Windows Phone 7

just us cafe

We’re holding a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code in Halifax on Thursday, November 4th at Just Us! Café (1678 Barrington Street) from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.. Come join us and learn about Windows Phone 7, see a Windows Phone and even try deploying apps to it!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Two New Books for Windows Phone 7 Developers

by Joey deVilla on November 1, 2010

Free Ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7

Cover of "Programming Windows Phone 7"

Charles Petzold literally wrote the book on Windows development, and he’s now doing it for Windows Phone 7. Programming Windows Phone 7 is published by Microsoft Press and covers Windows Phone 7 development from many angles: building apps with Silverlight, making games with XNA and making your programs even better by accessing online services.

Windows Phone is a lot of ground to cover, so the book is sized to match. Petzold’s been working on it since at least the start of the year and it shows – it’s over 1,000 pages on our favourite mobile operating system! Luckily, this book is free-as-in-beer: that’s right, you can download it in ebook form, along with the sample code, for no money at all. If you’re looking to seriously get into Windows Phone 7 development, you should have this book.

Downloads for Programming Windows Phone 7

XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example

Cover of "XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example"

Survey after survey shows that games are the most popular mobile phone apps, and Windows Phone is really good at games, and not just from the user’s point of view. The XNA framework, available to Windows Phone developers, takes Windows Phone 7 beyond mere informational apps – it’s like having an Xbox in your pocket!

XNA is also more than just about Windows Phone – it’s also for developing games for Windows and the Xbox 360. Better still, it lets you target three platforms – desktop, console and phone – with a single codebase and tweaks specifically for each platform. If you want to write games and reach a wide audience, XNA is your ticket.

Packt Publishing’s XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example is a great way to get started with XNA programming. It walks you through the development of four games, each from a different genre:

  • Flood Control, a timed puzzle game where you have to quickly assemble pipes before time runs out and water flows through them
  • Asteroid Belt Assault, a 2-D shooter that classic 80’s arcade gamers will find familiar
  • Robot Rampage, a tank game featuring multi-axis controls, a scrolling world, particle effects and enemy AI
  • Gemstone Hunter, which takes the Platformer Starter Kit to new levels

I just got the book, and have only done the most cursory of scans, but I’ve already picked up a few ideas for how to implement features in my games. If you’re looking to do game development for Windows Phone and beyond, this is a great starter book!

Get XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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What I’m Up To This Week

by Joey deVilla on October 25, 2010

It’s going to be a busy week for Yours Truly…

Monday: Windows Phone Deployment Clinic

monday - windows phone deployment clinic

On Monday, I’ll be helping out at the Windows Phone Deployment Clinic at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga (1950 Meadowvale Boulevard, off Mississauga Road, north of Highway 401), where you can book some time to test your apps on a real Windows Phone 7 device. If you’ve got an app and you’re going to be in the area, drop me a line and book an appointment!

(By the bye, that thing I’m standing beside in the photo above is a promo device known colloquially as the “Big-Ass Phone”.)

Tuesday: AndroidTO and TechDays Setup

tuesday - androidto techdays

On Tuesday, I’ll be spending some time at the AndroidTO conference, a gathering of Android developers, where I’ll be minding the Windows Phone 7 booth. Yes, that’s right, Microsoft is a gold sponsor at an Android conference. Why? Because:

  • We feel that if you’re an Android developer, go ahead an build Android apps, but expand your market reach by developing for Windows Phone 7 too! The programming languages and layout markup are similar.
  • If you’re an Android developer, what’s the best OS for doing development? We think it’s Windows 7, which is a great environment for Java. Loads of great Java dev tools run on Windows, and we don’t consider Java to be deprecated.

AndroidTO takes place at the Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley Street, just south of College), is free-as-in-beer, and is alas, completely booked solid.

I’ll also be doing some setup for TechDays Toronto, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday: TechDays Toronto and Go DEVMental

wednesday - techdays godevmental

Wednesday brings with it TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country tech conference: two days of great sessions for developers and IT pros who are building stuff with the Microsoft stack. I’m the guy who picked the content for both developer tracks, “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” and “Optimizing the Development Process”. I strove for the best mix of both technology-specific stuff like Mark Arteaga’s Windows Phone 7 sessions and Kate Gregory’s Windows API Code Pack presentation as well as practice-of-programming sessions such as “Top 10 Mistakes in Unit Testing” and “Branching and Merging Strategies”. TechDays will occupy me from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m..

From 7 p.m. on, it’ll be Go DEVMental, the student event where we’ll show university and college students what’s possible with Microsoft’s web and mobile platforms. I’ll be doing a presentation on getting starting with game development for Windows Phone with an amusing little live-coded game called “BieberSmash”, starring the bubblegum pop idol of the moment. Go DEVMental is free and open to post-secondary students – just bring your student ID! You’ll get all sorts of goodies, including a DreamSpark token and Visual Studio 2010 Pro.

Both TechDays and GoDEVMental take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building (222 Bremner Boulevard, right beside the CN Tower).

Thursday: TechDays, Day 2

thursday - techdays day 2

Thursday means another full day of the TechDays conference, to be followed by some very strong whiskey-based drinks.

Friday: Coffee and Code

friday - coffee and code

I’ll be running a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code this Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Timothy’s at 225 Front Street West (in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre building). I’ll be hanging out at the cafe, working on Windows Phone 7 code on both the emulator and real Windows Phone devices. Want to learn more about Windows Phone 7, see a real-live phone, play some games or test your code? Come on down!

Saturday: ACSE Conference

saturday - acse conference

University of Toronto computer science prof Steve Engels invited me to speak in front of a group of high school teachers at the ACSE (Association for Computer Studies Educators) Conference taking place on Saturday. I’m going to be showing them programming for high school students on Windows Phone as well as with the Kodu game development environment.

…and Sunday?

sunday - zzzzz

Well, it won’t be all sleep. I’ll have to pack for my Monday flight to TechDays Halifax!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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31 Days of Windows Phone 7

by Joey deVilla on October 17, 2010

"31 Days of Windows Phone 7": Windows Phone showing the calendar for the month of October

Keep an eye on Jeff Blankenburg’s blog for the rest of the month! Every day in October, he’s posting an article on Windows Phone 7 development in a series called 31 Days of Windows Phone 7.

As of this writing, he’s posted these articles:

Jeff talked about his “31 Days” series (previous;y, he did a 31 Days of Silverlight series and 28 Days of Did-You-Knows in Technology one as well) on show 5 of Silverlight guru Jesse Liberty’s podcast.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Got a Windows Phone 7 App? Let Joey Know!

by Joey deVilla on October 12, 2010

contact joey

Are you a Canadian developer working on a Windows Phone 7 app that’s done or nearly done? We want to help you get a head start on everyone else. Contact me – Joey deVilla – by Monday, October 18th (and sooner is better) and let’s see what we can do to make your app one of the first in Windows Phone Marketplace!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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coffee and code

Just a reminder: there are a couple of Coffee and Codes this week…

  • Ottawa: Join developer/trainer Colin Melia and IT Pro Evangelist/destroyer-of-technology Rick Claus as they set up office on Thursday, October 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Bridgehead Coffee House at 109 Bank Street (at Albert). They’ll have some WP7 devices that you can deploy apps to, and you can ask them questions about Windows Phone 7. Colin will field the developer questions while Rick will handle your “How does this fit into the enterprise?” inquiries.
  • Toronto: Join yours truly, Joey deVilla, at the Starbucks at King and Yonge, where I’ll be on Thursday, October 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. I’ll have a WP7 device you can deploy apps to, and if you’re working on an app and think you have have it done by Monday the 18th, you will really want to drop by and talk to me!

Come on down, see a real live Windows Phone up close and personal and deploy your apps to it!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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deployment opportunities

You’re building apps for Windows Phone 7. You’ve tested them as much as you can on the emulator. You now need to test them on a real device. We can help!

Getting your hands on a Windows Phone is a very hard thing to do. Even those of us who work inside the company are having trouble getting our hands on them because there just aren’t enough advance devices to go around. We have a small pool of phones and a big number of people who need to test their apps on them, so we’ve had to get creative in order to help people test.

First, there’s Coffee and Code. Coffee and Code has traditionally been an event where we take advantage of our mobile worker status and work out of a café, where we’re easily accessible. Lately, we’ve been using them as a chance for you to drop by, impromptu, take a look at our Windows Phones and even deploy apps to them for some quick testing. These are pretty informal, with no appointment required, and first-come-first-serve.

Then, there are the Deployment Clinics. These are a little more structured – you book an appointment to drop by one of Microsoft Canada’s offices and spend some quality just-you-and-your-app time with a Windows Phone. You have to book time in advance, and you have the phone all to yourself for the appointment.

Take advantage of these opportunities to test your WP7 apps on a real phone!

Here’s the schedule for the upcoming Coffee and Code and Deployment Clinics:

What When Where
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 14
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ottawa
Bridgehead Coffee
109 Bank Street (at Albert)
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 14
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, October 15 Downtown Toronto
Microsoft office
Ernst & Young Tower,
TD Centre, 12th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 21
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Monday, October 25 Mississauga
Microsoft Office
1950 Meadowvale Blvd
(Off Mississauga Road, just north of Highway 401)
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Wednesday, October 27 Vancouver
Microsoft Office
1111 W. Georgia, 11th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Friday, October 29
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Timothy’s
255 Front Street West
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 4
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Halifax
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 11
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ottawa
Location TBD
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, November 12 Montreal
Microsoft Office
2000 Ave McGill College,
4th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 18
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, November 19
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Montreal
Microsoft Office
2000 Ave McGill College,
4th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 25
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Montreal
Location TBD
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Monday, November 29 Ottawa
Microsoft Office
World Exchange Plaza (100 Queen Street), 5th floor
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Wednesday, December 1 Calgary
Microsoft Office
Atlus Centre (500 – 4th Ave. SW), 19th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 2
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, December 3 Calgary
Microsoft Office
Altius Centre (500 – 4th Ave. SW), 19th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 9
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Winnipeg
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 9
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 16
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Calgary
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 16
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge

To book an appointment, drop Samantha Wong a line and she’ll set you up.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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