This is post 13 of 31 in the series “A Cloudy 29 Days of Microsoft Azure” In this column we are going to discuss the difference between Mobile Apps and Azure Mobile Services,. Azure Mobile Services allows you to add a cloud-hosted scalable backend to your connected apps within minutes. Whether you’re building apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS or Android you can take advantage of the Azure cloud to streamline your data and provide a robust, reliable and cost-effective platform to support your application. Mobile Services has been around since 2012 when it was in preview, and has seen many version updates and…
Those who know me, know I love sensors, and doing things with sensors. I’ve published many posts on accessing the various sensors on the Microsoft Band: Accelerometer & Gyroscope, Ultraviolet, Skin Temperature, and Galvanic Skin Response. One subject that I haven’t gotten to is the heart rate sensor. I’ve also started to publish a few IoT posts. For this post, I thought it would be fun to integrate the Band’s heart rate sensor with a Particle Photon so you can visualize your heart rate with an RGB LED. The LED pulses at the same rate as your heart and will shift…
I recently needed the ability to combine two images on Windows Phone 8.1 (WinRT not Silverlight) so that one overlays the other, like a watermark. Because the watermark image was a fixed size and dimension, we also needed to make sure that the photo being merged shared the same aspect ratio (in this case a square). Although I found many examples for cropping and blending in Silverlight, Windows 8.1, and Win32 (GDI+), none of them apply to Windows Phone 8.1 as it omits many of the required libraries and references. One solution often suggested is to use XAML to layer…
Just released to the Windows Phone store from Falafel Software, Movies With is an app for searching and discovering movies featuring your favorite actors. Saw a movie with a new actor you really enjoyed? Use Movies With to find more movies they’ve done! You can even ask Cortana for help, just say “Movies With” followed by your favorite actor, director, composer or more and she’ll launch you right into the app to find more. Love the soundtrack from the latest animated feature, or enjoyed the chilling film score from that last scary move? Find more movies featuring that composer….
I’m continuing my Microsoft Band exploration by investigating the skin temperature sensor. Just like the pervious Band sensors I’ve already covered, the accelerometer and the ultraviolet sensors, the skin temperature sensor follows the same general pattern. Connect to the band. Set up an event handler to sensor ReadingChanged event. Start the process of reading the sensor by calling the StartReadingsAsync() function. Read the sensor value from the event args SensorReading property. Here is the code snippet to accomplish this:
using (IBandClient bandClient = await BandClientManager.Instance.ConnectAsync(pairedBands))
bandClient.SensorManager.SkinTemperature.ReadingChanged += SkinTemperature_ReadingChanged;
The ReadingChanged event handler returns the value of the skin temperature sensor in Celsius. Also included in the event args…
Microsoft just released the Microsoft Band SDK Preview and I’m excited. Just like with any other electronic gadget, I’m interested in the sensors. The Band is stuffed full of sensors, but the first ones I want to look at are the accelerometers and gyroscopes. From the preview site you can download samples for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. You also need the documentation. To get started with my sensors investigation, I downloaded the Windows Phone sample code and followed the instructions here to get started with my own project. Accessing the accelerometers and gyroscopes is easy and follows a familiar…
In my continuing desire to explore the capability of Unity accessing the device sensors, I’m exploring the gyroscope. The gyroscope is an instrument that is used to measure the change in rotation along its axis. The first versions of this instrument started off as large and heavy mechanical tops, then progressed to very small MEMS that can now fit into our phones. To demonstrate the gyroscope I’ll use the same code base that I’ve been using in my previous Unity posts; Unity Accelerometer Device Attitude Alignment and Displaying the Device Compass in Unity. So you’ll see the device orientation cubes…
MVVM Light is a simple yet powerful framework for developing apps, and with the latest version 5 includes a new cross-platform NavigationService to aid in abstracting the navigation component of your apps. However, looking at the implementation of the INavigationService interface, there is no property available to support the idea of CanGoBack, which is important for devices like Windows Phone that include a back button. The default code that gets generated for the HardwareButtons.BackPressed event relies on the Windows implementation of NavigationService, which does have such a property, as shown in this example:
void HardwareButtons_BackPressed(object sender, Windows.Phone.UI.Input.BackPressedEventArgs e)
//Indicate the back button press is handled so the app does not exit
e.Handled = true;
However since we’re using the MVVM Light version, we need a…
I’m working on a project using the new Telerik UI for Windows Universal, specifically the Rating control. This control is highly customizable, supporting different shapes and symbols, and is surprisingly easy to modify. In my case, I was satisfied with the default Star symbol, but needed to modify the color. I expected to see this as a simple property of the Rating control itself, but didn’t see one available in the Properties window nor via Intellisense. It turns out that the Rating control is a templated control, which is much more flexible than a simple property, as it allows you to intuitively specify different…
I was recently asked to create a Telerik Chart (RadCartesianChart) with an AreaSeries. This chart had a Grid Line Annotation marking the series’ average value, and the designer wanted the stroke of the AreaSeries to be one color above the average line and a different color below. The end result needed to resemble this: Telerik had no official guidance for accomplishing this design goal with their charting component. However, since this was XAML, I realized that I could just use a LinearGradientBrush for the Stroke of the series, as long as I could calculate the gradient stops. Normally, a Gradient…
Back in March I helped my Nokia buddies out with the DVLUP Days 2014 North American Tour in Dallas. During one of the sessions, I got introduced to Unity. From my numerous posts about XNA and most recently about Open GL, you can’t be surprised I went to that session. From my previous XNA work you can see that I’m deeply interested in the AR aspect of mobile devices. To do that, however, you need access to the device hardware. With Unity being a cross-platform framework, I was not hopeful that this would end up being an easy task. My…
