Almost 4 month have passed since the release on the market of the Windows Phone devices. With now over 8,000 apps, a lot of code have been written. So many controls manufacturer have release controls for Windows Phone 7. Some are free and some not. But in the end the is now a good set of controls available on the market to help the developer to build nice and appealing application.
Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone (Free)
Recently, the Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone was update. This release provided some new controls and some improvement on the existing controls.
More information: http://www.jeff.wilcox.name/2011/02/feb2011-sl4wptk/
Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone (Paid)
Telerik is also providing some nice controls. Telerik provide nice transition and animation controls. We used some of those controls some of our recent project. They are currently in beta but they are working like RTM product. I had the chance to be in contact with the dev team to help us solving some issue in the beta and i can tell you that the team is really dedicated to provide the best controls.
- Application Frame
- Transition Controls
- many more
Sample App: zune://navigate/?phoneAppID=fd55f526-d6f7-df11-9264-00237de2db9e
Component Art (Paid)
Last week ComponentArt released a version of their Data Vizualisation for Windows phone. This set of controls looks very nice (i didn’t time to test the control, but i will review the controls in a couple of days). If you plan to create a dashboard with some Charts, Gauges, Maps, Gridviews, etc i suggest you to give a look at this set of controls.
Sample App: zune://navigate/?phoneAppID=e13ba532-242b-e011-854c-00237de2db9e
Coding4Fun Tookit (Free)
This open source project provide some nice feature that are not available in any other project. This project is a good complement and a good base for any Windows Phone project.
- About Prompt
- Input Prompt
- Progress Overlay
- Round Button
- Round Toggle Button
- Memory Counter
- TimeSpan Picker
- PhoneHelper for getting data out of the WMAppManifest file
- Boolean to Visibility
- String To Visibility
- Themed Image Converter
- Inversed Theme Image Converter
- Visibility to Boolean
This set of controls provide feature that help to work with MVVM Light. The feature are mostly behind the hood, like Cachine, Messaging, Service and some ui controls.
Download : http://wp7contrib.codeplex.com/
Developing application for Windows Phone 7 can now be done using some controls (without having to create them manually). Those controls provides rich visual and are easy to implement. So creating a portable dashboard for a sale department or a social network application is now an easy task with all those controls. So give it a try, like we did in our projects.
This weekend a group of person release the first beta version of the WP7Contrib component. This component provide some helper which help simplify WP7 development. They also included some UI controls.
This component is build to work seamlessly with MVVMLight. They integrated some other framework like JSON.NET, Silverlight Serializer and Reactive Extensions for .NET (Rx).
Let give a try: http://wp7contrib.codeplex.com/
When we develop an application for Windows Phone 7. One of the problem that a developer will face at the most is the circular navigation. On the phone, the navigation service handle the stack used by the back button. So each time we call the method Navigate of the NavigationService, a new entry is stored in the stack. On the other side there are some rules that a developer must follow to pass the certification on the Marketplace:
- circular navigation is not allowed
- the back button on the home page must exit the application.
There is some times that the scenarios doesn’t fit the rules for the Marketplace. So we end up more often with a circular navigation. Also which doesn’t help, it’s that we don’t have access to modify the navigation stack. This issue probably occurred very often in the certification process. First because, the developer did look at the Requirement documentation before creating his application. And second, because there is some times that the limitation doesn’t give us much choice.
(Image taken from the Windows Phone team blog)
So Microsoft listen and provide us with a solution. I’m glad because i had to use it in one of our application recently. The solution is pretty simple, we have to add a class in our application. Instantiate that class in the App class (App.xaml.cs). After what, we continue to handle the navigation as usual, but if we forgot to handle the back navigation or we face a scenario where we cannot handle the back navigation properly, we just have to navigate to the desired page (ex: navigate to the home page). At that time, if the class identify a circular navigation it will automatically handle the back navigation for us until we end up to the specified page.
But don’t be to lazy, and don’t rely on that mechanism. You should be aware of the Marketplace requirement first and follow them. But if in a specific case you don’t have a choice then you have a solution.
Get the code:
Get more information about the non-linear navigation:
I hope this will help you.
Last week finalized the implementation for the support of Visual Basic for the Windows Phone Developer Tools. So now any developer with Visual Basic background can now build Windows Phone application (and Game based on Silverlight).
So to be able to start building Windows Phone application with Visual Basic you need to have Visual Studio 2010 Pro or higher (at this time Visual Studio 2010 Express is not supported). You also require the Windows Phone Developer Tools and the addon for the support of Visual Basic (download here)
For more information, you can read the official post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog here.
Have a good time developing Windows Phone 7 application!
Join us at the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Briefing for Developers!
Want to learn how to create awesome applications and games for Windows Phone 7?
Want to extend your existing apps onto a new platform?
Want recognition, exposure, and reach in an untapped marketplace?
RunAtServer will be presenting this Windows Phone 7 Briefing on behalf of Microsoft, you will learn more about developing on it’s latest mobile platform. The briefing will cover three sessions exploring the two application frameworks available for Windows Phone 7, where to find developer resources, how to submit apps into Marketplace, and much more!
6:00pm - 7:00pm - Apps with Silverlight
7:15pm - 8:15pm - Games with XNA
8:30pm - 9:00pm - Next Steps
360 Rue St Antoine W
Montréal (Québec) H2Y 3X4
Ottawa, On – November 30, 2010
Calgary, AB – December 01 2010
Mississauga, On – December 2010
Montreal, QC – December 7 2010
Toronto, On – December 9 2010
See you there!