Windows Phone

TalkTime Updated

[11/21/2012]
Ok, sorry about that, folks. The resubmission went through and version 1.1 was pushed out to my phone this morning. Sorry about the mix-up!

[11/14/2012]
Oops! Due to a bonehead mistake on my part it doesn’t look like the XAP file actually updated. I’ve resubmitted with the updated file. Hopefully it’ll be approved in a few days. Sorry!

TalkTimeAbout two weeks ago I released TalkTime, my second Windows Phone app.  So far it has been downloaded nearly 500 times and is enjoying a 4 star rating (one “kind” reviewer gave it a two star review because it doesn’t have voice – whatever that’s supposed to mean for this app).  I’ve received some really good feedback and it didn’t take long for a recurring feature request to emerge.  Given the frequency of requests for overtime I decided to release version 1.1!

In addition to overtime, version 1.1 includes a few tweaks to the clock display, some icon adjustments under the light theme, and a Spanish localization fix.

If you’re one of the people who has already downloaded TalkTime (Thank you!) you should see the update in the store in the next 24 hours or so.  If you haven’t downloaded it yet and you’re looking for a free, simple, and easy-to-read app to keep track of time during a presentation (or anything else you can imagine) I encourage you to give it a shot.

Download TalkTime

Download TalkTime

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TalkTime Now Available!

TalkTimeI’m pleased to announce that my second Windows Phone app is now available in the Windows Phone Store! TalkTime is a free (ad-supported) countdown timer intended primarily for speakers to gauge their time during a presentation or rehearsal. It features:

  • A large digital style display for easy viewing from a distance
  • Color cues for read-free time approximation
  • 8 preset options
  • Custom time entry
  • English and Spanish (Thanks, Esther!)

Even if you’re not a speaker, download it and give it a shot. Use your imagination and let me know what you’re using it for.

Download TalkTime

Download TalkTime

Using LoopingSelector and ILoopingSelectorDataSource

Custom Time EntryThis week I finished and submitted my second Windows Phone app. On one of the pages I wanted to allow users to enter a custom TimeSpan in a manner similar to entering a date or time. Of course, the SDK doesn’t directly provide the controls to replicate that experience so I turned to the LoopingSelector in the Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone for help. Unfortunately, documentation is pretty sparse so I’m hoping this can help someone else out.

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Windows Phone Accent Color Cheat Sheet

I got tired of tracking down the Windows Phone accent color list so I put together this cheat sheet for future reference. This list includes the 10 basic colors from both the 7.0 and 7.1 releases as well as some of the OEM/Carrier specific colors.

The master listing can be found on the Theme Overview page in the Windows Phone Developer Center.

Color WP 7.0 WP 7.1 RGB Hex Example
blue X X 27, 161, 226 #FF1BA1E2
 
brown X X 160, 80, 0 #FFA05000
 
green X X 51, 153, 51 #FF339933
 
lime X   140, 191, 38 #FF8CBF26
 
lime   X 162, 193, 57 #FFA2C139
 
magenta X   255, 0, 151 #FFFF0097
 
magenta   X 216, 0, 115 #FFD80073
 
mango (orange) X X 240, 150, 9 #FFF09609
 
pink X X 230, 113, 184 #FFE671B8
 
purple X X 162, 0, 255 #FFA200FF
 
red X X 229, 20, 0 #FFE51400
 
teal X X 0, 171, 169 #FF00ABA9
 
Others (OEM/Carrier Specific)
nokia blue 16, 128, 221 #FF1080DD
 
orange uk 255, 102, 0 #FFFF6600
 
t-mobile 75, 75, 75 #FF4B4B4B
 

My Lumia Has Landed

Anyone that knows me personally or has been following this blog for a while knows that I was an early adopter of Windows Phone.  When I first heard about the platform and saw how Microsoft was re-imagining the mobile phone experience I knew which OS my next phone was going to have.  I’ve taken some heat from some friends over my enthusiasm of the fledgling platform but nevertheless I went ahead and got a Samsung Focus the day it was released and haven’t looked back.

Nokia Lumia 900Here we are about a year and a half later and the game has changed.  The highly anticipated (at least among us Windows Phone enthusiasts) Nokia Lumia 900 has been released on AT&T.  Unlike previous Windows Phones though, AT&T seems to be giving this device the respect it deserves with a massive marketing campaign.

Some of the best phones I’ve ever owned have been made by Nokia and being the Windows Phone fanboy that I am, I had to get my hands on one.  Amazingly, I was eligible for an upgrade so I wasn’t going to have to wait very long.  I moseyed over to my favorite AT&T store where Jessica tried to hook me up but they were already SOLD OUT of the cyan model!  She placed an order one for me and a few days later it arrived at my door.  That was about three weeks ago.  So how is it?  How does it compare to the Focus?  Does it live up to the hype?

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Windows Phone 7.5 Subtleties

Windows Phone 7.5I’m a little behind the curve here.  I could have updated my phone with a developer preview a while ago but decided that keeping my primary phone in a known stable state was more important than getting a shiny new toy no matter how tempting it was.  Besides, I already get enough heat from some half-eaten fruit loving friends about being a Microsoft/Windows Phone fanboy so I really didn’t need to give them any more fodder!

I’ve been following a few blogs and reading about the new features that Mango was bringing to the platform so I thought I was prepared.  I was wrong.

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Ringtones in Windows Phone 7.5

Windows Phone 7.5 brings a feature that really should have been available since the initial release – custom ringtones!  After updating my phone last night and exploring many of its new features (more to come on that) I decided to create a few of my own.

According to the documentation on the Windows Phone site ringtones need to meet 4 criteria:

  1. MP3 of WMA format
  2. No more than 40 seconds long
  3. No more than 1 MB
  4. DRM-free

The documentation goes on to say that you can create a ringtone in Zune by setting the file’s genre to “ringtone” and syncing it to the phone.  Now I don’t know about your music library but I’m guessing that it’s similar to mine in that most of it fails both the second and third criteria so simply changing a file’s genre doesn’t cut it.

What I did to create my ringtones was load the desired tracks into audacity.  In Audacity I isolated the sections that would become my ringtones and pasted them into new tracks.  For an extra touch I added a 2-second fade out at the end of each one.  I saved each file to a folder already monitored by Zune so it would discover them automatically.  In Zune I updated the artist, album, and genre then copied them to the phone.  The files were then immediately available for selection at the top of the ringtones list.

For the curious, the two tracks I converted were both from Benny Benassi – Electroman and Cinema [Skrillex Remix].  I ended up choosing Electroman.

10/6/2011 Update

A few days after posting this I learned that the phone also supports contact specific ringtones.  To set a ringtone for a contact just open that contact’s card and click the edit button.  On the edit screen you’ll see a new ringtone option listed under name.  I haven’t set any ringtones this way yet but I was happy to find it as an option.