Category Archives: AppHub

Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 (Beta) install

[Updated 25-May-2011]

Introduction
The beta of the ‘Mango’ Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 is ready for download here: vm_web2.exe (the installer). I thought it would appear here App Hub Downloads but apparently not so far [UPDATE: download page has been refreshed]. If you have not done so you will also want to register here App Hub.
 
Final release announced on all devices in the Fall 2011. Mango developer devices to ship on July 19th. We will track the progress in this blog article until the final release.
 
Download and Install
 
You will need to exit Visual Studio and Zune applications before the installation will proceed. The full download looks to be 491 MB. You will also need VS2010 SP1 just as for the Silverlight 5 Beta.
Mango - Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 (Beta)
Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 (Beta) Mango!

Some of the consumer features:

  • Smarter Apps & Live Tiles
  • Groups
  • Local Scout
  • App Connect
  • Internet Explorer 9
  • Threads
  • Multi-tasking
  • People-centric pictures
  • Quick Cards
  • Enhanced Hubs

    Mango - Internet Beyond the browser

    Mango - Internet Beyond the browser

 New API’s in Silverlight for Windows Phone OS 7.1 on MSDN Library – its big, very big!

New Visual Studio Project Templates

Go open up VS2010 ‘New Project’ and…

Silverlight for Windows Phone templates

Silverlight for Windows Phone templates

 Also XNA…

XNA templates

XNA templates

Emulator Language Support
 
Full list is here! Now that is a whole lot better than before.
 
As promised, lots more display languages show up in the settings of the emulator, plenty more regional setting and system locales, at last…
Mango Emulator Display Languages
Mango Emulator Display Languages

Plenty more…

Many more display languages in Mango
Many more display languages in Mango

And here is an example of a warm Dutch welcome to the settings page Mango style… 

Windows Phone Settings in Dutch NL
Windows Phone Settings in Dutch NL
 And if you so desire here is IE9 in the emulator running Bing search under the chinese zh-MO system setting…
WP7 Mango IE Bing Search in chinese zh-MO

WP7 Mango IE Bing Search in chinese zh-MO apparently

 
Feedback
Good things…
 
Gotchas…
 
Further things to do

We will update this blog article with news, bug details, resources links and feedback as it becomes available.

Conclusion
This article is a brief guide to download the ‘Mango’ Microsoft Windoes Phone Developer Tools 7.1 (Beta) released on 24th May 2011.
 
Any comments or request for future topics are welcome.
 

Xpert360 PivotViewer Blog Article Index

[Last updated: 2011-06-22]
Introduction
This post is intended to be a landing place to bring together links to our growing collection of PivotViewer articles in one place. We will update this article to reflect new blog posts and other useful links.
If you are not familiar with overriding the Silverlight PivotViewer control’s OnApplyTemplate() method then I recommend taking the time to work through the posts in the ‘Adventures with PivotViewer’ series and build up your portfolio of customization skills.
These articles are based on the version of the control shipped separately from the Silverlight 4 SDK. We will update and extend articles with information relevant to Silverlight 5 SDK as they become available. If you are already customizing your PivotViewer experience then dive right in:
Adventures with PivotViewer
PivotViewer Shorts
PivotViewer Miscellaneous
Examples on the Internet
Further things to do and resources
Conclusion
This article is an anchor page to our blog articles concerning the Silverlight PivotViewer control. There are a range of articles topics and technical levels. Some target the developer who is ready to start customizing the Silverlight PivotViewer control beyond the documented public API, whilst others show examples of what can be achieved.
Any comments or request for future topics are welcome.

MIX11 OpenCall Voting – Session picker

MIX11 PivotViewer Sessions containing Geolocation

MIX11 PivotViewer Sessions containing Geolocation

We are really looking forward to MIX11 and with 207 sessions to choose from, we decided to take a couple of hours and put together a Pivot collection to provide a little help with narrowing down exactly which sessions you want to vote for.

Run the Silverlight MIX11 OPEN CALL application. As with all silverlight apps, works fine on most browsers and OS.

MIX11 PivotViewer Sessions on Razor

MIX11 PivotViewer Sessions on Razor

MIX11 PivotViewer Session Speakers

MIX11 PivotViewer Session Speakers

Adventures with PivotViewer Part 8: Filter pane tooltips

Introduction
Adding tooltips to the left side filter pane not surprisingly requires the use of a customized PivotViewer control:
You should be familiar with the following line of code to get the CollectionViewerView from earlier blog posts and samples.
CollectionViewerView cvv =
((CollectionViewerView)((Grid)
this.GetTemplateChild(“PART_Container”)).Children[0]);
If you are not familiar with this then I would recommend taking the time to work through the other posts in this series and build up you portfolio of PivotViewer customization skills.

