New Vonage Mobile Application for Android and iPhone#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

 

The folks at Vonage have stepped to challenge the folks at Skype and Tango with a new Vonage Mobile app for iOS and Android that promises free app-to-app calls, free text messaging, and 30-percent cheaper VoIP than Skype. Also using the Vonage Mobile app you will save 70-percent less than “major mobile carriers” the company claims, with in-app payments via the Android Market and iTunes account.

vonage mobile

Users can add calling credits in top-up increments of $4.99 and $9.99 and if your friends and family use Vonage VoIP accounts for their home or business line then you might not need to bother spending a dime. Calls to those numbers are also free and you don’t need to be a Vonage subscriber to use the new mobile app.Vonage users can view their existing credit and look up international rates in the app before making a call which this eliminates the need for credit cards, PIN entries and the need to leave the app when the user wants to make a call. Another cool feature is that your existing mobile number shows on Caller ID, so there is no need to create and share a new username, and friends and family can know who is calling.

Vonage Mobile doesn't limit calls to people with the app, or even to people who have a smartphone. You can call direct from Vonage Mobile to virtually any phone number on the planet. You can dial internationally without needing to activate special services with your mobile carrier. And most importantly, you can do this with the address book on your phone and your existing mobile number.

For more information on Vonage Mobile app, which works on the iPhone and Android smartphones along with the iPad and iPod touch and Android tablets, head here.

 

Note: for a limited time calls to any phone in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico** from anywhere in the world will be FREE!!!

02/09/2012 19:10:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Next Windows Phone User/Developer Group Meeting–Wednesday, November 16#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups will be held on Wednesday, November 16th starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

For our featured presentation this month, we will be focusing on developing Microsoft Push Notification Service (“MPNS”) applications.

If you are a Windows Phone developer, leveraging the Microsoft Push Notification Service, or “MPNS”, can add a great deal of additional functionality, including making your application tiles come to life with real-time information. Best of all – adding MPNS capabilities are not as difficult as you might think.

In this presentation, we will add MPNS functionality to an existing application in a step-by-step fashion, making sure that we employ the best practices for creating toast and tile notifications for a Windows Phone client application.

I look forward to seeing everyone there!

11/01/2011 11:40:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Code Camp 16 Presentation Deck Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Thanks to everyone who attended my Code Camp 16 presentation this morning in Waltham, MA. As promised, here is the slide deck (in PDF form) of my presentation.

Also – for those who wanted the complete sample application used to demonstrate during this session, please visit the “Get to Windows Phone 7.5 #7: Using Push Notifications with Secondary Tiles and Deep Toast” tutorial on the App Hub web site.

10/29/2011 16:52:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone Camp Boston#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Microsoft is delivering two days of full of instruction on everything you will need to know on how to develop a Windows Phone application at the Marriott Boston in Cambridge on the October 12-13th.

wp7 build

Windows Phone 7.5 (codename: Mango) is here – and we want to give you the upper hand on this new release. Windows Phone Camps are free, hands-on events designed to deliver everything you need to develop and publish a Windows Phone application. The camps are ideal for students and seasoned developers alike, whether you create for Windows Phone, Android, Symbian, Web OS, or iPhone. Interested in making money? We'll lead discussions on how to earn money from your applications and generate buyers for your apps. We'll also be sharing recent innovations, inside tricks, and a wealth of Windows Phone know-how.

Don't miss the new Windows Phone 7.5 (codename "Mango") features as well - with detailed sessions in the afternoon around Fast Application Switching, Multitasking, Live Tiles, Push Notifications, and more.

The day will be capped with an open lab hands-on session and prizes for apps completed. This is the perfect opportunity to begin work on your dream application, or finish that app you've already started, with Windows Phone experts there to guide you every step of the way. Bring your own laptop to join in the fun and show off your killer app!

Day 1 Agenda: October 12th

08:00 AM - Arrival and Registration                                         
09:00 AM - Windows Phone Overview  
09:45 AM - How to get started building Windows Phone Apps with Visual Studio
10:45 AM - Break

11:00 AM - Frameworks for fun and profit (part 1) – Building apps with Silverlight
12:00 PM - Lunch                                            

01:00 PM - Frameworks for fun and profit (part 2) – Building games with XNA
02:00 PM - Live Tiles and Push Notifications        
03:15 PM - Break                                            

03:30 PM - Windows Phone 7.5 Fast Application Switching, Tombstoning and Multitasking

04:30 PM - How to make money with your Windows Phone App              
05:00 PM - What’s Next/Resources                       

05:00 PM - Event Ends 

To register for Day 1 head here.

The second day will be capped with an open lab hands-on session and prizes for apps completed. This is the perfect opportunity to begin work on your dream application, or finish that app you've already started, with Windows Phone experts there to guide you every step of the way. Bring your own laptop to join in the fun and show off your killer app!  We will have lightning talks with noted industry experts, experts in migrating apps to Windows Phone, and cloud experts on hand to talk about scaling your apps through cloud solutions.

Day 2 Agenda: October 13th

08:00 AM - Arrival and Registration                                         
09:00 AM - Open Lab Hands-on Sessions  
05:00 PM - Event Ends

To register for Day 2 head here.

10/08/2011 05:57:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone Garage–May 9th#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Coming May 9th to the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD).  Dani Diaz and Dave Isbitski will be presenting a free, full-day program focused on developing for Windows Phone 7. It’s a great way to get familiar with the current platform and learn about the upcoming features announced for “Mango” at MIX 11 just a couple of weeks ago. To the link to register for the Windows Phone Garage.

 

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Agenda

9 – 10 a.m.  Introduction to Windows Phone Development

No experience with Windows Phone 7 development?  No problem.  During this optional session at the start of the day we will cover the fundamentals of Windows Phone Silverlight and XNA Development.  We'll explore the various core components and tools available and leave you with some resources to take you to the next level.

10 – 10:30 a.m.  What’s new for Windows Phone Developers

This session will highlight some of the new developer features coming for Windows Phone Developers. We’ll also take a look at AppMakr, a dynamic new tool that enables you to generate a simple Windows Phone application from one or more online data feeds.

10:45 – 12:30 p.m.  Windows Phone Application Jumpstart

To give you a jumpstart on application development, we’ll walk through in detail building an app, styling it, and adding advanced capabilities.  We’ll also cover submitting it to the marketplace and monetizing your app.

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch

1:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Windows Phone Garage Open Lab

Bring your laptop fully loaded with Visual Studio 2010 and the latest version of the Windows Phone Tools. Get some help with an app you are working on or use the information from the Jumpstart to build an app around your favorite data feed. No ideas? No worries – we’ll have a few starter templates that you can build on.

05/05/2011 17:50:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Create Games for Windows Phone 7#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Creating Games for Windows Phone 7 isn’t as hard as you think using XNA GameStudio 4.0. Over at the XNA Creators Club there are some great tutorials and an introduction to get your started. There is even a great beginner guide here.

Get introduced to Windows Phone 7, and phone game development with XNA Game Studio.This set of educational content is for all skill levels and phases of development, with a focus on introducing basic game techniques – such as input, graphics, and sound –to developers interested in making games on Windows Phone 7 using XNA Game Studio 4.0.

Phase One - Platform: Available Now!

Phase Two - Performance: Coming in September 2010

  • 3D Accelerometer-Based Game Lab
  • Dynamic Audio Sample
  • 3D Asset Types Article
  • Intro to Render Loop Article

Phase Three – Polish: Coming in October to November 2010

  • Social Game Lab
  • Best Practices Game State Management
  • Location and Photo Integration
  • Bonus: Augmented Reality Sample

To get started creating games head over to the XNA Creators Club now!

Note: to run this samples require XNA Game Studio 4.0 and the Windows Phone Developer Tools to run. A phone is not required. Download the tools here!

08/23/2010 18:01:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone Developer Tools Final will be Available Sept.16th,2010#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes


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Microsoft announced that the final build of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools will ship on September 16th and that the current tools have already been downloaded over 300,000 times (CTP and Beta versions).

Developers have been waiting patiently for the final release of these tools especially controls like Pivot,Panorama,List,Bing Maps, etc (Developers have had to build their own controls or use open-source versions available on the web to replicate the final build,look, and feel of Wndows Phone 7 apps).

Over at the WindowsTeam blog the following has been mentioned:

While our developer community has been busy stretching the capabilities of the application platform and developer tools, we have been working very closely with some amazing application and game developers to ensure that Windows Phone 7 customers have the applications they expect, across a wide swath of the categories they value. Here’s a just small sample of the variety of companies with whom we have been working:

Adenclassifieds, Allociné (including sister brands: Screenrush, Filmstarts, Sensacine), APPA Mundi Ltd, Artificial Life, Inc., ebay, Inc., Esurance Insurance Services, Inc, Flixster, Intelligent Touch Solutions Ltd., Jobsite UK (Worldwide), Limited, Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc., Le Figaro group, My Interactive Limited, Open Table, Inc., Pageonce, Inc., Panoramic Software, Inc., photobucket inc., REALTOR.COM® Real Estate Search  (Move, Inc.), Red Badger Consulting Limited, rising systems networks GmbH, Seesmic, Sequence Collective Ltd, TBS Field Mobility Solutions, The Associated Press, Touchnote, Trip Mate, Inc., Tx3 Solutions, vente-privée.com, Viadeo S.A

Of course, it’s not just the big names in development who are going to bring great titles to Windows Phone 7 customers. There are many multiples more of lesser known developers who are looking to be in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Large or small, all developers will have equal opportunity to capitalize on the first mover advantage of having their apps or games ready at launch. In order to do that, there are a few things developers will need to do:

  1. Register at the marketplace today

  2. Finish you application or game using the Beta tools

  3. Download the final Windows Phone Developer Tools when they are released on September 16th

  4. Recompile your app or game using the final tools

  5. Have your XAP ready for ingestion into the marketplace in early October when it opens

The final tools will likely have some minor breaking changes from the Beta tools, so developers may have to fix some bugs that arise. The final tools will also include several highly requested Silverlight controls which will make it even easier for developers to deliver high quality Windows Phone 7 experiences. Also in the September 16th final release, the panorama, pivot and Bing maps controls will all be available to drop into applications.

The developer tools, controls and application platform are great, but we also recognize the need for smart training. Just last week we released a course called the Windows Phone 7 Jump Start, delivered by two of our MVPs, Andy Wigley and Rob Miles. It includes 12 hours of classroom training and supporting exercises. We have also recently updated theWindows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit. We will be releasing many more hours of training in the coming weeks and months. For the XNA developers, the XNA Creator Club announced today a new set of educational materials.

08/23/2010 17:10:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone 7 Firestarter & Garage Events#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

MSDN will be holding some Windows Phone 7 developer tech events at various MS Offices
around the country.

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The first event is an In-Person Event called a Windows Phone 7 Firestarter

Dream It. Build It.

The power to build smart, visually stunning games and applications is
right in your hands with Windows Phone 7. Want to see what’s under
the hood? This full-day series of learning events for developers
will take you behind the scenes with an inside look at the
philosophy, design language, and the fundamentals of Silverlight and
XNA coding for Windows Phone 7. You’ll also see how the Windows
Marketplace provides exciting new distribution and monetization
opportunities for developers and application publishers.
Join your local MSDN Events team and get ready to amplify your
creativity, productivity and market opportunities.

Morning Sessions:

Introduction to Windows Phone Development and the WP7 platform
Meet Windows Phone 7! We’re proud to introduce the innovative Windows
Phone 7 platform and explain the philosophy behind its all-new user
experience design. We’ll also outline the Metro design principles
and cover the basics of building applications for Windows Phone 7.
Finally, you’ll tour the Windows Phone Marketplace and get an
overview on its exciting revenue opportunities for developers and
application publishers.

Building Windows Phone 7 Applications with Silverlight
You’ve heard the fundamentals; now it’s time to dig a little deeper.
This session will focus on building Windows Phone 7 applications with
Microsoft Silverlight. You’ll see first-hand how to use Visual Studio
2010 and Expression Blend to develop and debug projects. You’ll also
learn about the built-in templates and the many available controls
and styles for WP7. We’ll wrap by covering how to consume services in
the cloud.

Building Windows Phone 7 Applications using XNA
Microsoft XNA has been a favorite with game developers for many years.
Now game developers will be able to harness the power of the XNA
framework to create highly immersive and responsive games for
Windows Phone 7.. We’ll charge full-speed into XNA to outline the
basic Windows Phone model, explore its core device characteristics,
and review the highlights of the XNA phone framework. Finally, we’ll
show you some of the cool and impressive games that have been
developed specifically for Windows Phone 7.
Lunch (included)

Afternoon Sessions:

Monetizing Your Apps with Marketplace
Windows Phone 7 will launch with a fully loaded Marketplace and the
opportunity for developers to sell or distribute their applications.
. In this session, you’ll get the details about how to navigate the
certification process and publish your application including updates.
Learn how to increase discoverability as well as deepen your
connection with your customers through the powerful business
intelligence capabilities of the marketplace.

Windows Phone 7 Services
Get ready to build more engaging user experiences with Windows Phone 7
and several powerful cloud- and phone-based components. First up is
the Microsoft Location Service, which allows you to obtain location
information based on GPS, cell and Wi-Fi signals. Next, we’ll cover
the Microsoft Push Notification Service, which provides “live”
updates for apps running on the device.

Light Up Windows Phone 7!
Device integration is how an application becomes an experience. In
this session, you’ll learn how to create the compelling and
interactive mobile experiences which users have come to have expect
by tying into device hardware such as the keyboard, touch input and
accelerometer. You’ll also learn how to incorporate audio and video
into your rich media solutions.
If you can dream it, you can build it with Windows Phone 7!

The second event is MSDN WP7 Evening Hands On Phone Garage Workshop

Stop Dreaming. Start Building.

Can’t wait to build the next big Windows Phone 7 application? We hear
you. The Windows Phone 7 platform represents a truly revolutionary
new opportunity for mobile app developers. That’s why we’re hosting
the evening Windows Phone Garage – and you don’t want to miss it.
This hands-on event immediately following the daytime Firestarter is
your chance to work through interactive learning labs and get
step-by-step instruction on developing for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft
and community experts will be on hand to share their wisdom and
provide one-on-one assistance as you work. You’ll also see “quick
hit” presentations throughout the evening that tackle key Windows
Phone 7 topics.

This is a great opportunity to design and implement your own
applications and (where available) deploy them to an actual Windows
Phone 7 device for testing, so gather your ideas and get ready to
code.

Prerequisites: Bring your ideas and design specs and prepare to build.
You’ll also need a computer installed with the Windows Phone
Developer Tools available here .
Seating is limited, due to the hands-on nature of this lab and the
opportunity for one-on-one instruction from Windows Phone 7 experts.

Register today – this event will sell out.

To find these and more WP7 related events in your area(sorry the US
only link) head here.

Here are some other Firestarter/Garage events coming up in the US.

8/24 - Atlanta - fire/garage
8/24 - Waltham - fire/garage
9/7 - New York - fire/garage
9/8 - Raleigh - fire/garage
9/21 - Charlotte - fire/garage
9/21 - Chevy Chase - fire/garage
9/22 - Philadelphia - fire/garage
9/28 - Pittsburgh - fire/garage
9/30 - Farmington - fire/garage

08/19/2010 18:13:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REMINDER: User / Developer Group Meeting This Wednesday (Aug. 18, 2010)#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Time for your friendly reminder… Winking smile

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups will be held this Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

Our main presentation of the evening will continue our series on Windows Phone 7 Application Development that began back in April. This moth’s topic -

“State” and “Notifications”: A Whole New Meaning in Windows Phone 7
.NET Compact Framework developers who hear the words “state” and “notifications” invariably think of the State and Notification API, used to respond to various device state information and events. In Windows Phone 7, however, these words take on an entirely different and potentially critical meaning for application developers.

