Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I'm Working on for 2012

I've recently made a decision to switch over to Windows Phone 7 as my smartphone of choice, and am eagerly awaiting the Nokia Lumia 900 to be released on AT&T (allegedly) in March. Since that decision, I thought it would be of great benefit for me to download and learn the SDK, and luckily, it is Visual Studio, and with C# and Silverlight, of which I do have experience in C#. So, the past two weeks, I have been camped out on MSDN and several forums and message boards on how to get the bits and pieces of my first Windows Phone 7 application working, which is a Bible reader called MetroBible.

It is a simple, KJV translation reader that has a few features that are useful, but nothing too flashy as of yet. Best of all, the entire Bible is included in the application download, so no need for web access to use it, although services such as retrieval of the verse of the day and sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and eventual saving verses and notes to OneNote will require said access. Other than that, you can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation without web access.

Most people want the choice of translation, and I really hope to get to the point where I can prompt the user which translation they would like to download upon first run. However, I have just been using the SDK for two weeks now, and I still have a lot to learn about both the C# language and the inner workings of the Windows Phone APIs and functionality.

A video walk-through of MetroBible

I am also trying to tackle the early workings of a Twitter application, but it is one big mess of an application in which I've used code from tutorials, mixed with my own awful coding practices, and not having the best of luck getting everything to work and behave together.

Windows Phone development uses this interesting method of designing and previewing your layouts with a Model-View-Viewmodel, which is essentially a spiced up Presentation Model, and with Microsoft Expression Blend, I am able to create dummy data as I would retrieve it from Twitter, and work on the design aspects, which would be the most time consuming aspect of how elements react to taps and other user interaction.

Right now, I am a one-man team of Windows Phone development. I'd eventually like to get into some open- and crowd-sourced projects, in which I can learn much quicker than trying to come up with my own application ideas, and eventually implement and improve what is already out there. My plans right now do not include monetizing my applications, although that will be a possibility once I get a better feel on what my strengths are as a WP7 developer and what the WP7 users are willing to pay for an application and what type of application is in demand.

If you are a WP7 developer, either novice or expert, I would be willing to listen to any advice you may have, or if you would like to share some of your past or current projects, I would love to learn something new!