not on your own when taking the first step to dive into Windows Phone/Windows Store app development and if you are ready to submit your app to the app store, you may even get rewarded for your hard work on your app with a little extra bonus. Let’s take a look at some of the offerings!

Keep the Cash

If you want to participate in Microsoft’s “Keep the Cash” opportunity, you have to act pretty quick! This offer ends June 30th, 2013. You get a chance to enter up to 10 apps per Store, Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store, and get a $100 virtual Visa card for each application that qualifies.

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You can find out more about the official Keep the Cash Terms and Conditions here.

App Builder Virtual Summit

If you missed the App Builder Virtual Summit in May, the summit videos are now available for streaming on demand. You can learn the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of designing, building and marketing an app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It is certainly interesting to listen to first-hand experiences of developers, who have actually done it and want to share their thoughts.

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Connect with your local Technical Evangelist

You have the option to meet your local Microsoft technical evangelist  to get some help and guidance for your app development or idea. You can check out their office hours here.

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Windows Store App Lab

In case you need to test your awesome Windows app on Windows 8 devices, Microsoft offers an amazing test environment calles Windows Store App Labs. These are physical locations in more than 30 cities where you can access Windows 8 devices, get design help, and meet with Windows experts to make your app even more awesome! You can search for the lab locations here.

Last but not least…

If you are excited about all these developer opportunities, but just need some design inspiration, I suggest you check out the case studies of some Windows applications. There is also information out there about the Windows UX patterns to guide you through your application design and development. But before you start the actual development, you may also want to check out how to create apps that run on Windows Phone and on Windows to get an idea of how you could create reusable code for both environments.

Happy coding!

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Microsoft and Seattle Storm women’s basketball team have come together and invite all-female teams worldwide to create a unique app for sports, fitness, or athletics for the ImagineCup Women Athletic App Challenge. This is the final week to submit your application; only 5 days left!

Besides being an exciting challenge, cool prizes await the winning teams. They will travel to Seattle, attend a Seattle Storm game,  have a private meet-and-greet with a Seattle Storm basketball player, visit the Microsoft campus, meet Lisa Brummel, who is Chief People Officer and also receive a $1000 prize per team member. Winners will be announced in July.

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You can check out the Official Rules of the competition here.

You should build your Women’s Athletics Challenge Apps using Microsoft tools and technologies. The application must be developed using at least one product in the Visual Studio family and must be built for one or more of the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows Server and/or ASP.NET
  • Kinect SDK
  • Xbox Indie Games
  • .NET Framework
  • Windows Azure

As a student, you can obtain free tools and software at DreamSpark.

Applications could provide ideas for a healthier lifestyle, keep track of one’s exercise routine, challenge users to be more active, include tips and tricks to stay in shape…ideas are just endless. Since this competition is open to teams from allover the world, I am truly curious of the diverse application content each team will come up with! I also love the tagline of the competition: Play Hard. Code Harder. 

Good luck to all participating female teams!

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If you have been planning to convert your Windows Phone application to a Windows 8 application; here is the ideal event, specifically tailored for your needs: Windows 8 Convert-A-Thon! During the event, you will get all the help you need, to convert your mobile app into a Windows 8 Metro app.

Once the Windows 8 Store is in full action, it will be a tremendous opportunity for developers. If you already have mobile apps, you should definitely consider a transition from your existing Windows Phone apps to Windows 8 apps.

During the beta period, the only access developers have to the Windows 8 Store is through tokens that are handed out. This is a nomination and approval process. Yet your applications do not have to be %100 complete, but if your idea is good and your execution is excellent, you can get nominated to receive a token!

Here is the event agenda:

  • Introductions and overview
  • Your Windows Phone app Reimagined (Group Walkthrough)
  • API Walkthrough – (This is how I did it in WP7.. how do I do it in Windows 8)
  • Convert-A-Thon (Everyone works on converting their application)
  • App show off and prize giveaways
Tomorrow’s event runs from 8AM until 5PM, Saturday, June 9th. You will find the location info and further details on the registration page.

