April 2011

I started my blog back in December 2010 and it's still going strong. I've posted at least once post a month since then, so feel free to browse through the archives.

Pokéject 1.1 Released

At last Pokéject 1.1 has been released to the Windows Phone 7 marketplace.

The latest version now features graphics for all forms and genders of the 649 Pokémon currently available in a swooby user experience – perfectly designed for Windows Phone 7.

You can have a look at the Pokéject app page, or download it now from the Windows Phone marketplace.

You can even try it for free with the first 151 Pokémon, and no nag screens!

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Yorkshire Three Peaks

For some crazy reason I’ve agreed to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in aid of Heart Research with the equally crazy people over at Branded3.

Our challenge is to walk the mountains of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside in under 12 hours. This works out about 25 miles with a total ascent of over 1500 metres… and will no doubt be very hard work for all of us!

We’d appreciate any donations coming our way, and I’ll be sure to post the pictures up here. I’m sure we’ll all look totally knackered though…

Blogging at B3Labs

Recently Branded3 launched B3Labs which is a way for the awesome talent at our company to get our ideas out there. So far we’ve had a lot of articles come out and I thought I’d just point out a few of the developer/designer related ones here:

And finally here’s some posts by a guy called Julian Kay – I think I’ve heard of him…

Check out seo agency leeds for more info.

Creating Pokéject for Windows Phone 7

Pokéject is a new brand new Pokédex app for Windows Phone.

I thought I’d share some of the thought process behind creating an app for Windows Phone 7. The app is still very much in development, but I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about the start of the process while they’re still fresh in my mind.

First I started with a simple prototype. By using some of the templates that come with the Windows Phone tools for Visual Studio 2010 I created the screens I’ll need for the application. By using the built in templates I ensure the prototype will fit into the Metro design language specifications. I already have a library for Windows Phone app development which I add to keep the amount of code to write at this point to down to a minimum.

Then I collected some basic data for use with the prototype – by using the wonders of Bulbapedia with an Excel / PowerShell combo, I had enough data to see if the core concept would actually work. The Windows Phone Emulator does a pretty good job of getting you early feedback at this point.

Pokéject for Windows Phone Prototype

Then I started working on the actual look and feel. I mainly used Expression Design to create icons and and visually edited the XAML with Expression Blend. At this point I deployed the application to my Samsung Omnia 7 and checked performance was good.

When I had a good idea of what might work, I set to using Visio to create the wireframes for the application. Within a few hours I was at a point when I was formally designing the app, with a view to integrate this into the already working prototype.

Pokéject for Windows Phone Wireframes

Naturally, the stuff in the wireframes was more complex (in functionality, not user interface clutter) than the existing prototype, so here’s where the fun starts! I go back to Visual Studio and Expression Blend and start thinking about the best way to implement the the features in the wireframes. Not bad for an evening’s work.

After the initial prototype was completed, I showed it to a small selection of people. This early feedback helps me shape the design while keeping honest to the initial idea. This is one of the great things about having the prototype sat on your phone ready to show people!

Phone

On the development side, I started playing with the finer details. When it comes to selecting which controls to use, I suggest having a look at the Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone 7. This includes such gems as the LongListSelector and WrapPanel – both of which have been used in the app.

Essentially, the work this point forward is about turning the prototype into the real thing. I wont go too deep into this process in this post – but if you’re a .NET developer, you already know how this works, though I’ll go into detail about the Windows Phone 7 development gotchas over the next few weeks.

Buy Pokéject from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace »

Trouble installing NoDo?

I can’t be the only one having trouble installing the “NoDo” March 2011 Update for Windows Phone 7 so far… (actually, I’m pretty sure lots of people have had trouble getting it to work!)

There’s a few problems going around, but the issue I’ve been running into is the classic “800705B4″ also known as “The timer ran out on what we were trying to do.

Panic not. I just descovered a Microsoft Knowledge Base article that promises to help solve this little problem by using the Windows Phone Support Tool.

Just download it and follow the instructions, then once you’re up and running it should give you some output along these lines:

UpdateWP version 4.7.1404

Applying updates to device
             Id: {removed!}
             SN: {removed!}
           Name: GT-I8700
       KITLName: QSD8XXX5AA0FB28
   Manufacturer: SAMSUNG
        ModelId: 1
 MobileOperator: 
        Version: 07.00.07004.00-00000


Checking your phone's status.
Checking your phone's status: Completed in 0.01 seconds            

Checking system requirements.
Checking system requirements: Completed in 0 seconds            

Downloading updates.
Downloading updates: 0%                       
Downloading updates: Completed in 7.75 seconds            

Checking system requirements.
Checking system requirements: Completed in 0.01 seconds            

Installing updates. Please wait: 100%                       
Installing updates. Please wait: Completed in 62.3 seconds            

Rebooting your phone..
Rebooting your phone: Completed in 63.2 seconds            

Completing updates..
Completing updates: Completed in 1.87 seconds            
The device has been updated to version 
                     07.00.07004.03-00.00.00000.00-00.00.00000.00

Download it and see if it works for you too. Good luck!

Pokéject 1.0 Released

Pokéject is a swooby new Pokédex app for Windows Phone with the focus on giving you a fantastic experience for exploring the world of Pokémon. I’ll be talking a lot more about the design and build of the app in the coming weeks.

You can check out the Pokéject app page, or download it now on the Windows Phone marketplace.

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