Rapidly Develop Windows Phone Apps with PowerPoint

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Part I. I’ll show you how to quickly create Windows Phone apps with PowerPoint. Turns out, for Windows Phone prototyping you don’t need to be an expert or even a programmer. If you are a programmer, it’ll certainly help you to be super-productive! Prototyping is a great way for visualizing ideas, and putting a quick demo together, that can later be converted into a real application. From Walt Disney to George Lucas, prototyping is used in many great products and industries and having it for mobile phone development certainly helps a lot.

SketchFlow provides a great deal of documentation on the concepts of prototyping, in this post I’m trying to make a concise step-by-step guide to prototyping apps.

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Connect Windows Phone 7 Apps to WordPress using JSON

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This is the Part 2 of connectivity posts for Windows Phone. In Part 1 we discussed how to connect a Windows Phone app to WordPress using the blog’s built-in XMLRPC mechanism. This time we’ll use another popular protocol called JSON.

Many of us use WordPress: it’s an excellent platform for bloggers. Every time I start a new Web project, before deciding to build it from scratch, I try to consider WordPress or other CMS to save time and effort. WordPress plugins fills many gaps, including eCommerce, Membership, CMS and hundreds of other use cases. If you are used to building everything from scratch, you probably smell danger in this lego mentality. Well, it makes sense, considering that 60% of software projects fail on time and on the budget. The paradigm of “standing on the shoulders of the giants” suddenly makes sense in the risky business of building software!

As a Windows Phone app developer you probably wonder how can you connect your Windows Phone 7 app to your WordPress blog? WordPress’ standard built-in mechanism is XMLRPC, but with a help of a free plugin called JSON API, WordPress can be accessed with JSON.

The only file we change in this example from the standard template Visual Studio has for a Panorama project is MainViewModel.cs. Cool, isn’t it?

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20+ Tools for Windows Phone 7 Developers

Please help grow this list! Submit your comments with your favorite tools and links.

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If you want to develop apps for Windows Phone 7, I collected a list of tools and sites both Microsoft’s and external you might be interested in to make apps for Windows Phone. For the latest information on Microsoft tools, check out MSDN.

* Visual Studio 2010

 Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone is FREE and has everything you need to start developing Windows Phone apps. You can develop two types of apps for Windows Phones: Silverlight or game apps. For game apps Microsoft includes XNA Game Studio 4.0. Naturally, the kit also contains Windows Phone Emulator, .NET Framework 4.0 and Silverlight.

Where to Get

* Expression Blend 4.0

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Expression Blend is a totally tool for rapid developing and designing Silverlight apps. It’s especially great if you need to develop apps that contain animations, transitions and storyboarding. Expression Blend is a new kid on the block, but it totally rocks. Think Flash apps development, only on steroids of .NET Framework 4.0, C# and XAML.

I think of Visual Studio and Expression Blend as a “light tool” vs “dark tool”. You got it: dark themes are usually used by video, photo and design apps. Light themes are for pure development work. I think visually that’s what Microsoft meant when creating Expression Blend.

The best part: you can open the same project in Visual Studio and Expression Blend. I usually use Expression Blend for all type of animations, transitions and layouts.

 

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