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How I Spent My Christmas Break

Well, by now, most of the people that know me, know that I am a coding freak.  I relax by coding, I rejuvenate by trying new things and I like to push the boundaries of what is possible whenever I get the chance.

When the time came to take a little break at the end of the year, I did it as a true code junkie would, and I locked myself away and coded some apps.  This time, I decided to stray a little bit from my normal Windows Phone apps and build some Windows RT apps,  I figured that I’d port some of my Windows Phone apps to Windows RT and see how hard it was.

I was extremely and pleasantly surprised to see that it was relatively simple to take an existing Windows Phone app and, mainly through UI changes, support a whole new platform!

I was able to convert 40 Windows Phone apps to Windows RT in an incredibly short time and they are all currently in the Windows Store.  you can find them easily by searching for CodeCreators in the store.  I will be blogging in more detail starting next week.  I look forward to your questions and feedback.

Posted in Mobile Development, Windows Phone 7, Windows RT.

Hi, I’m your Nokia Ambassador & I’m Here to Help


I am extremely excited to have been recently awarded the Nokia Ambassador title.  I have been chosen by Nokia to help developers in Canada get the tools and the help they need to create awesome Windows Phone apps.

Along with Jan Hannemann who is in BC, I will be striving to support, help and promote Windows Phone developers all across Canada.

I am celebrating by giving the first 5 Canadian Windows Phone Developers that write and submit 5 apps to the Marketplace a brand new shiny Lumia 800!!!

This sleek, sexy phone can be yours, all you have to do is create 5 Quality Windows Phone Apps and put them in the Marketplace!

There are a few rules:

1) You must be a Canadian resident, living in  writing Windows Phone apps

2) The app must be submitted after November 7, 2012 to the Marketplace.

3) The app must be a QUALITY app… What does that mean?  It means:

a) Must pass Marketplace Certification,

b) No Hello World or Picture Catalog / Resizer Apps.

c) No more than 1 of the 5 can be an RSS Reader

d) No multiple variants on a theme (travel/tourism, etc.)

e) The app must have a useful function.

4) All Apps will be assessed by me and my decisions regarding validity in this promotion are final.

5) This promotion is being held by me, without any express written or implied consent or participation from any third party.

6) By submitting your apps to me for evaluation, you agree to hold me not responsible for any promotion, remuneration or other, expectations whether implied or inferred.  I am doing this to help developers, not looking for any problems.

6) The winners will be chosen by me based on:

a) App quality / usability

b) Order of submission (it is the first 5 developers to build 5 apps after all).

How to Submit an App:

If you want to enter this promotion,

Once your app is in the marketplace, email me the Deep Link to your app to and I will make sure that your apps are counted!!!

Posted in Nokia.

Two Store, Three Platform and a Special Rate??? What do I get for 8$?

Recently Microsoft held it’s annual Build conference last week.  At the Keynote, it was announced that for 8 days starting Monday (one day left as of this posting!!!), developers could get a Windows Phone Store account for only 8$ !!!

The deal for the 8 dollar marketplace account applies to the Phone Store only.  You would pay the full 99 dollar fee and receive a 91 dollar refund on your card almost immediately.

The fee for a Windows Store developer account is 49$ USD and allows you to make and distribute Modern UI apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT apps which are distributed to the public via the Windows Store.

There is no fee or store for legacy style or "Desktop" apps.  These are the ones that would run with chromed windows and could be installed on earlier versions of Windows. Those you have to market or distribute yourself.

Hopefully this will clear it up for you a bit.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Nokia, why only 8 MP not 41???


I have seen this question asked endlessly since the announcement of the Lumia 920 with PureView.

The reason they don’t pack the 41 MP camera into the Lumia 920 is because of the space necessary to house the lensing for a camera that powerful. 

If you have seen the PureView 808 IRL you would know that you cannot lay it flat on it’s back because the camera section is more than twice as thick as the rest of the phone.

With existing lens technology, 8 MP is about the right amount of capacity to allow for the sleek, sexy design of the Lumia. 

I know that they are working diligently to improve the lens technology and when the lenses are capable of that pixel depth without compromising the design of the phones, I am sure that we will see more Lumias with this stunning feature.

The Pureview 808 was more of a concept phone and a teaser of what’s to come.

If you think of it, 10, 12 and 16 MP cameras have been around for years now, the only reason we don’t see it in phones is that the lens technology has not progressed to that level yet to produce a portable, small, cost-effective (would you want to pay an additional 200$ just to get 2 or 4 more MP???) necessary for the smartphone audience.

PureView is more than the MP count, it is the whole deal, the lens housing (innovative, yet simple), the software, and the lenses themselves.

