Visually Located


Using the new Ad Mediator control for Windows Phone

Microsoft announced today a new SDK to help monetize your Windows Phone apps. This SDK, called Ad Mediator allows you to integrate multiple ad providers into your app. We all know that PubCenter has not been performing well, even Microsoft. So, the tools team built this SDK to help developers easily earn money through ads. This is not a new concept. Windows Phone has had the AdRotator control for some time. Advantages of using Ad Medator The Ad Mediator will cycle between any of the ad providers that you configure. You are not guaranteed to get 100% fill rate. You are not guaranteed to get high eCPM. But you are guaranteed that if one provider does not have an ad, another provider will be used. Installing and using the SDK I’m not going to go over this topic except to say to follow the documentation online. Precautions I found that there are some things you need to be careful of. You must download and install the ad provider SDKs before configuring Ad Mediator. You do not need to dow... [More]

Color and font resources to build a brand for your app

I recently found out about some great sites that are available to help you build a brand for you  app. These sites allow you to build a color palette or get custom fonts that help brand the app you are building. This is only a small list and if you know about others, please add a comment. Color Palette: – source: Dave Crawford – source: Dave Timmins – source: Scott Lovegrove Fonts: – source: Dave Crawford – source: Glenn Versweyveld Again, if you know of more resources, please add a comment below!

The power of responding to user reviews in the Windows Phone Store

I have been responding to user reviews since the day it went live for all publishers Sending my first app review response. Hopefully this goes well! #wpdev— Shawn Kendrot (@skendrot) August 12, 2014 This was my first response to a user, and it worked! WooHoo! Review response worked! User contacted me #wpdev— Shawn Kendrot (@skendrot) August 13, 2014 Responding to user reviews has been positive for me. I wanted to share a few of the positive results with everyone.   Matt responded to my email saying the 1 star rating was an oversight and updated his review   There was a day when an app stopped getting information from services and some people reviewed the app poorly because it wasn’t working. These reviews were valid because the app stopped working. I was able to fix the issue and responded to users.   And like most developers I was effected by the In App Purchase bug the store had in September. Again users started posting poor reviews. Onc... [More]

What is the email sent from responding to user reviews in the Windows Phone store?

Some time ago Microsoft announced that all app publishers to the Windows Phone Store had the ability the respond to users reviews of their apps. Many publishers have taken advantage of this functionality and many have not. Responding to reviews is simple. All you need to do is log into DevCenter, check out the reviews of your app(s) and respond to any that you wish. You can respond to negative reviews or positive reviews. I like to respond to any user that has rated my app three stars or less. I want to know why a user thinks the app is only a 1-3 star app and ask how they think I can improve the app. If they provided a reason for the 1-3 star rating I’ll try to clarify any confusion there may be.I also like to respond to any user asking for a particular piece of functionality. I will tell the user that what they are asing for is either in progress, will be worked on next, or will be taken into account for future work. One thing I kept on wondering was: “How is my feedback being deliv... [More]

Getting and Setting the SeletedIndex (visible section) of the Hub, now with Binding!

In my last post I talked about how you can restore the last visible section of the Hub. In that post I talked about the lack of the SelectedIndex and SelectedItem properties in the Hub control. These properties were in the Panorama control. Not having these properties means setting the visible section from a view model requires access to the Hub. This is not ideal. When functionality is not available, create it! When you want to add functionality to a control there are two basic solutions. Extend the control by creating a new one. Extend the control with attached properties The first solution is generally accomplished by inheriting from the control itself. The second is most often solved with a behavior. Whenever possible I prefer option 1 over option 2. The downside to option 1 is adding more and more functionality trying to come up with a good name for your control. Extending existing controls is really easy. There [usually] is not a need to create a new style for the control. We ... [More]

Restore the last visible Hub Section with the DefaultSectionIndex

Use the DefaultSectionIndex to open the Hub to the appropriate page. [More]

Bind a collection of items to the Windows Phone MapControl

With every major version of Windows Phone comes a new way to work with maps. Keeping up with all of these changes has, honestly, been a hassle. Windows Phone 8.1 continues this trend with the new MapControl. It does improve from Windows Phone 8 in a lot of ways. One of those areas is that you no longer need another toolkit to perform basic map functionality. In Windows Phone 8 you needed the Windows Phone Toolkit to do things like add map elements to the map. Now this functionality is part of the core functionality. To bind a collection of items to the new MapControl you use the MapItemsControl within the MapControl itself. <maps:MapControl x:Name="Map" MapServiceToken="abcdef-abcdefghijklmno"> <maps:MapItemsControl ItemsSource="{Binding Locations}"> </maps:MapItemsControl> </maps:MapControl> The MapItemsControl is just a DependencyObject that has the ability to set items, thr... [More]

Implementing truly timed Windows Phone app trials with Azure Mobile Services

An awesome part of Windows Phone and Windows Store apps is the ability to offer a trial version to users before they decide to purchase the app. This gives uses an opportunity to try the app for free before paying. There are different ways to offer trials. You can limit functionality while in trial mode. You can offer unlimited trials, allowing the user to use the app forever, or you can allow the user to use the app for limited time period. For Windows Store apps, you can specify in the Store how long the user is allowed to try the app. Windows Phone apps do not offer this capability. When implementing timed trials in apps, a common task for app developers is to store a value within the app for when the app was first opened. Note: As this is relevant for both Silverlight and Runtime apps, this blog will contain code for both. The code samples will switch back and forth. public static bool IsTrialExpired() { // Silverlight example va... [More]

Disabling tilt on a ListView or GridView

I have mentioned before that the tilt animation is enabled by default in Windows Phone 8.1 Runtime apps, but what happens when you want to display a collection of items but do not want to enable tilt? You may not want to enable tilt because there is no extra action that happens when you tap an item. As with most things, there are a few options here. The first is to not use a ListView/GridView at all. Instead just use an ItemsControl to display your items. This is great provided you do not have a lot of items you need to show. ItemsControl is not virtualized like the ListView/GridView so it uses a lot of memory when displaying a lot of items. This is my go to control for displaying a small collection of items that have no action associated with them. If you still want to use the ListView or GridView control then there is a simple way to disable the animation. You will need to modify the style of the ListViewItem or GridViewItem. For this post I will demonstrate using the ListViewItem,... [More]

Tilt animation for Windows Phone Runtime

In a previous post I talked about some of the awesome animations and transitions available in Window Phone 8.1 Runtime apps. These animations and transitions were previously only available with a second SDK like the Windows Phone Toolkit or Telerik’s phone controls. One of the most used animations from both toolkit was the tilt animation. This animation shows a user that what they are touching can be tapped and will probably do something when they do tap. I also previously blogged about how you can enable the tilt animation for “unselectable” items. I am happy to say that the tilt animation is now built into all “tappable” controls without having to do anything! So you would think that would be the end of the post right? I just said “it just works”. This is true for things like ListView/GridView/Buton, but what about when you want to display a StackPanel with a few items in it and those items should be tiltable? Some work is needed to get this working and there are a few ways to accom... [More]