During the past few months I attended some live seminars hosted by Microsoft. Each of them have covered the basics of developing software for Windows Phone 7. The most recent was the two day event held here in Atlanta (Oct. 21, 2010 & Oct.22, 2010. It was an expanded version of the one day Firestarter event that I attended last month. The key presenters were Joe Healy and Glen Gordon.
Here are some of the key things about WP7 that I got out of the sessions:
- I am looking forward to November 8th when I can buy a real phone to work with. It has been a long wait since I attended my fist seminar on WP7 and I would like to break out from only using the emulator.
- WP7 may be promoted as primarily a consumer-oriented product , but it can be used as a general-purpose user interface for business applications. The only problem is there is no easy method for deployment to business users except for the app store, which opens up issues with security. The hope is that there will soon be something like private app stores that could be used by businesses. In the meantime, there are phone versions of outlook and office included.
- Application development for WP7 is much the same as with any other Silverlight project. However, data persistence must be handled to avoid data loss when the user exits from the app, or when the app is shut down by the operating system. Fortunately, there are events that can be used to trigger saving of user data.
- You can also develop games using XNA. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks like fun. My experience with making Flash games showed me that creating all the graphics, sprites, and sound effects takes the most time, but once that work is done you can do a lot of great things. You can even build 3D applications for WP7 and the rendering speed and flexibility is impressive.
So I was inspired to try my hand at writing an app for WP7 that was more that just a “Hello World”. The application I am making is a contact management system that uses the same database as my Silverlight and Lightswitch applications. More on that in upcoming posts.
Since I had already installed the beta version of the WP7 tools, I had to uninstall them before installing the latest version. That took a long time. I think the whole process lasted a couple hours. I was able to take a nice nap during the final install.
I got the WP7 tools here…
There is also a Windows Phone Training Kit for Developers here…
That’s all for now. Back to programming!