Posts tagged windows phone 7
Kamloops, BC – The City of Kamloops is excited to announce the launch of its first mobile application with the new “myKamloops” app. This free app, developed by CitySourced, is intended to act as a Report A Problem channel, allowing residents to report civic issues of concern, whether it be graffiti, potholes, fallen trees, overflowing garbage cans, obscured or fallen signs, or any similar issue.
Harford County residents now have a more high-tech way of reporting potholes, dead animals, flooding or other problems to the county government. Residents with smartphones can get a new mobile app called “Harford County Connect” to inform county officials of their public issues. The mobile app, unveiled by Harford County Executive David Craig, allows users to take photos, record video and audio of a problem, and automatically provide GPS coordinates. After the report is submitted, users can track all reported problems on a map as well.
“It’s never easy being a third-party app developer. Besides needing a great app idea, you must master your platform’s SDK, and then work hard to make sure your app has visibility in whatever platform ecosystem you’ve chosen to infiltrate. Enter Microsoft’s BizSpark program, which helps software devs bring their apps to market.
One of the program’s major initiatives is Mobile Acceleration Week, a multi-city road show that’s designed to give guidance and support to Windows Phone Mango developers. Last week, the event was held in San Francisco, so we dropped by to hunt for the latest, greatest Windows Phone apps coming down the pike. Here are 10 of the most promising. Just be aware that not all are currently available in Marketplace.”
A large number of apps for any platform will be frivolous, so it’s nice when a useful, productive tool comes along that helps you take an active role in bettering your community.
CitySourced is one such app. It’s a real-time civic-engagement platform that allows you to report on, and read reports relating to, issues like public safety, damage to public property, and environmental problems like illegal dumping. You can even take pictures of the offending issue to include in your report. The app delivers these reports to your local city hall so authorities can (theoretically) take quick action.
CitySourced lets you write a new report, check out your past reports, and view issues documented by others for your city, by list view or map view. You can also check out local news.
In addition to helping you serve your civic duty, this app could also come in handy if you’re looking to move to a low crime area, which could perhaps be indicated by fewer instances of graffiti and tagging. It might also be a good choice if you’re looking for a part of town to perform community service in.
We finally got the word yesterday that our application, CitySourced, is now approved and available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace. With all of our experience in mobile development, I must say (and of course I am biased), that developing for WP7 was an absolute dream. We’re a .NET shop so we’re very familiar with the Visual Studio IDE, the best IDE on the market currently hands down in my opinion. We could get into an argument over this – what about Eclipse or XCode or this or that? They all completely blow when compared to Visual Studio. Microsoft has really outdone themselves with VS2010. Anyway, I digress.
After downloading the required plugins for VS2010 to develop WP7 applications (I’ll make a separate blog post on my personal blog about that), we were off and running. We already had all the back end services created and working since we’re on the other platforms, so all we needed to worry about was the client end. WP7 applications are based on Silverlight and XAML, and while this is not my forte, I had taken a WPF & Silverlight bootcamp up at Microsoft in Redmond a few years ago.
All in all, it took us about 4 weeks to get our application wired up and working. Granted, there was no back end work to be done, but 4 weeks is pretty incredible (and I wasn’t working on it full time – probably 75% of my time). I brought in some outside help with James Richards, a really talented developer that has been working with us on many of the Esri components. We had about a week to clean up some final bugs, and we’ve finally passed the approval process. The approval process was great too. Our application just so happened to fail twice (I admit, I didn’t read the entire submission guide…), but the great thing about Microsoft’s approval process is that they give you a detailed report as to why the application failed and the steps to reproduce it! Having only dealt with Apple until now, all I have to say to that is “Wow”. Apple could definitely learn a thing or two from Microsoft when it comes to the app approval process.
So if you’re a mobile developer, and you’re wondering if you should take the dive into the world of WP7, our recommendation would be to go for it. From a developer standpoint, it was a great experience. And if you’re a .NET/C# developer, you’ll be cursing Apple and Objective-C and wondering why it wasn’t this easy to begin with. Microsoft definitely got a win on this one.