I know that I will be able to take way better pictures on my Lumia 920 than on any of my iPhones, Android phones or other Windows Phones and it’ll be because of PureView, cause I’m a crappy photographer 😉

Posted in Uncategorized.

Appaddiction – A new beginning

I mainly post only technical articles here, so I apologize for the divergence.

I have been very active in telling developers about the opportunities in Windows Phone development.  I have decided to take my own advice.  That is why, as of April 18th, 2012, I will be focusing all of my development time and efforts towards mobile development focusing primarily on Windows Phone development.

After months of perfecting my mobile development and turning down contracts to work on large Windows Phone contracts, I have decided to make the leap to consulting and to also focus on my own app development.


On the consulting side, I have been offered and accepted a chance to work with the fantastic team at Object Sharp.  I will be working with them to generate a world class mobile development offering which I will be heading up.  We will be offering the same expert advice and development resources that Object Sharp is famous for on Windows Phone.  We will focus on helping businesses to either expand their existing mobile offerings to this platform and make informed decisions and steps into the mobile space.

I am also excited to be involved heavily with this year’s At The Movies event to be held in Toronto on May 1st, 2012.  If you’re in Toronto that day, make plans to come to the event, which, as always, will be focusing on what is coming up in development as well as what will be essential in the coming year.   Be sure to find me and say hi!

On the app side, I will finally be able to, hopefully, catch up on some of the more than 200 app ideas that I have yet to create as well as maintain the apps I have already created.  My plan is to release more than 50 apps this summer alone to add to my app stable.  Watch here for more info on the apps and their successes!

On the mentoring, speaking and community side, watch for me to be even more involved, with a new online show starting soon in partnership with Microsoft and Telerik.  As always, I will be happy to talk to all developers and always eager to help in any way I can with your Windows Phone development projects.

I would like to thank the staff and management at Altus Capital Planning, where I have spent the past three years, for their understanding and support with my decision to make this career change.

Watch this space, lots to come!!!

Posted in General, News and Information, Uncategorized.

It’s Official!!! The Show Will Go On!!!

I asked, you answered, and its going to happen!  I will be creating and hosting a new Windows Phone Development show.

I want to create an open forum for developers.  I want to make the show YOU want to see about developing for Windows Phone.

I need two more things from you.  Comment below to tell me what you think the show should be called and if you have any ideas on what kinds of subjects you would like me to focus on, let me know.

Like I said, this show is for YOU, the developer, so don’t be shy, say what’s on your mind and I will do my best to give you what you tell me you need.


Let’s get this show rolling!!!

Posted in The Show, Windows Phone.

I’m YOUR MVP, I’m Your Voice Too. What Do You Want Them To Hear???


I became a Microsoft MVP for Windows Phone Development last October.  I worked hard for it and I am very happy to have been nominated by so many great developers.  I feel that, one of my duties, as an MVP, is to speak for developers.  I have, at times, had the opportunity to speak to people at Microsoft that are closely involved in the Windows Phone and the Developer Tools for Windows Phone and one of those times is coming up at the MVP Summit that I will be attending in Redmond at the end of this month.

So, what would you say or ask for, if you were given the chance to talk with people on those teams?  Leave a comment, or two, or twenty and I will do my best to convey the whole message to the people at Microsoft.  I have seen that they are listening, tell me what to say.

Posted in Uncategorized.

WP App Lifecycle Series – Maintaining Your Apps: Dealing with Crashes

As much as we all try, some of our apps crash.  The more complex your app, the more libraries it includes, the more toolkits you utilize, the higher the risk of a crash when the user runs your apps.

We have all been guilty of it, I found out recently that I had an app that crashed all the time according to the users, but in my testing, I never did see a crash.  This actually speaks of a different problem, testing your own software.   If you can, get other people to test your software, preferably a mix of designers, software developers and most importantly, n00bs, neophytes and technophobes Winking smile.  The latter group will give you the best bang for your buck because they will do things to/with your software that you would never dream of and, guess what?  They are actually your audience!!!  You are building this software for them if you are trying to make money with it!

Now, back to the crashes…  Horrible things, but they need to be dealt with.  Bugs, we gotta squash ‘em.   Here’s how to get a pretty accurate account of what is happening to your poor users.

What to Do:

You should regularly check with your App Hub account to see what is going on.
(I am trying to write an app for us all to do, comment if you want this!).

To do this, go to your Dashboard for Windows Phone and look under the App Highlights.  Here you will find a report that shows you your Most downloaded and Recent crashes.

Under the list of Recent crashes, you will see a list of any of your apps that have had crashes reported by the users.  Click on the number of crashes listed beside.


This will take you to a screen called crash count (beta) which will show you when the crashes are occurring and allows you to download a file that contains the stack traces of the errors!  A note: I usually select a start date way before I released the app to make sure that the report includes all the crashes!


