Demo SensorCore SDK from your Windows Phone using SignalR with Azure Websites

Last weekend I gave a session at KulenDayz about SensorCore SDK. While trying to prepare a good demo, I realized I had 3 possibilities - fake data by shaking my phone (not a good demo), prerecord data and use a simulator (boring demo) or display data in real time as I walk and run around the room. The choice was obvious - wear my running shoes and do a real-time demo! The first step was to decide what to do on the server side to make it possible. I knew I had to make it fast, as close to real-time…

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Launch motion settings without SensorCore SDK

I've been playing with SensorCore SDK lately, and a part of the SDK is the possibility to launch the system motion settings on the device straight from the app to allow the user the change settings related to motion data collection. Here's a tip on how to launch it without the SensorCore SDK! As you probably already know, a way to launch different settings or other apps from your app is to call LaunchUriAsync method like this await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("ms-settings-emailandaccounts:///")); In this case, the e-mail and accounts settings page gets opened. So, in order to launch the…

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Set supported orientations in XAML on Windows Phone 8.1

Being able to set supported orientations in XAML on every page by simply setting the SupportedOrientations property on PhoneApplicationPage is something Windows Phone developers are used to on Silverlight platform. However, with Windows Phone 8.1 and WinRT platform, it's possible to do so (only?) in code behind. On Windows Phone 8.1 you can set the supported orientations in Package.appxmanifest. Setting it that way means you're setting it on application level - all pages follow the same rule.  However, there is a way to set the current supported orientation using DisplayInformation.AutoRotationPreferences = DisplayOrientations.Portrait; at any moment, which…

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Get device information on Windows Phone 8.1 WinRT

I see many interesting question on StackOverflow every day. One of those today was the question about determining if Windows Phone 8.1 app is running in the emulator. Here's one way you can get that information! Finding out information about the device is useful in many ways, but one reason you might want that is definitely to know the difference between running on emulator and on a real device. Typical way of doing this on Windows Phone 8.0 was to use Microsoft.Devices.Environment.DeviceType and this actually keeps on working on Windows Phone 8.1 Silverlight, so…

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//Publish/ event in Brežice, Slovenia - recap

This is a quick recap of the //Publish/ event in Brežice, Slovenia, which was a part of the global //Publish/ event. I wanted to share my impressions and pictures from the event. This //Publish/ satellite event took place in a small Slovenian place called Brežice, in a lively and very nice youth hostel, very close to the border with Croatia. It was a joint effort from Microsoft Slovenia and Microsoft Croatia so the attendees, mentors and Microsofties were from those two countries. It started on Friday, May 16, and ended on Sunday, May 18, and it was a lot of…

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Alignment grid in Universal WinRT apps

Alignment. So important and yet often forgotten by so many developers, especially the ones who don't work with designers. Remember Grid? It's here to stay with Windows Phone 8.1 and also with Universal apps. And yet, if you create a Silverlight Windows Phone 8.1 project, you get the alignment grid out of the box, but not in Universal apps. What if there was a Universal solution? As I mentioned, you get the alignment grid in Silverlight Windows Phone apps in form of AlignmentGrid.png image file, but not when you create WinRT Windows Phone apps. Considering that the…

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Show a context menu using MenuFlyout on Windows Phone 8.1

If you're used to developing apps for Windows Phone, then you probably used a ContextMenu as a part of your ListBox, LongListSelector or some other UI control at some point. In new, Windows Phone 8.1 WinRT apps, there's a much much easier way to get your context menu by using Flyouts - MenuFlyout to be exact, in the old-new ListView/GridView controls! Let's start with a simple HubApp template which already hase a Hub defined with a couple of HubSections which contain ListViews/GridViews. The first ListView has a defined ItemTemplate: <ListView.ItemTemplate> <DataTemplate> <…

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Measuring startup performance when using .NET Native Developer Preview

