Windows Mobile

Windows Phone "Tango" to be renamed to Windows Phone 7.5 “Refresh” and Windows Phone 8 for the future

April 16, 2012 .NET, All, CodeNames, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Mobile-Development, Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone "Apollo", Windows Phone "Mango", Windows Phone "Tango", Windows Phone 7.0, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK No comments

Microsoft’s announced upcoming Windows Phone OS code named as Windows Phone “Tango” to be renamed to Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh. This is inline with Microsoft’s cloud feature specific Windows Phone OS called as Windows Phone “Apollo” or Windows Phone 8.

 

Windows Phone 7 “Tango” a.k.a Windows Phone 7.5 REFRESH

The upcoming Windows Phone update will be officially referred to as the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh. Tango will be a minor update, planned to be released in April 2012/May 2012. It will enable Windows Phone to run on low-cost devices with 256 MB RAM and low clock CPU.

Windows Phone "Apollo" a.k.a Windows Phone 8

Apollo is the codename for the next generation of Windows Phone, as officially confirmed by MS at an MSDN seminar in August 2011. This update is also confirmed by Nokia and HTC.

Windows Phone “Apollo” to be termed as “Windows Phone 8”, which is built upon NT Kernel (prior version of Windows Phone are built on CE Kernel). This makes Windows Phone 8 much closer to Windows 8 with cloud integration, multi-core support, external micros SD support, different resolutions etc.

The expected release date for this update is in Q4 2012. ( as per Wikipedia)

List of features coming in Apollo, not yet confirmed by Microsoft, unless otherwise stated: [taken from Wikipedia]

  • Support for multi-cores (confirmed by Nokia)
  • Support for different resolutions
  • NFC support added, including payment and content sharing with WP8 and Windows 8 machines (confirmed by MS (but NFC is partially supported in Tango update, e.g. ZTE Orbit))
  • Carrier control and branding of "wallet" element is possible via SIM or phone hardware
  • Transitions to core components from desktop, including kernel, network stack, security components, and media support
  • Simplified porting of desktop apps to mobile
  • Zune desktop integration scrapped in favor of new, unnamed syncing app
  • Deeper Skydrive integration, including ability to sync data such as music collections (confirmed by MS as part of Live wave 5 update)
  • Xbox Companion app will get Windows 8 partner client
  • Native code support, simplified porting from Android and iOS
  • App-to-app communication and integration
  • Skype client with deep OS hooks that will make it almost identical to placing standard voice calls (confirmed by MS)
  • Camera app now supports "lenses", which allow third parties to skin and add features to camera interface (confirmed by MS)
  • DataSmart tracks and reports usage via app and live tile
  • Gives preferential treatment to WiFi, can automatically connect to carrier-owned hotspots
  • Proxy server will compress websites in Internet Explorer 10 up to 30 percent (IE10 is confirmed by MS)
  • Native 128-bit Bitlocker encryption
  • Support for proprietary, custom built apps to be deployed behind company firewalls

 

[This information is collected from Wikipedia, incase of any irregularities/updates with the POST please leave a comment, I will do the needful to update. My intention with this post is to provide you latest information, some of it might be from a non authentic source. Inconvenience regretted. ]

Mobile Application Development

April 7, 2012 All, ANDROID, CSS 3, HTML, HTML5, iOS, iPhone, JavaScript, JQuery Mobile, Mobile Frameworks, Mobile SDK, mobile web, Mobile-Development, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 1 comment , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mobile Applications are rapidly developing segment in the global mobile sector. Developing mobile applications targeting different mobile platforms such as Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Bada(Samsung’s Proprietary OS) is the trend setter now.

Quoting from Wikipedia

Mobile application development is the process by which application software is developed for small low-power handheld devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones or smart phones. These applications are either pre-installed on phones during manufacture, downloaded by customers from various mobile software distribution platforms, or web applications delivered over HTTP which use server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an "application-like" experience within a Web browser.

[Wikipedia]

Why is it so different from other application development?

Or

Why do we need to give special care when doing mobile development?

Mobile devices have certain limitations in terms of hardware, they have limited screen display, limited space for applications to operate and network capabilities. These limitations will vary in different models as the Mobile ecosystem is very large and there is innumerous amount of devices in the world. So we need to give special care in developing the mobile applications ensuring the compatibility across all the platforms.