Once the file has downloaded, you can then examine it for a wealth of information on the details of the crashes that the users have experienced.  Everything from the Version of Windows Phone the user was using and the Problem Function:


To the Exception Type and how often that type of crash has occurred:


To the meat and potatoes of the Stack Trace (Format with Wrap for best readability Winking smile):



So, there you have it, you can harvest enough information to make sure that, with some adjustments, you can improve your users’ experiences with your apps and also extend your knowledge of the Windows Phone development framework!!!

Posted in Game Development, Mango, Mobile Development, Windows Phone 7, WP App Lifecycle, XNA.

WP App Lifecycle Series – How Do I???

I get asked a lot of questions that basically start out with – “I made my app, now what do I do with it???”

That is pretty much the thing that is in most, if not all, developers’ minds.  You have built an app and now what?  How do you make money?  How do you support it?  How do you improve it?  How do you get more users? 

Most of us are developers, not Project Managers, not Software Development Managers, not Solutions Architects, not Marketers, so once the code is done in our day to day work lives, it goes away, to be replaced by a new feature spec to be coded and released on it’s merry way.  We do not see features again unless they are being changed/modified/enhanced or unless there are bugs.

This leaves some of us at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the new paradigm of the One-Man-Software-Shop that the new ‘App’ markets have created.  Some of us have done very well, some of us have done very not-so-well.

That’s where this series comes in.  I am, or have held each one of those roles listed above in one capacity or another, plus I have a lot of contacts that currently hold those types of positions.  I am going to do the research, testing and share what I find right here with you!

Check here often (or subscribe) and look for the WP App Lifecycle in the title and you will get all the info I find as soon as I can post it here!

I am very open to suggestions, ideas and questions, so please!  Ask/comment/suggest away and lets all make awesome experiences for both our users and us!

Posted in Game Development, Mango, Windows Phone 7, WP App Lifecycle, XNA.

RIM – What Next???

I have been a mobile developer for a long time and while I have no inside knowledge of the inner workings of the company, from a technology and consumer’s perspective, I do think that my observations have some weight.

RIM has taken the first necessary step to shore up it’s rapidly flagging business.  I think that the upper management change was long overdue, but in my opinion, RIM has a long way to go and some difficult decisions to make before it can come anywhere near the market position and valuation it once had, if it even can.

I think that it’s single largest point of failure market-wise was the Playbook.  They made some real stupid mistakes and basically handed their position off on what could have been a spectacular win in the tablet market.  They had the business buy-in that could have propelled their tablet initiative into the consumer exactly as their Smartphone strategy had.  Instead they shipped out an expensive, crippled, nearly useless device that, for all intents and purposes, needed life support from the day it was released to the public.

From what I know now, they are hard at working making sure that this platform never actually recovers.  I think at this point, they have two choices:

  1. Accept the fact that you screwed up, add the appropriate messaging functionality, release a version that has the ability to have it’s own SIM for wireless access outside of WiFi networks, release better development tools, support the developer community and move on.
  2. Drop the device, take the loss and move on focusing on your core handset business.

You will notice that Android did not come up in either of those options.  That is because the idea of cobbling the Android apps to the Playbook through an emulator or, even worse, at the OS level is a huge and horrible technical and business strategy mistake.

Adding support for Android apps will do two things and neither of them are good:

  1. Business will remove access for Playbooks from their networks just on the perceived security weaknesses introduced by the administrators  of many companies.  All the administrators I know have already stated that Blackberry devices will not be allowed to be used on their networks once the 2.0 update is released.  Whether this is correct or not, it is a fact of the perception of Android apps and devices as not being as secure as say iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys, and yes even Windows computers.
  2. All development for native Blackberry apps will stop.  Not at first, but increasingly, you will see that developers will not start new projects for the device when they can get two platforms for the price of one by developing for the Android platform.  You will see increased demand to allow more and more access to resources for the Android apps until the Playbook is no more than an over-priced Android tablet.

Don’t think for a second that the addition of Android app support on the Playbook will result in a huge jump in sales.  It won’t.  You may see a trickle, but that will dry out soon.   There is no way that consumers will buy a Playbook to run Android apps when they can spend less money and get a more advanced, more up-to-date Android tablet.

It may sound like I hate the Playbook, that I do not believe in the platform.  Nothing could be further from the truth, I think that it’s a great device and could have the same business niche (that’s not being filled very well at all right now) that the Blackberry Smartphone’s have enjoyed for years.  Apparently, I believe in it more than the management at RIM does.  I hope that they find a little faith and avert themselves the disaster that they seem to be determined to drive headlong into.

Posted in Uncategorized.