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First impression I got once I saw a demo about Windows Phone 7 for the first time, was that, “this is most original user experience we got ever since the first demo for Apple iPhone”. This user interface is built on a UI philosophy called Metro.   The Metro design principles center on a look that type to echo the visual language of airport and metro system. Your homepage is full of shortcuts for applications, your favorite applications. Not just that, but also every shortcut, known as Tile is informative and update-able. For example, application of Messages will have the popular conversion icon, plus the number of new unread messages.

All this Metro stuff is focusing on doing more with less through the phone home screen. Yet our focus for this post would be for the applications themselves. There is mainly three common interfaces you will find in most Winows Phone 7 applications:

  • Panorama UI
  • Pivot UI
  • Free-style UI

Free-style UI is all what you have used to do or design in the previous age! Our focus today would be on two new interfaces Panorama and Pivot.

Panorama

If your application got too much content to show to the user, this style would be your optimal choice. If the application will show too much non-structured content (like group of images and videos) to the user, it is much more lovely and user friendly to subdivided it to small groups of similar items. These groups would be spread widely throught the application interface, so user will navigate between virtual pages (divisions) right and left, which is far better than tracking items comparing to up-to-down style. Check next example:

Pivot

If your application is dealing with well-structured data like tweets from your friends on Twitter, or send(receive) messages from your Exchange Server like Outlook, this is the required UI style. Check next example:

NOTES:

  • You are totally free to use any of those two styles, for your own application.
  • you also free to combine both styles in the same application.

In next development post we will try to make sample application for Panorama and Pivot UI styles.

Some of the materials in this blog was based on “UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 Series” documentation. You can download this documentation from here.

If you have developed on previous versions of Windows Mobile, you will know the amazing feeling of doing copy and paste from any application to any other application.

Unfortunately ,for some reason Microsoft decided they are not ready to set this feature available in early version of Windows Phone 7 for some reason!

Fortunately,users and developers of Windows Phone 7 won’t wait too much to have this feature on their phones. according to a report by Engadget , copy and paste will be available on Windows Phone 7 in very early 2011 in the first promised update for WP7 by Microsoft.

This is the statement by Microsoft.

“Microsoft is committed to delivering regular updates to the Windows Phone experience. Our first update will make copy & paste available in early 2011. In addition to this first update, all Windows Phone 7 users should expect to see additional updates delivered in the future as part of Microsoft’s ongoing update process.”

If you like to learn by the video tutorials, you will find this amazing tutorial, Windows Phone 7 Development for Absolute Beginners on Channel9 site of Microsoft.

Have a nice watch!

This is very classic. Whenever you try to learn about a new programming language or a new development tool, you create a “Hello, World” application.

Goals:

  1. Being familiar with the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.
  2. Creating a simple  Hello World application to be familiar with the cycle of app development.

IDE

First, run the tool that you will develop the application. Start –> All Programs –> Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. I am assuming that you already had downloaded the required tool and installed it.

Visual Studio Windows Phone 2010 home screen.

To create a new project, click the New Project link in the home screen. Or from File menu, select New Project. New Project dialog window will pop up. make sure to select Silverlight for Windows Phone from Visual C# under installed Templates part of the window. Later we might make a post about creating XNA game application for windows Phone.

In the middle part of the New Project dialog, you will notice 5 different projects for Windows Phone 7. These types are like next:

  • Windows Phone Application: a standard standalone application. Make sure to select this template.
  • Windows Phone Databound Application.
  • Windows Phone Class Library: for resuble components to be used in many other applications. e.g. : Math library.
  • Windows Phone Panorama Application: specific Windows Phone 7 UI. we will have a detailed post about later.
  • Windows Phone Pivot Application: specific Windows Phone 7 UI. we will have a detailed post about later.
New Project window.

New Project window.

Now give a name for the application (HelloWorld),  select a location for the solution file to be saved.

Now the IDE will be shown in like next image.

First Form

You will notice that the left part of the IDE, is a phone theme contains a very initial form with an application name and page title. This is the Designer part. Here you can drag and drops controls from your toolbox and arrange them around your form space.You will love to deal with this part if you are experienced windows application designer. We will see that in a moment.

The middle part is a XAML part. It is is a declarative   XML-based language created by Microsoft which is used to initialize structured values and objects. You will love to create objects and deal with them using this part if you are HTML and JavaScript guru!

Now we want to add a label that will hold our welcome message. But there is not Label control in Silverlight. There is TextBlock. Drag and drop it to somewhere in the page.

After adding the TextBlock control, go to the XAML code. You will find in the content panel area, a new tag for a TextBlock has been added. find the attribute Name, and change it to lblMessage. After renaming the TextBlock control object, we want to set the Text property value to show “Hello, World!”. Right click the control in the designer and select Peroperties. In properties windows, select Text property and change the value in it to Hello, World!

Properties Window

Properties Window

NOTE: Whatever the property you change its value, you can do that from both properties window or XAML code editor.

Now you are ready to run your to run your first Windows Phone application. just a second before you hit the lovely green play button in your IDE task bar, select the appropriate running mode from the available two options :

  • Windows Phone 7 Device: in case you have a Windows Phone 7 hardware. You will be in a need to have a Zune software which is required to sync data between your PC and your phone.
  • Windows Phone 7 Emulator: Which will preferable selection as long as you write code and test it.
Emulator

Running Options

 

Hit the run button and here we are. Congrats for your very first Windows Phone!!

Hello World Application

Hello World Application

I have found this video making a demo about a Windows Phone app that targets GoodReads users.

GoodReads is an amazing social network for tracking and sharing your reading experiences with our friends. Next video shows the application in the Windows Phone 7 Emulator mode.

No final information about the availability of the application in Windows Phone 7 app store.

Last month Microsoft made a big final official announcement about the arrival of Windows Phone 7. Hardware partners like HTC, Samsung, LG and others also made many announcements for their magnificent phones.

Of all phones revealed, two phones attracted me the most. HTC HD7 and Samsung Omnia7.

Both phones came after amazing legacy! I can remember the first time I “touched” an HD phone by HTC. That was lovely experience. Sure some minor issues was disturbing, but now with all this advance in technology from HTC and the big value credit they got in the market for their robust hardware design and performance, that is true for both Windows Mobile previously and Android Phones owners, I am totally have confidence with what will come in current generation.

On Other hand Samsung, that jumping steadily to the future of super smart phones and lately in the tab-computing, get my attention with their new Samsung Omnia 7. If you had a look at its blazing Super AMOLED screen, you will never look back to any other phone in the market.

Both phones above, got the most powerful features and specifications their as hardware. unfortunately, they are almost identical with very minor differences which make my decision to pick one of them is very hard!

Take a look at this comparison of the two phones by GSM Arena, then take a deep breath and kindly answer my poll below: :)

OKEY, Windows Phone 7 is cool. I believe I want to start to develop an application. Now what ??

If you are welling to design and develop an amazing game you will take the XNA way. Else, you will take the SilverLight way.

Before you start, you will need to make sure that your developing machine works on Windows Vista, Or 7. Not to mention, having the latest updates and service packs.

Now you will need to get the Tools.

Then get the Resources.

Now you get every thing we need to start. Let’s do it.

HTC HD 7

Source: Engadget