I got really excited about .NET Native technology last week when I first heard about it during Build. I wanted to measure performance in my Windows Store apps to see how it can improve it (especially startup times!), and in order to do that I was going to user EventSource and PerfView. Unfortunately, something didn't work, but the team helped me go around it! .NET Native is a new (cloud) compiler technology from Microsoft which, in essence, makes it simple to write apps using C# (which we love and we're really productive in it, right?) with C++ performance. It's in…

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MetroGridHelper performance with Windows 8.1

MetroGridHelper is a small helper class for XAML WinRT apps developed by Mark Monster which helps build perfectly aligned apps. As far as I remember, the idea for a metro grid helper goes back to early Windows Phone 7 development and a version for Windows Phone by Jeff Wilcox (Mark also credits him in his blog post). I've been noticing performance issues with it in Windows 8.1 apps during loading. Basically, splashscreen stays on much longer. Even though you should only be using MetroGridHelper while testing your apps so it won't make you fail during certification, it can still…

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#wpdev - which open source projects do you use?

I am preparing a session about open source in Windows Phone development and I'd like to hear from the awesome #wpdev community! I am a real fan of open source in #wpdev and I admire people who invest their free time, energy and knowledge to make things easier for others. So, if you use open source in your apps, which ones are your favorite? Are there any that you add immediately after creating a new project? The third question is optional. It should take around a minute to fill the survey. Do you know a good library that I forgot…

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Windows 8.1 Developers Contest in 12 countries

For the last couple of years, larger app contests for Windows Phone and Windows 8 devs in Croatia were held approximately every year or so. This year is not different - a Windows 8.1 Developers Contest is organized, only this year it's much much bigger. There are more prizes than ever, and Croatia is just a part of the big picture - participants from 12 countries can apply! Read more to find out about the countries and prizes! The contest is organized by Microsoft entities in participating countries, and those are: Armenia, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia,…

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LayoutTransform in Windows Phone 8

I wrote about LayoutTransform back when I needed it for Windows 8 XAML development. I modified the existing Silverlight Toolkit code to work with Windows 8 and it was great. Now a lot of people are asking the same question over and over again on StackOverflow - where's LayoutTransform in Windows Phone Toolkit? Here's an example of that questions: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20663740/layouttransform-not-in-windows-phone-toolkit And I've seen another 2-3 in the last 2-3 weeks. Well, I don't know where it is, but I know what you can do to get it quickly. My initial idea was - just go…

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Augmented reality with GART - what's changed on Windows Phone 8

I wrote an article a year and a half ago about using GART with Windows Phone to create augmented reality scenarios in really easy steps. It's linked in the GART project documentation and it gets a lot of attention and even questions from people working on Windows Phone 8 apps. The article was written with Windows Phone 7 in mind, but conidering it's still being used as reference getting started implementation, I decided to write about what has changed. The old article is here: http://igrali.com/2012/05/24/implementing-augmented-reality-using-gart/ The 6 easy implementation steps I mention are: Add…

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Nokia Imaging SDK Session at Advanced Technology Days 9

Advanced Technology Days is a two-day conference that took place in Zagreb, Croatia on December 4-5. I was among 20 developer speakers in the developer track, and I held a session about Nokia Imaging SDK for Windows Phone 8. Two years ago I attended Advanced Technology Day conference (notice the 'Day' - this year it was 'Days', two days instead of the usual one day which was the case in previous years). A Twitter wall was set in the hotel lobby where the conference took place, and I was unhappy with my Twitter picture. I wanted to upload a new…

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Create with Nokia, win prizes and get noticed

I love Nokia and Windows Phone. And I love what Nokia has been doing for Microsoft mobile platform and especially for all the developers investing their time and energy to develop for the platform which is growing, but is still not at the point where we, developers, would want it to be. One of the things Nokia is doing at the moment is the Nokia Create global competition. Nokia organized this competition around 8 categories Image and Photo NFC Maps and Places Music Cross-8 Fun and Games Work Life Freestyle   in 15 missions and made sure to motivate you…

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MVP Reconnect - say hi on Twitter

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