Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio – Part 2

In part one we setup our development environment by downloading Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition. Installing Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova. And stubbing out our app. If you did not do any of those steps, no worries, head on over to part one and then make your way back here.

Lets reset a bit on our project. We are starting to look at building an app that will be able to run on iOS, Android and Windows. There are a couple of ways to doing this, natively or cross platform approach. If we were to build a native app for 3 platforms we would have to code in 3 different languages and use 3 different IDE’s. (Not counting a tool like Xamarin). We are also looking at the multiple stack developer who has a lot of “web” knowledge. They know how to build web apps and their skills can translate well to this cross platform development. We will be using HTML and JavaScript to build this app. Most importantly, we will be using Visual Studio to create our cross platform app.

The app can be anything, but in this example it is a drink recipe app. Categories -> Results -> Details. That is the flow of our app. We will be using a theme from Bootstrap to make it look pretty and responsive for multiple screen sizes. AngularJS will be our JavaScript MVC Framework for the back-end. We left off with a basic “barebones” app structure that we will build upon.

Lets Begin

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Add Your Windows Phone App to All Devices!

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If you followed my Windows Phone App Studio tutorial then you are well on your way to become an app developer. Windows Phone App Studio makes it easy to create an app for the WindowsPhone. But why not take that great app idea and make it available for more devices my making it a Windows 8 application. PC’s and Tablets can enjoy your app as well. Check out this video to see how you can enable your phone app to work across multiple devices.

Learn more at http://aka.ms/appstudioeducation

Sometimes All You Need is a Spark!

fluvium When Philip Hooker, owner of a consulting company in Farmington CT called Acellan, purchased a new Windows 8 computer he did not know what it would spark.

Philip was a programmer by that was fluent in Java but has a background in design when he attended Kenyon College in Ohio. Philip was interested in the new UI/UX design that the Windows platform championed and decided he would start looking into building apps for Windows.

Watch the video below to learn what was the spark for Acellan.

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Microsoft Workshops for April and May

spring has sprungSpring has sprung and so have our workshops and events for the Connecticut region! I have been hosting workshops at the Microsoft Stores, on campus events and Build Your Biz workshops.

What we have lined up over the next few weeks makes these workshops even more exciting.

We have a great contests going on to support these workshops.

First we have a BAM or Best App a Month contest. Attend a workshop session or Studio Time and create a Windows 8 app for a chance to win a Dell Venue Pro tablet.

And then check out the giveaways at the //publish event

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Announcing Best App a Month Contest – Hartford

Best App a Month

I am pleased to announce a new contest we are running from April to June 2014 that might be of interest to some of you working on your Windows 8  apps. It’s called Microsoft’s Best App a Month Contest or BAM!.

We want to find and showcase cool and innovative apps and games on the Windows 8 platform. Have you created something recently we should know about and have attended one Studio Time that month? Do you have an idea for a cool Windows 8 app or game and you’re just getting started? If so, enter your app / game into the Best App A Month Contest, where you could win a new Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet.

Dell Venue Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Build 2014 – Microsoft Announcements for Windows 8.1

//build
Photo Credit: Tim Andersen

Microsoft announced a lot of new updates and features during Day 1 of the //build conference. From new hardware to Windows 8.1 Update 1 to Cortana, there is a lot to be excited about.

The Windows 8.1 Update delivers a collection of refinements designed to give people a more familiar and convenient experience across touch, keyboard and mouse inputs. It also brings improvements for business customers, really accelerates opportunity for developers, and enables device makers to offer lower cost devices.

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Build Your Biz

Build Your Biz

BuildYourBiz is a site created by local Boston Technology community leaders and technology business owners.  The great content and success factors covered are a collaboration of many technology leaders including John Ross, Dan Stolts, Tommy Patterson, Blain BartonJames Quick and others.  Together, These experts as well as other technology experts and business owners will help you build your business on free Microsoft resources. This site and project was put together to help people start and build their business. BuildYourBiz will teach business owners, consultants, technologists and students how they can leverage technology to build their business. This will include many tips, tricks and resources available to help start, build and grow your business.

This coming Saturday, March 1st 2014, I will be leading the workshop on how to build your first app. This will be a step-by-step lesson to building a business for Technology Professionals and Students. Now we will dive into how you (an IT Professional or Student) can get started in building your first Windows Store application. No prior development experience required.

Register Now

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Unity and Windows: Road to Success

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.15.12 AM

Unity developers listen up! Microsoft has created a great oppurtunity for success on the Windows Platform. Using a great tool like Unity, and a great platform like Windows, success is an easy few steps away.

Head on over to Unity3D.com to view the progam and the step to qualify and start feeling the success!

