WP7 Dev Labs
A rewarding day at Microsoft’s’ WP7 Developer labs in London in the Company of Technical Evangelist Paul Foster.
I started the day with the mandatory Starbucks and straight into an opportunity to play with one of the few WP7 devices in the UK (a pre-release phone from LG). Paul had linked his Facebook account to the phone which made the experience more rewarding / true to life. Of course as a developer I might be biased but I have to say the interface is both ‘Next Gen and very intuitive in operation’. I look forward to owning a device as a user as well as a developer.
On to business and a few tweaks later my first app (http://apps.webservicesuk.com/Shove) was up and running on the device. ( It was a relief to see that it performed well (It had shown some issues on the emulator running on my ‘PDC laptop’). FYI a high spec (core i7) device is the recommended option in order for the emulator to get close to the performance of the initial hardware I found this last fact quite comforting!
Next up was PuzzleGram (http://apps.webservicesuk.com/Puzzlegram) , the same few tweaks to the project files and it sprang in to life on the device – sweet! I still have a little work to do on both these apps – running ‘shove halfpenny’ on the device confirmed concerns that keeping things to scale left the coins a little on the small side – should be an easy fix though (stand by!).
The ’bad day at the office ‘ / stress relief app “Nuke Your Office” (http://apps.webservicesuk.com/NukeYourOffice) proved a little more troublesome but I was relieved to find that performance was great on the device (Multiple simultaneous explosions and sound effects / particle based smoke effects were no problem for the devices’ processor).
Apart from the opportunity to put a device through its paces for a day it was also a great opportunity to enhance my understanding of the platform through discussion with Paul, who I must thank for his constant attention (Paul’s own specialty is XNA but he was kind enough to contact Mike Taulty and others to assist with some of the Silverlight specific questions).
As a bonus (for getting up at 4am?) I also had the opportunity to develop a few more locations for my hobbyist historical site at http://apps.webservicesuk.com/FromTheMalverns. The offices in Victoria are directly opposite Westminster Cathedral and only a stones throw from Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly, all of which feature on the site. (Note to self: must think how I can best bring this to WP7).
Many thanks again to Paul and to Bindi Karia (BizSpark UK – without which I would not have got this far)