In this presentation, you will learn about the new application lifecycle for Windows Phone 7 applications and understand the importance of managing application state and responding to OS-level events. You will also learn about the use of the Microsoft Push Notification service as a means to communicate information to users when your application is not running.

We will also be repeating our very special drawing of the July meeting. One lucky attendee will receive a 1-year Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscriptioncourtesy of Microsoft! Nothing special required – just be in attendance.

I look forward to seeing everybody there!

08/15/2010 09:19:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Resco Continues to Add Support, Tools for Windows Phone 7 Developers#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Resco, a long-standing supporter of the Windows Mobile platform for both consumers and developers, has announced further support for Windows Phone 7 developers in two areas -

  • Resco has released a Technical Preview of what is now being called the Resco MobileLight Toolkit. Similar to their already successful MobileForms Toolkit for the .NET Compact Framework, the MobileLight Toolkit will provide a rich set of Silverlight controls for Windows Phone 7 -

    “The first version of the Resco MobileLight Toolkit—scheduled for September 28, 2010—will include two most frequently used controls: Resco AdvancedList and Resco DetailView. After the release, Resco will continually add new controls, such as Calendar, Grid, etc. The controls’ UI will meet the Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design & Interaction Guide in order to fulfill the Windows Phone 7 graphics and usage standards.”

    RescoMobileLightAL
  • Resco has announced that their recently-released MobileApp Studio, a rapid application development tool suite for Visual Studio, will be extended to support Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft is investing a great deal of effort in recruiting developers for the Windows Phone 7 platform. Part of a successful recruiting strategy is to show not only the “home-grown” tools Microsoft provides, but to demonstrate the rich partner ecosystem around application development. Resco once again is stepping up in this regard, providing additional proof of the potential of the platform.

Thanks, Resco!

08/10/2010 15:22:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

NEXT USER/DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING: Wednesday, August 18th, 2010#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I cannot recall the last time I posted the announcement of our Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups meeting so far in advance. It’s always nice to have a vision beyond 30 days, I tell you… Winking smile

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups will be held on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

Our main presentation of the evening will continue our series on Windows Phone 7 Application Development that began back in April. This moth’s topic -

“State” and “Notifications”: A Whole New Meaning in Windows Phone 7
.NET Compact Framework developers who hear the words “state” and “notifications” invariably think of the State and Notification API, used to respond to various device state information and events. In Windows Phone 7, however, these words take on an entirely different and potentially critical meaning for application developers.

In this presentation, you will learn about the new application lifecycle for Windows Phone 7 applications and understand the importance of managing application state and responding to OS-level events. You will also learn about the use of the Microsoft Push Notification service as a means to communicate information to users when your application is not running.

We will also be repeating our very special drawing of the July meeting. One lucky attendee will receive a 1-year Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription courtesy of Microsoft! Nothing special required – just be in attendance.

I look forward to seeing everybody there!

07/22/2010 12:55:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

WP7DEV: Where Are My Files On The Emulator?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Recently, I’ve seen a number of questions posted in various forums that typically come in the form of something like -

“I am using the Windows Phone 7 Device Emulator to test my application. The application creates data which is saved in Isolated Storage. The other day I ran tests. I then ended the day and shut down Visual Studio and the emulator. When I started the next day’s work, I discovered that the data I had created are nowhere to be found on the emulator.

Where on my hard drive are the files related to Isolated Storage data?”

I’ve also been asked similar questions like this a lot lately. If I wanted to be blunt, the best answer would be – They’re gone. Bye-bye. I think a bit more of an explanation is in order, however Smile

CloseEmu

It’s important to being with by saying that the device emulator is just that – an emulator. It is a self-contained emulation of a device from both a hardware and software perspective. This includes the ROM image for the device and “local storage” for the device. As such, data written to the emulator is stored within the confines of the emulator session.

In past versions of Windows Mobile development, shutting down an emulator would first prompt you to save the current state of the device.

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If you said yes to this question, the emulator would write out the current state of the emulator (including applications running in memory and data written to file systems) to your local hard drive. The next time you started the emulator, this information would be used to restore the emulator to it’s last running state. Think of it like hibernation on a PC. If you said no to saving state, the data written during the current session would be lost.

The Windows Phone 7 device emulator works on the same principle, with one major difference – the current implementation of the emulator does not give you the option to save emulator state. In other words – once shut down, your device data is gone.

I am not certain of any plans to bring the Windows Phone 7 emulator to a par with it’s Windows Mobile 6.5 brethren. I would image the state persistence will come eventually. In the meantime, just remember – once you close the device emulator, anything you had created in the form of data on the device (files in isolated storage, contacts, etc) are gone. 

07/22/2010 08:02:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

UPDATE: User and Developer Group Meeting Next Wednesday (July 21, 2010)#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Just a friendly reminder (and an update at the bottom of this post) -

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Group will take place on Wednesday, July 21st starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

Continuing our meeting focus on preparing for Windows Phone 7 development, I will be presenting “Silverlight UI Tips and Tricks for Windows Phone Developers” -

In our previous presentation on Windows Phone 7 development for Compact Framework developers, be were introduced to the essentials surrounding UI development with Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010. The logical “next step” in the learning process is to enhance our user interfaces using the powerful capabilities that Silverlight provdes.

In this presentation, you will be introduced to animation capabilities to enhance your Windows Phone 7 UI. You will also learn about data access and data binding capabilities and see how to leverage “the cloud” and services it provides.

We will also be kicking off our meeting with a group discussion on Essential Applications for Windows Mobile. We have these discussions from time to time, and we’ve been asked to have another. We’re always willing to oblige in that respect <img alt=" src="http://www.bostonpocketpc.com/smilies/happy.gif" />

As for the update – in addition to our normal selection of items for our attendee giveaway at the end of each meeting, we have a very special giveaway this month courtesy of Microsoft. One lucky attendee this month will receive a Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN 1-year subscription!

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If you are unaware of the value of this subscription, simply head over to the MSDN Subscriptions Comparison page (and be amazed). As always, there is no signup or fee required for attending our meetings, so I look forward to seeing you there! 

07/14/2010 08:06:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone 7 SDK Beta and Developer Training Kit Refresh Now Available#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well, it’s a bit later than expected, but it’s well worth the wait. Microsoft announced at the Worldwide Partners Conference on Monday the availability of the Beta (that’s right – beta) of the Windows Phone 7 SDK and Tools for developers.

WP-vert-web

Among the highlights -

  • In addition to the inclusion of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone Developers, the beta is compatible with the RTM version of Visual Studio 2010 (no more VS 2010 RC for me).
  • The tools also include a beta version of Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone. This version will install side-by-side with Microsoft Expression Blend 4 (another long-awaited install for yours truly).
  • Very important to note – this release of the SDK includes a number of potentially breaking changes for previous users of the CTP version of the SDK. Fortunately, both the release notes included with the beta SDK and this blog post from Jaime Rodriguez walk through the required changes to CTP-based applications.

Rather than walk through all the highlights, the best advice I can give is to visit the Windows Phone Developer blog for all the details. You can also download the tools beta from the Windows Phone Developer homepage.

In a related note, Microsoft has also released an updated version of the Windows Phone Training Kit. The kit has been updated to include labs covering newly exposed features, including the Launcher and Chooser APIs for performing common tasks, as well as handling “tombstoning”, the OS process involved with terminating (but maintaining state) in your application when a launcher or chooser is used. There are also lots of other little enhancements included, many of which are detailed in this post on the Windows Phone Developer blog. You can also download the training kit from this post or the Windows Phone Developer website.

Happy coding!

07/14/2010 07:54:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Next Windows Phone User/Developer Group Meeting – July 21, 2010#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Group will take place on Wednesday, July 21st starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

Continuing our meeting focus on preparing for Windows Phone 7 development, I will be presenting “Silverlight UI Tips and Tricks for Windows Phone Developers” -

In our previous presentation on Windows Phone 7 development for Compact Framework developers, be were introduced to the essentials surrounding UI development with Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010. The logical “next step” in the learning process is to enhance our user interfaces using the powerful capabiliities that SIlverlight provdes.

In this presentation, you will be introduced to animation capabilities to enhance your Windows Phone 7 UI. You will also learn about data access and data binding capabilities and see how to leverage “the cloud” and services it provides.

We will also be kicking off our meeting with a group discussion on Essential Applications for Windows Mobile. We have these discussions from time to time, and we’ve been asked to have another. We’re always willing to oblige in that respect :-)

I look forward to seeing you there!

06/18/2010 07:46:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REMINDER: User/Developer Group Meeting THIS WEDNESDAY, June 16th#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Just a friendly reminder – the next meeting of the Boston/New England User and Developer Group will be held this Wednesday (June 16th) starting at 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor). For details, check out this post or visit our Facebook page.

I am looking forward to presenting another in our series of Windows Phone 7 development topics. This time, it’s Silverlight UI Development Essentials for Windows Phone Developers. This topic is big enough to warrant a second session on more advanced topics, so it looks like our July meeting agenda is now set :-)

I look forward to seeing you all there!

06/13/2010 09:36:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Is Steve Jobs Sending a Message To ALL Cross-Platform Development Vendors?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

By now, many may have heard about or read in full Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash” statement released yesterday. While much of what was written in the statement (and discussed around the Internet) was specific to Adobe and Flash, a statement by Jobs in the section entitled “Sixth, the most important reason”, can have a far broader effect on mobile device development -

“We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.”

While the context in which this is spoken is in relation to Flash, the term “cross-platform development tool” can also be aimed at cross-platform development platforms as well. Many of you may not be aware that there are development platforms oriented towards developing in one language and deploying across mobile devices. These tools are becoming extremely enticing for enterprises in two scenarios -

  1. A business desires to build consumer-facing applications (mobile banking, for example). In these cases, where the business has little to no control over what devices their customers are using, developing separate versions of a single application to support a variety of mobile phones can be a very costly endeavor.
  2. A business supports multiple mobile device platforms and wishes to deploy line of business applications. Different cause than #1, but same net effect; having to consider multiple versions of the same application or applications.

For these scenarios, a multi-platform mobile device development tool/technology can greatly reduce initial and ongoing development costs. Is Steve Jobs saying, however, that these types of tools should not make it to the iPhone and iPad? The reason I ask this question is – some already are there today.

There are several companies that currently support the iPhone as one of the mobile devices to target with their development platforms. Based on Jobs’ rationale, these types of applications have no business on the iPhone. the same risks he describes with Flash apply with these platforms as well. Do these platforms run the risk of future exclusion based upon Jobs’ stance on Flash?

I have always been a major proponent of developing in “native code” when it comes to mobile devices. The benefits are obvious, as Steve Jobs points out. However, I am also a realist. The real world of mobility consists of more than just the iPhone, contrary to some popular beliefs ;-) From a business perspective, there are often times when you cannot choose to develop for just one platform without hurting your business. At the same time, developing natively for multiple platforms is simply not economical, be it for time or resource reasons. In such cases, the only effective solution is to have a platform that allows for one application developed, multiple platforms supported.

I can see taking the position of rigorous testing and certification for applications written for multiple platforms to ensure meeting acceptable performance and usability. Actually, I thought that was the purpose of the iPhone application submission process. Taking a rather Draconian stance on the issue, however, puts a few vendors and a lot of enterprises in quite a bind. Ironically, this may result in some companies choosing to support a lot of mobile devices… except for the iPhone (at least until such time as an iPhone version of the application can be developed and maintained apart from the “everyone else” version of the application).

Maybe I’m causing a bit of a “tempest in a teapot” here. Maybe the arguments Steve Jobs brought forth in his “letter” are really only intended for Adobe and Flash. If that is the case, though, it would be a bit of a double-standard. If Jobs is serious about third-party multi-platform development tools and the iPhone and iPad, the ramifications could be pretty large. It will be interesting to watch how this develops in the coming months.

04/29/2010 14:35:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone 7 Developer CTP Refresh Now Available#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

According to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, a refresh of the Windows Phone 7 Developer CTP is now available for download! -

WP-vert-web

Beginning today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh (WPDT CTP) from http://developer.windowsphone.com, which means you can now build Windows Phone 7 apps on the final release of Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010). While this update is primarily intended to enable development using the final release of VS2010 there are a few new things here too.”

In addition to the big item of Visual Studio 2010 RTM compatibility (I know a few people eagerly awaiting this), there are a number of other enhancements -

  • This release has been tested to work with the final release of Visual Studio 2010.
  • An updated Windows Phone 7 OS image for the Windows Phone Emulator.
  • A few APIs in the frameworks have been added and or changed. See this MSDN page for more details.
  • The documentation has been updated with new and expanded topics. See this MSDN page for more details.
  • We’ve provided limited support for launchers and choosers. In cases where the underlying built-in experience is not present launchers and choosers are still not available (i.e. the email chooser asks you to select a contact, but there are no contacts in the emulator and no way to add one).
  • Pause/Resume events are now supported.
  • If the tools are installed as the admin user, non-admin users are now able to deploy to the emulator.
  • A problem with incremental deployment of projects has been fixed.
  • A problem resulting in the error "Connection failed because of invalid command-line arguments" being displayed during project creation has been fixed.
  • A problem where the Windows Phone node was not appearing in VS 2010 on non-system drives has been fixed.
  • Design time skin refresh issues have been addressed.

Be sure to read the Release and Installation Notes for important instructions!

04/29/2010 12:47:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile and The Enterprise: What’s Next?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

As many of you might have already heard, Microsoft has plans for the current version of Windows Mobile (6.5) beyond the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is bringing Windows Mobile operating system under the control of the Windows Embedded Business (“WEB”) group. This group has previously been responsible for the Windows CE business and works closely with OEMs focused on specialized hardware for business.

Microsoft is fully committed to the Windows Mobile operating system as well as the associated application development tools for the long term, which is great news for enterprises that are heavily invested in Windows Mobile hardware; “Great news” at least on the surface. There is, however, a looming concern for certain types of enterprises as the launch of Windows Phone 7 draws closer. A little elaboration is in order here.

As is the case with most of Microsoft’s operating system businesses (exceptions include Zune and Xbox), Microsoft relies heavily on hardware manufacturers (the OEMs) to choose and license the operating system. Traditionally, the WEB group has partnered with OEMs either focused on specific vertical markets (healthcare devices, for example) or use case scenarios (field service technicians, military) for using the Windows Embedded platform to create highly specialized solutions. Now, Windows Mobile does fit nicely into one aspect of the current business. For enterprises requiring a more “generalized” operating system (versus highly-customized), an enterprise application development platform (think .NET and .NET Compact Framework) and device durability, Microsoft’s partners like Motorola/Symbol, Intermec and Honeywell fit quite well. They will continue to be key partners in supporting Windows Mobile as it moves forward. There is, however, another key enterprise customer here that these devices do not address. Take, for example, the following hypothetical enterprise customer (when I say “hypothetical” here, many of these types of customers do exist; I am just generalizing the type rather than stating by name):

My company currently has hundreds/thousands of Windows Mobile devices deployed throughout our organization. We chose Windows Mobile for several reasons, including:

  • Custom Line of Business applications.
    Our organization has developed (at great expense) applications that integrate with our enterprise infrastructure. They have been built using the .NET Compact Framework and are capable of occasionally-connected scenarios thanks to Microsoft SQL Server CE. These applications used by personnel throughout our company (including key decision-makers) are now considered “mission-critical” to our business.
    Windows Mobile also provides us with a variety of application deployment options, including OTA download and install via device management solutions.
  • Device configuration and customization.
    The Windows Mobile operating system provides us with the capability to tailor configurations and settings to meet both corporate and user requirements.
  • Security.
    Windows Mobile provides us with the security features to meet our business and regulatory compliance needs.

