Category Archives: Getting Started

Building Windows Phone, Windows and Universal Apps: Winter Events Series!

*Update*: Apologies, we’ve had to cancel the Dev Workshop on Thursday 20th November.

In the late summer, we held a series of events aimed at Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 app developers intended to help you along the road to getting an app published in the Windows Store, whether you are a complete beginner or a more experienced app developer.

We are running a new series of those events this winter. We start with two one-hour webinars run back-to-back, follow those with a one day workshop at Microsoft’s offices in Victoria, London, and wrap up with a ‘Publish to the Store’ hack event again at Microsoft London:

Webinar 1: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series – Kick Starter Webinar for the non C#/XAML developer: This one hour webinar is aimed at developers who are completely new to Visual Studio, XAML, C# and .NET. This will give you what they need to get started with downloading Visual Studio, a little bit of knowledge of C# and the structure of a XAML-based app.
Online webinar
Friday 7 Nov 2014  10:00 –11:00
Registration: http://aka.ms/winappswebinar1

Webinar 2: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series – JumpStart Webinar: Building Universal Apps with C# and XAML: This one hour webinar follows on straight away after the previous one. It is aimed at developers who are new to Windows Store app development, but who have some experience of developing software using .NET, or for those who have attended the previous webinar.
Online webinar
Friday 7 Nov 2014    11:00 – 12:00
Registration: http://aka.ms/winappswebinar2

Following on from the webinars, we have a one-day dev camp:

Dev camp: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series: Windows Apps Dev Workshop
This one day event will be help at Microsoft’s offices near Victoria Station, London, running 9:30 – 17:30. At this workshop, you will learn how to program Windows and Windows Phone apps, including universal apps that run on both. There will be Hands-on Labs available, and you can get tips and advice from Microsoft experts and from peers in the developer community. There’ll be some giveaways as well Smile
Dev camp
Sorry! This one has had to be cancelled…

And following on from that, we have a one-day Publish hackathon:

Publish event: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series: Publish Hackathon
This informal one-day event will also be held at Microsoft’s building in London, running 9:00 – 21:00 on a Saturday. This is a fun 12 hour event encouraging developers to bring their existing projects (apps/cloud projects) to polish and publish through to the last mile with help from Microsoft and community experts. There’ll be pizza and drinks and prizes too!
Publish Hack event
Saturday 13 December 2014
    09:00 – 21:00
Registration: http://aka.ms/winappspublishhack

Come along and join us – and if you don’t manage to publish an app this quarter, remember we are repeating these events again the first half of next year so you can get started now and then come and join us again later!

Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Events Series

We’re starting a new series of events for UK developers that will help you on the journey from initial interest in developing apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone right the way through to publishing an app to the Windows Store. You can join into the series at whichever point makes sense to you, so whether you’ve never opened Visual Studio before or written a line of C#, or you’re a developer who has already written software using out tools and languages but are new to apps, we can help you get to that point where you’re publishing your first app into our store. And we’re going to repeat the series of events every quarter, so you can jump on and off the series and attend events at whatever pace makes sense to you.

We start with two one-hour webinars run back-to-back:

Webinar 1: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series – Kick Starter Webinar for the non C#/XAML developer: This one hour webinar is aimed at developers who are completely new to Visual Studio, XAML, C# and .NET. This will give you what they need to get started with downloading Visual Studio, a little bit of knowledge of C# and the structure of a XAML-based app.

Webinar 2: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series – JumpStart Webinar: Building Apps with C# and XAML: This one hour webinar follows on straight away after the previous one. It is aimed at developers who are new to Windows Store app development, but who have some experience of developing software using .NET, or for those who have attended the previous webinar.

Following on from the webinars, we have a one-day dev camp:

Dev camp: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series: Windows Apps Dev Workshop
This one day event will be help at Microsoft’s offices near Victoria Station, London, running 9:30 – 18:00. At this workshop, you will learn how to program Windows and Windows Phone apps, including universal apps that run on both. There will be Hands-on Labs available, and you can get tips and advice from Microsoft experts and from peers in the developer community.

And following on from that, we have a one-day Publish hackathon:

Publish event: Windows Apps JumpStart LIVE Series: Publish Hackathon
This informal one-day event will also be held at Microsoft’s building in London, running 9:00 – 21:00 on a Saturday. This is a fun 12 hour event encouraging developers to bring their existing projects (apps/cloud projects) to polish and publish through to the last mile with help from Microsoft and community experts.

First events are coming up fast!:

Come along and join us – and if not this quarter, remember we are repeating these events throughout the year so you can join us when you can!

Windows Phone 8.1 Jump Start is coming!

I’m pleased to announce that the registration page is now up for this year’s Windows Phone Jump Start!

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1 Jump Start will be held on 29th, 30th April and extend onto the morning of May 1st. As it says on the website: “If you’re an app developer who wants to design and build Windows Phone 8.1 apps using XAML and C#, don’t miss this exciting event. The two-and-a-half day, demo-rich course, taught by experts who have years of experience developing (and writing about the process), focuses on how to create apps for Windows Phone 8.1 in Visual Studio and how to create universal app projects that share a high percentage of code and that target both Windows and Windows Phone.”

This time around, the Jump Start is structured into 4 main parts:

Section 1: Introduction

· Session 1: Introduction to Windows Phone 8.1 (50 minutes)
Overview of the Windows Phone 8.1 developer platform, including guidance on the choices of app framework now available.

