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Slakr – Call for Beta Testers

If you use Slack (www.slack.com) for team communications and you are a Windows or Windows Phone user, you may have noticed a bit of a hole in the support for these platforms.

I decided last weekend to create a Slack client for Windows Phone and Windows.   I am a good way through the app now and am looking for some beta testers.

If you want to beta test the app, please email me at codemonkeyjunkie@hotmail.com and give me your email address so I can add you to the Slakr team of testers.  There will be channels to ask for features, report bugs or issues and to discuss the project directly with me.

Some of the basics:

  • Slakr will support multiple teams out of the box.
  • To be on the beta test team, the first team you have connected to Slakr must be the Slakr team.  You can connect to as many other teams as you like.
  • As an added bonus, the beta testers that give the most constructive and useful help and reporting will be rewarded with a gift to be revealed at the end of the beta.
  • You will be asked to be polite to the other members of the team and do not solicit or spam them.
  • If you advise or request a feature that becomes a paid feature, you will get a special code to get all paid features for free.  This code will be good only for two devices at a time and will be attached to the email address you used to join the beta.

The team is set up now and I will be taking requests for features even before the app is available to the store!  

Hope to see you on the team!

Posted in Beta Testing, Mobile Development, Windows Phone, Windows RT.


Build 2015 Announcements – My Humble Opinion

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There has been much turmoil and conversation about the new features and tools created to allow for easier porting of existing iOS or Android code to the Windows Platform.  The announcements mean that they will be able to bring more basic apps over (banking ones, general use, some games) with a much smaller assisted dev budget than before…

I don’t see the rapid influx of Android or iOS developers rushing to take over the Win market, there is far too much small-minded Microhate out there for that to happen.

Simply re-compiling a iOS or android project will not give the rich / adaptive UI necessary to create a great, cross device experience or to take advantage of all that Windows has to offer, there still is architecture, device and user consideration to factor in.  Many devs will not do this, to their own detriment.  The projects where Microsoft partners with top development shops to create Windows Platform versions of their popular products will do this.

I don’t see native development going anywhere right now, or in the near future. Native development still looks strong, there are still vast resources and effort being put into the native toolset And the evolution of those tools

Many native developers thought the world was ending with Cordova, HTML 5 app development, App Studio and did anything change, not really..

It will take time for the numbers of Win 10 devices to hit a critical mass that will turn the vultures and, more importantly, the industry fanbois from their current troughs. At that time, we, as native developers will have to compete with the same numbers as if the platform had been popular all along, which has been what we wanted anyway right???  Why are we all whining and bitching?

My tactic will be to be entrenched in the landscape so that they are competing against me, not me against them.

Realistically, a vast majority of app developers do not make money, on any platform and these announcements are not for them… It is for the banks, services, and other companies that are not looking to make money, but reach all their customers… This will, hopefully close that gap… Until there is a device count that approaches, matches or exceeds the other platforms, most developers will ignore this change.

Worst case scenario, the porting tools fall flatter than the WinJS options have.  In which case, there are still native cases to be made for all the millions of users that do and still will use Windows.

As the platform gains traction and market share promised (if it does) there will be value in knowing how to rapidly, expertly and effectively create experiences that do that.  In the event that Microsoft does exactly what it dreams and regains the dominant position, the native developers that have worked hard to hone their craft, will be golden.  Until then, even targeting the smallest market on the landscape, i am doing just fine and it will just get better.  

Every challenge is only what you make it.

Posted in Uncategorized.


Questions??? Answers: When will you shift your focus to developing strictly for Windows 10?

Questions??? Answers is a little section where I pull the answers I have given to developers about actual questions they have asked.   I am always open to questions, ping me on Twitter, or ask below.

I will continue to build for Windows 8.1 until the tools are fully ratified and the kinks are worked out, usually takes few months or so past release.  Once I see that the numbers of phones updated to 10 are higher, I wills switch my development efforts over to strictly focus on Windows 10.