Laptop Setup:

Your laptop will need to be running Windows 8 Release Preview and install Visual Studio 2012. You can find all of the links here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps

You may also want to run it on a VM. There are a couple of ways to do that, boot to VHD or run in a Player. You can find instructions for each here :

Scott Hanselman’s boot to VHD blog post: http://bit.ly/win8vhdboot

MJ’s VMWare Player installation instructions: http://bit.ly/win8vmware

This is a last minute event announcement! So hurry up with your registration to catch a spot for tomorrow’s exciting Windows 8 Convert-A-Thon!

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Nokia Lumia 900 has finally arrived in the US and we haven’t been able to stop raving about it since last week! Our household is definitely under its spell.

Now here is your chance to be one of the first to get an in-depth hands-on trial  with the awesome Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone and even win your own Lumia 900 at one of the “Behind the Tiles with Windows Phone” events running throughout April and May.

Once you attend a “Behind the Tiles” event, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Attend a Nokia Lumia 900 instructor-led demo lab
  • Learn about the “Metro” style user interface and the future with Windows Phone
  • Get the latest information on Windows Phone for IT and Developers
  • Play with some of the latest and greatest Windows Phones
  • Network with peers and Windows Phone experts
  • Have a chance to win great prizes

Since space is limited, you will need to register today (registration code: MVP)! The events will be held at select Best Buy stores and will run from 6:30PM-9:00PM. Here is a full list of  locations and dates, where and when the events will take place:

If you would like to learn more about the Nokia Lumia 900 before the event, check it out here + here! Take our word for it; once you experiment with the Nokia Lumia 900, you won’t be able to put it down!

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This is just a last-minute reminder for developer folks in Southern California. There are three free developer camps (DevCamps) tomorrow at the University of Southern California, one event focuses on HTML5, the Phone Camp covers Windows Phone development and the Cloud Camp is about the Windows Azure developer platform. All of the three DevCamps  tomorrow are free; you learn from experts, get time for some hands-on training and network with fellow developers.

HTML 5 DevCamp:

The HTML5 Web Camp will start with demos and presentations, and will end with hands on lab sessions. The following is a list of topics:

  • Introduction to HTML5
  • CSS3 and all the cool features
  • HTML5 Graphics Canvas and SVG
  • Video, Sound, and Animations With HTML5
  • HTML5 New Features
  • Practical HTML5: Using It Today
  • HTML5 for Multiple Devices: Phones and Others
You can register here for the HTML 5 DevCamp.

Phone DevCamp

The Phone Camp will cover how to utilize the cloud to consume external API’s for Windows Phone development, how to improve user experience with a deep dive Expression Blend session, app performance tuning, globalization and location and much more. The afternoon will include labs as well as an app competition, where you can share and present your own Windows Phone app.

You can find out more about the Phone DevCamp agenda and register here.

Cloud DevCamp

The Coud Camp will introduce the Windows Azure developer platform features and outline how Windows Azure opens up a host of new application and multi-screen development opportunities. Windows Azure is an internet-scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers. Windows Azure provides an operating system and a set of developer services used to build cloud-based solutions.

The Cloud DevCamp sessions will include the following topics:

  • Getting Started with Windows Azure
  • Using Windows Azure Storage
  • Understanding SQL Azure
  • Securing, Connecting, and Scaling
  • Azure Application Scenarios
  • Launching your Azure App
You can follow this link to register for Cloud DevCamp.

Student Prep Night

If you are a student and are interested particularly in attending the Windows Phone Camp, there is a Student Prep Night today. You will get a chance to install the necessary developer tools to get ready for the training on Friday and snack on pizza! Don’t forget to register here for the Student Prep Night.

If you would like to stay on top of everything HTML 5, Phone app development and the Cloud, don’t miss out on the DevCamp fun tomorrow!

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It is already the last day of our Pluralsight 30 day subscription give away! Friday’s winner is Steve Hiner, who posted a comment about his favorite Windows Phone game Physi Bricks. Just like the applications that readers have commented about; once the give-away ends, I am going to share some information about all the Windows Phone games, which have been mentioned.

With a little luck you may get a chance to discover Pluralsight for 30 days by sharing some details about your favorite Windows Phone applications and promoting fellow mobile developers.

Application Category for Saturday: LifeStyle

What is your favorite lifestyle application on the Windows Phone?

For the last day of the give-way, except for the application category, what you have to do as a participant does not change. You need to mention the one Windows Phone lifestyle application, which you would recommend to everyone for simplify their daily life. This category may also overlap with/cover tools and productivity applications. How does this particular Windows Phone application help you, what features make it so practical, why do you prefer it over other lifestyle applications? If you add a link to the application, other readers can find out about this fantastic application right away. You can share your feedback as a comment on this blog post until 8 PM PST today.

