Converting open source vector graphics Inkscape editor as Windows Universal app

Microsoft recently released project Centennial, a tool to convert any Windows desktop app as a Windows Universal package for publishing in the Windows Store or sideloading. I very much like Inkscape, it can handle many things Adobe Illustrator can do with graphics, but it’s free.

Today I decided to convert Inkscape as a Windows Universal app, and after about half an hour I was done.

  1. Check this Microsoft tutorial
  2. Download Centennial Desktop App Converter tool and Windows base image
  3. Setup your Desktop converter tool
  4. Run the downloaded Inkscape installer from http://inkscape.org through the converter, et voila!

 

 

Microsoft and Nokia at National Academy 2014

Microsoft and Nokia Lounge at PSIA-AASI National Academy 2014

PHOTOS, even more photos…

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Winter Sports

For the second consecutive year, it is becoming a tradition that Microsoft and Nokia participate in the outdoor educational events. One of these events is National Academy, a week-long event in Snowbird, Utah, at an altitude of 10,000ft gathering top ski and snowboard instructors from North America. PSIA-AASI is the nation’s oldest snow-sports educational organization, uniting more than 32 thousand professional ski and snowboard instructors. In 2013 Microsoft and Nokia teams for the first time participated in this event with a launch of Winter Sports, a ski and snowboard sports tracking app for Windows Phone and Windows.

This year highlights:

· Microsoft/Nokia Lounge

· Direct Verizon Sales: sold many high-end Windows Phones on-site

· XBOX ONE + fitness and games

· Nokia Lumia Icon, 1520, 1020, 520

· Nokia Accessories (Wireless Speakers, gadgets, wireless chargers, batteries)

· 3,000,000+ vertical ft tracked by the  app

· 50+ Windows Phones used on the mountain every day

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Outdoors Industry and Windows Devices

This year, we expanded our collaboration with the organization, by creating an on-site Microsoft/Nokia Lounge, equipped with Xbox One, fitness apps and games, and bringing 50+ Windows Phone devices: from smallest Nokia Lumia 520, to top of the line Nokia Lumia 1020 phone with 41 megapixel camera, Nokia Lumia Icon and large 6″ screen Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, as well as Microsoft and Nokia tablets, such as Microsoft Surface. Each instructor could use Winter Sports app, tracking activity on the mountain, the app uses Microsoft Azure cloud to store tracking information securely and reliably (also see Microsoft case study).

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Windows Phone apps

This event helps Microsoft and Nokia to collaborate with top sports and outdoor organizations, having devices used in real-life mountain high-altitude conditions, taking professional grade pictures and sports activity tracking and gathering feedback from top North American ski and snowboard instructors, including National Team champions. Also check out these apps for Windows Phone and Windows:

Winter Sports

Active Fitness

ELAN Skis

Rollerblade® Inline Skates

Microsoft/Nokia Lounge at 10,000ft

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Microsoft/Nokia Lounge at 10,000ft in Cliff Lodge was set up for the whole week to present latest gadgets from Microsoft and Nokia, and became an Xbox One playground. For one week we entertained instructors with latest fitness and sports apps and Xbox games, demoed latest Windows Phones and Windows tablets, as well as Nokia accessories, such as wireless speakers, wireless chargers, headphones, phone batteries and more.

During the trade show we also had Verizon on site, selling Windows Phone devices. After ski and snowboard instructors were introduced to Winter Sports app, some were interested in purchasing top of the line Lumia Icon devices with unbeaten screen resolution and 20 megapixel camera. We certainly recommend these devices for ski instructors, because of their quality, reliability, great camera resolution, built-in action shot features and great outdoors apps.

Educational On-Snow Events

Some of Microsoft’s own team are certified ski instructors and participated in the on-snow educational groups. We skied Snowbird and Alta, tracking skiing with Winter Sports app: in one week the app tracked 3,000,000+ vertical feet, tracking supported by Microsoft Azure cloud technology. Anyone had an opportunity to try one of several Windows Phone models. Great thing about Windows Phones is that they support a variety of form factors and features: from best camera phone in the world: 41 megapixel Lumia 1020, to a small footprint very inexpensive Lumia 520, to 20 megapixel Lumia Icon device.

In-class events and trade shows

During the National Academy we had a number of in-class training events and a trade show. During the trade show we had a joint Microsoft/Nokia/Verizon booth set up, with devices available for sale from Verizon. A number of high end Windows Phones were sold and activated at Verizon booth.

Next Year

We are planning to continue working with National Academy and bring the excitement of technology and new devices to the world of outdoors.

