On Windows Phone applications are isolated in their own sandboxes. This means that they can’t directly access other applications like phone calls or messaging. On Windows Phone 7.0 the applications can’t directly access information stores like contacts or photos. To access these previously mentioned things you use Launchers and Choosers that allow you to have indirect access to some phone features.
Windows Phone has been around for a couple of months and it seems like a lot of people are still confused on it’s multitasking support. A quick search on the web shows that the word on the street is that Windows Phone 7.0 does not support multi-tasking but the “Mango”-update will support multi-tasking. I dare to disagree with both of these… I’d say that Windows Phone 7 has always supported multi-tasking. The question should be “Can my apps take advantage of multitasking?” rather than “Does Windows Phone support multitasking”. The answer is…kinda.
With the new Windows Phone many students have shown interest towards Microsoft’s tools and technologies. Through services like MSDN AA and DreamSpark students can easily try out the tools. These services offer students development tools and licenses free of charge. Adding a easy to learn technology like Silverlight to mix and you’ll definitely get started quickly, without having to sacrifice all of your free time.
Data binding is a powerful feature in Silverlight but often you need to bind properties that are not directly the same type. Let’s say we want to have a media player and a slider that works as a seek bar. You can’t directly bind the MediaElement’s Position-property to the sliders value, because they are not the same type. To make the binding work, you would use a converter.
We already saw how to bind XAML-to-XAML, but often you need to bind data from a datasource to your user interface. In this post we’ll see how to bind a collection of items to a ListBox and generate simple templates for each ListBoxItem. We’ll also look at C# and how to define collections and what types of collections should you use when binding data.
We often use different types of data in our applications. That data might come from a database, from the web or a user input. Usually we build our own solution to keep our user interface and the data source synced, with Silverlight we can use databinding to solve those common cases. Data binding is extremely useful on Windows Phone, because of the execution model and tombstoning, that we’ll talk about more soon.
The Windows Phone Marketplace didn’t quite meet my expectations at first. I find it a bit hard to use and somehow the whole process was a bit..let’s say challenging. Searching for applications was way too hard, because you can’t filter your search easily and the whole user interface is inconsistent with the system, so you really need to learn how to use it. Of course in my case the biggest problem was that it wasn’t available in Finland. Luckily all of these things will change with the new marketplace!
For some unexplainable reason often with software projects we get bugs, errors and things just don’t work as nicely as the marketing department claimed! Luckily with Visual Studio you get some great Debugging tools, that work nicely with Windows Phone development, either on the emulator or on the device. In this post you’ll learn how to use some of the debugging capabilities and get familiar with some of the most common errors you get with Silverlight development on Windows Phone.