Today’s lucky number: 11

All comments will be approved around 8 PM PST, which have been posted for today’s blog post. Saturday’s Pluralsight 30 day subscription card will go to comment #11! If there are less comments than the lucky number, the last comment before 8 PM PST will get the prize. Good luck to all participants for the last day of our give-away!

A big   goes out to all readers, who took the time to share details about their favorite Windows Phone applications and games in the past few days!

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The Pluralsight 30 day subscription give away started yesterday! Thursday’s winner is Igor Ralic, who posted a comment about the Photo Light Windows Phone application. Once the give-away ends, I am going to share information about all the applications, which have been shared by readers.

Today you get another opportunity to promote your favorite Windows Phone applications in a certain category and motivate the applications’ developers with some praise, feedback or constructive criticism. I realized that many developers prefer to promote their own applications and that is surely up to you. In this give-away there is no rule, which prevents one from self-promotion.

Application Category for Friday: Games

What is your favorite game (app) on the Windows Phone?

To participate in today’s give away; you only need to briefly write about the Windows Phone game, which you believe is so addictive that it prevents you from putting down your phone! Try to add a few key features of the game and what makes it so much fun to play. Do not forget to add a link to the game/application for other readers to discover this must-have game on Windows Phone. If it is visually stunning, if it calls for mind bending tactics, if it comes with super fast animations etc., let all its cool features be known. You can share your feedback as a comment on this blog post until 8 PM PST today.

Today’s lucky number: 7

Just like yesterday, around 8 PM PST all comments will be approved, which have been posted for today’s blog post. Friday’s Pluralsight 30 day subscription card will go to comment #7!

To kill some time while waiting in a line, to distract our busy minds or sometimes just because we can’t stop, we all play various games already available on or downloaded to our mobile phones. Let’s take a few minutes and share with the rest of us the one Windows Phone game, which you believe totally rocks, so that we don’t miss out on the fun!

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Our 3 day activity for a Pluralsight 30 day subscription give away is kicking off today! You have the opportunity to support fellow Windows Phone developers with your feedback, promote apps that you particularly like and with a little luck you may win a Pluralsight 30 day subscription.

Application Category for today: Photo

What is your favorite  Windows Phone photo application? What makes it so appealing to you? Are you amazed by its user experience, its functionalities to share/modify pictures, how well it applies Metro or the overall design?

Notes about participation:

To participate in today’s give away; you only need to state your must-have Windows Phone photo application and briefly summarize, what you like most about it. You can share your feedback as a comment on this blog post until 8 PM PST today.

Today’s lucky number: 14

Around 8 PM PST I am going to approve all comments posted for this particular blog post. Comment #14 will win today’s Pluralsight 30 day subscription card and the winner can dive into Pluralsight’s amazing training content right away! Since submitted comments will not be available until 8PM PST, the number of posted comments will not be available until the participation time for today has ended. So there will be no chance for a quick peekaboo of already posted comments!

It probably would be a hard task to part with the conveniences of our smart-phones and numerous mobile apps, which make once time-consuming tasks so easy nowadays.  With all the great camera capabilities of current Windows Phones out there, we sometimes do not even bother to carry around our digital cameras any longer and just rely on our mobile phone to catch and share any random moment as a photo. Then we turn to all these helpful and fancy photo applications, which enable us to view, store, modify, share plus do so much more to pictures right there on our phone whenever we need and wherever we are. So why not take a few minutes to motivate a Windows Phone application developer with your comment on his/her photo application, which you use/enjoy so much? Don’t be shy, praise the hard-working Windows Phone developer(s) of your favorite photo app(s)!

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We all have our own methods of studying, learning and practicing newly acquired skills as developers. Luckily nowadays we are not limited only to written text or on-site trainings, but have so many great options like podcasts, webcasts and video tutorials, which we can utilize wherever we are based on our own time schedule.

When it comes to online developer/software training, again, we may all favor different sites. Yet my go to site for developer training has been Pluralsight for some time now. Currently I have 3 Pluralsight 30 day subscription cards, which I would like to offer in a give-away daily this week starting this Thursday, February 23rd. The winner will get a chance to discover the entire set of the hardcore developer training courses offered on the site. Pluralsight’s content is not only limited to .NET technologies, but there are courses for Facebook development, iOS, Java, JavaScript, CSS, Android etc.