That being said, any app that I decide to develop that needs the features provided by Windows 10 SDK and is not available on Windows Phone 8.1 SDK, I will, of course develop it right away on Win10.  This will also go for any apps that I am making that will have a tablet or Windows desktop focus.

As for converting apps to Windows 10, with the backwards compatibility going all the way back to 7.8, I will be converting all apps that make sense based on features and/or user numbers.

During the time between Windows 10 Phone release and general common availability, I will be definitely be working to experiment and extend my libraries to focus on the new available features to make sure I am staying current and fluent in the new SDK.

Posted in Developer Questions, Mobile Development.


Being a Successful App Developer – Part 1 – Defining Success

I get asked this a lot, so I thought I would try and put together a section on being a successful app developer.

The very first step to being successful in anything is to first decide what success is.  That may seem strange and perhaps even silly, but when you stop and think about it, many of us start off on projects / ventures and even careers without first defining what we see as the main goal of our quest.

Not taking the time to first define the success of the project or endeavor often leads to an unsatisfactory result or experience and usually leads to a great deal of wasted time as we shoot for an impossible, moving, blurry target.

Success is as diverse and varied as the individual or group seeking it.  What may define success for me, may not be what defines success for you, or perhaps anyone else.  The same can be said for the definition of success from one project to the other.

For instance, I wrote an app once, solely for the purpose of playing a prank on someone I knew.  The app went into the store so that the person could access it (they could not side load it), so realistically, the purpose for that app release was aimed at a single person / purpose.  That is the only instance of that in my app portfolio, therefore the definition of success was the yelp when the app i wrote scared the crap out of her .

Before you start your app, take a few minutes to define the app’s success, you will find that your ability to architect, scope and complete your projects will greatly improve.  It’s funny, defining the goal can lead to a better result even if you never actually reach it.  At least you know where and how you fell short and lead to better understanding how to target and resolve any issues leading to the outcome.

Remember that Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work”.  If there was no definition of success, he would not have known even that.

Success is not necessarily money, or downloads even, it is varied and can even change as the project progresses and the app evolves.

Posted in App Developer Success.


2015 – New Year, New Apps, New Options

Looking for feedback from the App developer community!

I am thinking of adding not one, but TWO podcasts to the inter-web landscape. From the conversations I have had with several developers from all over the world, I have found that there are two main formats that you find useful. One is the format of quick, snippets of information that you can absorb quickly and help you to continue on with your day, with, perhaps, a new thought bouncing around in your head to help you reach your goals. and the other is a longer, more detailed podcast that perhaps contains some coding and will give you something to listen to over lunch or on your way to the office and will motivate you, and give you the information needed to solve an issue, start a project or just think differently.

What do you think? If I start these podcasts would you listen? Which one do you think would match your needs most?

Please vote by leaving your comments below!

Posted in Uncategorized.


Sign up for an IBM Bluemix free trial and you could win a Lumia 635!


IBM’s Bluemix is a new cloud platform that lets you use the power of Watson! If you sign up for a FREE 30-day trial by the end of 2014 you’re eligible to win a Lumia 635! Here’s how it works:


1) Sign up for your Bluemix trial through this link.


2) Forward me the initial email you get after signing up to atley.hunter@catchyagency.com by December 31, 2014. Make sure the email contains your IBM ID.

That’s it! I’ll do the drawing after the start of the new year. And keep watching this space for more information about Bluemix!

Posted in BlueMix, Mobile Development, Watson, Windows Phone, Windows RT.


Quiet for Too Long!!!

First of all, I want to apologize to the many developers that follow me.  I have been very remiss in blogging and I endeavor to change that from this point on!  Thank you so much for following me and WATCH THIS SPACE for lots of really cool stuff in the very near future!

Posted in Uncategorized.


Summer Fun!!! (2013)

This contest is closed.  It was posted in the summer of 2013 and ended during that summer.  Thank you to all the developers that showed interest in the contest and a hearty congratulations to all those that won!!!

Watch for more great contests coming soon!