Some of the things we need to consider when we do mobile development are:

  • Small screen size and mobile ecosystem – This makes it difficult or impossible to see text and graphics dependent on the standard size of a desktop computer screen.
  • Lack of windows/ multi-tasking – On a desktop computer, the ability to open more than one window at a time allows for multi-tasking and for easy revert to a previous page. Historically on mobile web, only one page can be displayed at a time, and pages can only be viewed in the sequence they were originally accessed. Latest mobile platform releases such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone are supporting multi tasking capability, which allows you to run more than one applications parallel, yet only one application can be displayed on the screen.
  • Navigation – Most mobile devices do not use a mouse like pointer, but rather simply an up and down function for scrolling or touch inputs, thereby limiting the flexibility in navigation.
  • Hardware and Resource limitation – all the upcoming mobile devices are having Dual Core or Quad core mobile processors with decent amount of memory. But still if you need you device to function well and be responsive, you should develop application in such a way it will be using low memory foot print.
  • Targeting Or Supporting wide variety Mobile Platforms/ Execution environments – this is the most complicated or important feature set we should be taking in to consideration when developing an application. Android, iOS, BlackBerry, HP webOS, Symbian OS, Bada from Samsung, and Windows Mobile support typical application binaries as found on personal computers with code which executes in the native machine format of the processor (the ARM architecture is a dominant design used on many current models).

Also read this article on 7 Limitations when designing for mobile: http://baymard.com/blog/mobile-design-limitations 

For Technical point of view we can differentiate mobile applications in to three categories

1. Native Applications

Native applications developed against native platform APIs and It would be having full(or limited for some platforms) access to the device capabilities. Each of the platforms for mobile applications also has an integrated development environment which provides tools to allow a developer to write, test and deploy applications into the target platform environment.

Examples are using Applications developed using Native/Platform Mobile SDK’s such as iOS SDK, Android SDK, Windows Phone SDK etc.  Windows Mobile, Android, HP webOS and iOS offer free SDKs and integrated development environments to developers. These applications will be able to utilize or interact with all device capabilities.

 

Five reasons for developing Native Applications:

  • Performance
  • Offline Mode
  • Findability / Discoverability ( through a central location such as Apple’s AppStore , Google’s Market, Windows Phone Market etc)
  • Device Attributes
  • Monetization

The disadvantage is obviously the development cost. No two mobile platforms can share the same mobile application, and there are too many Mobile operating systems (or platforms) existing in the market. If you develop a mobile application to market it widely, you need to develop that in  Symbian, Mac iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile.

2. Mobile Web Applications  / Browser based Applications

Mobile Web applications are web sites that are scaled down/optimized to display on a mobile web browser. Mobile web applications are developed in such a way keeping in mind less payload delivery per each request. These applications are typically a scale down version of actual website which you can browse over any desktop browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

Every action mobile web application makes a round trip to server.

The advantages of having mobile web application is that:

  • Server Driven – we have full control on the website. and we can customize it any time, so that user will get the latest look and feel.
  • Targeting multiple platforms & connectivity – most of the mobiles and smartphones have a browser.  One-third of humankind currently has access to the Internet through a mobile device. That makes it easy to deliver our applications in any platform.
  • It enables services to take advantage of mobile device capabilities such as clicking on a phone number to call it or add it to the device address book. It can provide location-sensitive content. Location technologies can enable location-sensitive information be provided to a user. This can reduce the steps required for the user to reach useful content, and so makes it accessible with the least amount of effort.
  • For users, they don’t have to download an application or any maintenance updates, but instead “call up” a URL via their mobile browser which instantly delivers the most up-to-date application to their device.
  • Cross platform compatibility.
  • low development cost.

and the disadvantage is the bandwidth limitations and the limitations of Mobile websites, which does not access your Phone’s components like your Address book, Camera, etc.

The Mobile Web refers access to the world wide web, i.e. the use of browser-based Internet services, from a handheld mobile device, such as a smartphone, a feature phone or a tablet computer, connected to a mobile network or other wireless network.

Traditionally, access to the Web has been via fixed-line services on large-screen laptops and desktop computers. The shift to mobile Web access has been accelerating with the rise since 2007 of larger multitouch smartphones, and of multitouch tablet computers since 2010.

Both platforms provide better Internet access and browser- or application-based user Web experiences than previous generations of mobile devices have done.

Mobile Web access today still suffers from interoperability and usability problems. Interoperability issues stem from the platform fragmentation of mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and browsers. Usability problems are centered around the small physical size of the mobile phone form factors (limits on display resolution and user input/operating). 

[Wikipedia]

3. Hybrid Mobile Applications

Hybrid Mobile Applications are Applications that use BOTH browser interfaces and native mobile components. With HTML5 and JavaScripts, now the browsers are becoming capable of accessing a phone’s built in features like contacts, camera etc.

There are mobile frameworks based on HTML5 and JavaScript’s that would be able to access the device features such as Accelerometer, Compass, Contacts, Camera and device file system etc. Some popular such mobile frameworks are PhoneGap, Appcelerator’s Titanium etc. These frameworks helps in developing applications that would able to target most of the mobile platforms such as “iOS”, “Android”, “Windows Phone”, “Symbian” and “Blackberry”.

Appcelerator Titanium is a platform for developing mobile, tablet and desktop applications using web technologies.

Key to successful Hybrid Apps:

  • Make the experience feel like a native application.
  • Take advantage of the enhanced features.
  • Don’t simply release a hybrid version of the mobile web site.
  • Optimize performance

 

Mobile world is growing and you can see lots of opportunities for innovation. If you are a fan of building mobile applications go ahead and develop something that is in your dreams and leave it over to the rest of the world to carry forward.

 

Resources for Developing mobile applications:

PhoneGap (was called by the name Apache Callback, but now Apache Cordova) is an open-source mobile development framework produced by Nitobi, purchased by Adobe Systems. It enables software programmers to build applications for mobile devices using JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3, instead of lower-level languages such as Objective-C. The resulting applications are hybrid, meaning that they are neither truly native (all layout rendering is done via the webview instead of the platform’s native UI framework) nor purely web based (they are not just web apps but packed for appstore distribution, and have access to part of the device application programming interface).

http://phonegap.com/ 

 

Appcelerator Titanium is a platform for developing mobile, tablet and desktop applications using web technologies. Appcelerator Titanium is developed by Appcelerator Inc.

Appcelerator Titanium Mobile is one of several phone web based application framework solutions allowing web developers to apply existing skills to create native applications for iPhone and Android. Yet, while using the familiar JavaScript syntax, developers will also have to learn the Titanium API, which is quite different from familiar web frameworks such as jQuery.

http://www.appcelerator.com/ 

 

Android Application Development: http://developer.android.com/index.html

Apple iOS Application Development: https://developer.apple.com/

Windows Phone Development: http://create.msdn.com/en-US/

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff402535(v=vs.92).aspx

Blackberry Application Development:  https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/devzone/

Bada Development: http://developer.bada.com

Symbian Development: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Devices/Symbian/

HP WebOS Development: https://developer.palm.com/

 

jQuery Mobile: Touch-Optimized Web Framework for Smartphones & Tablets

http://jquerymobile.com/ 

Sencha Touch: Sencha Touch was the first HTML5 mobile JavaScript framework for web applications that feel native on Android, BlackBerry, and iOS.
http://www.sencha.com/products/touch 

and more…

and some interesting learning resources

http://baymard.com/blog/responsive-web-design

Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Updated to Final

March 27, 2012 .NET, .NET Framework, All, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Mobile SDK, Mobile-Development, VisualStudio, VS11, VS2010, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone SDK No comments

Microsoft has released final version of Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 which includes the support for Windows 8 and 256 MB devices for debugging.  (previously I blogged about the release of CTP version of the same here)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update offers developers tools and options to help them develop and test applications for 256-MB Windows Phone devices.

Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update includes the following

  • New 256-MB version of Windows Phone Emulator
  • Updated 512-MB version Windows Phone Emulator
  • and IntelliSense support.

 Download Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update

Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Final (RTW)

September 30, 2011 .NET, .NET Framework, All, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 No comments

Microsoft has released final version of Windows Phone SDK 7.1 (Mango). The Windows Phone Software Development Kit (SDK) 7.1 provides you with all of the tools that you need to develop applications and games for both Windows Phone 7.0 and Windows Phone 7.5 devices.

Download Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Final (RTW) Web Installer / Standalone ISO

 

The Windows Phone SDK includes the following

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • Windows Phone Emulator
  • Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Assemblies
  • Silverlight 4 SDK and DRT
  • Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Extensions for XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone 7
  • Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone OS 7.1
  • WCF Data Services Client for Window Phone
  • Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7 Mango update goes to RTM (released to Manufacture)

July 28, 2011 .NET, All, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 1 comment

Microsoft’s latest release for Windows Phone is out, long awaited with so many new features, Windows Phone 7.1 a.k.a MANGO.

Officially Windows Phone team has signed-off the RTM build for Windows Phone 7 MANGO.

The Mango update for current Windows Phone handsets will be ready this fall, and will come pre-installed on new Windows Phones.

Read More here  http://microsoftpowerpoint.org/phone-7-mango-code-released-to-microsoft-partners/ 

Expecting Soon final version of Windows Phone 7.1 SDK for Visual Studio also will be available for Developers.

Good reads

http://www.wp7connect.com/2011/07/27/developers-might-be-getting-their-hands-on-new-mango-build/ 

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/07/27/wpsdk-beta-2-refresh-for-mango-devs.aspx

Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 : installation steps

June 30, 2011 .NET, All, General, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 No comments

Came across a nice blog by Dhanunjay Kumar (MVP)  to guide you through nice installation steps for Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2

Please read through blog, it is really informative. Thanks Dhanunjay for such a nice article..