Metro Nuggets

Bitesized Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 tidbits

Introducing MDL2 Helpers

Another new thing that’s being introduced in Windows 10 is something that’s being seen as the next evolution of Metro: MDL2 (Microsoft Design Language 2). This brings about a whole new set of iconography for Windows 10, some of which can be seen in the settings app (on both phone and desktop).

If you want to read more about MDL2, whilst not technical, this would be a good place to start.

The icons that are available can be used by using the Font Segoe MDL2 then using the relevant code to get the icon. But where do you get those codes from? Well, Austin Andrews (@templarian) has put together a great online resource that lists the icons and their representations. But this can be a pain to copy and paste, look up what a code is, etc. So is there an easier way?

Read more of this post

Introducing AdaptiveTileExtensions for Windows 10

One of the things shown off at Build recently was this new thing for updating tiles, called Adaptive Tiles. The notion is, that like your Universal Windows Apps can adapt to different sizes on different platforms, so, too, should your tiles. So Adaptive tiles allows you, with one bit of XML tell your tile how to behave at different sizes. For more information, you should definitely watch the Build session on all this

The problem is, it means crafting the XML. And who likes XML?

Read more of this post

Introducing: ThemeManagerRt

Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 both have this really great theme support that allows you to use ThemeResource as a xaml type, it means if the theme changes, anything using that will change its theme too. It’s actually very cool. What’s not cool though is you can only have two themes (Light/Dark). What if you want other themes? Yes, you can override both of those themes to show your own custom theme, but what if you want a third? A fourth? What then?

Well I’ve created a little helper that helps to alleviate that, and also means that you can swap themes on the fly without having to restart the app. Pretty cool, huh.

Read more of this post

Sharing Links To Pocket (formerly Read It Later)

Pocket is a brilliant service that allows you to essentially bookmark links and (as the old name suggests), read it later. Pocket has no official app on the Windows Phone platform, but there are more apps coming from other sources (including my own Squirrel).

One of the things each of the apps has in common (other than being a Pocket client), is the ability to add links to Pocket from other apps. This is done using a custom URI scheme and works as expected. The only problem is, if you’re writing an app that you’d like to add Pocket support to, what do you do? Do you pledge your allegiance to one app? What if your users are using a different Pocket app? What then?

This was a problem I decided to address whilst writing my own Pocket app.

Read more of this post

Resizing the RadImageButton

Telerik have a great range of controls that allow you to build some really cool looking interfaces for Windows Phone. One of those controls is the RadImageButton, which lets you set an image and it creates an appbar style button for you. However, I wanted the button to be a different size to the default one, how to go about doing that?

Read more of this post

Introducing the RottenTomatoesPortable PCL

Over the weekend I was looking at some Rotten Tomatoes stuff for Media Browser 3, and I noticed they had an API for getting the movie information (including reviews and fresh ratings). It’s been a while since I last did a PCL and to avoid any withdrawal symptoms, I created a new project.

For those that don’t know, Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregator for movies that gives a “freshness” rating based on the reviews that have been done about a given movie.

Read more of this post

The Mystery of the Disappearing Images in the Emulator

While I was working on In Two (a great game by the way, you should check it out), I was working on one feature that allowed the user to set their profile picture, which involved letting them either choose a photo from one of their many, many albums, or taking a new picture. Most of the development of that game was done using the emulator, which was no problem, I thought, as I knew the emulator came with stock images for you to use. But every time I went to choose an image from my app, all I had was the empty camera roll folder, no stock images.

Read more of this post

ScoreoidPortable Gets Secret Squirrel API Calls

One of the cool things about working on something that in turn works with a new platform is that both parties are looking to help each other out. And such is the case here. After releasing ScoreoidPortable, I was contacted by the creators of Scoreoid thanking me for my library and also giving me access to some new methods that are new and, as yet, undocumented on their wiki. The documentation for them is coming soon, but they were keen for them to be added to ScoreoidPortable.

Read more of this post

Belatedly Introducing LiveSDKHelper

A while back I was working on a project that allowed me to actually look at, and use, the Live SDK in order to access information on SkyDrive. I was surprised to find just how hard it was to use the Live SDK, so as part of building the main project, I also built a little helper for using the Live SDK.

Read more of this post

Introducing the ScoreoidPortable PCL

For a game I’ve been writing the last few weeks, I’ve been using an online scoring system in order to keep a track of people’s best scores whilst playing the game. What I’ve been using is Scoreoid, which is a cross platform scoring platform. It’s actually pretty easy to get yourself set up with Scoreoid, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

Their API is a REST based one and has a pretty expansive list of calls, from player creation, to score creation to leaderboards, etc. Initially, I looked to see whether anyone had already created any kind of helper library for Scoreoid and found Scoreoid for Windows 8 which I had to tweak in order to use it in my Windows Phone game. Unfortunately, the number of methods it had implemented was somewhat limited, I guess Rudy only implemented the ones he needed, so I found I was going to be adding a lot to his existing code base. In the end, I decided I’d write my own version and have the library how I wanted it (naming conventions etc).

So that’s what I did.

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.