What participants need to do:

To participate in most give-away contests aside from user tweets and Facebook likes, you have to find an answer to some random questions. Most of the time you may already have the answer, however thanks to search engines it is not that difficult of a task to find the info in mere seconds. So I decided to skip the knowledge-based questions altogether and try a different approach based solely on your individual feedback.

I would like to know, what Windows Phone application in a specific category you like the most and what you specifically enjoy about it. For example; why it is fun to use, why you could not live without it, which features of it stand out etc. You can provide as much detail as you want. You do not have to come up with an answer of 1000 words or whatsoever, but answers like “because AppABC is soooo awesome” or “AppXYZ blows my mind” would certainly not be sufficient.

Many many developers have already started or are starting out to code for Windows Phone and I would like to add even if it is only the tiniest bit of momentum to that movement. I plan to share all the feedback from participants on my blog. I may also feature certain applications in more detail, in case a single application gets numerous comments. We not all take the time to rate and/or review applications on the Windows Phone Marketplace and this activity would be chance to highlight some Windows Phone applications and specific features, which make them stand out.

Give-away Date/Time/Details:

The give-away is starting Thursday, February 23rd.

Day-1: Thursday, Feb 23rd

Day-2: Friday, Feb 24th

Day-3: Saturday, Feb 25th

Daily Timeline:

8 AM PST – 8 PM PST

My plan is to announce the actual application category for the day at 8 AM PST each day with a short blog post. You can check out some of the potential categories here. At the same time, I am going to select a random number X, let’s say from 1-20. You will be able to post comments on that blog post for 12 hours and I will approve all comments each day at 8PM PST. At that time I will check for comment #X, which has been posted between 8 AM and 8PM PST. The comment owner will win the Pluralsight 30 day subscription of the day. Certainly, if there are less than X comments, the last reader to comment will get the prize. But I do hope, that there is a good amount of  motivation for participation and discussion! The idea here is to collect developer feedback in order to promote developer work plus add fuel and inspiration to applications, that are still a work in progress. It is just supporting fellow developers through a simple activity!

For the curious Windows Phone enthusiast:

If you would like to check out the current Windows Phone training content on Pluralsight, here is a quick look:

Just by supporting your favorite Windows Phone apps with a comment, you will get a chance to win a 30 day Pluralsight subscription and check out their vast library of developer courses.

Good luck to all participants or should I simply say; all supporters of Windows Phone developers?

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Based on my latest Wikipedia wisdom, mango is the the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. With a little ambitious creativity, the phrase “cultivated” can be interpreted in two ways: The fruit is grown and produced or mangos are sophisticated, refined and well-educated. Yet to support the latter, we need a few facts.

Mango, as a fruit, has long been a symbol of  summer, but this fall it embraced a new role to embody sophistication as the latest Windows Phone Update! Custom ringtones, new speech commands, visual voicemails, linked inboxes, groups, enhanced social network integration, multitasking, even better live tiles, improved search + maps features and the list goes on and on. If you check out the videos on the update feature list page, you will soon discover, that there is sufficient evidence to state, that this fall the term “cultivated” simply translates to “sophisticated/refined” for the mango we are talking about!

Certainly this attempt of literary explanation may sound like a far reach for some of you. So let’s shift our focus to the excitement Mango has in store for Windows Phone developers. As I shared in my previous blog entry, there are numerous Windows Phone Camps taking place allover the country.  Participants get a full day of free training plus a chance to win a Windows Phone 7. But this is just the beginning; the surprises don’t stop here!


Windows Phone – Go Mango App Contest

Just recently, a new US-based contest has been announced: Go Mango! The contest will run from October 15th and December 31st. The APPortunities for Windows Phone developers are two-fold:

  • Every new Mango app you publish within the contest timeline will be entered to win 1 of 5 Samsung Series 7 slates.
  • When you publish 5 new apps, you will earn 1 entry to win free advertising for one app of your choice.

The free advertising will run on the Windows Phone Application Network for about 60 days and include 25K impressions.


The more Windows Phone Mango apps you get into the marketplace until the end of 2011, the more chances you will get to win. You can find the detailed contest rules here.


