Monthly Archives: October 2012

Windows Phone 8

Well today was the launch day for Windows Phone 8 and for the most part it was pretty underwhelming. Besides the standard updates like improved hardware and resolution there is nothing all that new here. Sure there is NFC and wallet and for being multi platform word has it its not all to friendly with android and iOS, some says you can send urls, all pretty much say you cant send media. There are some changes to the lock screen and tiles but there is still no true notification area. The idea behind kids corner is cool. Still no serial port support, maybe ad hoc but you cant set your own ip which means OBDMobile right now cant be done. For all of the development ideas i have the platform does not support (iOS and android would) any of them which is a strong contrast to WinMobile 6. I understand that the kernel and the back end mesh with WinRT and that was what most of the work was done for but there does not feel to be that much new here.

They killed off Zune Desktop with no new updates and pretty much ignoring WP7. The feeling im picking up there is WP7 only had like less than 5% of the market, same with Zune, so they can totally ignore and kill them off and it wont matter. That would be better if they had something to make up for it.

From a user standpoint i really do like WP7, i get quick access to everything i need right then and there. But from a developer standpoint its been a let down, no BT SPP, no ad hoc, no this, no that. I remember when Intel wanted me to make some apps for AppUp, every week a representative from them would call me up asking about my progress on OBDMobile and SideAmp, asking me what they can do to help me. Practically bending over backwards to help, even after i told them how niche the programs where they kept calling. I think in the end i sold like 3 copys of OBDMobile through them. Am i getting any love from MS? Nope, all i get is you cant do that, or this was not designed for that, or that was not in our current plan set. And back in the WinMobile 6 days those would all be followed by: but if you wanted you “could” do that this way, or its not supported but look into this. But not any more i guess.

It doesn’t matter i guess, Sprint is not getting WP8 anytime soon and by the time Sprint does get WP8 ill be working full time and i guess ill ask my self the ultimate question, if im developing full time for a large corporation, do i still want to do some independent work? If i decide my job fills my development itch then maybe ill stay on WP8, if not maybe ill finally move to android.

Windows 8

I have been running Windows 8 RTM for a few weeks now and for the most part i have been digging it.

Metro Apps, i mean “Windows 8 Apps” are cool when they work, and very frustrating when they don’t.  And i know a lot of people have been giving hate over the new or lack of start menu. But for me i usually have my most used programs either pinned to the start menu, task bar or with RocketDock. So having it all nicely on the screen here is pretty handy i think for me. Now everyone is all up on the Metro apps, and like i said, when they work they are great. My hope with the metro apps is that you would get lighter, faster, smaller versions of common software. So for example instead of opening up Outlook, to the open up the Windows 8 “Metro” Mail in less time. But with me at least this is not the case at all. It took me 7.7 seconds to open Outlook 2013 preview  and 12.6 seconds to open the “Metro” Mail app on my Desktop. So it took me twice as long to open the “smaller” faster app than big Outlook. That’s not cool. What about Internet Explorer: 3.7 seconds for the desktop version and: 11.4 for Metro to open and load a page. Wow that is ridiculous. So i decided to try it on my Netbook running on a Atom processor, where i planned i would most often use metro, Metro Mail took about 8.2 seconds and Outlook took: 10.1 seconds and for Desktop IE: 3.7 seconds and Metro: 3.8 so that’s a bit more even, in fact metro works faster on my Atom then on my i5 desktop.  So that’s kind of interesting, some talk online about metro loading is saying its a bit by design so every Windows 8 Metro system feels about the same, so they make fast computers feel slower to make slower computers feel faster. MS says that metro will kill off any app that takes m0re than 15 seconds to load so at least there is a limit to the slowness.But for now it feels like Metro is good for slow computers but counter productive for faster computers. Should be fun to hear more about this as time goes on.

Not much new from Windows Phone 8 but some RTM SDKs and emulators have been leaked, the overview i keep hearing is the hope that the sdk is locked and MS has some big reveal still because there is nothing all to new on it. Yea they added nfc and a wallet, and some other minor stuff but nothing to amazing. Nothing really worth a complete platform release. My guess is there is a lot of back end code change because it is said to be running a variation of Windows RT and no longer Windows Embedded 6 and that it is pretty much just a port over. Of course they are saying it cant be ran on older WP7 system, but i am sure XDA will figure that out. Sprint of course is still the only carrier to not announce a phone yet. Still looks like there is no Blue Tooth SPP support, there might be wifi ad-hoc, there might even be usb host support. I guess the big reveal is this Monday so we should know more then.

As for software i do have some projects i am working on, i need to see if OBDMobile on RT or Metro can be done, seeing if i can port MS SideShow to Windows Phone 7/8. I know sideshow and sidebar (kind of) still work on Windows 8.  I then need to decide if i should work on SideAmp, it was designed as a SideBar/SideShow plugin but if there is no longer either then i might just let that one die off. I have spent a lot of time on updating it this last month so i might release that as some type of “beta” for 1.3 but if i decide to work on it anymore its going to need a whole rewrite so i need to make sure its worth the time. So now that i am running Windows 8 full time i should be able to make some small proof of concepts  to at least have a decent plain for the next few months. Im going to try and post more here on the development side of things as well.