Windows Phone

How to add Microsoft Application Insights v1 to your Windows 8.1 Universal app

Late in 2014, Microsoft finally started Application Insights (AI), their own telemetry service for all kind of apps. For Windows (Phone) 8.1 apps, the service was a long running beta. This month, Microsoft finally released version 1.0 of Application Insights for Windows apps.

Screenshot (15)

However, if you are upgrading from a previous version, you will see that AI will no longer send any data to Azure. This has a very simple reason. Microsoft moved the configuration from the former ApplicationInsights.config file to a class called WindowsAppInitializer. I only found this out because I commented at the corresponding documentation site, which causes Microsoft to send me an email with a link to the solution in the forums. You will not find these info in the documentation as of writing this blog post. Microsoft also updated the docs tonight.

I strongly recommend you to remove all old references in favor of just updating to avoid any glitches with the new API.

I played around with the new WindowsAppInitializer class. If you want to collect all data with the automatic WindowsCollectors, all you have to add to your code is one line in your App.xaml.cs constructor (Microsoft recommends to add it before all other code):

WindowsAppInitializer.InitializeAsync("your instrumentation key”);

That’s it. Really. Here’s a screen shot of the test app in Visual Studio I created to play around with the new WindowsAppInitializer class:

Screenshot (24)

As you can see, telemetry data gets written to the debug output, and with that, it will be submitted to your Azure account. If you do not want to use all Collectors, just add those you want to use after your InstrumentationKey, separated with ‘|’ in the IninitalizeAsync Method.

Adding custom telemetry data collection is still possible. Quick sample:

var tc = new TelemetryClient();
tc.TrackEvent("MainPage loaded... [WP TestEvent]");

This will send this string as a custom event to your Azure account. For more info about custom telemetry data, check this page.

As always, I hope this blog post is helpful for some of you.

Happy coding!

Posted by msicc in Dev Stories, win8dev, wpdev, 1 comment
Windows Phone 8 – the next generation

Windows Phone 8 – the next generation

Today I will write about my impressions on Windows Phone 8, the next generation of Windows Phone. First thing I can tell you: I am really impressed what Microsoft has done here.

This Post will be about my favorite features on Windows Phone 8, if anyone prefers other features, feel free to leave a comment below.

Individual start screen

Of course, the first feature I absolutely love is the new start screen. Every user can now individually change the tile sizes from small to middle to big. This way every device will have another look:

 

Windows Phone 8 start screen

None of the hopefully exploding numbers will look like any other. Best thing: this is one of the features that will come also to existing Windows Phones. I can´t wait to make my start screen look even more individual.

The new lock screen

Screenshot (35)

The Windows Phone 8 lock screen can be taken over by Windows Phone apps. There are several ways they can do it.

  • show images as wallpaper
  • show information from within the app as lock screen (partly/full takeover)
  • show number of new notifications

The photo above shows how the completely rewritten Facebook app for Windows Phone takes over the look screen by showing randomly changed Facebook photos.

I can’t wait to see what my fellow dev colleagues are doing to give us an awesome user experience. For my apps, I am currently investigating what possibilities I have to give you some awesomeness. With my app MSicc´s Blog it will be for sure something related to new posts, so you won’t miss any news from it. For my other apps I am currently searching a helpful way.

 

Benefits for the little one´s and parents: Kids corner

Screenshot (47)

Joe Belfiore demonstrated kids corner in an really awesome way. He let show his kids this awesome feature. Our kids are often asking us to let them play with our phones. We are of course afraid they could do something that they shouldn’t like sending messages or other things like this. Microsoft has done a fantastic job in adding a separated section for our kids, where we can add apps and games that are safe to use for our little stars. Can´t wait to introduce this to my 6 year old daughter (my son wants his own Windows Phone, so let’s see if he was brave enough in Santa´s eyes).

