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Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Less than two months until the Microsoft Ignite conference! There is still some time for registration to secure your spot at the event, where you can meet the best and brightest minds to talk about cloud infrastructure and management, productivity, big data and the internet of things, unified communications, mobility and so much more.

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Especially as a developer, Ignite will give you the opportunity to network with developers from around the world working on various platforms. You will get to dive into multi-device multi-platform focused sessions and get world-class training plus practical tips from experts.

The session list is available, in case you need some more convincing to attend. The list does not just include topic details, but speaker info, if you are looking forward to catch a particular presentation. Some of the featured Microsoft speakers are Satya Nadella, CEO, Dave Campbell, Cloud & Enterprise CTO, Gurdeep Singh Pall, Skype Corporate Vice President, Brad Anderson, Enterprise Client & Mobility Corporate Vice President, Joe Belfiore, PC Tablet and Phone Corporate Vice President and Peggy Johnson, Business Development, Executive Vice President.

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If you are ready to make your plans for Ignite, you can find insider info on the Ignite Forums on Channel 9. There is also a Knowledge Based available for Ignite on UserVoice, where you can quickly find out information about the event agenda, transportation, hotels, map, attendee parties etc.

The Microsoft Ignite Countdown also contains valuable, up-to-date and fun info. The latest video, “The One About Breaking In Shoes Now, Wrigley Field, Navy Pier and Buddy Guy’s Legends“, answers many forum questions and has tips for first-time conference and Chicago visitors.

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Make sure not to miss the countdown videos!

As a surprise bonus; if you were planning to get Microsoft certified, all Microsoft certifications will be offered for %50 off the regular price for all registered Ignite attendees. Don’t forget to pre-register!

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Last but not least, check out the Ignite Facebook page and Ignite Twitter feed for the latest updates!

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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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While rushing from one XAML session to another at BUILD, I also tried to attend a few HTML5/Javascript/CSS sessions. Today I also made it into the super-crowded “Progressively enable the mobile web with ASP.NET MVC 4, HTML5, and jQuery Mobile” session presented by Phil Haack. The presentation was very informative and I decided to share some of the links and details about the discussed topics.



The session mainly focused on the following topics in ASP.NET MVC 4:

  • How to use the HTML5 viewport attribute and adaptive rendering to improve display on mobile devices
  • How to create mobile-specific views
  • How to create a view switcher that lets users toggle between a mobile view and a desktop view of the application



Useful Terms

ViewPort Meta Tag:

Mobile browsers define a virtual browser window width (the viewport), which can be larger than the actual width of the mobile device. The viewport <meta> tag in the ASP.NET MVC 4 layout file sets the viewport to the device width. This tag can be used in any web application and is not ASP.NET MVC 4 specific.

The following line shows the viewport <meta> tag in the ASP.NET MVC 4 layout file: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width”>

Mobile-specific views

ASP.NET MVC 4 provides a new feature with which you can override layout and partial views for mobile browsers as well as specific browsers. If you need a different view for the mobile browser, you simply copy a view file and add .Mobile to the file name. Then you need to create a mobile-specific view. I provided a link to a sample on ASP.NET/MVC , which outlines the entire process in detail.

MvcHaack.ViewMobilizer: 

This is a package for easily converting views to mobile, when creating mobile-specific views. This package should be available through the new Recipes feature for ASP.NET MVC 4, which can be installed using NuGet.

Jquery Mobile

This library provides a user interface framework that works on all the major mobile browsers; it applies progressive enhancement to mobile browsers that support CSS and JavaScript. With progressive enhancement, all browsers may display the basic content of a web page, however more powerful browsers and devices may display an enhanced version of the page with its actual rich feature-set. The jQuery Mobile’s Javascript and CSS files can style many elements especially for mobile browsers and without any further markup changes.

You can install JQuery.Mobile.MVC  for ASP.NET MVC 4 as a NuGet package.

View-Switcher:

This is a partial view, which provides a link at the top of each page to switch from desktop view to mobile view and vice versa. The desktop layout does not include a view switcher by default, so there is no link to browse to the mobile version of a view from the desktop layout.


Useful Links

Download link for ASP.NET MVC 4 Developer Preview:

http://www.asp.net/mvc/mvc4

Release Notes for ASP.NET MVC 4:

http://www.asp.net/learn/whitepapers/mvc4-release-notes

Link to ASP.NET MVC RoadMap:

http://aspnet.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=ASP.NET%20MVC%204%20RoadMap

Sample to follow along (sample files available for download):

http://www.asp.net/mvc/tutorials/aspnet-mvc-4-mobile-features

Download link for Windows Phone SDK 7.1 (for the emulator):

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=27153

Install NuGet for ASP.NET MVC4 recipes:

http://docs.nuget.org/docs/start-here/installing-nuget


On a side note:

I started off web development with HTML and in-house Javascript libraries, then moved to Java/JSP and even did some development with Grails. Grails delivers developer productivity by applying principles like Convention over Configuration and it is built based on the MVC paradigm. It provides view templates, scaffolding, dynamic tag libraries etc. I am not quite certain about the underlying factors, it may be Java and Grails, which make me feel so sympathetic towards ASP.NET MVC. It is surely different from my relation with ASP.NET Web forms; which ever so often gets the cold shoulder from me.

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