Expression Blend, Windows Phone 8, WP7, wp7nl

Wp7nl utilities Contribution

When building apps for Windows Phone I use my own library. I’m a “lazy” developer and don’t like writing code twice. So I place a lot of code that can be reused, like behaviors, converters and extension methods, in my library. For I while I’ve been thinking about sharing the library as an open source project on Codeplex, but in the end decided to contribute to the Wp7nl Utilities project of Joost van Schaik. The first bunch of utilities are added. I will continue to add more and describe those on my blog too. Actions for Launchers I often have…

Expression Blend, WP7

Styling Windows Phone 7 Pivot Control Titles

For a Windows Phone 7 application I’m currently working on I needed to change the font the titles of a couple of PivotItems on a Pivot control. Normally I won’t recommend using another font than Segoe WP for this, but sometimes the branding of the app leaves you no other choice. Changing the font of the title turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. To spare you the trouble, here’s how it’s done in Expression Blend. Walkthrough For this walkthrough I created a very cool app, containing a Pivot control with three PivotItems. Changing the font of…

Design, WP7

Prevent ugly images on Windows Phone

Problem Sometimes images look nice on a regular computer screen, but when used in your Windows Phone application they become ugly. This effect is most often seen on gradients and images with smooth coloring. In gradient images you’ll start to see stripes and bands. It looks like the colors in the image don’t blend anymore. Below are the 32bit and 16bit versions of the same images. Notice the banding on the right one. Cause This problem may be caused by a setting in your application or just by screen of the phone itself. It occurs when a 32bit image is…

Expression Blend, WP7

colorizing images using expression blend

Yesterday I recorded a screencast to demonstrate how to colorize images in a Windows Phone 7 application using Expression Blend 4. In Silverlight or WPF I use a shader to colorize images, but because shaders aren’t available in the same way in Silverlight for Windows Phone I had do come up with a different technique. In this tutorial I show how to use application bar icons as an opacity mask on rectangles. I set the fill brush of these rectangles to the default phone accent brush. Here’s the video: colorizing images using expression blend

Expression Blend, WP7

Setting visibility based on wp7 themes

Intro The Technical Certification Requirements for Windows Phone 7 applications state the following: 5.5.2 – Content and Themes Application content, such as text and visual elements, must be visible and legible regardless of the phone theme. For example, if the phone theme changes from black background to white background, the text and visual elements of your application must be visible or legible. This means that everything in you application, including images, should be well visible in the dark and light theming of the phone. Handling dark/light support is very easy. Dark and Light Often companies have a special version of…


Windows Phone 7 app – New Kids Button

Today my new app was published to the Windows Phone Marketplace. The application shows a big red button. When this button is pressed a quote from the movie and TV series of New Kids is played. In this I application I wanted to try a few things. First, I wanted to see how to create a trial version of an application with possibilities to buy the app. Next I added a couple of behaviors to make it very easy to share a link to the application in various ways. The main goal of all these is ease of use for…


Sounds on Windows Phone 7 – KnockOnWood

Last week my KnockOnWood Windows Phone 7 app was released in the marketplace. The basic idea of the application is that it gives you something to knock on if no real wood is available. In other words, it should play a sound effect when the screen is touched.   From Wikipedia: Knocking on wood, and the spoken expression “knock on wood,” are used to express a desire to avoid “tempting fate” after making some boast or speaking of one’s own death. In this application I wanted to try out to work with sounds for another application I’m working on. I…


Second Windows Phone 7 app–Zwaailicht

Today, my second Windows Phone 7 app, Zwaailicht, has passed certification and is available in the Marketplace. The application shows information about emergencies in the Netherlands, based on the P2000 system. There are a couple of sites that show this information about Police, Fire and Ambulances. When you hear a siren somewhere, you can check what’s going on in the neighborhood. Or you can see what has happen in your region when you weren’t there. Zwaailicht helps you choose one of the many feeds of  Which was kindly enough to made their feeds available on a Creative Commons-license. The…


First Windows Phone 7 Application

Duck’n’Cow My first Windows Phone 7 application is available in the marketplace, Duck’n’Cow. Feel free to download and play with it (and rate it of course ). I build the application to try some of the features of the Windows Phone. In this application I focused mainly on the accelerometers. The application shows a Duck and a Cow, hidden in a circle. When you shake the phone the duck pops up and you hear it quack. When you turn the phone upside down, you’ll see the cow pop up. Idea I wanted to create a funny looking application that could…