Xbox Music – finally also in Germany with pass

Screenshot (58)

As I wrote earlier, Microsoft finally unleashed Xbox Music for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Xbox. Here are some additional features that are available in Windows Phone 8:

  • seamless syncing of Playlists and Albums
  • Xbox Music streaming via the cloud
  • apps can interact with Xbox Music
  • streaming to Xbox via SmartGlass

I am really happy that Microsoft finally added more countries to the Music Pass. If you haven´t activated your pass, you really should do it right now.

 

There are more awesome features:

  • SkyDrive syncing of photos, office documents
  • DataSmart
  • Voice Commanding of the phone and apps
  • Wallet
  • restructured Windows Phone Store
  • in app purchases
  • Rooms in people hub
  • many ways devs can improve their apps (I will do separate posts about them)
  • and more

I will cover them from my point of view as soon as I get my hands on a Windows Phone 8 device. Which leads me to the launch line up of Windows Phone devices:

Screenshot (61)

From left to the right we have the Lumia 920, Lumia 820 by Nokia, the Ativ S by Samsung and the 8S as well as the 8X by HTC.

What are your favorite features? Which device are you looking forward to? Leave a comment below.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows Phone, 6 comments

How to turn on Bing maps traffic outside the US on Windows Phone

bing-maps-logo

Recently Microsoft´s Bing-Team announced another achievement in the collaboration with Nokia. Bing Maps is now using Nokia´s Backend for Traffic and Geocoding.

As a Windows Phone user, I wanted to test this also on my Windows Phone. And sadly, as I am outside the US, it did not show up.

So I contacted Bing Germany via Twitter to ask what is going on there. They also thought it would be available equally to the PC´s version of Bing Maps. They had to ask the German Windows Phone team.

After a couple of hours, they answered that it yet has to be rolled out. But there is a workaround.

So here is my little guide:

Open Settings/Language Settings and scroll down until the browser- and search language-field and change it to “English (USA)”:

After saving this setting, open the maps app on your Windows Phone. If you click now on the application bar, your will recognize the “show traffic” option. Tap on it to activate.

After a short loading time, the actual traffic situation shows up on your Windows Phone:

You can switch the browser and search language setting back, but then the setting is always active. It should only be a matter of time until the feature is available in all languages directly.

I hope this little guide helps you to use this awesome feature. This guide should work with any language, I tested it with German and Italian, both time working perfectly. Feel free to leave a comment below.

You can read the German Bing blog post here.

Posted by msicc in Bing, Windows Phone, 0 comments

I learn to tie my shoes – now available on Windows Phone (deal inside)

In January 2011 Internet Security specialist AVG released a study. This study tells us that nowadays children get in touch with technical gadgets much earlier than in the past, while they are not able to manage everyday things like tying their shoes.

The study substantiates this also with figures: around 19% of the 2-5 year old children are able to use smartphone apps, while only 9% know  how to tie their shoes.

As father of two kids, I decided to use the abilities of the little ones, and do something against that alarmingly low now number of kids, who know how to tie shoes.

I hope this app helps you and your children to learn tying of shoes very quick, easy and with fun.

The app provides following features:

  • two methods of tying shoes
  • controllable animation that shows tying
  • step by step guide
  • rhymes
  • theme selection (currently standard, boys, girls)
  • German and English language

The app will be available at the price of 99 cent. Like all my other apps, it has of course a trial version.

Trial version provides:

  • the first five steps both in animation and the guide
  • one of four rhymes
  • standard theme

What is coming next?

  • more languages (coming with the next update: Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian)
  • more themes
  • themed tiles to pin to start screen

To celebrate the launch of this app, I will start a “Marketplace Roulette”.

Currently, the app is available for free only  via this marketplace link.  I will change the pricing at a suitable moment within the next few days  to the above mentioned 99 cents and make it publically available. Until this moment, you can download it for free only via this link.

Finally, here are some screenshots from the app:

step10_ENGthemes_ENG

If you want to learn more about the app, here is a review on 1800PocketPC.com (written by Saijo George).