The most important factor with this type of customer as it relates to hardware is that they typically do not need or wish to pay for a ruggedized solution. These users are “information workers” that are highly mobile and best benefit from the smaller form factors a consumer-oriented device provides. So, what can this type of enterprise user of Windows Mobile expect in the near future?

While the Windows Mobile operating system will be alive and well for these customers, the big looming question is – Will there be an OEM continuing to build “consumer-like” Windows Mobile devices once Windows Phone 7 ships? If one looks to the WEB group, there is cause for concern here. This group has traditionally (and rightly so) focused on specific verticals and “blue collar” scenarios for partners. My hypothetical company example just isn’t their business. Now while I acknowledge that it is not Microsoft’s roll as the operating system vendor to force OEMs to develop for a platform or market, they should at least promote that market. My concern – I don’t see that happening. Instead, I fear these enterprises will be branded as “consumers” and considered simply a Windows Phone 7 target. REALITY CHECK – they simply are not for the following reasons:

  • Windows Phone 7 in it’s initial incarnation is not targeted to meet many Line of Business application needs.
    The sandboxed application model, no database engine for storage of large and complex data structures and new programming tools platform (Silverlight) make this a “no-option” for many enterprises. One could come up with workarounds to overcome the obstacles, but even those would require extensive application rewrites.  
  • Lack of device control by the enterprise.
    Whether talking about application deployment, device configuration or device customization, Windows Phone 7 just is not an option. This is a very controlled platform, once again leaving enterprises needing that functionality out in the cold.

So, what is our hypothetical company to do? Well, we’ll stay on Windows 6.5 of course. But what happens after Windows Phone 7 launch when new employees are hired, or phones break, are lost or stolen. Simple we go by new ones from… uh-oh. You see, this isn’t about the operating system or the development platform. It’s all about the hardware.

All of this leads me to the two following pleas:

  1. Microsoft – Please consider promoting the case for Windows Mobile consumer hardware to OEMs. There is an identifiable and quantifiable market here – you don’t have to make numbers up. Simply do the math on break/replace rates and look at enterprise adoption numbers.
  2. OEMs – Please consider making these types of devices. Think about it this way… If you are the one company that steps up to the plate and makes this commitment, imagine the large and quite captive audience you will cater to.

Outside of this happening, the only advice I can give to enterprises like the one described in this post is – start hording devices now to build up inventory in advance of the coming hardware “famine”.

04/22/2010 10:16:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

NEXT USER/DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING – Wednesday, April 21st#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Phone User and Developer Groups will occur on Wednesday, April 21st starting at 6:30pmat the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map picture

There are lots of exciting things going on around Microsoft and phones, and this month’s agenda reflects it! -

Introducing Your Next of KIN: Microsoft’s New Feature Phone Platform
If you haven’t already heard, Microsoft has announced a new feature phone platform in KIN. In this presentation, we will discuss what KIN is (and isn’t) and talk about the first two KIN devices announced – the KIN 1 and KIN 2.

Introduction to Windows Phone 7 Development
The Windows Phone 7 platform introduces an exciting new platform for smartphones – not only for users, but developers as well. In this presentation/demonstration, you will learn about the basics of Windows Phone 7 application development using Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight and Expression Blend.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

04/16/2010 08:30:24 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Phone7 Series Development Announced at MIX 2010#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At MIX10 today, Microsoft unveiled the long awaited developer platform for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series devices. Windows Phone 7 Series was announced by Steve Ballmer at Mobile World Congress last month with devices to be available for sale by holiday 2010.

WP7 MIX10

Mobile development for Windows Phone 7 will take advantage of both Silverlight 4 (the full version not a watered down “Lite” version) and the XNA Framework for games that is used both on the Zune,Windows (Vista and 7) and Xbox 360 Platform. This will provide a rich environment for both internet based applications and game development. As expected, Windows Phone 7 will use The Marketplace to deliver applications to the device and providing developers with a 70% revenue share for applications sold. Development fees will be waived for students who are members of the DreamSpark program.

Perhaps the single best piece of news is that Microsoft has listened to the developer community and will be providing Windows Phone Developer tools for free. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone,Windows Phone 7 Series add-in to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC, XNA Game Studio 4.0,and a Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing will be available as a single download from http://developer.windowsphone.com. Expression Blend for Windows Phone Community Technology Preview will be made available as a separate download.

(Note: to run these you will need Windows Vista or Windows 7)

Windows Phone development starts with a single download of tools, runtimes, and phone emulator. The end-to-end application development environment includes a familiar Visual Studio IDE, Windows Phone Marketplace, and optionally Expression Blend. The supported runtimes are Silverlight, XNA Framework, and .NET Compact Framework. The application platform is running on Windows Phone OS 7.0 CTP, which is focused on the consumer, the information they care about, and entertainment experiences.

The following sections provide the information you need to build Windows Phone applications:

You can watch or download the 1st Day keynote of MIX10 on demand here.

Full Press Release:

LAS VEGAS, March 15 – Today at MIX10, Microsoft Corp. showcased advancements in its platform technologies that enable the developer and designer community to deliver compelling user experiences across a broad set of devices. Building on the excitement of the recently announced Windows® Phone 7 Series, Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Platform, and Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president, Windows Phone Program Management, detailed the opportunity for developers to use proven technologies such as Microsoft Silverlight and the XNA Framework to build new mobile applications and 3-D Games.

“As the browser, server, Web and devices evolve, a focus on delivering consistently great user experiences has become paramount,” Guthrie said. “By extending our familiar platform technologies and tools to phones, Microsoft is delivering the premier application development experience across a variety of devices and form factors.”

End-to-End Application Development Platform for Windows Phone 7 Series

During the keynote, Microsoft provided the first deep dive into Windows Phone 7 Series application development. By combining Silverlight features for rich application development and the XNA Framework for games, Windows Phone 7 Series empowers millions of developers and designers to build visually stunning and immersive applications and games — one of the industry’s most profitable mobile application categories — while taking advantage of device-specific capabilities. Specifically, developers will be able to take advantage of the following features:

  • Accelerometer, an intuitive control that responds to motion
  • A Microsoft Location Service to provide developers with a single point of reference to acquire location information
  • Microsoft Notification Service for pushing information to the phone, regardless of whether or not an application is running
  • Hardware-accelerated video with digital rights management (DRM)
  • Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming for the industry’s highest quality content viewing experience
  • Multitouch
  • Camera and microphone support

“Windows Phone 7 Series brings together a rich application environment, powerful hardware, a fresh approach to software and a smart new design,” Belfiore said. “It was designed to generate incredible opportunities for developers and designers to quickly and easily deliver compelling applications and games. With the best developer tools, an established ecosystem and marketplace, and a path for developers to use their Silverlight and XNA Framework skill sets, we are delivering an application platform that is simple, powerful and inspiring.”

Free Tools for Windows Phone 7 Series Developers and Designers

To further support an end-to-end development experience, Microsoft announced the availability of comprehensive tools support for Windows Phone 7 Series. The easy-to-install package includes previews of the following:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • Windows Phone 7 Series add-in to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC
  • XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing
  • Expression Blend for Windows Phone Community Technology Preview (available as a separate download)

A Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 Series Applications

WP Marketplace

Microsoft also showed how developers and designers will be able to bring applications and games to market with a new Windows Phone Marketplace. The Marketplace features a panoramic design and active merchandising to increase the discoverability of games and applications, and supports one-time credit card purchases, mobile operator billing and advertising-funded applications. The Marketplace will also enable customers to try applications before buying them and allow developers to cross-promote their applications through deep linking.

wpAPmob WPharvest wpgraphicly

Several leading companies will be creating exciting applications and games for Windows Phone 7 Series. They include The Associated Press, Archetype International Inc., AWS Convergence Technologies – WeatherBug, Citrix Systems Inc., Clarity Consulting Inc., Cypress Consulting, EA Mobile, Fandango Inc., Foursquare Labs Inc., frog design inc., Glu Mobile Inc., Graphic.ly, Hudson Entertainment Inc., IdentityMine Inc., IMDb.com Inc., Larva Labs, Match.com LLC, Matchbox Mobile Ltd., Microsoft Game Studios, Namco Networks America Inc., Oberon Media Inc., Pageonce Inc., Pandora Media Inc., Photobucket Inc., PopCap Games Inc., Seesmic, Shazam Entertainment Ltd., Sling Media, SPB Software Inc., stimulant, TeleCommunications Systems Inc., Touchality LLC and Vertigo Software Inc.

Continued Innovation With Silverlight and Expression Blend

Microsoft announced a release candidate (RC) for Silverlight 4, available for download today, which builds on the beta version released at the Professional Developers Conference in November 2009. The Silverlight 4 RC provides powerful media and enterprise application and media capabilities, out-of-browser flexibility and world-class tools support via Visual Studio and Expression Blend with Sketchflow to enable robust application development and rich interactive experiences.

In addition, Microsoft unveiled the Expression Blend 4 Beta, a design and development workflow tool. New features such as Path Layout enable developers and designers to build and animate innovative user interface design via a groundbreaking visual layout mechanism, without the need to write code. Expression Blend 4 Beta also adds support for Silverlight 4, .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010.

Silverlight Customer Adoption

Silverlight adoption has continued at a rapid pace with installations approaching 60 percent of all Internet devices worldwide — an increase of nearly 15 percentage points in just four months. Customers such as Major League Soccer, BBC, eBay Inc., Netflix Inc., NBCOlympics.com and CT Corp., a Wolters Kluwer business, demonstrated how they are taking advantage of the power of Silverlight to deliver compelling consumer and enterprise experiences.

“Microsoft Silverlight technology will be the backbone of the video platform on our newly launched MLSsoccer.com,” said Chris Schlosser, director of digital strategy for Major League Soccer. “Our work with Microsoft allows us to launch cutting-edge digital and mobile experiences for our loyal fans. As part of our increased focus on digital media, we view a rich video experience as absolutely critical to accomplishing our goal of ’super serving’ MLS supporters.”

All the latest news and links from MIX10 are available at http://live.visitmix.com/press.

03/15/2010 12:30:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

.NET CF Lesson: “SNAPI Fast, ActiveSync Not-So-Much”#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I thought I would pass along a “good news/bad news” experience I recently had with regards to Windows Mobile 6.5, the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 and ActiveSync. Hopefully, it might serve to help someone in avoiding some coding and testing frustration.

I have been working on a project that requires responding to new incoming messages on Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Fortunately, the State and Notification Broker API (“SNAPI”) made this simple enough. Now, my C# code needed to play a sound if certain conditions were met. Simple enough – the System.Media.SoundPlayer class in the .NET CF 3.5 would do the trick. Once the code was written, it was time to test.

The first test went according to plan. Use an emulator, deploy in debugging mode, set a breakpoint to ensure that I was hitting the correct branches in application logic and run with it. Sure enough, everything performed as expected. The next test was essentially the same, with the exception being connecting an actual Windows Mobile 6.5 device for testing. Again, there were no problems.

For the next test, I decided to remove the breakpoint in Visual Studio. I run the code and… no sound. My intellectual response - “WTF?!?!?” ;-)

I’ll keep the story brief here, omitting all the second-guessing and testing that went on up until my finally figuring out the root cause of the problem. The issue, as it turns out, is that -

  • SNAPI and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 work very well. By “well”, I mean “fast”, especially when running on the latest hardware with Windows Mobile 6.5.
  • ActiveSync runs… well… about as fast as it always has on Windows Mobile, despite OS and hardware improvements.

Keeping in mind that ActiveSync and my application run on different threads, here is what I was able to determine:

  • ActiveSync begins a synchronization operation. As part of this sync, a new email arrives. Based upon device settings, ActiveSync prepares to play a sound and grabs resources.
  • At around the same time, my application receives the notification from the broker about a change in the unread email count changing. My logic has to do quite a bit of processing, but still managed to get to the point of playing a sound while ActiveSync still had a hold on resources. Result – my sound wouldn’t play.

“Fine”, I thought, “This is strictly a timing issue.” When I was in debugging mode, the stepping through the code and the latency associated with running in debug mode gave enough time for ActiveSync to complete. As a result, I decided to add code to pause my code to give time for ActiveSync to release resources. Here is where the real surprise came into play.

I spent quite a bit of time tinkering with the amount of time my application had to sleep in order to be able to play my sound. It took upwards of ten seconds for ActiveSync to release the resource I needed. When you consider the fact that ActiveSync had a “head start” on my code (AS was the cause of the SNAPI event firing, mind you), the amount of time from start to finish for AS was, well, A LOT. Ten seconds?!? Needless to say, I was very surprised and disappointed. This wouldn’t have surprised me a few years back, when slower hardware and slower network speeds could be the culprits. But today? With faster hardware and networks?

I guess the moral of this story is… If you are coding for Windows Mobile with a dependency on ActiveSync, NEVER assume performance. Code for the worst case and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

12/11/2009 09:19:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Resco Announces Support for Windows Phone, Dynamics CRM#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For any mobile solution provider, keeping up with change is always a challenge. When you are a provider of not only end-user products but also developer tools, the challenge is even greater. Resco is one developer addressing these changes, and is even going further…

Resco MobileForms Toolkit now optimized for application development for Windows® phones

Bratislava, Slovakia — October 20, 2009 — Resco, a supplier of advanced developer components and tools for mobile devices, announces that its popular suite of Microsoft .NET Compact Framework components called Resco MobileForms Toolkit now supports development of applications for Windows® phones

Resco is pleased to have the opportunity to optimize its widely used suite of components for mobile applications development for the new Windows phones.

“The majority of users, when buying a new cell phone, consider the basic parameters of the device, such as its design, operation system, new functionalities,” said Radomir Vozar, Resco Developer Tools & Enterprise Division Director. “Much more important, especially for development companies, is the development environment and here the dominance of Microsoft and Microsoft Visual Studio is more than evident.”

Thanks to Resco MobileForms Toolkit, all developers familiar with Visual Studio have a great opportunity to develop Windows phone applications that fully compete in attractiveness with platforms like iPhone or Android.

“We’re pleased that Resco is helping developers reach the millions of people using Windows phones by offering the the Resco MobileForms Toolkit,” said Jason Lim, director of ISV and developer experience at Microsoft Corp.

The complete press release can be found at the Resco web site.

If that isn’t enough, Resco is also steeping in to fill the Microsoft Dynamics CRM void. If you are unaware, Microsoft recently announced that they are discontinuing Microsoft Dynamics Mobile. Resco has stepped up to fill that gap, however…

Resco announces support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Resco SFA and CRM solutions will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Bratislava — October 20, 2009 — Resco, a supplier of advanced developer components, tools and business solutions for mobile devices, announces that its popular SFA and CRM solution Resco MobileBusiness ESP will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Although there are many mobile CRM solutions available in the mobile market, most of them are either a thin client, or end-user applications with limited customization opportunities. On the other hand, Resco MobileBusiness ESP is a developer platform that can be used by developers from all around the world as a base for their own mobile CRM and SFA applications.

“Since the release of Resco MobileBusiness ESP there’ve been many concerns from the integrators about the option to integrate it with Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” said Ivan Stano, Marketing & Sales, Resco Enterprise Solutions. “That contributed to our decision to create a tool for integrators to help them develop their own Dynamics CRM mobile extensions.”

The Resco MobileBusiness ESP solution is a developer platform for mobile business applications that work in off-line mode and allow, when it is needed, synchronization with server database. Thanks to the support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Resco MobileBusiness ESP will enable synchronization of mobile client data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM database.

“We realize the miscellaneous ways of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM usage in various companies,” said Miroslav Pomsar, Resco MobileBusiness ESP head developer. “Resco MobileBusiness ESP will solve multiple basic scenarios with customization opportunities embedded directly into Microsoft Visual Studio.”

Resco MobileBusiness ESP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be supplied with well-commented C# source code. Thus, it will be possible to perform elaborated adjustments that can lead to significant changes of the solution’s nature. Furthermore, the nature of the Resco MobileBusiness ESP solution as a developer platform and its licensing policy allow the developers creating solutions under own brand and with royalty-free distribution.

The first release of MobileBusiness ESP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is expected to come in December 2009.

The complete press release for this announcement can also be found on the Resco web site.

All in all, Resco has really stepped up in supporting the Windows Pnone enterprise and developer communities.

10/20/2009 13:07:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Lest Ye Forget… The Mobile Web and Multi-Platform Development#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

During our Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group meeting this past Wednesday, we had a wonderfully interactive discussion during my presentation “State of The Union: Mobile Device Application Development”. A common theme/concern during the presentation revolved around the effort involved in creating a single logical application that runs on multiple devices across platforms like Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android, WebOS… and on and on. We talked in great length about development tools, programming languages, learning curves and the like. During the presentation, one consistent message I tried to impart the audience with was simple…

Don’t dismiss the possibility of leveraging the mobile web for your application.

I think the greatest example of this came from one of our attendees, Jim Travis (thanks, Jim!). He gave an example of an iPhone application currently available in the iTunes App Store (and a quite popular app as well). This application, focused on mobile banking, is quite nice and has the visual appeal expected when using iPhone applications. Jim then pointed out that by using this bank’s mobile web application, you received a similar visual appeal with similar functionality. No application download required. It is this very example that brought me to writing on this subject.

Any seasoned application developer will tell you that there are times when a web-based application simply will not work. Usually, it is business-critical requirements like offline access to the application, detailed interaction with hardware and/or system resources or local storage of information that becomes a “show-stopper”. I understand this entirely, having experienced this far too many times myself over the years. I believe, however, that when it comes to mobile application development, we have become conditioned in an almost Pavlovian way to assume mobile application equates to native application.

Part of our conditioning when it comes to mobile application development comes from the evolution of mobile devices themselves. For so many years, mobile web browsers were well behind there desktop counterparts in capabilities. In fact, it was not that long ago that the only “safe bet” when developing for mobile browsers was to keep it as simple as possible, falling back to WAP standards to guarantee that the application would work. Times have changed in this regard; today’s mobile browsers are quickly gaining the ability to render desktop web sites with near-desktop fidelity. Unfortunately, these capabilities have led to yet another aspect of our turning away from mobile web application development.

With today’s mobile browsers supporting near-desktop browser capabilities, many have come to assume that there simply is not a need to mobile web equivalents. I frequently hear people say “let the user go to the ‘regular’ web site if they want <fill in the blank>.” Sadly, simplistic statements like this forget an oh-so important principle of software design – accessibility and/or readability do not equate to usability. While I can see my bank’s web site on my mobile browser, the process of using my bank’s web site to manage my finances is fraught with challenges zooming in and zooming out of a page, panning, scrolling, doing data entry, etc. All this typically leads to frustration and (inevitably) abandonment. If the banking site is optimized for my mobile browser, however, I can perform the tasks I require with improved readability, navigation and data entry. Result – a workable application that, when crafted correctly, can support a user base using different devices.

The techniques for supporting mobile mobile web browsers have existed for a long time. In fact, those who have developed web applications long enough can recall having to use the same techniques for desktop browsers (remember the first “Browser Wars”, with IE 4 and Netscape 4?). Interestingly enough, desktop web application developers are finding themselves in a similar situation today with IE 8, Firefox, Safari and Opera. To best provide rich web application functionality using “browser sniffing” (the web application determining the browser being used) and appropriate rendering of the web page, one can leverage a single base of common business application logic and customization only for the user interface. If you are developing using this technique today for your desktop experience, why not simply extend it for your mobile experience? While this approach requires a greater development effort, I think it is safe to say that it is usually far less effort than the alternative of learning multiple programming languages, investing in multiple toolsets and trying to keep everything “in sync” from a feature/functionality standpoint.

Another major challenge with native mobile applications lies in the process of distribution. How do you get your application to your users? Every mobile platform currently has one or more ways to deal with software distribution, but managing this when complicated by one logical application having multiple device-specific implementations is complex, to say the least. One compelling reason for the explosion of web applications in the past decade has been around this challenge. Simply put, web applications have no distribution issues to address, at least from a mechanical standpoint. New features? No problem. Bug fixes? No problem. Simply update the web site and voila! Bottom line – distribution of software is almost always a major complication for any type of application; web applications practically trivialize this issue.

All of this may sound like I am minimizing the importance of native device applications. I most certainly am not. I recognize their importance as well as scenarios where they are the only option. What I want to make clear, however, is that they are far from the only alternative for building solutions that support disparate multiple device platforms. When the idea for developing a mobile application first arises, you should be asking yourself some simple questions…

  1. Is there a compelling business and/or technical reason why I cannot design the application for the mobile web? Sometimes, a legitimate business reason may trump technical reasons. An example – the exposure of a native application to the public through a distribution channel provides more marketing ROI than a web application would. I think the mobile banking example mentioned previously could support this scenario.
  2. Can I provide the functionality for the user that meets the business and/or technical requirements with a mobile web application? While this used to be a blocking factor for the mobile web, it is increasingly becoming less so. Remember – the same mobile browser functionality that allows for the rendering and interaction with desktop web sites can be leveraged with a mobile web site; it is the design for usability on mobile devices that makes the extra development effort worth while.
  3. Is the extra cost associated with multiple versions of the same application for different devices worth it? Back to the ROI discussion. If there are no blocking factors for a mobile web application, it is crucial to address the costs and benefits of going the native application route to make sure that there is a very real reason to “go native” (held off using that phrase up until now ;-) ).

As a presenter, I love discussions that make me think in the same way that I hope to get my audience to think. This past Wednesday’s meeting/presentation was one such discussion. I really believe that the diversity of mobile devices and associated platforms may in fact be a greater driver to mobile web application adoption than anything else prior. By simply being open to the idea of cross-platform mobile web applications, we can potentially see a new world of opportunities for all mobile device users.  

08/21/2009 09:53:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

WinMoDevCamp – Boston, Anyone?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

In case you haven’t heard, the first of the WinMoDevCamps is occurring tomorrow (8/19/2009) in Seattle. Just what is WinMoDevCamp, you ask?. Well, here is the answer, direct from the WinMoDevCamp web site -

WMDC004-background

“WinMoDevCamp is a series of upcoming not-for-profit gatherings to develop applications for the upcoming release of the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 O/S. The event is currently being planned in 7 cities around the world. Our first Windows Mobile Developer Camp event has been scheduled for August 19 in Redmond, Washington at the Microsoft Campus. You can register now on the form below. Dates will soon be announced for the following additional cities: Austin, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and Toronto. We will also encourage other mobile developers to host their own events on the same dates. This website will have facilities for local events to organize as well.”

The last sentence in this paragraph is the reason for this post. While a New York City event is planned, there is nothing set for Boston. This begs to ask the question -

If a WinMoDevCamp event was planned for the Boston area, would you attend?

If there is the interest in this event, we here at BostonPocketPC.com are willing to try and make it happen. However, no one likes having a party where no one shows up ;-) The best way to express your interest – send an email to winmodevcamp at bostonpocketpc dot com. Please don’t delay – the sooner we can gauge interest, the faster we can get the ball rolling!

08/18/2009 09:47:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Widgets 101: Presentation and Example Code Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I really enjoyed delivering my presentation on “Windows Mobile Widgets 101” this past Wednesday at the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group. The goal was to show just how simple it was to get started with widget development. With the Windows Mobile 6.5 Developer Toolkit now available for download, now is as good a time as ever to get ahead of the game.

I have put my presentation deck (as PDF) and samples together into a single ZIP file for download. Enjoy!

06/20/2009 08:56:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Palm Pre - More News#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

June 6th next Saturday will be the launch day of the Palm Pre and to some it may seem a very odd day to launch a new product, but both Sprint and Palm already expect long lines of people wanting to buy the phone with many camping out for one, me I will be on vacation, but may check the local Sprint store there. Palm and Sprint have already said they anticipate they won’t have enough Palm Pre’s to meet the anticipated high demand, that is a good and bad thing. Good in that there is a demand, bad in that some people won’t purchase it, even at a later date or may even wait for another rumored carrier to pick it up. Still all the capabilities of the device aren’t fully known, but some reviews have surfaced like the one at BGR. Palm and Sprint have been working hard to market this product and have some interesting websites and widgets at their This is Now Website.

image

What we know so far:

“The Palm Pre takes full advantage of Sprint’s Everything Data plans,” said Avi Greengart, research director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis. “The Pre has been expressly designed for multitasking among multiple web pages and applications. It also builds on Palm’s heritage in PDAs by managing your digital information – whether that’s on a corporate server or on the web.”  Still no mention about tethering the Pre to a laptop.

Palm Synergy

image

  • Linked contacts – With Synergy, you have a single view that links your contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier than ever. For example, if you have the same contact listed in your Outlook, Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they’re the same person and links the information, presenting it to you as one listing.

image

  • Layered calendars – Your calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. You can toggle to look at one calendar at a time, or see them all at a glance.

image

  • Combined messaging – Synergy lets you see all your conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and you want to reply with text messaging. You can also see who’s active in a buddy list right from contacts or e-mail, and start a new conversation with just one touch.

image

This week at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference, Palm, Inc. introduced attendees to the latest features of the Palm webOS platform, including Palm media sync, the integration of Twitter in universal search, and a beta version of its App Catalog. Jon Rubinstein, Palm executive chairman, and Roger McNamee, Palm director and co-founder of Elevation Partners, debuted the new webOS features and mentioned some more information like:

  • ActiveSync – remote wipe and address lookup – (I am assuming access to the GAL and some server search too?)
  • GSM – in a few months so will it be on the rumored AT&T, who wants the Pre pretty badly as well as Verizon, but Bell Mobility in Canada is getting it too.
  • OTA Updates – push updates like Android every other phone should do this too (hint,hint)
  • 12 Apps at Launch – Pandora, Fandango, Citysearch, Linked In,(more on this below)

Palm Media Sync

Palm media sync is a feature of webOS that synchronizes seamlessly with iTunes, giving you a simple and easy way to transfer DRM-free music, photos and videos to your Palm Pre. Simply connect Pre to your PC or Mac via the USB cable, select "media sync" on the phone, and iTunes will launch on your computer desktop. You can then choose which DRM-free media files to transfer.

"We designed Palm media sync to be an easy and elegant way for you to take the content you own and put it on Pre, and it's just one of the ways we think you'll be amazed by webOS," said Rubinstein. "We've had an overwhelming response since we introduced Pre at CES, and with availability just days away, we can't wait to let everyone see firsthand what the excitement is all about."

Pre also acts as a mass storage drive, letting you side-load your media content. Once connected to a computer using the USB cable, Pre will appear as a drive on the computer desktop. You can drag and drop music, photos or video files onto your Pre, or drag files from your Pre to the computer. And, just like a digital camera, Pre works directly with your computer's default desktop photo software to seamlessly import photos captured with Pre's built-in 3-megapixel camera.

In addition to listening to music transferred from your desktop, you can use the on-device Amazon MP3 store to purchase individual songs or full albums over-the-air. You can search by artist, song and genre, and preview and purchase music files. You can then download purchased tracks when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Twitter in Universal Search

Palm also announced that Twitter search is integrated into webOS universal search.(3) Universal search is about finding what you want quickly, whether it's an on-device contact to call, a place you're trying to get to, or a Wikipedia article for encyclopedic information. Just start typing and Pre will figure out if you're looking for a contact, an application, or even let you search the web via Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia and now Twitter. Universal search uses Twitter's search service to sort through real-time current events and news, so universal search now covers every aspect of search on the web: general info, location, encyclopedia, and news.

Twitter's ability to show what's going on right now is a perfect fit for what universal search and Pre are all about. You don't have to be a Twitter user to benefit from Twitter in universal search. It's available for all users, even if they don't have an account, so anyone can keep on top of real-time news and the latest trends.

App Catalog

Rubinstein and McNamee also gave conference attendees an advance look at the beta version of the App Catalog, which will be available on Pre at launch. The beta version will feature applications from developers such as AP News, Citysearch, Fandango, Pandora and uLocate.

"We've received excellent feedback from participants in the Mojo SDK early access program and look forward to the SDK's public release. Developers are very enthusiastic about the platform's ease of use and industry-standard development model," said Rubinstein. "We're excited to launch Pre with the beta version of the catalog, which will give a taste of how the overall webOS ecosystem will work."

The App Catalog was demonstrated at the conference using Fandango's webOS application, which takes advantage of Palm Synergy(TM), a key feature of webOS. It also uses Pre's location-based services to find theaters near you, and lets you watch trailers, buy tickets, add showtimes to your calendar and get directions to the theatre.(1) Also included in the beta App Catalog will be Pandora, which makes use of the platform's multitasking capabilities, running elegantly in the background while you're using other applications. It highlights a unique aspect of the notification bar that lets you know what song is currently playing, and control pause and play without having to go back into the application.

The Palm Pre phone will be available from Sprint on June 6 for $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate. More information is available at www.sprint.com/palmpre and www.palm.com. Also be sure to tune into the official Palm Blog and Twitter feed.

Either way the Palm Pre will be a changer in the Mobile handset space and from what we saw at CES 2009 the Pre has a lot of potential and Palm and its investors are betting that it will live up to the hype.

05/29/2009 14:20:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Tag Introduces Custom Tags#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Previously, a Microsoft Tag had to be a square filled with geometric colored or black/white triangles. These tags could then be read by a mobile application that provided an “easy link” to additional content on a webpage.

microsoft tag

The folks at Microsoft research have now added the dot method and add a background image to a Microsoft Tag, like the one shown in the picture Viva Piñata below where the confetti is actually an array of dots that is part of the Microsoft tag. 

VivaTag

You can incorporate the symbols into the overall look by manipulating the Tag in a graphic design application. Breathtaking machine readable codes can be created that provide design flexibility while preserving machine readability. By following the straightforward Custom Tag Creation Guidelines you'll be on your way to creating the most advanced and eye pleasing codes that exist.

JellyBeanTag

Can you see the Microsoft Tag in the jellybean image above?

If you really like these tags and want to see if you can make some cool ones of your own be sure to read up on the Custom Tag Creation Guidelines and enter you design in the The Tag Slaps Design Contest, which challenges you to create an original custom design Tag and a mobile experience creative concept for it.

The Tag Slaps Design Contest challenges you to create an original customized Tag and creative concept for an accompanying mobile experience. Your entry should include a working customized Tag that leads to a mobile web site, as well as a creative concept for a mobile site. The mobile site experience concept should engage your customer and encourage them to take an action such as signing up for a service, getting more information about your product, downloading a special offer or an application, and more.

Semi-finalists are chosen by a panel of Tag enthusiasts comprised of business leaders, online and offline marketers, and designers. The winner is voted on by you-the Tag community!

What is a Tag Slaps, you ask? In the graffiti world, a "slaps" is defined as a sticker with a writer or tagger's tag on it. A slaps can be spread more quickly than other forms of graffiti, making it a favorite in many places such as newspaper dispensers, stop signs, phone booths, and more.

With Microsoft Tag, you can now customize the look of a Tag so that it embodies your brand, a message or theme, or a really cool visual! It's your personal slaps.

05/06/2009 14:44:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TellMe to Come to Windows Mobile 6.5#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of my favorite products in the past decade has been Tellme, which is now a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. and pioneer of voice services, announced the first mobile vice service to combine content and communications, simplifying how people interact with their phones every day. Unlike other voice-based services, Tellme is the first to allow people to press one button, say what they want and get it, whether that is to send a text, make a call or search for information. Tellme has designed a unique version of this experience specifically for Windows phones due out this fall. As those who asked about TellMe you can access it now from any phone by calling 1-800-555-TELL. Also TellMe will be used in select Ford Cars for LOB applications as part of Ford Sync, which was announced at CES 2009.

tellme

The new service puts many of the most popular phone functions behind a single button. Windows phone users just press the side button of their phone to:

  • Send a text by saying "text" to open a text box, then speak the text message and send to call anyone in their contact list
  • Initiate a call simply by saying "call" and then the name of anyone in their contact list
  • Search the Web with Microsoft Live Search by speaking your request, such as "weather in San Francisco, California", "Pizza in Kansas City" or "mother’s day gift ideas"

"Because it’s so intuitive, we believe there is a real opportunity for voice to materialize as the leading user interface for the phone," said Dariusz Paczuski, senior director of consumer services at Tellme. "By bringing voice access to calling, texting and searching together we reduce ‘menu surfing’ on phones and make the convenience of voice more tangible for everyday needs."

In a head to head comparison, it’s clear why people prefer voice over touch. For example, it requires four touches and more than 20 keystrokes to find a business with the Apple iPhone, while it only takes one button push and one verbal command to find the same business with Tellme. Tellme’s research shows similar results for other tasks, such as making calls, sending text messages and searching for content like traffic, movies, news and sports.

"For example, Sprint has integrated our voice access to the Live Search application on Sprint Instinct phones and subscribers love it," continued Paczuski. "In fact, we’ve seen impressive adoption of voice with 3 of every 4 search queries being initiated by voice."

Finally, in a recent study conducted by Sanderson Studios, more than 70 percent of respondents said that voice is superior to keypad or touch-based methods to perform some of the most popular mobile tasks. This includes looking up a business listing or location (78 percent), sending a text message (72 percent), placing a call (79 percent), getting information such as movies, weather, traffic or sports (77 percent) and getting directions (81 percent).

For the past decade, Tellme has been pioneering voice services for businesses and consumers, answering billions of calls every year and helping millions of people get the information they need simply by speaking a request. Now the convenience of voice is coming to Windows phones, bringing people closer to the things they want by providing easier access to more of the phone’s functionality. With Tellme, people using the latest Windows phones will be able to simply say what they want, such as ‘call mom’ or ‘text Jim’ or ‘pizza,’ and results display on the screen.

Tellme will be available for free on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones in the Fall 2009 when the phones hit store shelves. Initially available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile store, Tellme will also make the service available for free to mobile operators and carriers to embed ‘on-device’ for a voice experience right out of the box.

More information and a video of it in action can be found here.

04/29/2009 16:54:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Dev Training at MSDev.com#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Looking for some training on Windows Mobile development? Does FREE sound good? Then you should consider heading to MSDev.com. Previously focused on providing on-demand content for Microsoft ISVs, MSDev.com is now open to all developers.

msdev 

You can register if you choose, or simply access the web site. And Windows Mobile developer content is but a fraction of the Microsoft developer content available. There are web seminars and virtual labs available.

Credits go to our regional MS Developer Evangelist Chris Bowen for pointing this out!

04/14/2009 08:22:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Resco Announces Resco Business Prototypes#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Line of Business (“LoB”) developers for mobile devices typically face challenges in understanding the trade-offs and best practices for developing robust applications for resource-constrained devices. In an attempt to address these issues, Resco has announced Resco Business Prototypes, a new product line focused around common Line of Business solutions.

Bratislava, Slovakia — March 17, 2009 — Resco, a supplier of advanced developer components and tools for mobile devices, announces today new product line, which is optimized for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5.

The most important features of current situation in the mobile software market are basically the overall grow of mobility, its utilization in business solutions and lack of experience in development of mobile solutions.

The most significant grow of demand in particular is in the field of business solutions with mobile upgrade. Mobility is very flexible tool that expands in a wide spectrum of business industries. Despite the fact that current mobile devices dispose of high performance hardware thus are able to run hardware demanding applications, the environment of mobile devices is much different from desktops. Desktop developers switching to mobile environment encounter many problems mostly due to the mobile limitations. Moreover, business solutions providers usually have neither the experience, nor the know-how of mobile environment.

Based on these reasons Resco decides to present new product line of business prototype solutions. The goal of these solutions is to help developers cope with the difficulties of mobile environment.

In the upcoming 6 months time perspective Resco will launch three business prototypes with source codes.

“Resco is very excited to have such opportunity to present brand new product line assigned for business solutions,” said Ivan Stano, Marketing and Sales, Resco Developer Tools. "I believe that the prototypes will serve as valuable help for all developers who care about perfect functionality and attractive graphics.”

The first prototype is focused on SFA solutions. It is especially assigned for sales people working in the field. Second prototype is targeted to retail — shopping sector and the third one to assets inventory management. The release of the first prototype is scheduled for April 2009.

More details are sure to come, but I do like the idea of providing solutions with source code, allowing for organizations to “jump-start” application development with guidance from a proven developer of Windows Mobile applications and tools. Resco has a long history of developing highly successful applications for Windows Mobile devices, and their developer tools are equally successful.

03/18/2009 08:25:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Mobile Manager for Netflix#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At CntrStg we got to see and play a little with a new application for Windows Mobile in a presentation by Greg Sullivan called Mobile Manager for Netflix.

netflixwm home netflix02

Not only can you get all the usual information on the movie, you can even view small trailers of the movie you want to add to your queue so you can sample if you really want it or if it is appropriate for your family and add it to your queue.

Windows Mobile now offers a mobile application for Netflix. The new Netflix application for Windows Mobile phones makes it simple to manage your Netflix experience from a mobile device. You can search the entire Netflix library for your next film, get complete movie details, and even manage your DVD queue. Easily update your queue by moving films up, moving films down, or removing films from your queue.

A feature exclusive to Windows Mobile is the ability to play previews right on your Windows Mobile device. After watching a preview, you can then add the movie to your Instant Queue so you can instantly watch the movie on your Xbox 360.

Managing a Netflix account while mobile has never been easier, thanks to Mobile Manager for Netflix and a Windows Mobile phone.

You can download it from here.(Note you will need a Live ID / Passport account and agree to the Terms of Service to do so and it is very hard to install on your device if you are using PIE- how come Microsoft can’t make their own Windows Mobile website, Windows Mobile Friendly?)

02/05/2009 13:00:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Radio Shack offers AT&T subsidized Acer 3G netbook#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Radio Shack with the help of  AT&T are offering people a pretty good deal in the form of the Acer Aspire One, an ultra-small laptop with built-in 3G connectivity for $99 with qualifying new 2-year AT&T AirCard agreement on rate plans $60/mo. or more or for $499.99 unactivated.

radioshack_acer_netbook

The 2.44-pound  Acer Aspire One features an 8.9" display, Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, webcam, WiFi (b and g) and a 160GB hard drive in an ultra-compact size measuring 9.8" x 6.7" x 1.1" (W x D x H). The Acer Aspire One runs Windows XP and also features a built-in webcam for video conferencing.The Acer Aspire One includes a built-in cellular modem with quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) support in addition to tri-band UMTS (850/1900/2100MHz) support, with HSPA for high-speed data.

The deal is available in Radio Shack stores, as well as through the Radio Shack website, through December 24th, 2008.

Not a bad deal, which is about the same price as a wireless card was last year.

12/15/2008 12:34:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SlingMedia delivers On Demand Video#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The folks at Sling have listened to their users and are proud to announce the public launch of Sling.com, an online video entertainment destination that could easily fill and your dependency on cable and satellite television providers. Users can go to Sling.com to watch a huge selection of clips, TV shows, films, news and sports in high quality, for free, anytime they want. This includes video programming from over 90 content providers spanning 150 content brands. Most of the content looks to come from a partnership with Hulu.com.

sling stream

“Sling.com is a wonderful combination of premium video content, television viewing, robust editorial and consumer-friendly access and socialization features,” said Jason Hirschhorn, President, Sling Media Entertainment Group. “Users will have a blast watching great clips, full length shows and movies while customizing the viewing experience to their liking."

Sling.com features:

  • Robust editorial programming: Sling.com’s editorial team creates great content including blogs, playlists and clip collections.
  • Socialization features: Users can subscribe to any channel, show or user to create a feed of programming and activity that reflects your personal tastes and those of your social network.
  • Slingbox access: For the first time, Slingbox owners can now access and view their home television (cable, satellite receiver) and DVR via the Sling.com website, making their Slingboxes available without a software client download.

“Our mission from day one was to enable access to content regardless of screen or source,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media, Inc. “Sling Media will continue to link and meld video solutions from the television, computer and mobile device to create seamless experiences for consumers.”

Best of all if you have a mobile browser that supports Flash video like Skyfire, you can watch your favorite television shows and movies right on your phone on demand when the mood strikes you.

12/03/2008 05:44:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

HP Breaks the 24-hour Battery Life Barrier & How They do it.#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK I have been contemplating this press release I received a while ago and I am wondering what constitutes 24hrs of battery life of the HP laptop with the longest battery life of 24hrs and what the profiles are. Granted there has been a lot of tweaking going on by manufacturers to squeeze out extra battery life out of laptops, right?!. Don just got a new Toshiba Tablet PC at work  and was amazed that the laptop had a long battery life and performed well even at the Power Saver level. I too was amazed at how well the HDX Dragon did in battery and usage tests (granted it was only 3hrs, but it also had a 20 inch display and some pretty powerful hardware that goes to sleep as it should. So I don't disbelieve this claim by HP, but would like to see it for myself in a real world setting.

hp6930p

Today I got to talk to an HP Product manager on how they were able to achieve this.

HP had announced an unprecedented milestone in mobile computing: up to 24 hours of continuous notebook operation on a single battery charge. As measured by an industry-standard benchmark Mobilemark 2005 for Windows XP, the new HP EliteBook 6930p configured with an optional ultra-capacity battery delivered up to 24 hours of battery runtime.

When ordering your 6930p HP also offer’s the option of having the computer downgraded to Windows XP with an upgrade to Windows Vista Business disc included or it can ship with Windows Vista Business Edition. The timing for battery life running Windows Vista is of course different, not only because it is a more robust OS, there was a different testing software involved that puts the system under more real world scenarios using Mobilemark 2007. Using the same hardware configuration it was able to net 20 hours and 40 minutes using Vista with the modern testing software.

Surprisingly there was no tweaking in Windows Power Management. HP has a set of HP Optimized power settings that optimizes performance and battery life and this what was used and what they recommend.

During the tests both the wireless radios for Bluetooth, WiFi, (and if equipped with 3G radio card) were all off for best case scenario as a mobile user would use to eek out the longest battery life. So if you are using any of these, (which you aren’t supposed to do on any airline) your mileage will vary depending on usage.

The Elitebook 6930p used in the tests did have some hardware not yet available for the buying public, but will be soon. The greatest energy saver was the use of an HP Illumi-Lite LED Display (planned to be available October 2008) that is a $50 option that nets an energy savings of 4 hours additional runtime compared to traditional LCD displays as well as an 80GB X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive from Intel, which nets another 4%.

hp6930p battery

So in order to achieve this 24 hour benchmark HP utilizes a 12 Cell Ultra Capacity Battery and customer download of the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS. Notebook must also be configured with optional Intel 80 GB SSD drive, HP Illumi-Lite LED Display and requires Microsoft Windows® XP operating system. We were told that battery life will vary depending on the product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage. The Ultra Capacity Battery can also be charged with a separate AC adapter minimizing charging time before a long trip and it will also be compatible with other laptops in HPs lineup. The battery also has charge level LEDs to let you know when you have topped it off. It is also designed to give a comfortable working angle for the laptop when added to the bottom.

Designed and tested to last, HP batteries benefit from a combination of HP engineering and energy-efficient notebook components such as Intel solid-state hard drives (SSD) and mercury-free LED displays. For example, the highly efficient HP Illumi-Lite LED display boosts battery run time by up to 4 hours compared to traditional LCD displays, while the Intel X25-M and X18-M Mainstream SATA SSDs provides up to a 7 percent increase in battery life compared to traditional hard drives.

So in this day it is entirely possible to get 24 hours out of your laptop today with the right configuration of hardware and software and sets a pretty high benchmark.

Here are some excerpts from the press release you may find interesting:

“All-day computing has been the holy grail of notebook computing,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, HP. “With the HP EliteBook 6930p, customers no longer have to worry about their notebook battery running out before their work day is over.”

Use an HP EliteBook 6930p continuously on the world’s longest scheduled commercial airline flight – linking Newark Liberty International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport – approximately 18 hours, 40 minutes.

Inspired by aircraft construction and designed for style-conscious mobile professionals, HP EliteBook notebooks feature the latest mobile technologies.

In October, customers will be able to purchase an HP EliteBook with the new Intel high-performance SSDs – HP is a launch customer for new Intel X25-M and X18-M Mainstream SATA SSDs.

In addition to helping achieve outstanding battery life, these new Intel SSDs provide greater durability and reliability as well as faster system responsiveness. Internal HP benchmarks show overall performance boosts of up to 57 percent on industry benchmarks, and data transfer rates almost six times faster than traditional hard disks.

“Intel architected its new line of high-performance solid-state drives specifically to bring a new level of performance and reliability to the computing platform and make significant impact to the way people use their PCs,” said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager, NAND Products Group, Intel. “The HP milestone is an example of the impact of this new level of performance that specifically delivers on lower power consumption for longer battery life.”

The initial ENERGY STAR®-qualified HP EliteBook 6930p configuration starts at only 4.7 pounds (2.1 kilograms). It features a 14.1-inch diagonal widescreen display and is available with an optional, mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display.

The HP EliteBook 6930p is built for the corporate road warrior as it features a shock-resistant hard drive, enhanced display panel and spill-resistant keyboard to help defend data against bumps, drops and spills. It was designed to meet the tough MIL-STD 810F military-standard tests(2) that measure levels of environmental reliability and operation at extreme temperatures, while withstanding vibration and high humidity.

The inner magnesium shell of the notebook’s HP DuraCase is equipped with a honeycomb pattern that is thermally bonded to anodized aluminum for a solid construction.

All HP notebooks are designed with the environment in mind, with energy-efficient features and select materials for easier recycling. For example, HP has set a goal to remove all mercury – a material commonly found in notebook screens – from its entire notebook line by the end of 2010.

10/21/2008 05:07:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Announces 2008 Awards Winners#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Annual Awards concluded a few weeks ago and the Winners, Finalists and Nominees are now available for viewing online.  Again I was a Judge this year and as always its a very intensive and exhaustive process testing many different titles in several categories making sure I used and evaluated each title thoroughly and fairly. Eighty members of the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Board of Experts judged 936 Windows Mobile products in 194 Pocket PC and Smartphone categories. Winners are also listed in the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine 2009 Resource Guide first seen late November.

sppc 2008 winners

This year there for some reason took longer than some previous years to judge due to the high quality of nominees across both Windows Mobile platforms.  The nominees and winners are broken down into Pocket PC Apps — touchscreen devices, Pocket PC Games — touchscreen devices and Smartphone software– non-touchscreen devices

I just want to give very special thanks to Hal Goldstein, Nate Adcock, and Noah Ouellette from Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and Kerry Baker and the folks from Handango for working very hard on conducting these awards each year. It’s alot of work.  Also note that you get a 15% discount on all Windows Mobile software through their exclusive VIP site until Decmeber 31, 2008, when you purchase their Knowledge Bundle, which contains the 2009 Resource Guide (last issue) with Awards Winners & Finalists, GPS, How-tos and Accessories sections, 100-page How-to Guide, Back-Issues of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine.

10/02/2008 17:46:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Plastic Logic Flexible Reader#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Plastic is the new paper. Amazon sees it with Kindle. Sony sees it with theirs and now Plastic Logic sees it with a new flexible reader in an 8.5 x 11-inch display and is aiming itself at the Business market as an alternative to paper or other electronic readers on the market today.

 

plastic logic

“Research confirms professionals read much more business content than recreational content. They require access to all formats of digital content at their fingertips, and want a large readable screen,” said Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta.

The Plastic Logic reader supports a full range of business document formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and Adobe PDFs, as well as newspapers, periodicals and books. It has an easy gesture-based user interface and powerful software tools that will help business users to organize and manage their information. Users can connect to their information either wired or wirelessly and store thousands of documents on the device.So it looks to have a USB port (possibly a mini USB or micro USB) with Wifi or even better some sort of 3G service like the Whispernet found on Kindle, that recently had $100 off with a Chase Visa offer to drop the TCO to $259. The reader incorporates E Ink technology for great readability and features low power consumption and long battery life. The Plastic Logic reader is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2009.

plastic logic2

It’s pretty thin. It is thinner than a pad of paper, lighter than many business periodicals, and offers a high-quality reading experience, but I am wondering how the flexible display is used from the above picture. It is a very intriguing device and looks much better than the Kindle IMHO, but if slate Tablet PCs could ever get this thin and conservative on power it would have a tough market, but it looks like Plastic logic has cut out its own niche.

Check out these videos of it in action.

Hopefully this comes out soon, because Sony has a color flexible screen they are working on that may enter into its E-reader market or gaming platform.

09/09/2008 12:52:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

iPhone 2.0 and the Enterprise... Still Leaving Something To Be Desired#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I've been spending a lot of time on the road as of late, meeting with a number of great companies with ideas and desires around mobility. While the focus during this time has been on Windows Mobile, the realization is that a lot of these same organizations also support RIM/Blackberry users and environments and (in some cases) are also considering Apple iPhone support as well. It is with this in mind that I (like so many others) paid close attention to yesterday's keynote speech at the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference ("WWDC"). As anticipated, much of the focus of the keynote was the announcement of the Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 operating system.

From strictly a consumer perspective, the newest iPhone will undoubtedly create much buzz, interest and sales (and all very rightly so). I was, however, very focused on how this new iPhone incarnation would meet the demands of two specific groups -

  1. Enterprise application developers creating Line of Business applications for their enterprise workforce, and
  2. IT organizations charged with ensuring that mobile devices meet with security, compliance and support standards.

That being said, I was less than enthused about what was discussed yesterday regarding a device that has repeatedly been touted as "ready for the enterprise". Some reasons for my disappointment -

  • The answer to the "no background processing for 3rd party applications" issue. For those of you that are unaware, the iPhone Software Development Kit ("SDK") for 3rd party application development almost immediately raised a "red flag" among developers several months ago when it was announced that no 3rd party applications would be allowed to run in the background. In other words - switching between your 3rd party application and another application would cause your application to shut down. From a data-centric application perspective, this could be devastating if extra application coding did not take place to persist data whenever the user switched applications. In a side note - Apple does allow their own applications to run as background processes; it's the 3rd party applications that cannot.

    Yesterday's event found Scott Forstall addressing issue - sort of. Apparently, Apple perceived the background process issue as being important to developers of instant messaging solutions and not much else. The answer to the background process issue was apparently to respond with "background processes are bad." Specifically bad for battery life and performance. OK, I'll grant that, but gasoline-burning cars are bad for the environment. Does unilaterally banning them solve all your problems? What about the problems created by that decision? How about alternatives that do not cripple and potentially worsen the problem beyond the original issue?

    Forstall did propose a solution (again, "sort of"). Apple is proposing an application server architecture (maintained by Apple) that apparently will allow an application to register and receive push notifications. I'm not sure if the scope of this even applies to anything other than the instant message developers, but even if it did it seems to leave a lot to be desired. My application would now rely on the occasionally-connected nature of the cellular world and the scalability and availability of a service outside of my direct control to provide me with an application "wake-up call". Listen - I have trouble trusting the hotel front desk for a wake-up call, and you are asking me to accept this proposed architecture for mission-critical applications? In the end, this whole topic and proposed solution came across as something similar to "We believe flying to a destination via commercial jet is very inefficient from a a resource perspective. So, here's a better solution - a giant catapult..." ;-)
  • Enterprise Line of Business application distribution. A few months back, Apple acknowledged that the consumer-focused application distribution model of the Apple AppStore would not work for most enterprise IT organizations wishing to control distribution of their home-grown applications. Apple is allowing distribution of applications through their corporate intranet, and these applications will be synced to the iPhone - using iTunes. So if I understand this correctly, Apple will require iTunes on enterprise computers? Was anyone at Apple ever talked to a real IT organization responsible for regulatory compliance and security auditing? Wow - I see this as a MAJOR show-stopper for a lot of organizations.
  • Device provisioning/configuration. This is one area that I do give Apple some credit with, if for nothing more than clarifying what can be configured via both Exchange Server and Exchange Active Sync (note to Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Worldwide Marketing - before you bash a technology like "ActiveStink", spend 5 minutes to ensure that your company hasn't licensed the technology as a cornerstone in a major market push. My 7 year-old son thanks you for making him look mature) and Apple's Configuration utility. Essentially, the iPhone will be configurable from an Exchange policy enforcement perspective in the areas of Remote Wipe and Password policies. Other configurable areas can be performed using an Apple-supplied GUI tool that creates the appropriate configuration for distribution via either website or e-mail attachment. If you are interested in more information around this, you can visit Apple's iPhone Enterprise Integration web site for the details.

    While I would like to see a larger expansion of policies over time and more information on the configuration internals (is the device provisioning OMA-DM compliant, for example), there is some tangible progress here.

All in all, Apple is making some attempts to address the issues most relevant to the eventual "go or no-go" people in the enterprise world. I really do think a lot of the issues here could be resolved if Apple gains a better understanding of the needs of these IT organizations. Apple has (and likely will always be) a consumer-focused company. Unfortunately, those consumers can only demand so much of their employers when it comes to making iPhones (and other Apple hardware, for that matter) "corporate computing citizens". If sometimes rigid (and often very legal) standards cannot be met to guarantee the security, integrity and management of iPhones, acceptance will end at the front door.

On a related note -  Peter Burrows has written a wonderful piece on Apple and the Enterprise for Business Week entitled "The Mac in the Gray Flannel Suit". It really does talk to so much of what I believe are the root problems with Apple and the enterprise today.  

06/10/2008 13:25:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Adding Sizzle to Emulator Demos with SOTI Pocket Controller#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I haven't had the chance to mention things here, but I recently fired up a personal blog at Sorcinelli.net. My goal is to cover - well, anything I don't think might be of direct relevance here at BostonPocketPC.com. You may find things of a more personal nature, technology items outside the realm of Windows Mobile / Microsoft mobility technologies, .NET development (including device, desktop and web) or anything else, for that matter.

As an example of what I am talking about, I did just post up an article regarding demo, screenshots and videos involving the Device Emulator for Windows Mobile. I've been asked on a number of occasions how to "spice up" the bland emulator skin. While you could go down a path in creating custom skins for the emulator, a simpler and more powerful solution can be found in using SOTI's Pocket Controller Professional. There are a few steps to follow in order to get things running, but the results are well worth it. You can check out my complete tutorial here.

Emu_PocketController

P.S. - if you are interested in Sorcinelli.net for only some of the content, be sure to check out the RSS feeds by category (on the lower-left side of the home page). You can subscribe to only what you want. I expect many to filter out my "personal side" ;-)

05/09/2008 13:39:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Code Camp 9 Presentation Now Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Thanks to everyone who attended my two sessions this past weekend at Code Camp 9 in Waltham, MA. As always, it was great meeting new folks and connecting with friends.

I have now posted the presentations for download -

04/08/2008 07:06:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Live TV on your PND Navigation System is on the way#
Post By Johan van Mierlo
The next step in the PND navigation systems is the integration of live TV capabilities using your data connection of your Phone/laptop or even maybe with an integrated Mobile Data Connection(Sim data card). See below the press release and the full specs of this new AvMap PND
AvMap introduces Geosat 6 TV, the world’s firstPND featuring DVB-H TV, connected navigation and tri-band GSM phone options

AvMap, the Italian GPS company, today presented the most complete and versatile stand-alone GPS unit in the market: the new Geosat 6 TV. Geosat 6 TV is a Do-It-All Personal Navigation Device (PND) featuring DVB-T and DVB-H TV (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) on the move, connected navigation, a tri-band GSM phone and multimedia player functions. Geosat 6 TV includes an unmatched integration of technologies and functions in a single all-in-one GPS device. The multimedia engine and TV middleware are provided by Cidana Corporation and the device will also feature digital maps and content from Tele Atlas. AvMap is previewing the world premiere of the Geosat 6 TV at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the Tele Atlas stand, Hall 2, Booth 2B69.

“Geosat 6 TV is a connected device capable of enriching the navigation experience with dynamic information on-the-go.” said Simone Lazzarini, Managing Director of AvMap “Geosat 6 TV represents the result of the most advanced converging technologies and it opens the way to limitless opportunities of partnerships with location-based services (LBS) and content providers to offer innovative solutions for the mobile user.”

“Rich, live mobile TV is the next key feature for navigation devices,” said Ioannis Katsavounidis, Chief Technology Officer of Cidana. “Geosat 6 TV is the first of a new breed of devices that combine portable navigation with live media entertainment. Its light-weight form factor and GPS location-aware features, coupled with the many services that DVB-H TV signals carry, will make it a natural success. Cidana is excited to provide our universal DVB-H/DVB-T and PMP solutions to AvMap for the Geosat 6 TV.”

“Consumers seek a content-rich experience from their mobile multimedia devices, so it is natural they will also want to leverage navigation information and features as a part of their complete on-the-go environment,” said Jack Reinelt, Tele Atlas’ Managing Director and Chief Operating Office of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We’re pleased to partner with leading companies such as AvMap, which are focused on providing innovative solutions for the mobile user.”

Advanced GPS Navigation
The new Software by AvMap makes navigation easier thanks to advanced functions such as the stop planner, the trip computer an FAQ and on board user guide.
Dynamic contents
Find out how connected navigation makes the difference when planning your journey: receive real time weather info, then take a look at the gas prices to decide where to stop and refuel, look for free parking and get some tips on events to plan your night in town. Geosat 6 TV will be the first connected navigator in Europe of its kind, finally bringing Location Based Services capabilities into a PND device.

GSM and emergency Calls
With Geosat 6 TV, AvMap enters the mobile phone market. Thanks to the built-in tri-band GSM, Geosat 6 TV works as a mobile phone. The SW interface includes a quick access button for emergency calls, which can be configured for special services (such as car insurance support).

DVB-H and Multimedia Functions
Geosat 6 TV includes numerous mobile entertainment applications. Geosat 6 TV is equipped with a DVB-H and a DVB-T module to ensure an optimal reception of Digital TV in any condition. This portable multimedia device also includes a picture viewer and an Mp3 and Mp4 player.
Hardware & specs
AvMap Geosat 6 TV is 100% designed and made in Italy. The new stylish design features a slim metallic case which is robust and elegant. The large, high-resolution 4.8” wide-screen ensures recognition at a glance and can be viewed in horizontal or vertical mode. The innovative smart magnetic holder holds the navigator with 4 powerful magnets and lets you rotate the navigator from landscape to portrait mode with a simple gesture to choose the best point of view on navigation.
The AvMap Geosat 6 TV features a 520 MHz processor, a Sirf Star III GPS receiver, sensor for automatic brightness control and a master/slave USB port.

Preloaded with the Tele Atlas maps for 34 European countries and with more than 2 million POI’s (Points of Interest), Geosat 6 TV comes with text-to-speech technology that announces street names and live contents with the AvMap dynamic info service. AvMap Geosat 6 TV adds a digital media player to play Mp3 and Mp4 files.

AvMap Geosat 6 TV will be compatible with Geosat Updater the desktop application that helps people manage their GPS maps, Points of interests, Welcome images, Voices and other content and easily synchronize it to their devices. The Geosat Updater allows free download of the latest software release, helping customers to keep their AvMap devices up-to date. Through the Geosat Updater, which is a free download from http://www.avmap.it/ , AvMap customers can personalize and expand their GPS experience.
 
Availability
AvMap Geosat 6 TV will be displayed at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, 11 – 14 February 2008 in the Tele Atlas stand in Hall 2 at booth B69; visitors to the AvMap corner of the stand will be able to view demonstrations. AvMap Geosat 6 TV ships in Q2 2008 with a smart magnetic mount, a cigarette lighter power supply cable, A/C power supply cable and USB data cable.
02/08/2008 07:56:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

MSDN: "How Do I" Videos for Mobile Device Developers#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I must admit that on my list of "Mobile Device Resources", the "How Do I" videos section of MSDN has always been a bit of a ways down. Imagine my surprise when recently visiting this site and discovering that the list of videos is now at 43!

HowDoI

With the availability of these videos across multiple formats and an RSS feed, this resource has now become a "top-of-the-list" recommendation for both new and experienced developers. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this site today!

01/27/2008 11:45:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Google in the race for the 700 MHZ auction !#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

According to an article from the Reuters press office Google has entered the race to become a service provider on the mobile market.

Communications regulators have cleared Google to bid in an upcoming auction of coveted wireless airwaves, according to auction documents released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday.

Google was among a list of potential bidders released by the FCC to require up-front payment and be cleared to take part in the high-stakes 700MHz wireless auction.

The auction is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24 and expected to raise at least $10 billion for the U.S. government from airwaves being returned by television broadcasters as they move to digital from analog signals in early 2009.

The list of qualified bidders also included U.S. wireless providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, as well as ventures involving EchoStar, Cablevision, Qualcomm and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The 700MHz signals are valuable because they can go long distances and penetrate thick walls.

The spectrum is to be auctioned off in several different blocks, ranging from smaller regional blocks to large, nationwide ones.

Up-front payments for the spectrum licenses can range from several thousand dollars to more than $100 million, depending on the size of the license a company is seeking.

The auction is seen as a last opportunity for a new player to enter the wireless market. Google and other Silicon Valley leaders see the wireless spectrum as a way to create more open competition for mobile services and devices than those available on existing networks.

01/17/2008 21:50:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - BlueAnt meets Furbie#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

BlueAnt launched during the CES a couple of new products. One very interesting one is after the succes of the Z9 the new V1. The V1 bluetooth headset is using a new technology from Sensory called the BlueCenie Voice Interface.

 

 

 

The BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Headset allows users to easily control most functions of their headset using the revolutionary ‘BlueGenie™ Voice Interface*’ from Sensory, Inc.Talk to it – and it will talk to you. Ask it for assistance –and it will assist you in getting the right command. This headset eliminates the combinations of button pushes, button holds and flashing lights synonymous with advanced Bluetooth devices. One activation button provides you with total control of the V1’s entire function menu system via an easy to use voice interface.

The V1 also incorporates dual microphones allowing for BlueAnt’s patented Voice Isolation Technology™’, a revolutionary proprietary Digital Signal Processor (DSP) software solution.Voice Isolation Technology™ uses advanced techniques to separate theuser’s voice signal from all other sounds,enhancing and isolating all frequencies that affect voices coming into and out of the headset resulting in outstanding environmental noise reduction, echo cancellation and wind noise protection.Fitting into BlueAnt’s premium headset range, the V1 is small and lightweight and clips neatly onto a tie, shirt or jacket when not in use.


 

 Another great new product the have is the Supertooth 3 which is the follow up on the Supertooth light. I wasn't able to get the specifics yet. But don't worry they will come.


 

For motorcyclist they als have a new Blue Ant Interphone wireless headset. And as last they have demonstrated the M1 powerfull Bluetooth speakers.


These BlueAnt M1 gives hardened audiophiles the quality sound they have
been waiting for. Packing a mammoth 28 watts RMS, the BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Stereo Speaker delivers phenomenal performance in a small stylish form factor. Its’ rich sound provides amazing body and balance to both low end bass heavy music and the subtle tones of an acoustic guitar. It displays the same great naturalness to soft intimate voices as in-your-face vocal
attacks. Today’s music lovers demand quality products and the BlueAnt M1 is engineered to enhance the lower midrange while maintaining crisp and clear high frequencies. Blueant have added an inbuilt powerful subwoofer that utilizes antidistortion circuitry, all of which results in highly detailed reproduction of any music type. Compatible with all A2DP enabled devices, cell phones, PDA’s, PC’s or Macs, the M1 is an easy to carry, take
anywhere device. Being wireless, portable and rechargeable the M1 can be used in the car, on the beach, and even as your homes main stereo system. Additionally you can plug in any MP3 player or iPod and get wired if you want.


 

For more information and all the press releases you can go to :http://www.blueantwireless.com/resources/media2.htm

01/14/2008 16:29:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Bank of America launches Mobile Banking service#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you do alot of online banking with Bank of America you may have noticed several blurbs about their upcoming service for mobile phones. I know this has been a sore point in many peoples sides for some time. Well, they now  launched their new Mobile Banking service to enable its customers to manage their personal finances on the go. Best of all it is free!

The new BOA's new service gives users an ability to check balances on their accounts, mortgages and home equity lines, pay bills, and transfer money between accounts and to other customers of the bank. One of the key issues with mobile banking is security, and Bank Of America promises highly secured environment for all mobile transactions — customers are protected with the bank's SiteKey security service, as well as its Zero Liability Online Banking Guarantee.

To access Mobile Banking, customers simply go to the web browser on your mobile phone and enter www.bofa.mobi. Once on the site, customers enter their Online Banking ID and passcode to access their accounts. For more information and the terms of service head here.

05/24/2007 13:43:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Cingular 8525 now becomes the AT&T 8525 with some added updates#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Good news for all you Cingular 8525 owners out there waiting for an update to your phone to actually use that push to talk button. More good news your Windows Mobile 6 update will be available soon... I have a review of the 8525 in Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine available here in case you missed it.

Today AT&Tannounced today the availability of a re-branded and upgraded version of its popular Cingular 8525 now called  the AT&T 8525 Pocket PC (you may have seen the new branded unit in several television comercials for other products like DHL - the one on the golf course)— boasting additional services that will appeal to business customers and consumers alike. 

Now, the AT&T 8525 also comes with AT&T Push to Talk functionality pre-installed as well as the latest multimedia music and video services from AT&T.  AT&T boasts the largest Push to Talk network in America and its PTT service includes several differentiating features, including "availability" icons, quick group-calling and the ability to easily switch a PTT session to a regular wireless voice call.

To turn downtime into playtime, the AT&T 8525 provides access to AT&T Mobile Music — an integrated, on-the-go music experience that delivers "your music, your way" by providing simple access to the most robust collection of music content available today, including XM Satellite Radio, which comes pre-loaded on the device. 8525 users can easily access and enjoy 25 commercial-free music channels from XM Satellite Radio through the XM Radio Mobile service.

With AT&T Mobile Music, AT&T 8525 users can connect to a one-stop shop for everything music on the handset, such as full-track songs, music videos, ringtones, music news, MusicID, music chat rooms, streaming music and more. AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to offer subscription music to the handset, including music from leading online retailers, Yahoo! and eMusic.

The 8525 will also feature AT&T’s on-demand streaming video service, Cellular Video. Customers can watch a large selection of video clips of their favorite television shows, sports, news and weather, entertainment and premium content, including such hit HBO programs as “The Sopranos,” “Entourage,” “Sex and the City,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and exclusive mobile content from World Wrestling Entertainment.

Those customers who own an existing Cingular 8525 can download the same software upgrades found on the AT&T 8525. The software upgrade can be found at: www.america.htc.com/products/8525/default.html. The AT&T 8525 will also be upgradeable to the latest version of Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile 6, later this year. 

“Our enhanced version of the AT&T 8525 Pocket PC provides an exciting new array of features that will allow our customers to do more during both work time and downtime,” said Cathy Quaciari, director of wireless B-to-B devices for AT&T. “The lines between work and personal lives are blurring, so end users now not only need a device through which they can access their work e-mail or other corporate applications, but also they want something that has music, video and other entertainment capabilities as a way to unwind at the end of the day.”

The first UMTS/HSDPA-enabled PDA in North America, the AT&T 8525 still features Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 with Direct Push Technology — which allows users to retrieve their important information in the familiar environment found on most desktop computers. 

In addition to Microsoft Direct Push e-mail for business customers, the AT&T 8525 also supports other popular wireless e-mail solutions, including Good Mobile MessagingTM and AT&T Xpress Mail. 

The AT&T 8525 provides users with both domestic and international 3G capabilities.  In the U.S., customers can use the AT&T 8525 on AT&T’s BroadbandConnect network in more than 165 major metropolitan areas with seamless access to AT&T’s nationwide high-speed EDGE network outside of 3G coverage areas. When abroad, customers can use the AT&T 8525 in 125 countries where UMTS/HSDPA, EDGE or GPRS networks have been deployed.

“AT&T and HTC continue to bring the best of mobile hardware and software innovation together with one of the most advanced wireless networks in the world,” said Todd Achilles, vice president of HTC America. “With the addition of Push to Talk and the latest multimedia services from AT&T on the 8525, customers are able to get the most powerful, fastest 3G-connected phone experience available anywhere in North America, Europe or Asia.”

Pricing and availability

The AT&T 8525 Pocket PC will be available exclusively from AT&T for as low as $399.99 beginning May 14, in Cingular (now AT&T) retail stores nationwide, select national retailers, http://www.cingular.com/, and through AT&T’s B-to-B direct sales team.

05/09/2007 15:42:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Spb Software House has released  Spb Diary 2.5, an update to the award winning Pocket PC PIM Today plug-in. Spb Diary is a feature-rich Today plug-in for your Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and Messages providing users with the highest level of functionality and usability. 



The new version provides more than 40 improvements requested by users during the last months. The most noticeable changes are the ability to put any Today plug-ins in a form of Spb Diary's tabs and the new horizontal tabs, which made it possible to show all your PIM information in full screen while keeping the rest Today plug-ins one-click accessible. Other improvements cover many different usage scenarios making this upgrade of use to every user of Spb Diary.

Further information regarding Spb Diary 2.5 can be found at the Spb website.

What's new in Spb Diary 2.5 head here.

04/19/2007 14:16:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

AT&T Announces New International Smartphone and PDA Data Plans#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Accessing e-mail and other data wirelessly while overseas is now much more cost-effective as AT&T Inc. announced today the availability of international data plans that offer greatly reduced data roaming rates to customers using any AT&T-powered smartphone or PDA. The new global rate plans range from $44.99 to $69.99 a month, depending on device class and e-mail platform. They include 20 megabytes (MB) of international data use in nearly 30 countries with UMTS, EDGE or GPRS wireless data networks, as well as unlimited domestic access.  The plans apply to such devices as BlackJack™, the Cingular 3125 Smartphone, Cingular 8525 Pocket PC, HP iPAQ hw6920 Mobile Communicator, Palm® Treo™ 680, Palm® and Treo™ 750.

With AT&T’s new Global Smartphone and PDA plans, customers now have plan options to cover international data usage on any business-oriented wireless device sold by AT&T.  AT&T also offers international data plans for BlackBerry® and wireless laptop connectivity.          

“AT&T already has the broadest international voice and data roaming footprint of any U.S. carrier, and now it is the only wireless provider in the nation to offer global data plans to its entire portfolio of business-oriented devices,” said Jeff Bradley, vice president of wireless business data services for AT&T. “These new plans give our customers much greater control over their international wireless costs. They provide a large enough allocation of data and significantly reduced overage charges so that employees can use their smartphone or PDA to check e-mail, browse the Web or access other data applications when abroad without incurring higher pay-per-use roaming charges.”

 AT&T’s new international data plans for smartphones and PDAs can offer customers significant cost savings over traditional, per kilobyte (KB) data charges for use outside the U.S.  For example, 20MB of international data usage at a standard $.0195 per KB rate would result in a charge of $399.36, some $330 more than the highest tier combined monthly domestic/international charge under the new AT&T plans.

Smartphone Connect Global monthly plans start at $44.99 with a voice contract and PDA Connect Global plans begin at $64.99 a month with a voice plan. Customers can sign up for AT&T’s new international data plans for smartphones and PDAs at any Cingular Wireless retail store, or through AT&T’s wireless business-to-business sales organization.

For more information on the new plans, please go here.

To view countries included in the new international plans, please go here.

04/19/2007 14:01:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CBS to be "Sling"ed to Mobile Devices#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

CBS Corp. announced today that it has signed a new deal with Sling Media to create the CBS Interactive Audience Network along with several other significant companies including AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, and Veoh.   This announcement is set to position CBS as the most widely distributed professional content provider online. Can you say a move in the right direction?

Sling Media’s role will be to distribute free, ad supported, full length as well as clip-based video content from CBS via Clip+Sling and enhanced SlingPlayer software, which will be launched for both Slingbox and non-Slingbox customers this summer. In addition, Sling Media plans to integrate the same CBS content into additional platforms including its forthcoming SlingCatcher.

"We are excited to extend our business relationship with CBS by offering our current and future audiences access to great long form programming from CBS that covers the spectrum from drama and comedy to sports and news," said Jason Hirschhorn, president of the Sling Media Entertainment Group. "CBS is proving they are a leader in the digital media space by embracing new platforms for content distribution. The announcement is an example of true ubiquity as evidenced by the cast of both new and established partners. We are proud to be working with them on this endeavor."

I can see in the future other Viacom entertainment properties moving in this direction as well like MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1,etc. Content will not be no longer be available as live only, but this brings a whole another direction to place-shifting television and Video on Demand. I have been watching "On Demand" CBS content on my Comcast cable box and I am assuming the same content will also be available. Me and my wife were able to catch up on the whole series of Jericho (a season and a half)in a single weekend and we watched it in HD!  I can't wait to see more and via my Slingbox optimized for my Windows Mobile device no less!

04/12/2007 15:31:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Have you heard of ZenZui?#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I received several emails asking what ZenZui - (where Zui is short for Zooming User Interface) was after it was mentioned by Peter Knook at CTIA a few weeks ago. Some are asking is this Deepfish on steroids? It may be, but it looks more like some of the same technology which also heralds from Microsoft Live Labs technology with very similar code that looks to be used in both Deepfish and Windows Mobile Live Search for their maps and directions currently in beta. ZenZui is a Microsoft backed startup that looks to deliver content to subscribers with mild advertisements geared toward the consumers interests that they indicate via a web portal.

I have yet to use it in person, but the video on YouTube I have seen looks interesting as well as playing with their flash demo here. The opening screen shows a flower-like ZenZui logo, with petals corresponding to the number keys on the phone. When a user presses a number, a corresponding collection of tiles appears and each subsequent keypress zooms the user into more detailed tiles or links to a specific Web site. The cool thing is that the tiles aren't just websites, but can be linked to applications like widgets and gadgets for weather, traffic, sports,etc; games and other media rich content. There can be a maximum matrix of as many as 36 tiles that serve as portals for content partners including Avenue A | Razorfish, Kayak.com, Traffic.com, Nike and the Fox Network (like The Family Guy). The company hopes to offer as many as 1,000 content partners in the coming months, allowing users to go online to pick their favorites and personalize their handsets.

It has an open API and they are looking for developers both large and small to partner with. The way it works is that applications can be suggested as well as sent and received in a "viral" fashion from other ZenZui users, and since everyone's getting paid based on the ad revenue their tiles generate. Could this be the next revenue stream for music and digital content where everyone gets paid? Its also an untapped market for large companies that have mobile advertising dollars, but don't know where to spend it. A few hours to program a ZenZui widget could prove very profitable for them and even a nice revenue stream.

From their products page they encourage developers:

If you’re a developer, bring your coolest mobile app ideas to life using our SDK (available summer 2007), and publish your best Tiles into the ZenZui Ecosystem. If it’s hot, it’ll get sponsored, and we’ll pass along a share of the advertising revenue (we believe in sharing the love). Or, if you’re not out to make a buck but just want to flex your talents of self-expression, just select “Ad-Free” when you publish, and we’ll pair-up your Tile with a message from a non-profit. That way, you can help us create a new mobile channel for community awareness and support charitable giving. At ZenZui, we believe good karma = good business.

The differences in Deepfish and ZenZui is that ZenZui is target toward websites that have been designed to interact with it and have specialized "tiles" of information. Deepfish technology actually allows mobile users to access existing Web pages in their original layout with Zoom,Pan, and a cue map functionality as well as interactivity with links. Basically ZenZui does away with complicated url strings and focuses on content the user is interested with a simple interactive iconized UI.

ZenZui's goal is to reshape the way people interact with and use their mobile devices by marrying the power of the Internet with the personalization of the mobile phone. ZenZui tiles transform the handset and give users the power to acquire information, conduct transactions and share experiences quickly and easily. More information on ZenZui is available at www.ZenZui.com.

Renata Almeida, a spokesperson for Microsoft at Waggener Edstrom, said that the ZenZui technology will be available this fall after a limited, invitation-only beta test.

John SanGiovanni the founder of ZenZui also has a great podcast that is also worth listening to called "sangiocastshere.

There are alot of other cool technologies percolating over at the Microsoft Live Labs, a research partnership established in January 2006 between MSN and Microsoft Research. Some that look really cool are Photosynth, (which is something I have been waiting for since I saw the demo at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston check out the cool video here or download the tech preview here) a tool for compiling large numbers of photographs into zoomable 3D images; Seadragon, a project designed to optimize the way information is displayed on screens, regardless of their size-yes desktop and mobile devices; and Entity Extraction, a technology already built into the Windows Live Toolbar to help surfers find information related to the web page they are currently viewing.

04/12/2007 14:58:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Reference Guide #
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are still wondering what is new with Windows Mobile 6, the folks at Microsoft have provided a pretty sizable description in just under12MB in a very thorough PDF document illustrating the fine details of the new OS as part of their partner program. This product guide is geared to educate Microsoft Partners and help generate the new sales and support opportunities in order to generate revenue as well as information on developer tools as well as resources to help you get up to speed on the new platform's improved features and usability (is that enough as wells for you?). It is also a great reference for end users as well.

The Windows Mobile® 6 Product Reference Guide provides information about the exciting new features included in the release of Windows Mobile 6. This document can be used in two ways: first, to provide a full understanding of both the positioning and messaging as well as the features of the Windows Mobile 6 release, and second, as a reference guide to help understand new features.

You can download the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Reference Guide in PDF format from here.

04/12/2007 13:07:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

OpenNETCF Smart Device Framework 2.1 Now Available#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Word comes from Neil Cowburn that the latest version of the OpenNETCF Smart Device Framework (version 2.1 to be precise) is now available for download!

As it has been since Version 2.0, there are two flavors of the Smart Device Framework. The Smart Device Framework Community Edition is still free to the public, and includes the binaries for the framework.

The Smart Device Framework Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 include the binaries and well as the source code, some great templates, and full Intellisense and designer support. This version is very reasonably priced with a number of licensing options available.

You can find out all of the details at Neil's blog, as well as the OpenNETCF web site.

04/05/2007 08:13:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

My Code Camp 7 Presentations and Samples Now Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Thanks to everyone who attended my two sessions at this weekend's Code Camp 7: Deer In The Headlights event. I really enjoyed the interaction, questions and comments during both sessions!

As promised, my two presentations are now available for download. The ZIP files contain both the Powerpoint slides and any sample code shown during the session.

As an "added bonus", I have put up the C# project I wrote to test out Ink and Speech with Vista and the Tablet PC. It is the little spelling application I wrote for my son to do his homework, and domenstrates speech synthesis and the Tablet PC ink APIs. Even if you don't have a Tablet PC, you can fill in the fields using your keyboard. The download also includes a setup installer for the compiled version of the application, allowing you to just install it and play around with it if you'd like.

Enjoy!

04/01/2007 10:44:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Getting Your 'Hands on' Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At our last meeting we talked about the decision making process of choosing the correct Windows Mobile device and new naming conventions for Windows Mobile 6 and the differences between Classic, Standard and Professional. If you get confused one of our members came up with a simple mnemonic for remembering the differences P->Professional=Pocket PC Phone, S->Standard=Smartphone, C->Classic=Is just simply that, a Classic Pocket PC. I know its helped me remember which was which. There is a great breakdown of the differences of WM5 and WM6 that we disscussed at the meeting with images here and the PDF is posted up by Jason Langridge here

Now to get you hands on using and testing an Windows Mobile 6 device is a bit hard now a days since there are no devices shipping with it yet. To see the new features of Windows Mobile 6 you can use the Windows Mobile 6 Flash demo to get a handle of the new features, UI and how it works. If you want to test your applications you will have download the Windows Mobile 6 Software Development Kits and if you are developing for both the Smartphone, I mean Standard and Professional (includes Classic) there are two separate SDKs to download. Here is the breakdown of the emulators included in the SDKS:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard SDK
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard (176x220 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard Landscape QVGA (240x320 pixels - 131 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard QVGA (320x240 pixels - 131 dpi)
  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK
    • Windows Mobile 6 Classic (240x320 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional (240x320 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square (240x240 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square QVGA (320x320 pixels - 128 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square VGA (480x480 pixels - 192 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional VGA (480x640 pixels - 192 dpi)

In order to install the Emulators unlike in the past, this is not a stand alone install and requires Visual Studio 2005 even though some blogs said it was, you will also need to install the following:

  1. Device Emulator 2.0 Beta
  2. Compact Framework 2.0 SP1
  3. Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK (Standard, Professional or both)

So make sure you have Visual Studio 2005 with SP1, the programs will even prompt you if don't have it and will help you along. Note this will not work with Visual Studio Express. Hopefully a newer emulator will exist that is standalone, but I wouldn't count on it coming soon. I am hoping something will be available after MEDC. Also if you are installing it to a Vista machine you may encounter the following: 'Getting Installation Issue --> Could Not Access Network Location Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates.' Frank Zandona has a solution by re-registering the VBScript.dll:

regsvr32 %SystemRoot%\system32\vbscript.dll

With the SDK there are some very cool tools included here are some of them: CabSignTool signs a .cab file and all its executable content; Cellular Emulator v1- emulates voice and data connections; Device Emulator v2 - new and improved SDK emulator, FakeGPS & GPS Settings-allows you emulate a GPS from a text file of NEMA data, Hopper- for stress testing; Local Server Framework- allows development of test application servers that run locally over localhost on the device;

Also for more information on developing applications for Windows Mobile 6 be sure to read this fabulous whitepaper: What's New for Developers in Windows Mobile 6  and check out the Windows Mobile Developers Wiki.

03/28/2007 09:27:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

.NET Compact Framework Futures - .NET CF 3.5 Information#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

As developers, we can <insert sarcasm>NEVER</insert sarcasm> be satisfied with what we have today. We are always looking to the future to see what is in store in the ways of tools and technologies.

If you are not already aware, the next release of Visual Studio (codenamed "Orcas") will include the .NET Compact Framework 3.5. This new version has a lot of new features, including the addition of Windows Communication Foundation ("WCF") for .NET CF. This particular feature is something I am particularly excited about, a I personally feel some of the most applicable use cases for WCF pertain to mobile devices.

Some of the bits for the .NET CF 3.5 are already available as part of the Orcas CTP (more information online at MSDN). If you are interested in .NET CF details, be sure to check out the .NET CF Team Blog, as well as Mark Prentice's Blog. Mark specifically has some nice "how it works" posts -

03/27/2007 09:18:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Code Camp 7: Deer In The Headlights, March 31 - April 1, 2007#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For all you New England-area .NET developers - Code Camp 7: Deer In The Headlights is coming to the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA on Saturday, March 31st and Sunday, April 1st. As always, this community-oriented event (organized, run and presented by community members) is a fantastic, fun and FREE way to learn about a variety of .NET development topics.

If you take a moment to view the current presentation list,  you will see that I am slated for two sessions:

"Leveraging Speech in .NET Applications and Windows Vista"
One of the more overlooked features provided in the .NET Framework 3.0 is the new Speech namespace. When combined with Windows Vista, this new functionality opens the door to a number of developer possbilities around speech-enabling desktop applications.
In this presentation, you will learn about the new Speech API, and see how you can implement both text-to-speech and voice recognition for applications.

"Windows Mobile Application Performance Best Practices"
While the Windows Mobile platform has evolved greatly since its inception, developers are still challenged by the limitations in mobile devices. Limited in screen size, reduced memory and and power-efficient CPUs make Windows Mobile development performance-oriented development even more essential when compared to traditional computing platforms.
In this presentation, you will learn a variety of programming techniques to make your Windows Mobile applications perform common development tasks in efficient and user-friendly ways.

There are still spaces available for this event, so don't hesitate to register today!

03/25/2007 08:25:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Motion Launches Industry’s First Tablet PC Designed Specifically for Medical Use#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Motion Computing is gearing up for some business at the next HiMSS conference(booth 5137) in New Orleans that is coming up next week with a release of a Tablet PC designed to turn some heads in the clinical field, by announcing the new C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) at UCSF Medical Center during a joint conference with Intel. The MCA is a new computing category, created by Intel with support from Motion to enable nurses, physicians and other clinicians to do their jobs on the move.


The Motion C5, the first product in the MCA category, which was designed from the ground up to be durable and to simplify workflows, ease clinician workloads and improve overall quality of care. The design is based on input from thousands of clinicians worldwide, the C5 brings reliable, automated patient data management directly to the point of care. Intel and Motion conducted extensive user level, ethnographic, human factors, time/motion and clinical workflow research. This research resulted in clear requirements for a purpose-built mobile device.

This collaborative effort resulted in development of the Motion C5 – designed with and for clinicians – that is now being implemented in clinician usability studies worldwide. The C5 is the first highly sealed, fully disinfectable computer to integrate into one durable device the relevant technologies important to clinician workflow and productivity. The C5 combines multiple devices into one -- including a built-in barcode and RFID reader for patient identification and supply, specimen and medication administration verification; a built-in camera; and a fingerprint reader to improve security and simplify clinician authentication.

Key Features:

Genuine Windows® Vista™ Business or
Genuine Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition Intel® Centrino® Mobile Technology
- Intel® Core Solo Processor U1400 (1.20GHz)
- Integrated Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG network connection 512MB RAM (Upgradeable to 1.5GB max) 30GB HDD (60GB option) 
 
Key Features and Options
- Highly durable design with magnesium-alloy internal frame
   and elastomer overmolding
- Highly sealed, disinfectable chassis
- Optional integrated 1D/2D barcode scanner
- Integrated 13.56MHz RFID reader
- Integrated 13.56MHz HF passive RFID tag
- Integrated 2.0 Megapixel Camera
- One-year standard warranty
   (upgradeable to two or three years) 

 For more information head to Motion's website here

02/21/2007 08:48:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

What's New in Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are wondering what is new in Windows Mobile 6, Jason Langridge has a great writeup on some of the new features with screenshots called Windows Mobile 6 - What's Cool and What's New. Jaap van Ekris also covered a few things Jason left out in his article, What will Windows Mobile 6 bring for the highly mobile people? over at Modern Nomads. Chris Leckness has put together a pretty good video that is definitely worth checking out at MobiltySite on Windows Mobile 6.

Geek.com and Pocket PC Thoughts have some great gallery of shots and screen captures of the OS in action. Also Darius Wey has found some great news pertaining to the new imate ultimate devices and Windows Vista Sideshow, in that they can be used to display video as Windows Media Center Extenders with special docking stations.They will also be utilizing the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band, which T-Mobile took the lionshare of in last year's spectrum auctions.

There are a smorgasbord of new devices coming out on the Windows Mobile 6 platform. Some were covered very well by Engadget, MobilitySitethe::unwired ,  Jason Langridge, GearDiary and others from HTC, imate, and others. There is also a great video with Derek Snyder from Microsoft at on10 covering all the new mobile devices in all their glory. It is great to see so much choice of Windows Mobile Devices. A few years ago you couldn't even purchase one in the United States now I am wondering if too much choice may confuse many and cloud the market for some consumers.

Either way there is much more to come...

02/13/2007 14:11:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Opera 9 Goes Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Opera Software announced plans to upgrade mobile Web browsing by developing Opera 9 for mobile phones in all major platforms. Opera 9 has enriched Web use on the PC with new technologies, and now the leading browser innovator will deliver the same groundbreaking functionality to mobile phones. The upcoming Opera Mobile edition includes the latest in PC browsing features such as Widgets and Intelligent Zoom.

Opera for Pocket PCOpera 9 on mobile phones will add completely new dimensions to navigation. Users can seamlessly alternate between viewing modes to get a birds-eye perspective or dive into the content they want. Users have the choice to see an overview of a Web page or adapting the page to the width of the screen. As first seen with the Opera browser for Wii, Intelligent Zoom allows users to then zoom in directly to a selected area.

Widgets will also debut on mobile phones with the upcoming release of Opera Mobile. These small Web applications running outside of the browser allow users, manufacturers and operators to create and personalize services derived from Web content such as weather and traffic information, news and e-mail. Widgets offer Web applications that are instantly accessible on the phone without having to launch the Web browser, presenting dynamic and engaging content directly to users.

"We are impressed with the constantly evolving experience of browsing the Web," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Bringing Opera 9 to mobile phones will present new capabilities in mobile Web services that will be exciting to see defined."

Opera's JavaScript and rendering engines are built for speed while enabling dynamic AJAX-based applications. Driving standards compliance, Opera Mobile has full DOM support and can smoothly run advanced Web applications on mobile phones.

Opera Mobile is currently shipped on more than 50 million phones from major manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. For more information, visit
http://www.opera.com/products/mobile/.

02/13/2007 13:21:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Taking some notes from the Experience Pack for Windows XP Microsoft introduces one for Windows Vista, called appropriately enough the Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista

Equation Writer

Enhance your experience using a Tablet PC with these five new programs, which provide unique functionality and fun. Free download of Equation Writer, Media Transfer, Ink Crossword and Ink Flash Cards. Free download of Ink Desktop.

Equation Writer
Add mathematical expressions to your papers. Handwrite a math equation, and then convert it into a neatly typewritten image to paste into a report or a presentation.
Media Transfer
Copy or stream media files from your home computer to your Tablet PC, so that you can enjoy music, videos, or pictures wherever you go.
Ink Crossword
Solve crosswords on your Tablet PC using your tablet pen. Twelve puzzles come with Ink Crossword. You can also download a free daily puzzle and purchase more puzzle packs online.
Ink Flash Cards
Create flash cards to help you learn facts or study for an exam. Handwrite a question on the front of a card and put an answer on the back. Draw, insert graphics, and add text, too.
Ink Desktop
Take notes and refer back to them at anytime using Ink Desktop on a Tablet PC.

02/09/2007 13:39:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

New Mobile PC Hands-On Labs#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are looking for some great step-by-step information about how to build mobile and Tablet PC applications check out these hands-on labs for Windows Vista for Mobile.

Adding Ink and Custom Rendering to Video in .NET Framework 3.0
This lab demonstrates how to create an application in which you add ink to video. You will learn how to add custom rendering of ink on your video. You will also learn how to record the ink and play it back as written while the video is playing.
C#, Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET , Windows Vista

Windows Presentation Foundation: InkCanvas Element
This lab shows how to create a simple InkCanvas application that demonstrates various editing modes, ink attributes, and means of zooming and scrolling with a Windows Presentation Foundation InkCanvas element.
C#, Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET, Windows Vista

Using Ink Analysis with Windows Presentation Foundation
This lab exposes you to ink analysis and the InkAnalysis API as they are used in the Windows Presentation Foundation. You add basic analysis to an ink-enabled form, improve ink analysis results by using analysis hints, use analysis hints to populate text boxes, use InkAnalysis APIs to analyze free-form ink, display the results of ink analysis on free-form ink and add a predetermined style to your application.
C# Windows Vista
Visual Basic .NET, Windows Vista

RealTimeStylus APIs
This lab familiarizes you with the Tablet PC RealTimeStylus (RTS) API. You create a pair of RTS plug-ins. The first plug-in is a packet filtering plug-in that demonstrates packet modification by constraining all (x,y) packet data within a rectangular area. The second plug-in is a simple custom dynamic renderer plug-in that renders stylus input by drawing a small circle around each (x,y) point. You then use your plug-ins in a sample application that is provided for you.
C#, Windows XP
C#, Windows Vista

02/09/2007 13:39:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Happy New Years (and a Little "Gift")#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

First off - a Happy New Year to all of our readers around the world! Here in the Boston area, the new year greats us with - rain :( As a precursor to some additional post I will be making later today, I thought I would pass along information on the first feature we are able to implement as a result of our move to ASP.NET 2.0.

Using your mobile device, simply point your browser to http://www.bostonpocketpc.com. Mobile-friendly, here we come!

The news doesn't stop there, though. Thanks to ASP.NET 2.0's support for over 60 mobile browsers, you can view our site on just about any mobile device browser with Internet access.

None of this would be possible without the constant work of the folks involved in the DasBlog project. DasBlog is a blog/site authoring platform built for ASP.NET. We are actually using a derivative of DasBlog in ThinkJot, which runs under ASP.NET 2.0 and runs with medium trust. Taking the queue from Scott Hanselman's blog post on making DasBlog mobile-aware, I was able to incorporate the changes (NOTE: If you are a .NET developer and not reading Scott's blog or listening to his Hanselminutes podcast, then shame on you ;-) ).

I hope you enjoy this latest web site feature!

01/01/2007 10:57:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SD Times: Microsoft Holds Sway Over Mobile Development#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

SD Times is reporting some interesting results from a recent research study conducted by Evans Data. Apparently, application development for Windows Mobile devices is sharply on the rise -

"Specifically, the study concluded that C# usage in mobile application development has surged over the last six months, partly due to the availability of Windows-based smart phones. According to Evans, 40 percent of mobile developers are now using C# somewhere in their development process.

Elsewhere in the study, Evans concluded that 30 percent of mobile application developers are using Microsoft SQL Server as their back-end database, while 20 percent use MySQL. The study was conducted this past November and encompassed 380 wireless developers."

I really don't find this all too surprising. Back in the first few months of the year, I received a large increase in the number of conversations with both enterprise and individual developers regarding the .NET Compact Framework. Time and time again, they pointed to a single event - a key decision-maker in an organization purchasing a Windows Mobile-powered Palm Treo 700w. These new owners were in many cases the same people who either didn't care or didn't believe in the power of the platform. Things certainly changed once they got their hands on a device ;-)

Here's to hoping the trend continues in 2007. I look forward to even larger turnouts at Windows Mobile developer events. 

12/30/2006 16:18:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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Opera 9 Goes Mobile
Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista
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