Section 2: Building Windows Runtime Apps using XAML and C#

Sessions that show how to build phone apps using WinRT XAML

· Session 2: Getting Started Building Windows Runtime Apps (50 minutes)
Fundamentals of building a WinRT XAML app for a Phone target, introducing the controls, layout, styles and theme resources, AppBar, StatusBar.

· Session 3: Page Navigation and Data Binding (25 minutes)
Navigating between pages in a Windows Runtime app, page caching and data binding

· Session 4: Lists and List Items (50 minutes)
Programming Lists, formatting list items and handling long or complex lists effectively

· Session 5: Windows Runtime App Page Layout Controls (25 minutes)
Pivot, Hub and Single Page layouts.

· Session 6: Adapting UI for Different Screens (25 minutes)
Explain the new layout system, and how to ensure your UI adapts to different phone screen sizes and orientations.

· Session 7: Windows Runtime App Lifecycle (25 minutes)
Explain the ways apps can be started, terminated and resumed.

· Session 8: Localization and Globalization in Windows Runtime Apps (25 minutes)
Making your app world-ready

Section 3: Programming Windows Runtime Platform Features (Windows Runtime XAML and Silverlight 8.1)

Programming platform features in Windows Phone 8.1 apps from either Windows Runtime Apps or Windows Phone Silverlight Apps 

· Session 9: Data Storage, Backup and Roaming (50 minutes)
All about storing data, backing app data up to the cloud and roaming data across devices

· Session 10: Contracts and Sharing Files and Data (50 minutes)
Share contract, FileOpenPicker/FileSavePicker, File & Uri associations

[Day 2]

· Session 11: Background Tasks (25 minutes)
How to run code in the background

· Session 12: Maps, Geolocation and Geofencing (25 minutes)
Maps, Location and GeoFencing

· Session 13: Networking, Mobile Services and Authentication (50 minutes)
Networking fundamentals. Includes Background Transfer Service and Web Authentication Broker 

· Session 14: Tiles, badges and toasts and Notification Center (50 minutes)
Tiles and toasts and Notification Center

· Session 15: Sensors and Proximity: NFC and Bluetooth (25 minutes)
Sensors, NFC and Bluetooth

· Session 16: Contacts and Calendar (25 minutes)
WinRT APIs for Contacts and Calendar, plus new capabilities (available on phone only) for Wallet-aware apps

· Session 17: Camera, Media, Audio and Speech (50 minutes)
Working with the camera, media and video editing

· Session 18: Enterprise LOB Apps (50 minutes)
All the new features aimed at Enterprise LOB and MDDM

· Session 19: SQLite Database (25 minutes)
How to program SQLite

· Session 20: VS Tooling and Memory Profiling (25 minutes)
Introduction to the many tools built into Visual Studio to help you develop Windows apps

[Day 3]

· Session 21: App Packaging and Publication (50 minutes)
How to package your app and get your app published in the Store

· Session 22: Best practices: Building Universal Apps for Windows Phone and Windows (50 minutes)
Guidance for building for both

Section 4: Upgrading Windows Phone Silverlight 8.0 apps to Silverlight 8.1

Programming new platform features from a Silverlight app

· Session 23: Upgrading Windows Phone Silverlight 8.0 Apps to Silverlight 8.1 (50 minutes)
Recap on why you would use Silverlight, and explanation of what issues must be considered when upgrading to Silverlight 8.1. Topics include behavioural changes introduced by the quirks API, Lifecycle changes as FAR is now the only mode of reactivation, implementing share contract and using the FileOpenPicker/FileSavePicker, Web Authentication Broker, moving from MPNS to WNS, background agents alongside background tasks.

Hope you can join us for the live event.  The event is happening in Redmond and will be from 9:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Daylight Time. We realize that doesn’t make it the most convenient timeslots for everyone, but if you can’t watch it all, we hope you will join us when you can, and then catch up with the full list of sessions when the videos are posted on Channel9 shortly after!

Registration page can be found here!

Now easier than ever to developer unlock a handset to get started building apps for Windows Phone!

Great news reported in the latest Windows Phone Developer Blog post, Making it easier to get started with Windows Phone App Studio beta, simplified phone registration, support options & more payout markets. There you can read about a great new tool, Windows Phone App Studio, that can help people without coding skills to create a phone app using a free, web-based app creation tool. Even experienced devs will find it useful to build out the basic structure of an app, but since you can download the code for the project the tool creates, you can then modify it to add more functionality.

Interesting though Windows Phone App Studio is, the best news announced in that post is the new simplified phone registration. This is fantastic news, as it removes one blocker we’ve had with people trying to get started building for Windows Phone.

The dev tools have always been free (download the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK for free from http://dev.windowsphone.com), but if you wanted to test your app on the emulator, you had to have a PC with a Core i3/i5/i7 processor and have Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise, which are the editions that include the necessary Hyper-V support. So if you couldn’t meet those hardware and OS specs, your only option was to run your app on a real phone – but to use a real phone you had to have registered for a developer account at http://dev.windowsphone.com so you could unlock it, which is normally $99/year (although that is currently on special offer at $19 until August 26th). At this point, the ‘mildly curious developer’, faced with the prospect of having to part with money to try out their new app, can lose interest and of course we’ve lost a potential convert to our developer community.

Any dev can unlock one phone for testing without a registration fee

Now, anyone can unlock one phone to test their apps without needing a dev account, and can install up to two ‘work in progress’ apps onto the phone at any one time. Fantastic! So now you can get started with Windows Phone dev using *any* PC running Windows 8 (any edition) at no charge (well, you need a handset obviously ). Only caveat is that your PC and Windows 8 OS still needs to be 64 bit, as that is a requirement of the SDK.