Archives For Windows Phone

In this final article of the XBoxReveal HTML5 Windows Phone sample, I’ll be going through some of the things you need to do as a developer to get ready for Windows Store Certification.

If you have not read the previous articles, here is a list for some background

  1. XBoxReveal HTML5 Windows Phone Sample
  2. XBoxReveal HTML5 Windows Phone Sample: Multiple Resolutions
  3. XBoxReveal HTML5 Windows Phone Sample: WebBrowser Control

Getting Ready for Store

The first thing you want to do to get ready for Windows Phone Store certification is read the App Certification Requirements for Windows Phone article on MSDN.  Lucky for the people who don’t like going through the entire document (like me 🙂 the Windows Phone SDK comes with a Store Test Kit to help go through the cert process.

wp-testkit

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In this third installment of the Windows Phone HTML5 XBox Reveal sample, we’ll look at fixing the horizontal and vertical scrolling of the index.html

Here are the first articles available if you have not read them yet for some background

  1. HTML5 & Windows Phone: XBox Reveal Sample
  2. HTML5 & Windows Phone: Multiple Resolutions

Usually using CSS you would fix horizontal scrolling by setting the following meta tag in your HTML page.

Unfortunately this does not work within our app. But fortunately for us, there is a fix to this but does take a little extra work.

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In a previous article I wrote about writing an XBox Reveal Count Down Timer for Windows Phone using HTML5 & CSS. By the end of the article we ended up with the following

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Over the past few months we have been doing a lot of Windows 8 development but using HTML5 and JavaScript instead of C# and XAML. Unfortunately Windows Phone does not have built in support for WinJS but what it does have the latest IE 10 browser on board plus we have the WebBrowser control available.

Recently, with the XBox announcement, we decided to build out a Windows Phone app that counts down to the reveal date which looks as follows. We have the app in certification as of May 3 2013 (submitted April 30), but is still going through the process. As I don’t expect it to pass because of the XBox logo usage, decided to make a tutorial out of it. But for all those enthusiast (and developers), you can grab the source and install on your Windows Phone.

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For a while now I’ve been using a Mac as my laptop for various customer projects dealing with iOS using ObjectiveC, Xamarin (aka MonoTouch & MonoDroid) and PhoneGap. With my history of Windows Phone development I always get asked “Why are you carrying a Mac? Did you dump Windows Phone?” and my answer to that is “No”.  I still use one everyday but also building for other platforms using different languages.

I know there are some developers who may want to try Windows Phone but are running OSX. In this article, I’ll just outline some of the things you will need to get started with your existing machine.

win8logo-11324441

To build for Windows Phone 8 you do require Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro OS and your hardware should be minimum 4GB Ram and 64-bit (x64) CPU. My MacBook Pro is a 2011 model 8GB Ram 2.3GHz i7. You can either buy a version of Windows 8 or download a 90 day evaluation version.  Below I have other ways to get the software for special cases.

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In a previous article I covered some of the security features from a platform level available with Windows Phone 8.  In this article, I’ll go through some of APIs available to help secure your applications, what Windows Phone gives you out of the box and also various ways to secure your applications.

Secure Sockets Layer

https-browse-safe

SSL certificates allow you to connect securely to a backend webserver by encrypting the communication channel using the HTTPS protocol. Depending on your use case, you may want to implement an SSL certificate in your backend web services to make it difficult to intercept and decipher the data being sent by your app.

For example, if are building a game and have a leader board in the backend, you may want to encrypt this channel to prevent someone from submitting some false data.

As a developer, there is nothing special you have to do in your code when accessing a secure URL other than making sure you use the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP which is not secure. For example

You should be aware that not every SSL certificate will work on Windows Phone and you should verify the certificate authority

  1. SSL root certificates for Windows Phone OS 7.1
  2. Windows and Windows Phone 8 SSL Root Certificate Program (Member CAs)

I buy my certificates form K-Software which is a reseller of Comodo (but a lot cheaper) and have not had a problem with these. But whatever you buy, verify with the lists above.

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Application security for developers is a very large topic, but Windows Phone does make adding security to an app easier for developers and also to help keep an end users data safe. With an article recently published on Building Secure Windows Store Apps, pretty much all of those concepts can be used on Windows Phone 8. I thought it fitting to describe some of the security features available on Windows Phone that developers get for free and what is available to use within their apps.

Trusted Boot & Code Signing

Secure_BootWindows Phone 8 is based on the ARM version of Windows 8 so a lot of the security features available on the desktop come for free on the phone such as Trusted Boot and Code Signing. What are these for? Basically these features help protect the phone boot process and operating system from malware attacks (ie rootkits) by making sure only validated software components execute. The Trusted Boot technology validates Windows Phone firmware images and all boot components have digital signatures that are cryptographically validated. This helps ensure that only authorized code can execute to initialize the device and load the operating system, Windows Phone.

This helps protect the integrity of the phone and also the end user from potential malware.

 

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Back on Feb 25 I did a presentation on Crash Course on Windows Phone Development for the Silicon Halton Software Peer 2 Peer group. The presentation was intended to be for developers never having developed for Windows Phone before.

Here are some links I shared during the presentation

  1. developer.windowsphone.com – your main hub for Windows Phone Development
  2. MSDN Windows Phone Code Samples – lots of samples to help you along the way
  3. Building Apps For Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
  4. Design Bootcamp

You can download Windows Phone the sample code presented and thanks to Paul Laberge  from Microsoft Canada for providing the content and samples. And thanks to HalTech for providing the space for the meet up.

Questions comments, feel free to ping me!

Going to a lot of local events I always get asked “what do I have to do to get started to create an app on Windows Phone?”  I noticed I have never put together a getting started article so here it goes.

Basically, the only URL I give everyone is create.msdn.com which is App Hub.

Here developers will find everything they need to get started including tools and registration process to publish your apps.  The biggest shock to most people are that all tools are free so it costs you nothing to get started and the only cost is when you are ready to submit your application for certification into the Windows Phone Marketplace.  The cost is $100/yr for an AppHub membership similar to the Apple AppStore pricing.

There are also some targeted Microsoft programs that devs can take advantage of not just for Windows Phone but for all MSFT based software. Continue Reading…

Many people using Windows Phone or new to it that I meet don’t know some of the ‘hidden features’ of Windows Phone that make the phone easier to use.  Now I’m talking about completely non-technical people who have decided to get a Windows Phone and I’m sure most regulars readers already know these tips.

Switching Apps (Multitasking)

First switching apps, not many know that you can easily switch between apps using how to easily switch between applications on the phone.  I tend to see people hit the back button over and over to get back to the app they were at or hit the start button to get to the start page.

Quick Tip #1: Hold down the back button and you will get a list of all apps that are currently running.  Scroll through the apps you want, click it and it will come back! If you are coming from iPhone world, it’s like double clicking on the main button to get a list of running apps but I find the Windows Phone experience much better. Check out the Windows Phone How-To on Switching apps. Here is a picture of what to expect:

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