 

Here’s the easiest contest I have ever done:

What you can win:

You can win either a Lumia 620 Windows Phone 8 smartphone, 1 of 3 Swiss Army DVLUP Back Packs, a JBL Wireless Speaker, a Wireless Charging Plate or a set of Nokia Purity Headphones

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If you are a Canadian Windows Phone developer with at least one app published, email me at ext-atley.hunter@nokia.com with the following info:

  1. Name
  2. Email Address
  3. Windows Phone Marketplace Publisher Name
  4. Twitter Id
  5. Link to your latest app
  6. DVLUP user name if you have one!

Rules:

You must live in one of the following Provinces or States:

Manitoba, P.E.I.
Ontario, New Brunswick,
Quebec, North Dakota
Newfoundland/Labrador, Minnesota,
Nova Scotia, Wisconsin,

All emails must be received by 10:00pm EST on Wednesday July 31st.

There will be milestone prizes so get your email in fast!!!

if you are from a place in Canada or the US other than those listed above, email me and I will connect you with the Nokia Ambassador in your area!!!  no charge Winking smile

Double your chances!!!

Retweet my tweet about this contest & then tweet the link again once you’ve entered it and I will put an extra entry in the draw for you!!!

Posted in Uncategorized.


My 15 Day Challenge to You

I have another great contest for Windows Phone developers!

Create an app and submit it to the store before June 15th and I’ll give you a free phone!!!

The rules are simple:

  1. Must be a Canadian Resident!!!  Yes, that includes Quebec!
  2. App must be submitted to the store on or before June 15th
  3. App must be of decent quality (can’t just be your favourite four pictures in a pivot control)
  4. One Phone per Windows Phone Developer account

Here are the steps to get the phone:

  1. Develop your app
  2. Send me an email to ext-atley.hunter@nokia.com by no later than 11:00pm Saturday June 15 containing:
    • a copy of the XAP
    • a screenshot of your submission page
    • completed your windows phone marketplace publisher name.
  3. Once the app is certified (must be fully certified before June 29th, 2013), send me a link to your app in the store and I’ll send you a Lumia 800!

 

I will be drawing from the names of the developers that submit and one lucky developer will get a brand new Lumia 820!

This challenge is open to all developers whether you have won one of my challenges before or not!!!

Also, I have 20 free Developer Marketplace tokens to give to the first 20 developers that are producing their FIRST Windows Phone App.  You will get the token once you have completed step one of the challenge and have sent me your XAP!

Posted in Challenges, Nokia, Offers, Windows Phone.


Make Your First App and I’ll Give You Your First(?) Nokia Lumia 800!!!

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Are you looking for that push to get that idea out of your head and onto people’s phones?  If so, HERE IT IS!!!

Simply release your first Windows Phone app and email me the link and I’ll send you a phone!!!

 

 

The Rules are simple:

  1. You must be a Canadian developer living in: 
          Manitoba, 
          Ontario,
          Quebec,
          Newfoundland/Labrador, 
          P.E.I.,
          New Brunswick,
          or Nova Scotia

  2. You must not have previously released a Windows Phone app to the Windows Phone Store or Marketplace.
  3. The app must be a QUALITY app… What does that mean? It means:
    1. Must pass Marketplace Certification,
    2. No Hello World or Picture Catalogue / Resizer Apps.
    3. No RSS Readers
    4. One page apps must use either:
          Live Tiles,
          Gestures,
          Speech to Text,
      or
          Push Notification.
    5. The app must have a useful function.
  4. Your app must have been Certified and available in the store  
    AFTER January 1st, 2013.
  5. This is limited to as long as I have the phones to give away…  Act fast!!!

Contact me at: ext-atley.hunter@nokia.com to let me know when your app has been certified and is available on the Windows Phone Store!

Don’t forget to contact me if you need any help in getting your app completed or certified!

THIS JUST IN

:::  I HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF FREE WINDOWS PHONE MARKETPLACE TOKENS – contact me for details!

Posted in Uncategorized.