Nokia Windows Phone Developer Day

What: Windows Phone Developer Day

When: Feb 1st, 12pm to 6pm

Where: Microsoft Offices, 1 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 and free up 12-6 PM to be in Cambridge, MA. The Microsoft and Nokia Evangelist are teaming up to help you publish your Windows Phone Apps!

Here is the preliminary schedule (subject to tweaking):

  • 12 PM DevCenter Submission Walkthrough (30 minutes): See just how easy it is to submit and publish an app worldwide
  • 12:30 PM Build an app in 30 minutes with App Studio (30 minutes): See how to build an app from an idea to publishable in 30 minutes, literally.
  • 1 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch: I’ll be providing food and snacks. This is when you think about what you need help with or when you should think of your app idea for App Studio.
  • 1:30-6 PM Hands-on time: The experts will be available to help during this time. They will be walking around helping and/or attending to requests for help.

By the end of the day I fully expect everyone’s apps will be ready and submitted to DevCenter and on it’s way to the global app marketplace.

Sign up here

What will you need to bring?

  • If you need help on an existing app, bring your laptop dev environment with your app on it.
  • If you want to build an app without any code, bring a laptop that has a modern browser (IE10-11, Chrome). You’ll only need your browser to build and submit the app to the store. If you do not have a Windows Phone, the experts will be able to help you test the app on their phone

Giveaways

Everyone who attends and publishes their app will be entered to win a “hero” Nokia Lumia (1020, 928, 925, 920, etc) of their choice. I’ll be saving some swag/prize surprises for the day of the event. Also, Microsoft will be bringing some prizes of their own! I will update this post with more details as we get closer to Feb 1st.

Note: If you accept a prize from Nokia, you agree to these terms.

Developer Environment

To write native Windows Phone 8 apps, you will need to be using Windows 8 Pro. If you do not have windows 8 Pro, you can utilize the Windows Phone App Studio app.

General Windows Phone 8 developer environment minimum

1.  Mac users only: Boot CampParallels DesktopVirtualBox or VMWare Fusion

2.  Windows 8 (or 8.1) Professional (a 90-day evaluation version available here)

3.  The Windows Phone SDK is available here.

Directions to #1 CAMBRIDGE CENTER  Directions from Bing

(Note: there is some construction being performed on the Longfellow bridge and it is currently closed to Cambridge-bound traffic )

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ARRIVING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

MBTA (“The T”)

Cambridge Center is accessible via the MBTA Red Line at the Kendall Square/MIT stop (between the Charles Street and Central Square stops). The Red Line links up with other lines providing access to virtually the entire Greater Boston region, including Logan Airport.  Please follow the Microsoft signs to our main entrance in the front of our building.

Sign up here

 

Windows 8 App Development. The Time is NOW!

There is a lot of momentum with Windows 8 right now. From the launch of the Nokia 2520 to all of the Windows Phones and other tablets, it is a great time to be part of the Windows ecosystem.

With that said, it is a great time for Students and Developers to start building apps and games for the Windows Platform. Listed below are a few promotions going on.

 

App Builder Rewards: Double Points December

App Builder
Publish an app in December • Complete the quest • Earn 10,000 points

It’s Double Points December! Publish your app in the Windows Store and complete the “Apps Quest” between December 1st and 31st 2013, and you’ll get double points for up to 8 apps. The more apps you submit, the more you earn.  Join App Builder Rewards today! https://build.windowsstore.com/rewards

 

Build an app this holiday season and ring in the new year with some cash in your pocket

Holiday App Challenge

We are excited to announce the Windows 8 Holiday App Challenge. Spend your winter break coding an awesome new app to be eligible to win up to $150. Full contest details can be found at http://windows8challenge.com.

How to participate?

  1. Develop a Windows 8 app. Submit your app to http://aka.ms/HolidayAppChallengeSubmission to be eligible to win av$50 gift card.
  2. Promote your app to get 100 downloads. Visit www.windows8challenge.com for tips and tricks to get 100 downloads in no time!
  3. Confirm your app has 100 downloads. Submit your confirmation at http://aka.ms/HolidayAppDownloadConfirmation to be eligible to win an additional $100 gift card. The contest ends on January 15th, 2014.

Offer terms and conditions: http://aka.ms/HolidayAppOfferTerms.

 

The Modev Windows $10k App Contest

MoDev Contest

We’re looking for those game changers, industry disruptors—denizens of creative awesome from across the developer community. We’ll award prizes two ways:

  1. An impartial panel of judges will pick the top three apps from among the entries and award prizes
  2. We’ll put the pool of entries up for a public vote, and encourage some healthy competition between entrants to promote your app and get the public to vote for you

To qualify, entrants need to submit new Windows 8 or Windows Phone apps to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store between October 1 and December 31, 2013, and fill out the Contest Entry form. Judging and public voting will begin in January 2014, with winners announced by January 31st.