Visually Located


Creating a behavior to control the new StatusBar (SystemTray) in Windows Phone 8.1 XAML apps

Modify the StatusBar (SystemTray) in XAML in Windows Phone Runtime apps [More]

Differences between the new StatusBar in Windows Phone XAML Apps and the SystemTray

With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 SDK comes a new StatusBar. The StatusBar replaces the SystemTray from Windows Phone Silverlight Apps. Unlike the SystemTray, the StausBar can only be accessed via code and some functionality has changed. This post will go in depth on how to access the the StatusBar and what the differences are. Just like the new StatusBarProgressIndicator, you can only access the StatusBar via code with the GetForCurrentView method. StatusBar statusBar = Windows.UI.ViewManagement.StatusBar.GetForCurrentView(); Once you have the StatusBar, you have access to the same capabilities as you did before, with a few changes. The table below shows SystemTray StatusBar Comments System.Windows.Media.Color ForegroundColor Windows.UI.Color? ForegroundColor   System.Windows.Media.Color BackgroundColor Windows.UI.Color? BackgroundColor   ... [More]

Using a behavior to control the ProgressIndicator in Windows Phone 8.1 XAML Apps

Modify the ProgressIndicator in XAML in Windows Phone Runtime apps [More]

Showing the system ProgressIndicator in a Windows Phone 8.1 XAML app

If you have built a Windows Phone app before, you probably used the ProgressIndicator to indicate to the user that something was being done. The ProgressIndicator could show indeterminate dots floating from left to right to indicate that you have no idea how long the operation will take to complete. Or it would show a progress bar that would tell the user how much progress has been made. You could show the ProgressIndicator in code, but most likely used xaml. <shell:SystemTray.ProgressIndicator> <shell:ProgressIndicator IsIndeterminate="True" Text="Loading" IsVisible="{Binding Loading}" /> </shell:SystemTray.ProgressIndicator> The new Windows Phone 8.1 Apps for XAML also includes the ability to show progress with a ProgressIndicator, now called StatusBarProgressIndicator. Unlike Phone apps built with Silverlight, the new Phone 8.1 SDK does not include a way to interact with the StatusBarProgr... [More]

Transitioning your app from the Panorama control to the Hub control

At //build today Microsoft announced the new Universal Apps that will allow you to build desktop, tablet and phone apps using the same code. These are different than PCLs as they allow for platform functionality (I won’t get into differences between PCLs and Shared Projects here). These new apps will be based on the XAML platform that Windows tablet apps are built on. So this means that you can build Windows Phone apps with new XAML elements that are available in Windows [tablet] Apps like the GridView, ListView, Hub and more. This also means that Silverlight Windows Phone controls will not be available. One of these missing controls is the Panorama control. We’ll look at how we can take an existing Panorama app, and convert it to a Hub app. Migrating to the Hub control from the Panorama control is very easy. To start, I’ll create a new Windows Phone [Silverlight] Panorama app. I’ll call in PanoramaConversion. Next I’ll add a new project to the solution. For this project I’ll c... [More]

Working with location in an ArcGIS Runtime map app

This is the forth blog in a series of posts reviewing the new ArcGIS Runtime (beta) mapping SDK. The new SDK will be a great companion for any Windows developer wanting to add map functionality to their apps. In part 3, we looked at the MapView control within the SDK. One of the dependency properties that I left off in that post is the LocationDisplay property. This post will go into that property extensively. Working with location is probably my favorite part of the new ArcGIS Runtime mapping SDK because it is just so damn simple. In most mapping SDKs (eg: Nokia, Bing) you must do the work of hooking up to location changes, and updating the map. In the ArcGIS Runtime mapping SDK, it’s handled for you if you opt in for this functionality. Start off by downloading the sample application (if you have not done so already). The LocationDisplay property of the MapView provides access to the LocationDisplay class. This class provides access to all the properties that make working with locat... [More]

Working with Basic Mapping Layers in the ArcGIS Runtime Map

This is a second in a series of posts covering the new ArcGIS Runtime (beta). In the last post we walked through creating a simple map app. In this post we’ll start to cover the different layers your map can have. A Layer can be map images like what you would see in Google or Bing Maps. Or a Layer can represent the physical location of items. Layers can be toggled on and off through the IsVisible property. You can also adjust the transparency of a layer with the Opacity property. The ArcGIS Runtime SDK comes with 12 different types of map layers that you can use in your app! Some of these I’ll cover in detail in this blog, some I’ll just barely cover, and some will have whole blogs dedicated to them. I like to group the layers into two basic categories. The layers for “basic mapping” and layers for “GIS users”. I consider basic mapping to be any app in the store that uses a map in any way. Some examples would be Four Square, or Disney Expedition.  Layers for GIS users are needed ... [More]

Building a map app with the ArcGIS Runtime Map

This is the first in a series of posts that will go over the new ArcGIS Runtime SDK. This first post will discuss how to get started and create an app that has the ArcGIS Runtime Map. This first step is to download the SDK. The SDK is currently in beta so you will need to sign up for the beta program. It’s important to note that you will not be able to get the SDK from nuget. Esri packages their installers a little differently than you might be used it. The exe that you download is a zip of the actual installer. Run the ArcGIS_Runtime_SDK_for_DotNet_1022_536.exe (as of writing this the file is missing the exe extension, so you’ll need to add it) and you will be prompted for a location to unpackage the installer. Give it a location, once it completes it will run the actual Setup.exe. We’ll be building a Windows Store app with the SDK so you’ll need Visual Studio 2013. The SDK does not support Windows 8 apps, only Windows 8.1 apps. For Windows Phone and WPF you can use Visual S... [More]

Extending your app theme into the SystemTray

I have seen a lot of apps recently in which the developers think about the theme of their app. They have nice colors, either in text, or background or both. Sidebar: I recently read in an MSDN blog that “Backgrounds are discouraged. They are allowed for brand reasons and to support contrast. Instead, use any accent colors on the text foreground”. I personally like when apps do this rather than just the plain white or black text/background offered by default. This makes the app stand out from the rest. Heck, even Microsoft has violated this rule with their bing apps. I have a dark theme for my phone, yet the bing apps seem to favor a white background. One area I notice where people are not applying their theme is in the system tray. They spend a lot of time and effort theming their pages, yet neglect this area. This is actually not surprising as the system tray is easy to overlook when creating your apps. It is placed in by default, it’s very small (32 pixels), and when using the... [More]

Add a persistent element to every page of your phone apps

Adding ad controls to apps is a pretty common thing. Some apps have ads on every page of the app. Some apps only have ads on some pages. When you want to have ads on one page you have to manually add the control to each page. Wouldn’t it be cool to only add it once and it shows up on all of your pages? This is exactly what someone recently asked on Stack Overflow. This is possible to do and quite simple. First, add a new style to your App.xaml resources and name it AdPhoneApplicationFrameStyle. <Style x:Key="AdPhoneApplicationFrameStyle" TargetType="toolkit:TransitionFrame"> <Setter Property="IsTabStop" Value="False"/> <Setter Property="Foreground" Value="{StaticResource PhoneForegroundBrush}"/> <Setter Property="FontSize" Value="{StaticResource PhoneFontSizeNormal}"/> <Setter Property="FontFamily" Value="{StaticResource PhoneFontFamilyNormal}"/> <Setter Property="HorizontalAlignm... [More]