Windows Phone Ad Campaign

Another great offering for Windows Phone developers is the Windows Phone Advertising Campaign“Your app here” . The campaigns run from December 2011 to February 2012. The application submission deadline for the December campaign ended yesterday, October 25th; however there are still two more months, if you plan to submit your Windows Phone application.



Each month from December through February, up to seven apps will be selected and promoted in campaigns created and funded by Windows Phone. Selected apps will get an online banner and their ads will run across the MSN Network of sites. This campaign will deliver one million ad impressions for each app selected. To participate, your Windows Phone App

Besides these participation terms, your app should certainly be user-friendly and engaging, stick to Metro design principles and provide integration of App Connect if relevant.

You can explore great Metro tutorials on the .toolbox site. You may also want to check out the User Experience Design Guidelines for Windows Phone on MSDN. The Mango Jump Start Series on Channel 9 by Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are also quite informative, if you need a fast-paced deep-dive into Windows Phone Mango.


Fast Track to the Mobile App – Design Contest

This is a Windows Phone Design Contest organized by Core77 and Microsoft. The contest challenges participants to rethink “work everywhere” capabilities of smartphones. Participants are expected to create designs with maximized usability, productivity and integration features by utilizing the benefits and features of the Windows Phone Platform. The contest does not require any coding; a contest entry can consist of a Sketchflow mockup, images of the sketches and an optional video and/or presentation. The contest ends November 18th.



One of the contest taglines summarizes the constantly connected, mobilized life-style of today: “We’re looking for design that understands, your computer is no longer on your desk, it’s in your pocket.


Telerik Special Prize for Windows Phone Unleashed Apps

Though this may not be directly Mango news; it is still a great Windows Phone related activity. It may also motivate you to attend one of the Windows Phone Camps; there could always be new surprises for these latest round of developer events. Telerik has announced a Grand Prize for applications submitted by participants of the Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events. These events were organized by Microsoft and local developer communities. The Grand Prize winner will be announced Friday, October 28th. 



There will also be a special prize for a WP7  community app and you too can support fellow Windows Phone developers. Just click the tweet button placed under your favorite app until Thursday, October 27th; the tweet must include #telerikwp7prize in order to qualify.


Idea of the Week – Student Contest

Microsoft kicked off a new contest called “Idea of Week” for students on October 17th. The goal is to inspire students to come up with unique and original app ideas. You can find out more about the contest on the Windows Phone Developer blog; official rules are listed here. Submitted ideas can be tracked on twitter with the hashtag #wpappitup.


I Unlock Joy – Student Contest

A few months ago, Microsoft India launched the “I Unlock Joy” developer contest for students in India. The contest runs until December 18th.



Students, who get four of their submitted applications certified in AppHub, are eligibile to apply for a Windows Phone Developer Device. Detailed terms and conditions can be found here.


Icing on the Cake

What could top all these developer opportunities such as the free training at Windows Phone Camps, various contests to win cool prizes and free ad campaigns just for building Windows Phone apps, a Windows Phone design contest etc.? Probably a sign, that would provide further assurance, that developing for Windows Phone has a bright future?


Wait no longer; the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone has arrived. Just today, Nokia introduced Lumia, its first device build on the Windows Phone platform, at Nokia World 2011. They are launching an impressive marketing campaign, with the catchy tagline “The Amazing Everyday“.



My first phone was a Nokia, easy to use and sturdy as a brick. Over the years, I used various mobile phones, most of them Nokia devices. Aside my nostalgic bond, I believe, Lumia brings Nokia’s outstanding industrial design and Windows Phone’s elegant UI together. This is truly a stunning collaboration, which I wish to become highly successful. The attractive pricing strategy, prices ranging from 270 to 420 Euros, will also  play a key role in the adoption of Nokia’s first Windows Phone in the consumer market.


Nokia does not shy away from futuristic research, fast forward and your Windows Phone experience  may get you the flexible and twisted interface of the prototype Nokia Kinetic device:



This “fast forward” may have been too fast; but you get the idea. The future is exciting and bright. You can contribute to shape and enrich this future by building Windows Phone applications, which delight and fascinate the user.


Last minute bonus link: There is a contest to win a Nokia Lumia 800 on “the Amazing Everyday” Facebook page. Good luck!


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