If you are developing a business apps for Windows 8.1 or WinRT 8.1.1, this is a must read book from O’Reilly. The authors Matt Baxter-Reynolds and Iris Classon are providing us with a well-written, accessible and practical book. Most of all, you are guided through the details of designing and building a complete, useful, fully functional business app.
The code crafted throughout the 15+ chapters is well designed. It allows the readers to quickly grasp the concepts explained, like transitioning from .NET, XAML, MVVM, persistent data, the app bar, notifications, settings, sharing, searching, background agents, resources and localization.
If you are short on learning time want to create a working application at the same time you are building your skills, I highly recommend you read this book and start developing professional Windows 8 apps today.
Written by a Software Engineer for Software Engineers
If you are new to Windows Phone 8 developments, this book will give you a quick overview and facilitate your learning curve. Bring your understanding of C# and read this concise book that goes right to the point. No pages are wasted explaining the genesis of Windows Phone or detailing the C# language. Easy to understand and supported by a fully functional piece of code, this book clearly exposes good practices to use in your Windows Phone 8 developments.
The associated code sample (downloaded from Packt Publishing) is well designed, allowing the reader to quickly grasp the concepts explained, like XAML, MVVM light, storage, settings, background agents, notifications, toasts, launchers and choosers. The last chapters also explain how to integrate social media in your application, enabling Facebook and Twitter.
Tomasz Szostak is a Software Engineer writing for Software Engineers. If you don’t have time to waste and want to learn by doing, I highly recommend you read this book and start developing Windows Phone 8 apps today.
Posted in Book review
On June 7 to 9, 2013, I participated with Henry Yu in the Machine-to-Machine app challenge organized by Connected Devices magazine in Santa Clara, CA. We won the first prize sponsored by IoBridge and were featured in and on the cover of the August/September issue of Connected World Magazine http://connectedworldmag.com/10_utilities_cwm.aspx
We created an application to help drivers park their car in tight garage space, more accurately and faster. Here is the idea behind it…
- Most people have big cars and a small or cluttered garage
- Actively assist the driver during the parking and exit phases using:
- 4 ultrasound sensors on the sides controls the lateral position, while a front ultrasound sensor controls when the car should stop
- local feedback is given with a needle showing the direction to take, and a green light to show when you reach the right position
- using IoBridge, the sensor information is sent in real-time to a web page showing the exact shape of the garage and the car moving inside
- the driver of the Tesla Model S sees the web page inside the car in real-time (flight time < 180 ms) https://apps.realtime.io/MyTesla
- Send tweet to dedicated Twitter accounts when the car is parked. That way, your spouse/family/friend is informed and knows the car can be used
- Access the official list of recalls and automatically inform you for recalls of your car model
- Reduce self-inflicted scratches and insurance premiums
- Reduce stress while parking
- Potentially reduce the number of cars needed by sharing more
- No maintenance (availability)
- Everyday use (stickiness)
- Real-time feedback (friendliness)
- Install-it-yourself kit for home, office, mall, etc. (monetization)
- Twitter (socialization)
- Most precise/fastest (gamization)
The services and tools used were:
- Iota from IoBridge,
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall information,
- The NHTSA dataset provided by data.gov,
- Microsoft Visual Studio,
Some future improvements to the system could be:
- Store a secure log in the cloud
- Use the log data to automatically detect unusual patterns and send security alerts
- Automatically close the garage door and arm the house security when all cars are out
- Use direction lights in addition to the needle
- Parking precision game for teen drivers / seniors
And finally, two images of the prototype presented:
This is a Windows 8 application. Download it from Windows 8 Store at
– The goal of the game is to be kissed by your Valentine.
– Valentines are flying on the screen. You tap or click on them to give them flowers, hearts and chocolates.
– Each time a Valentine receives a gift, she kisses you and a kiss sound is heard. You also get one more point.
– There is also a flying witch that you do not want to touch. If you do, one of your remaining lives will be removed.
– Learn YoYo Games development platform http://www.yoyogames.com/
– Create a Windows 8 application in less than one day.
– Have fun with your virtual Valentine.
– Winner of the second prize at the Cross Platform App Hackathon, held at Microsoft on February 15, 2013.
– Won the “Editor’s Pick Award” from BestWindows8Apps.net