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On the photo above: a special WINTER ski named after the app is signed by National Team coaches at National Academy. The right ski was signed at 2013 National Academy. The left ski was signed this year. I guess next year we need to make new skis J

PHOTOS

even more photos…

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Winter Sports

Active Fitness: a new free Windows Phone app for running, cycling, walking, rollerblading, skateboarding and more…

DOWNLOAD

Active Fitness is a new beautifully designed Nokia Collection app for tracking various fitness activities: running, cycling, mountain biking, urban sports, such as: rollerblading, skateboarding, scooter, watersports and snow-sports. Great design and focus on ease of use and best features of Windows Phone makes it an outstanding app for sports, easily the best for Windows Phone. My Active Fitness day tracker shows I’ve been using it for 100 days of activity tracking, and it calls for celebration! I use Active Fitness for all my running, cycling, mountain biking, kick scooter (I have 2 awesome kick scooters) and of course skiing. It’s beyond awesome, it’s a new generation of activity tracking apps with a very rich fitness social network with the same name: Active Fitness Network (AFN).

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Active Fitness is a fitness app, just as the name states, for tracking your fitness activities: running, cycling, mountain biking, rollerblading, but also watersports and snow-sports activities. The history of this app is somewhat interesting: it’s built by the same team of developers who brought us the beautiful Winter Ski & Ride app, a small startup in Silicon Valley and a guy from Microsoft. The app has the same beautiful user interface, that we love and enjoy in the Winter app.

Activity Tracking

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Active Fitness tracks your activity and automatically calculates beautiful statistics, charts and shows it on the map. The great thing about Active Fitness, it can show you multiple activities on the map, an amazing feature because I can often walk, run and have a bike ride on the same day!

Personal Trainer

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Active Fitness has dozens of training plans for running, cycling, walking, but also professional training plans and videos for skiing, snowboarding and even telemarking.  

Gorgeous Fitness Charts

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Active Fitness presents your activity in multiple beautiful historical charts: drill into any activity to see details on calories, distance covered, altitude, speed etc. Really good job on the charts!

Friends and Finder

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One of the features where Active Fitness truly excels is its extensive friends network: Active Fitness Network (AFN). This network also integrates with another popular app by the same company: Winter Ski & Ride, so if you are a snowboard or skiing aficionado, you can see your ski buddies in the same view. One cool feature that Active Fitness has is Tap-to-Friend, so if you have a friend you want to instantly watch in Active Fitness, you can simply tap your phones, and then you can share your fitness activities.

Beautiful Worldwide Leaderboards

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If Olympics were done by Active Fitness developers, they would fun to watch: tap Leaders tile, and you’ll be instantly transferred into Active Fitness worldwide sports arena, where you can see people competing for the first place in any activity. This is by far the best sports activity leaderboard of all the apps.

Training Goals

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Training goals is another great feature that Active Fitness has, and it’s extremely easy to use: just tap the dials to increase your goals, and the app will automatically congratulate you on your achievements, post your results to leaderboards etc.

Conserves Battery: Longest Battery Time!

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Active Fitness was originally designed by the team that made Winter Ski & Ride app, which is amazing at battery, skiing in cold conditions is very demanding, yet the app drains very little. According to the authors if you only use their app, it runs for 48 hours! The app really has very smart algorithms to minimize battery consumption.

Voice and Speech Support

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This is one of the best features, I use it all the time. As you run, cycle or ski, you have very little time to look at your screen, so the app can talk to you, counting your progress. This is also a great safety feature, because it does not distract your eyes from the activity, but rather gently reminds you of the progress. You can also tell the app “Active Fitness, start running” to switch activities.

Lockscreen and super-rich live tiles

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Active Fitness takes full advantage of the lock screen and posts tons of useful information there, as well as beautiful pictures for your activities. This greatly minimizes battery consumption, because you don’t need to open the app to see you progress, one glance over the lock screen is enough. Also, the app has rich live tiles: Windows Phone live tiles display very useful information about your progress on both medium and large tiles.

Summary

Active Fitness is easily the best fitness and activity tracking app for Windows Phone today. It has a beautiful and very intuitive design and user interface, has dozens of activities to choose from: running, cycling, mountain biking, walking, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding and watersports. Active Fitness has a rich and active social network and great friends sharing features. We also recommend checking out Active Fitness sister app for snow-sports: Winter Ski & Ride, you can use the same account for both! Overall, great app.

 

DOWNLOAD

MarkedUp to Windows 8 apps is what Google Analytics is to Web sites

MarkedUp may become to Windows 8 apps what Google Analytics is to a large portion of the Web sites: an easy to add analytics solution that gives an insight developers need for their Windows 8 apps. I’d like to quote MarkedUp Web site to explain their solution goals in their own words:

MarkedUp is an analytic and logging service built from the ground up to support Windows 8 apps (also known as metro-style apps) in the WinRT environment. Designed to be usable across all of the supported WinRT language from JavaScript to C# to C++ the client SDK allows you to capture analytics and diagnostic logging no matter your preference in development language.

If you want a quick overview on how MarkedUp works and how to install it into your Windows 8 apps, check out our MarkedUp tutorial video.

Continue reading “MarkedUp to Windows 8 apps is what Google Analytics is to Web sites”