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Behind the Windows 8 Ball.

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For the past month I have been looking at converting one of my WP7 apps to Metro to run under Windows 8. The actual process of creating a new Windows 8 app is trivial, there are many templates to help in the process. Of course, I was going from an existing app and trying to leverage some of the new features in Windows 8.

The first hurdle was the lack of Pivot and WrapPanel in Windows 8. The Pivot was not a big issue, because it was restrictive on the design and I was forced by Windows 8 to rethink the design. Both were not show stoppers, but they did make me rethink the design. The WP7 design was a Pivot with a secondary page using a WrapPanel for input. The app itself was a means of tracking the results of challenges given during a presentation. In addition to the entry screen, there was a leader board. The new design involves using the leaderboard as the main screen because Windows 8 gives more options on how the screen looks. I am no longer restricted to a basic Pivot.

The second hurdle was getting use to where things are in a Windows 8 solution. Not hard to do, but it did take time.

The third hurdle was the morphing of Resx files to ResW files. Creating the ResW files was just a matter of creating empty files and doing a copy and paste from the ResX files. Luckily, you can select all rows in ResX and use a single paste to ResW. Then there was a bit of time needed to change the format of  how the RexW files are acccessed.

Windows 8 has more possibilites, but there is a lot to consider when designing for it. How do you handle full screen, portrait mode or split? The screen has far more real estate than the phone. You no longer are limited to Isolated Storage, so you have more options in how you handle your data.

John Marshall… Visio MVP


Written by johnvisiomvp

June 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

WP7 Microsoft too straight laced?

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For the latest round of updates to my apps, I was exploring the use of ads. So I was not surprised that one of the apps failed, but I was surprised by the reason. Acording to the report I was in violation of policy 3.7 “Certain types of Illegal Activity” and the comment said “This application facilitates gambling and cheating at it which is in violation of policy 3.7”.

The app was one I created as part of a studygroup to learn some of the features of the phone. It was basically a version of Liar’s Dice where you roll a set of poker dice, hide the outcome from your opponent and try and claim a higher result. Your opponent can then challenge you by calling you a liar. Yes, it is gambling related and yes, it involves cheating, but that is the nature of the game.

The app did its’ intended purpose and I did learn how to use Blend for the graphics, how to handle orientation, how to shake the phone to make the dice roll, how to keep the dice from rolling while passing the phone and a number of other features.

I guess any app that promotes politics would fail since politics does involve a lot of cheating. Not all parties can be correct, someone must be cheating.

Of course, they did not remove the first version of my app and there is another app for Liar’s Dice that made it through the approval process to the marketplace. So rather than collect ad revenue I will have to be content with the half dozen people who fork over the $0.99 for the app.

John Marshall… Visio MVP

Written by johnvisiomvp

May 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm