All posts in Apps

I’ve been talking to a great number of partners the past years on the topic of the Windows Store functionalities. The store isn’t just about publishing apps, but also about maintaining apps. Beta-testing is also an important part of delivering software these days, especially with the agile approach to development. Apps published in multiple languages can be cumbersome to publish – you have to enter descriptions and pictures for all those languages … by hand. Then there are partners working on multiple apps for customers. And some even produce lots of apps for others where the process up ’till now required to publish them all by hand.

During the recent //build a number of developments in the Windows Store were presented that solve a lot of these problems. Let’s have a look at a few of them. Read more

Designing UWP apps

When the Microsoft design language was introduced with Windows 8, we tried to help out with an extensive set of guidelines around design and User Experience. These guidelines were in the beginning very restrictive, which resulted in lots of apps with squares. With Windows 8.1 we explained that guidelines means guidelines, not “the law”. And although the app certification team looks at the usefulness of an app, they never disqualify an app because “it’s ugly”.

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There are lots of samples and answers to be found around creating WebAPI’s with ASP.NET, MVC etcetera. But I kept missing out on a simple walkthrough of (what I think is) a common scenario from start to finish. I have a database, and I want to give access to that data through a WebAPI with security enabled. Then I want to use that WebAPI from a Windows client. So I’m publishing a few posts now to write down the path I took using the latest, greatest.

The new development around websites on the server side is with ASP.NET 5 on .NET Core. The beauty of these new implementations is that they are open-source and cross-platform (Windows, MacOS and Linux). So you can use this technologie in the environment you like. As this is currently [March 2016] still in development, the documentation is still in development too. But it helped me to get started quickly. The documentation can be found on docs.asp.net.

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To countdown to the release of Windows 10 on July 29th 2015, I’ve created a simple countdown clock. When I was asked to do this, I first thought of a simple clock with counters, but I wanted something different. So I came up with the idea of using fridge magnets to make up the clock.

The clock is (now) always in Dutch, maybe I’ll upgrade it to also do English. You can find the app in the Windows 8 Store.

A minute is counted down visualy by the blue background that slides in or out vertically. The rest is counted down by the dynamic removal, addition and movement of magnets. All moves are done by a hand. Every now and then (at random) a random magnet almost falls off, but the hand corrects that again.

The entire screen links the the Windows 10 landing page where you can register for upgrade now or get the upgrade once it’s made available.

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Last October Microsoft released the Microsoft Band – a wareable with a bunch of sensors and some apps. You can track your excercises, health, sleep and more. You can also see/feel notifications of incoming calls, mails, etceteras. Of course people want to extend this experience or use the data in their own app or website.

microsoft-band

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The wall zoomed in
Media box
Settings

I’ve published a new app in the Windows Store called MediaWall. It’s based on an idea that we used for The Voice of Holland in 2013. This app shows image and videos from a folder you select in a tiled wall. By default the wall animates so it looks like you’re hovering over the wall. The wall can show JPG, PNG, WMV and MP4 files. You can also click or tap a tile so it opens in a large media box. Tap anywhere to close the media box. In the mean time tiles are refreshed with new ones in a configured intervall.

 

Download the app from the Windows Store

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AppMachine has a solution whith a webinterface to create good looking apps with lots of functionality, and then publish it in an automated way. They started with support for iOS and Android. But now they also support Windows Phone. That means that you can define your app and publish it easily on all three platforms without extra costs. They have attractive pricing models to make publishing these apps affordable.

AppMachine added support for Windows Phone

AppMachine added support for Windows Phone

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Maybe you have a problem publishing your app. Or you have a problem with payments. Or someone uses your trademarked name. Or you have other questions concerning your own or another app. Here are some useful links to address those issues.

Windows Phone

Developer support (problems with your developer account, publish an app, payments, …)
http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-US/featured/Support

Complaints about an app (content, technical issues, …)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/help/jj215906(v=vs.105).aspx

Trademark en copyright protection
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/help/jj215905(v=vs.105).aspx
Reporting infringement form
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=273879

Windows

All support (forums, e-mail, chat)
http://aka.ms/StoreSupport

Reporting infringement form
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=273879