Posted by msicc in my apps, 0 comments

[WPDev] Add Multiline Text to a Resource File in Windows Phone

Today I had to solve the problem that I needed to add multiline text into my resource file. I did not find a Windows Phone specific solution, but enough hints to solve the problem.

Here is a short guide for you:

First I added a TextBlock control and formatted it in XAML with Linebreaks:

TextBlockLineBreaks

The result is a nicely formatted TextBlock:

TextBlockResultCorrect

Now I tried of course to copy and paste the string in my resource file, and got an ugly result:

ResourceCopyPasteTextBlockResult

As mentioned above, I found out enough hints to solve this problem. There are two ways to solve it:

  • The simple way is to add your text, and for each new line press “Shift+Enter”. The result looks like this in your resource file:

    cleanResource

    Please note that you have to click inside of the value field to display the whole content.

  • The second way is to edit the XML-File directly. To open the resource file in XML-mode, right click your resource file and choose “Open with..”. In the following menu choose XML (Text)-Editor. Locate your resource string. Also if it looks not nice in code, you have to format your entry like this:

    xmlResourceLinebreak

Both methods will result in a nicely formatted multiline TextBlock after building your app again.

I hope this short guide is helpful.

Posted by msicc in Dev Stories, Windows Phone, 0 comments

Microsoft is going to let die Zune

RIP-zune

This week there were several rumors about Zune and the Marketplace. We had also changes on Zune and Marketplace that more or less confirming the upcoming death of Zune as we know.

First, Microsoft removed the Windows Phone app section from Zune. Now we cannot look into the Marketplace for apps anymore (read more at 1800PocketPC).

The second news is regarding the music marketplace, which is realized via Zune. Microsoft is rumored to deactivate it, too. Instead of this, Microsoft will launch a new music service, codenamed “Woodstock”. The Woodstock festival was part of a revolution back in time, and the codename suggests there are big changes.

This is what we know right now, regarding to the verge:

  • the service will not require any browser plugins
  • deep Facebook integration with sharing and group playlists.
  • scan and match function, based on your existing music collection.

Microsoft is said to give us a preview at this year´s E3. Microsoft will launch this service on all of their upcoming platforms, including Xbox, Windows Phone (Apollo) and Windows 8. The verge states also that the service will be extended to the rivaling platforms.

woodstock-spotify-ms-nerd

Yesterday, just one day after the news were showing up, MS_nerd told us via twitter that Microsoft and Spotify are “sitting in a tree”. This makes me believe that the upcoming service will use Spotify as content provider (Spotify lets third party apps easily use their service via an API). I guess there will be a special announcement regarding this.

As we still do not know more details, I can´t tell you whether Zune Pass subscribers will be able to use their service any longer as well whether current Spotify can profit from this.

Only one thing is for sure: Zune Pass will definitely not come to us German users.

source: the verge

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments

SOLVED! Me-tile does not post new tweets on WindowsPhone

SOLVED:

Windows Phone Support Team has recently informed us that the problem is solved now. I tested it with some tweets, it seems all is working again now. I tried to get more information on what was the reason, but it seems they do not have any info at the moment. I asked them to keep me informed, so I will update this post if I get some information.

Old Post:

Since yesterday the baked in twitter integration on Windows Phone seems to be not working properly.

There are several reports from users around the globe who are not able to post a new tweet via the Me-tile. It seems the tweet is posted, no error is showing up, but tweets never Show up on twitter.

Update 1:
Mentions and retweeting as well as answering tweets seem to work.

For all WPDev: this affects also your apps which are using the integrated sharing function. On Facebook posting is ok.  Twitter sharing seems to work, but does nothing.

I contacted the Windows Phone support team via twitter (@winphonesupport), they are investigating.

Update 2:
Windows Phone Support has stated they are looking into the issue we all have with our Me-tile. No more Information at this moment. I will update my post as soon as I got any new information. I think they registered now that it is a global problem.

Update 3:
Windows Phone Support also told me they have enough examples for the moment, so we do not get them posted our device data any more.