Locating the UI Elements and attaching ToolTips
Tooltips can be set on controls in code behind using the ToolTipService. Normally you might use the ToolTip attached property of the ToolTipService class and the ToolTip control in your XAML.
The flow of the code goes something like this:

  • Locate the “PART_FacetPane” in the tree. This is a CustomAccordian control.
  • Locate the CustomAccordianItem‘s ( == facets)
  • … under each item is a FacetCategory control to find the facet category name.
  • … use the TooltipService to set custom tooltips on the CustomAccordianItem‘s
FilterPaneView FPV = (FilterPaneView)PivotViewer.CollectionView.FindName(“PART_FilterPane”();
CustomAccordion FacetPane = (CustomAccordion)FPV.FindName(“PART_FacetPane”);
StackPanel itemsHost = (StackPanel)FacetPane.GetItemsHost();
for (int nitem = 0; nitem < itemsHost.Children.Count; nitem++)
{
CustomAccordionItem item = (CustomAccordionItem)itemsHost.Children[nitem];
// tooltip for facet category header
stringtooltip;
string facetName = ((FacetCategory)item.Content).Name;
switch(facetName){
case “AppCount”:tooltip = “Count of applications in the Marketplace”;
break;
case “Ranking”:tooltip = “Overall ranking in the Marketplace”;
break;

ToolTipService.SetToolTip(item, “Facet:\n”+ tooltip);

If you take a look at this set of pivot collections, visualizing the WP7 Marketplace, you will see facet tooltips are implemented:
WP7 APP HUB
FAQ
If you want to try out the code there are a few things to watch out for. You will not be able to set the tooltips before the collection event CollectionLoadingCompleted has completed and exited. If you wrap your tooltip code in a function then you can call it from this event using the control’s dispatcher:
this.Dispatcher.BeginInvoke(SetToolTips);
You will need some internal Microsoft Pivot references and usings too. Depending upon the extent of your other customizations you will need these:
using System.Windows.Pivot;
using Microsoft.Pivot.Internal.Controls;
using Microsoft.Pivot.Internal.Model;
using Microsoft.Pivot.Internal.ViewModels;
using Microsoft.Pivot.Internal.Views;
Further things to do

 

Conclusion
This article is just a brief tutorial that includes the key features of using the tooltip service control in code to attach custom tooltips to visual elements of the Silverlight PivotViewer control. It targets the developer who has already started customizing the Silverlight PivotViewer control beyond the public API. Any comments or request for future topics are welcome.

Visualization of the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace with PivotViewer

We had to take a break from blogging to allow us to catch up on work commitments. Meanwhile we have some PivotViewer linked collections deployed at the WP7 App Hub website. These collections are only a place holder for now whilst the behind the scenes infrastructure is finalised for automated build of the dynamic JIT collections for the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace applications.

We are aiming to bring some different and alternative marketplace views and give more prime time for neglected and suppressed application areas such as non-English applications, on-going new releases and indie games.

The marketplace is fragmented and difficult to navigate but not for much longer…

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Wiki Snacks by Xpert360 Ltd Windows Phone 7
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Wiki Snacks Search

Wiki Snacks Search

WP7 Raw Deal for Non-US applications

WP7 Marketplace ratings – Raw deal for non-US applications

Are non-US applications getting a raw deal in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace?

Update 14-Dec-2010: Bing support staff sent an email saying they have a fix to ‘keyword’ search which should be rolled out later this week… It now looks like for the UK (en-GB) it is working with 3000 top apps. The keyword search appears fixed so all apps should now be searchable. So we are left with fr-FR, de-DE etc. ratings not showing. Some progress!

Absolutely! After using Europe as the ‘Guinea pigs’ in the Windows Phone 7 rollout saga Microsoft has left European WP7 developers out in the cold.

Mostly to blame is ‘Bing Visual Search’ (deservedly). Why call it ‘Search’ when it is impossible to ever find 1000 of the apps that are in the marketplace. As for ‘premier search engine’, this part certainly is woefully short of that. This is no search at all, any new apps have a brief day in the limelight, if lucky, before they sink to the depths of the marketplace. #bad => restriction to top 3000 apps in the USA ratings…

You may think, so what! My German, French, etc… users love my app and my ratings prove it. You could have lots of downloads and 5-star ratings and Bing would not care to rank you in the top 3000 apps, yeah right, that sucks! But do you believe me, well here is an affected application which is actually quite good, as in the non-USA en-US ratings say so, but Bing gives it 1-star (by 2 users) – this is an absolute joke, I feel for the publisher.

Here is Bing: Rating 1-star (by 2 users)
Bing Visual Search?

Bing Visual Search ratings poor

Bing Visual Search no use to non-USA residents.

Zune en-GB – the Brits like it a bit better!

Zune WP7 Marketplace for Tube Companion

Zune WP7 Marketplace for Tube Companion

But here is the true picture:

True WP7 Marketplace Ratings

True WP7 Marketplace Ratings

http://wp7reviews.tomverhoeff.com/AppReviews.aspx?id=e93f1aac-c9d6-df11-a844-00237de2db9e&mp=en-US

You can see the two en-US feedbacks as opposed to the 29 x en-GB and one de-DE feedbacks.

Conclusion: Microsoft, Bing, Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, you seriously need to get your act together. View it, read it and weep.

There was a partly working version of Bing Visual Search for the en-GB and de-DE regions but it was withdrawn by Microsoft on 9th December 2010 without notice.
Thanks to Tom Verhoeff for http://wp7reviews.tomverhoeff.com/ ratings page.