Thursday, 31 March 2011

WP7 - URI Mapper

I am always on the lookout for ways to improve code; short term benefits are nice but there is a great feeling in identifying potential problems way in advance, and putting in the framework early to make life easier later. Using a UriMapping when developing WP7 apps is one of the many ways you can help eliminate annoyances later.

So first of all, a brief description of how page navigation works in WP7, what a UriMapper is, and why it pays to use it. Scroll down passed these descriptions if you'd rather just see how to implement one.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Micro Payments, Major Annoyance

Since when does paying £50 for a game mean you are only renting it nowadays?

The world has changed a lot in the last two decades, and probably in no greater way than in technology. Whilst the advent and subsequent popularisation of the internet is probably the single, greatest thing which has changed the way people live their lives in recent years, it has some damn subtle annoyances that come with it.

Friday, 4 March 2011

WP7 Web Browser

After spending some time working with WP7 now, I really must comment on the embeddable web browser, the WebBrowser component. As a recent convert to WP7 as a user, I can't say I've too many complaints about the phone's main browser (Internet Explorer, as you may have guessed) and it usually does the job fine. In my heart, I know it could be much better, much smoother, support many standards better, be... much more like a Webkit browser really!

However, having found a requirement which could have been satisfied with either native components, or the use of the embeddable web browser, I opted straight for the web browser route. The reason for this, mainly, is that this solution has been used across iPhone, Android and BlackBerry with little or no tweaks needed on the server side when integrating the new platforms. Take all the content needing shown, use HTML to handle the layout (optimised for the requesting device, of course), wrap it all up and send to the device which can store it locally for offline viewing. Elegant, efficient, flexible... perfect. And best of all, changes to this layout requires no code changes, so can be edited even after the apps have went live. Beautiful, I must say, even though I can't take the credit for the original idea. Cue WP7 deciding to be a bit special.