Please feel still free to leave a comment below.

Hopefully this problem will be saved soon.

Posted via WordPress for Windows Phone

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 8 comments
Official! over 70.000 apps on WindowsPhone Marketplace

Official! over 70.000 apps on WindowsPhone Marketplace

MPStatsup

Yesterday Microsoft officially launched Windows Phone in China.

Besides this launch, Simon Leung, Micorosft´s China chief told also some interesting numbers to the unwiredview.com.

The numbers:

  • the Marketplace is growing huge: 50.000 apps in December, passing 60.000 in January, now officially 70.000 apps!
  • this means an average growth of 300 apps every day
  • the Marketplace will extend to 28 additional market, so in summary it will be available on 63 markets in 2012
  • more than 100.000 registered developers

But also with this great news, the quality of the apps has to be a big point to watch out. So let´s hope that Microsoft does have an eye on the quality also. No one need hundreds of different fart apps or torch apps.

All in all great news for our growing Windows Phone OS!

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments
(Updated) What will be new in Windows Phone Tango (WindowsPhone 7.5 Refresh)

(Updated) What will be new in Windows Phone Tango (WindowsPhone 7.5 Refresh)

Tango-Update

In the last days several news about Tango where made public, where some new screen shots from an Windows Phone Tango (although Microsoft does not call it like this) ROM are imaged. The images are originally from xda-developers and WP7forum.ru.

So here is what is new in short:

Update 1: More apps in TaskSwitcher – NOT!

Tango Multitasking

Yesterday I reported about the leaked news that Tango will have an increased task ability of 8 apps. As stated by HD2Owner on xda, this is a cooked in feature, not a real one. Sorry for the confusion.

Far less memory usage

phone_info2

As you can see on this picture, the xda-devs made a comparison between the actual version 8107 and the awaited Mango refresh with version 8773 (a cooked ROM). There is less memory usage on the newer build. Whether this is on final build like this or not, we can actually not say. It makes sense that the new version does use less memory, as there will be certain devices with only 256 MB. And Microsoft will for sure make Windows Phone as fast and fluid as we know already also on these devices.

Evolved MMS settings

mms

As you can see on this shot, there are new settings for delivery confirmation and acknowledgement.

We will also be able to use multiple attachments in one MMS, but his might be a carrier-dependent settings. Background info: there are certain carriers which have a size limit on MMS, so this will maybe not available on all devices.

mmsmultipleattach

Updated Marketplace

appnotavailable

If an app is not able to run on a 256 MB-device, the marketplace tells you that for your device the app is not available. So this will lead to an still fast and fluid user experience, just because you cannot install memory-eating apps .

I will update this post as soon as new information are showing up.

Sources: xda-developers, WP7forum.ru, WP7forum.ru

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 2 comments
Nokia Lumia 610 will get two additional cover colors and will launch as prepaid-bundle

Nokia Lumia 610 will get two additional cover colors and will launch as prepaid-bundle

lumia6104colors

The German Windows Phone news page wpnewsflip.de recently posted an article about the Lumia 610.

The Lumia 610 is supposed to launch as prepaid-bundle-device. This might mean some restrictions, as these devices are often delivered SIM- or net-locked. More details on this are not available at the moment.

To achieve their goal to reach out to as  many  young people as possible, Nokia will threat two additional colors to their 610 product line. These colors are orange and purple.

Nokia wants their new Lumia 610 to be “hip and flip”, as the said on a blogger meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany. Launch of this device will be in May this year.

It is also said that the Lumia 610 will be delivered with Mango, and will get an update to the Mango refresh (read here more about it).

So I am curios about how this will end, but as a father with a son who wants a Windows Phone device to own (he is playing a lot with my phone), I really do not have a problem to buy it as prepaid-bundle. Only thing I hope it will be a net-lock on my carrier, not a SIM-lock.

Also with only a net-lock there is the possibility to buy it as a bundle and use your mobile contract SIM in it.

As soon as I get new information about this, I will update this post.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments