Today we are publishing the first in our training content led by our MVPs. Rob Miles and Andy Wigley led an incredibly well received live training course about a month ago, focused on getting developers trained up on building amazing applications and games for Windows Phone 7.
We recognize that providing as much technical content as we can for the full range of developers is what developers deserve. While we plan on having more live training sessions in the coming weeks and months, we are also committed to making that content available as quickly as possible to as many developers as possible. Since this round of content is based on Beta Windows Phone Developer Tools, we will not be localizing it. For our non-English speaking developers, we will be providing localized training once we have released the final developer tools.
Andy and Rob provide a good bit of humor along with their incredible depth of knowledge on the topic of building apps and games for Windows Phone 7. We think they have covered a fair amount ground, but if there are topics you feel we need to cover more in depth, don’t hesitate to let us know.
There are 12 sessions in total, each about :50 minutes in length. Think of this as a semester’s worth of class time to help you in your quest to be an awesome Windows Phone 7 developer. It’s self-paced, and both Rob and Andy are pretty approachable. Head on over to their blogs if you want to get more plugged into what they are doing.
A quick tour of Windows Phone 7 and how you write programs for it. We take a look at the platform capabilities and the software development options. We also offer you a chance to win a prize that is almost certainly not a private jet.
Building an application from scratch. How you can take a simple idea for a program and build the user interface, followed by the program behaviors that sit behind it. We take a look at databinding on Windows Phone and how best to structure your application to make best use of it.
Making more complex applications. You also get an overview of how the built in controls work, and how to tailor the user input to match your requirements. We also take a look at page navigation within a multi-form Silverlight application on the phone and how to use the navigation inputs for best effect.
Using Silverlight as a platform for game creation. We show how to get a draw/update behavior into your Silverlight games and give you a fully worked game to chew on. We also illustrate how a Silverlight game can leverage the XNA libraries to add sound effects to a game.
Getting Started with XNA on Windows Phone. We talk about what makes the Windows Phone such a good platform for XNA development and how you create XNA games for it. We take a look at how games can manage the orientation of a phone and give you some tips on getting the best performance. Then we move on to take a look at the accelerometer input and how to make games that use this.
Using the Windows Phone platform features in your XNA games. We continue with our look at Windows Phone features that make the platform so interesting to game developers. We cover the use of the touch screen, sound creation and finally give you some coverage of how to access the Zune media content in the device. Then we round off with a little look at how you can get text input from users by means of the Guide support in XNA.
Application Lifecycle. A look at the execution model on the phone, and how to create solutions that give a great user experience in the face of phone calls, termination and even total shutdown of the device itself. We show how to respond to messages to make your application give the appearance of being “always on” and the data persistence facilities that you will need to make this work.
Launchers and Choosers plus Using Isolated Storage. In this session we take a look at “Launchers and Choosers”, how your application can use the built in phone behaviors to place calls, take pictures and select contacts, making it part of how the phone works. We also show how your application can store data in its own isolated storage on the phone device.
Storing Data and Using the Network. In this session we look at the connectedness of Windows Phone and how you can make this work for you. We demonstrate connected applications and how the notification service is used to allow external systems to give your application a wake-up call.
Using Windows Marketplace. In this session we explain how to join the Marketplace and get your applications out there. We take a look at how your solutions are packaged and deployed and how you go about registering a device for development and then using that with Visual Studio 2010 to test your applications.
Using XNA in 3D and with Media. In this session we take a quick look at how the Windows Phone works as an excellent platform for 3D games in XNA. We also explore how an XNA game can make use of the media stored in the phone, including photographs taken by the user and media loaded onto it from Zune.
Taking Silverlight to the max. We start with a look at the Application bar, a crucial component in Windows Phone applications. We then move on to the Expression Blend tool, and how to create compelling user experiences with it. Finally we round off the session by showing how easy it is to use the map services in your phone and demonstrate some of the really cool navigation tools that are coming.
Here are the bios for our fearless session leaders.
Rob Miles is a lecturer and Microsoft MVP based at Hull University in the UK. He teaches Programming, Software Engineering, Embedded Development and students. He has been working with XNA since before it was released and has been a big fan of Windows Phone 7 ever since he found out he could run his XNA and Silverlight programs on it. He writes a regular blog on programming and other forms of wit at www.robmiles.com and can be found on twitter with the unsurprising name of RobMiles.
Andy Wigley is a device application development MVP and co-founder of UK-based mobile consultancy firm, Appa Mundi. He is the co-author of a number of Microsoft Press books, including the Mobile Development Handbook and the .NET Compact Framework Core Reference and is a regular speaker at major conferences such as Tech Ed. He lives in the mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales where a strong mobile phone signal is a total luxury which has helped him to hone his skills developing offline mobile apps. You can read his blog, and those of his Appamundi colleagues at http://mobileworld.appamundi.com/blogs.