Really glad that more XAML events comes to Montreal:

Beyond Tiles Design Integration Workshop Tour in Canada

“Join us again in this second wave of the Beyond Tiles Workshop and learn advanced design integration techniques to produce pixel perfect Windows and Windows Phone user interfaces. Replicate the original vision of designers with fidelity by following best practices as implemented by the Windows Phone design studio and leading agencies in the Microsoft ecosystem.”
 
Previous experience developing Windows and/or Windows Phone apps is required.

What can I Expect?

In this hands-on workshop you will be able to explore the process of taking a set of high fidelity comps provided by a designer and translate those to Blend and Visual Studio with pixel perfection quality. You will learn techniques for exporting vector and bitmap assets from Expression Design into Blend and to define the right layout panels to host your UI. You will also learn how to skin controls and design lists. The goal is to achieve perfection when translating comps to UI. You should already be familiar with Blend, Visual Studio and XAML in general

What will I Achieve?

In the morning you will learn different Design Integration techniques with the help of a couple design experts. In the afternoon you will put this learning to the test with a hands on workshop where you will be provided with a couple UIs for Windows and Windows Phone. You will then take these UIs and turn them into high fidelity UIs in Blend – all with XAML.

What Should I Bring?

This is a workshop: bring your laptop! You will need Expression Design (download for free at www.microsoft.com/expression) and Visual Studio with both Windows and Windows Phone SDKs. When installing Visual Studio make sure Blend for Visual Studio is also installed. If you need a free version of Visual Studio you can download and install from here: http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs (install both Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows and Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone).

How much does it cost?

This is a complimentary event‚ specifically offered to support the Canadian design and developer community.

 

More info and registration (Montreal):

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032586215&Culture=en-CA&community=0

 

See you there!


Have you checked Microsoft Virtual Academy courses ?
Here is my Microsoft Virtual Academy learning plan for the upcoming weeks:

 

Enterprise Developer Camp Jump Start
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/enterprise-developer-camp-jump-start


Designing Applications for Windows Azure Jump Start
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/designing-applications-for-windows-azure-jump-start

Windows 8.1 Developer Training: Geek Edition Jump Start
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/windows-8-1-developer-training-geek-edition-jump-start

Designing Your XAML UI with Blend Jump Start
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/designing-your-xaml-ui-with-blend-jump-start

 

Happy learning!


Essential book for anyone developing location based apps!!!

By Ricky Brundritt, Bing Map Technical Solution Professional  at Microsoft (learn from the best!).

 

Table of Contents

· Chapter 1: Getting Started

· Chapter 2: The Sensor and Location Platform

· Chapter 3: Bing Maps JavaScript API

· Chapter 4: Bing Maps Native API

· Chapter 5: Bing Maps REST Services

· Chapter 6: Bing Spatial Data Services

· Chapter 7: Working with Spatial Data

· Chapter 8: Drawing on the Map

· Chapter 9: Creating an Augmented Reality App

· Chapter 10: Creating a Templatable Compass Control

· Chapter 11: Cross Platform Development


Download the book

· Lulu.com

· Direct download (pdf, 17MB)

Code sample

Code samples for the book can be downloaded here.


While helping at Hacking Health last week I ended up gathering useful resources for developers interested in integrating health data in their apps:

HealthVault website:
www.healthvault.com

HealthVault intro:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_HealthVault

HealthVault in Canada is managed by Telus:
http://telushealthspace.com/en/telushealthspace

HealthVault Developer Center homepage:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/healthvault/bb688183.aspx

HealthVault SDKs (.NET, Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, …):
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/healthvault/jj126730

Happy coding!


 

As a Windows Store App Developer, you’ll be happy to learn that the publishing process has been improved!

 

Key things are:

1. Simplified app certification requirements.

2. Manage your app availability (you can temporarily take down your listing).

3. Set app release date/time (including ability to change it while in certification, without resubmitting).

4. Ability to remove your Windows 8 app list and show only your Windows 8.1 app listing.

 

Read full details:

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2014/01/24/more-control-for-app-developers-in-the-windows-store.aspx


If you haven’t look at it yet, the Microsoft Virtual Academy is starting to have some great learning resources. Here is a list of interesting courses I plan to watch in the next weeks:


 Nokia Create

 

Happy to announce that I finished runner up in the Nokia Create worldwide competition!

I submitted my apps in the Cross-8 Master Mission:

“Windows Phone 8 / Windows 8 companion apps that provide consumers with a seamless experience across screens.”

I finished runner up with my Despicable Sounds app, a minions soundboard with funny surprises, I was able to reuse most of my code to create 2 versions (WP8 and Win8.1).

Both versions include:

  • Animated live tiles
  • Support all tiles sizes
  • Support all screen resolutions
  • Support both portrait and landscape orientations (and snap views on Windows)

So far I am surprised by the reaction of users, I already received tons of positive reviews… the app is a great success in both Stores!!

 

Try them now, they are free:

Despicable Sounds for Windows Phone 8

 

Despicable Sounds for Windows 8.1


I am pleasantly surprised by the release of a new Microsoft exam focused on design!

Exam 74-353: Windows UX Design
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam.aspx?ID=74-353

This exam validates skills associated with applying Microsoft user experience (UX) guidelines to the design of Windows 8 Store applications.

By passing this exam, you will earn the credential “Microsoft Certified Specialist: Windows UX Design
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/specialist-certification.aspx

This certification complements the skills validated in the MCSD: Windows Store Apps certification.

If you plan to take this exam, the following resources might help:


I am thrilled and honored that once again, one of the very first email of the year is announcing my MVP Award, for a 8th years in a row.

With a change this time: I have joined the Client Development expertise, which is a new group for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Insiders, which makes much more sense for me.

Looking back at 2013: I have done tons of Windows 8 dev presentations (100% local, no travel = happy family) and was involved in more than 45 Store apps projects!

I also had the chance to already help several customers with their Windows 8.1 development strategy.

I am still focusing intensively on Windows 8 and Windows Phone Store Apps with XAML, C# and Azure, now I also want to start digging Xamarin as well.

This is just the beginning… now for an awesome 2014!!

Happy New Year!


If not already done, register for the Developer Movement 2014 aka Code Kwondo.

Good news the first challenge has started!

 Code Kwondo Challenge

“Publish as many qualifying Windows 8 apps as you can from December 15th until
January 30th.”

Now what about taking advantage of your holiday time and code a new Windows 8.1 app, stay tuned for more exciting news.

If you need any help, the Code Masters will be here to guide you.
Good luck!

Remember: you must be a Canadian resident to enter this program.

Read all the details on the contest page:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/developer-movement/challenges.aspx