Late last year, Microsoft merged the developer accounts (Dev Center) for Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. For a single fee of $19/year (individuals) or $99/year (companies), developers could submit apps to to either store, but accounts had to be renewed annually to maintain the store listings. Today, Microsoft has gone a step further and removed the need for the annual renewal. All active Dev Center registrations are now “lifetime” accounts that will never expire. The registration fees for new accounts remain at $19 and $99 (and are also good forever). The Windows Dev Center Dashboard has been updated to reflect this change…
Abstract If you are starting a project and ready to add a few Cordova API plugins, you have many choices to choose from. If you’ve tried to add a custom plugin to your Multi-Device Hybrid app, you might have noticed there is no easy way to do that. In this post I will show you how that can be done. Background Cordova has moved into a modular design starting with version 3. For example, to call the device.version API, you need to include the Device plugin into your project. It also supports two different ways to add and remove plugins, depending…
I was happy to receive the latest Windows Phone 8.1 update on my 1520. This update brings it up to OS version: 8.10.14157.200 The SensorCore SDK gives you access to a step counter, activity information, and capabilities to record your location data in a very low power mode. I’ve know for some time that the SensorCore hardware was present in my 1520 but that it was not enabled. I had to make due with a preview version of a Nokia 635 to play with the SensorCore API. With the latest cyan update, I’ve finally got access to the SensorCore hardware on my…
One of the things I’m learning as I’m settling into my #2520orBust challenge, is picking which challenges I’m going to tackle on DVLUP.com. You have to consider the requirements of the challenge and the due dates. You also have to consider the amount of free time you have to devote to the challenge. For me, that’s not much time. So, I’m looking at the low hanging fruit right now. The next challenge on my list is the “New App Special“. It’s 250 pts, and I’ve got until the end of August. The app I have in mind is a lux…
In my other life, I fence with swords. My wife and I also run fencing tournaments. We are known for running a tight ship and keeping things moving along. I hate starting events late, and I hate events running long. Even when you prearrange everything up front, your best plans can be blown apart with simple equipment failure. It’s good practice to have a simple timer for timing the fencing bouts. Several smart phone apps allow you to track all aspects of a fencing bout, like time, score, penalty cards, match count, and injury timer. All of this is represented…
The previous post Cross-Platform Apps with Xamarin Forms and Azure Mobile Services demonstrated a simple Xamarin forms app to store and manage rebates. However, there were a few issues that impeded the user experience that should be polished up.
Specifically, there are some discrepancies between the different platforms, such as different font sizes as well as a missing Page title on the Windows Phone version.
Today we’ll look at how we can create and use page resources to create device-specific properties allowing us to update the Rebate Reminder app to create a more unified user experience.
We last looked at how you can use Xamarin to port an App Studio Universal App to Android by making a few changes to the PCL that it generates. This time we’ll try to do the same thing with a Windows Phone 8 Silverlight version of the same app.
Microsoft’s App Studio is a fantastic tool to help you design and generate applications for Windows Phone as well as Universal Apps for both the phone and Windows. The online interface allows you to add content like RSS feeds, Facebook pages, Flicker photos and more with a few clicks, generating a complete Visual Studio solution that can immediately be launched on the phone or desktop.
Today we’ll look at how we can enhance the App Studio solution’s Portable Class Library so that we can use Xamarin to add an Android version of the app.
Although I didn’t have the honor of attending Build this year (someday!!), I thought I’d do the next best thing and grab the latest bits and get my feet wet with the new Universal apps for Windows and Windows Phone, available with the newly released Visual Studio Update 2 RC. The installer ran without a hitch, and after a quick reboot I was up and running, though as far as I can tell nothing significant in the UI has changed. I was worried I would first need to install the Windows 8.1 Update as well, but apparently this is either…
Falafel Software and Apress Media team up to deliver a new book on Windows Phone 8 development. Capitola, CA September 3, 2013 – Falafel Software is pleased to announce that its latest book, “Pro Windows Phone App Development,” has been released and is available through Apress Media. The 560 page development guide walks readers through the entire application development process, starting with an explanation of the basic requirements of a modern Windows Phone app and progressing through app creation and submission to the Windows Phone store. “Working on this book was a lot of fun” said Noel Rice, VP of…
Tech influencer and former Microsoft and Telerik evangelist Jesse Liberty joins Falafel Software. Capitola, CA August 29, 2013 – Today, Falafel Software is proud to announce and welcome Jesse Liberty to the team as a Master Consultant. Liberty is an esteemed author of numerous popular software development books and Pluralsight courses, a regular blogger and conference speaker, and the host of the popular “Yet Another Podcast” where he hosts “Intelligent Technical Conversations” weekly. In his new role, Liberty will supply hands on software development assistance to Falafel Software customers and take over several of Falafel’s online training courses. “I am…
Building our EventBoard mobile solution for conferences was no easy task. The solution includes native applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8, Windows Azure cloud services, a web based administration portal, and a separate product website. Thankfully, we were able to use the tools from Telerik in nearly every facet of development. The tools saved us time and money, and now Telerik has featured our development story in a detailed case study. You can read all about what it took to build EventBoard here.
Falafel Software’s mobile conference solution EventBoard, has been chosen as the official application of the Microsoft MVP Summit. The Microsoft MVP Award is given to technical experts who actively participate in the community, sharing both their knowledge and enthusiasm for Microsoft products. For 20 years, it has remained one of the most difficult awards to earn and wearing the badge of an MVP has signified supreme technical excellence with Microsoft technologies. Each year, every MVP from around the world is invited to Microsoft headquarters for the MVP Summit. This private event gives MVPs early and direct access to the technology…