Few days ago, I was contacted by the well-known publishing company “Packt Publishing” to review one of their books about Windows Phone 8 Development .
Then, after looking at the table of contents of the book, it seemed very promising as its name suggests “Windows Phone 8 Application Development Essentials“. So, I decided to start reading this book at once. It provides the most featured aspects that surrounds Windows Phone 8 Apps development starting from introducing the Interface Markup language “XAML” passing by some design practices, and how to build an app using the popular architecture pattern “MVVM“, till you can leverage the Windows Phone capabilities such as Launchers and Choosers, Toast Notifications, Background agents, and the many other capabilities.
And by the end of the book, The author made a great strength of show of how could the Windows Phone Platform integrate with other platforms like Twitter and Facebook building a strong Collaborative Developmental Echo system which is really great for the developers.
I highly recommend this book for those who want to kick-start developing on Windows Phone or whoever wants to take a look on the platform from a developer perspective as this book provides a good knowledge in a very simplified way guiding to the real ESSENTIALS of the WP Apps Development
Here’s a link for the book: http://www.packtpub.com/windows-phone-8-application-development-essentials/book
There’s also many useful books for developers in many technologies provided by Packt Publishing, Check them from this link: http://www.packtpub.com/books
That was my review about the book, if you have any feedback, comments, or questions for me don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail: email@example.com
3 Ways to add controls
After explaining and telling when to use the controls, now it’s the time to use them! Terrific! Some people say that there’s more than one way to add controls to the UI. Yeah! That’s true.
1. First way: Write the code of the controls in the XAML editor
In Visual Studio and Blend there’s a text editor for XAML to write, edit, and maintain the XAML code for your UI and its resources (Styles, DataTemplates, Animation Storyboards, …etc.).
So, If we want to add a Button control inside a Grid Container we just type the lines of codes of these controls in XAML in this editor by defining their tags and the properties we’d like for each control inside its tag such as Height, Weight, Alignment, …etc.
Controls that carry items/Text Controls/Progress Indicators/Display & Media Controls
Let’s continue now and jump to the other types of Windows Store Controls. In the previous two parts of the Controls Section in Design 8 I’ve talked about many types of controls: Container/Layout panel, Action Controls, Date/Time Controls, Flyout/Menus Controls, and Progress Controls. Now I’m going to talk about the other types of controls. Let’s start with the first one:
Controls that carry items
- Type: Selection Control
- Usage: When you want to display a list of items inside a dropdown list Continue reading
Controls – Action/Date & Time/ Flyout & Menus Controls
The talk about Windows 8.1 controls is still on. In the previous post I’ve talked about a category of controls that was made to contain other controls. I’ll continue in the post with other different types of controls: Action controls, Date/Time controls, and Flyouts and Menus controls.
- Type: Action Control
- Usage: When you need to respond to user input and raise a Click event. Continue reading
Controls – Containers/Layout panels
All what the users see is a UI control that you place and manage its layout in the App Design so, it’s really important to know more about the controls of the platform that you’re working on. In Windows 8.1, there’re many types of cool controls that you can use in the design. I’ll brief the most important about Windows 8.1 controls and how to add a control to the UI. To be more design oriented, I’ll categorize the Windows 8.1 controls upon its main functionality:
- Type: Container
- Usage: When you need to surround an object with a border with a determined Thickness, it also takes a background color.
- Note that it can only carry on object. Continue reading
After discovering the templates that we should work on, including the blank template where we create our design from scratch, We should now get started with the tool that we will work on. THE DESIGN GIANT: BLEND
At first, Blend was a part of the Microsoft Expression Studio Package under the name of Expression Blend. For some reason, Microsoft didn’t release any update of this package after the 4th edition. But it was a must to update Blend for its high need in designing Apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8. So, Microsoft solved this by integrating the Blend software with the Microsoft Visual Studio installation so that, developer can get all the needed tools once a time.
Let’s open now Blend and get started with it, I’ll divide it into many points:
In Blend there’re two workspaces to work on:
- Design (Default).
- Animation. And I think that their names explains their functionality.
Here we go with the first post of “Design 8” series. In the previous post I’ve introduced you to the series, now we’re about to start talking technically. During this series, I’ll work on Visual Studio + Blend and taking the track of C# + XAML for Windows Store Apps.
In this post, I’ll start from the File>New>Project point. So let’s start now and talk see appears when we clicked New Project.
First thing we see in the Windows Store tab is the templates that Microsoft provides for the developers. For Windows 8.1 + Visual Studio 2013, Microsoft provided the developers with 4 templates to work with. These templates are a very good raw material for the developer to work on, customize, and learn from as it gives you the opportunity to have a look of an App that is written by the hands of the technology maker itself.
Let’s that look on those 4 templates:
- Blank App: An app that contains only one page that is … Blank
- Grid App: An App for displaying grouped items with their dedicated data in 3 pages. The main page is for the grouped items view, another page for the group data, and the third for the item data.
- Split App: An App for displaying grouped items too but contains only 2 pages. The main page is to choose a group from a grid of items, and the other one is divided equally into two parts, a part to choose the item from and the other is to display the details of the selected item from.
- Hub App: This App template leverages the Hub control that beautifully came with Windows 8.1. There’re many apps that depend on that control to display its main view such as: News, Travel, Food & Drink, and Health & Fitness.