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Nov 23

It is now soon 6 months since I started in a new job as CTO at mBricks and in this post I will explain what we do at mBricks.

Even if I just started in this job for 6 months ago I have a long history with mBricks. I started in mBricks back in 2005 (fresh out of school) and was a part of the core team writing the very first code lines that today is a part of what we call mBricks SDK. I worked there til 2009 and then I decided to widen my horizons and try something else for a while. I am now very pleased to be back in mBricks. The circle is closed :)

mBricks facilities located at Lysaker, Norway in our mother company Teleplans' building

What is mBricks?

mBricks is a software company focusing on mobile applications. We do all kind of consulting within the mobile application area but what we are most proud about is our cross platform solution for developing/building mobile applications. This is what really makes mBricks stand out in the crowd.

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Nov 08

Finally I found time to start looking at Android development. In the past I have been developing mobile applications on Java ME, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, now it’s time to have a look at the Android platform. In this post I will describe what you need to do to get started with Android development.

At developers.android.com there is a good Quick Start guide explaining step by step what you need to do to get started:

  1. Start with installing JDK 6
  2. Download Eclipse Classic 3.6.1 and unzip it on your disk (I unzipped it to location c:\eclipse) Updated 9th Nov: There are know issues with the ADT plugin running on Eclipse 3.6, so to be safe download Eclipse 3.5. Thank you Robert Peterson for letting me know.
  3. Download Android SDK (for Windows platform in my case) and unzip it on your disk (I unzipped it to location c:\android sdk)
  4. Add the android sdk location to your path
  5. Install the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin in Eclipse. Remote update/install site: https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/
  6. Add Android platforms and components to your SDK by running the SDK Manager. I chose accept all and install, this will give me all available Android platforms and components including Google API, Usb driver, samples and documentation.

You have now installed all you need and you can now follow the steps below to create your Android project and run the application from Eclipse. Once again developers.android.com have a good tutorial on how to create Hello World application: Continue reading »

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Mar 06

This post will first explain the advantages you get from separating language and hard coded text from your application code and then show code examples in C# helping you getting started implementing language and text separating.

Lets have a look at the advantages:

Multi language support

When you separate the language from your application code it takes little effort to implement multi language support for your application. The only thing you need to do is to translate your original language file into the languages your application shall support and select on start up what language file to parse.

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Jan 08

We have entered 2010 and I am now actually enjoying (a lot of people are complaining) the cold and nice winter weather in Oslo (20 degrees Celsius below freezing). I have had a hectic start on this year preparing the start up of a large national project. This is very exciting and I find this a promising start on 2010.

2009 was the year that I started this blog. It has been interesting writing the posts and communicating with my readers. I have also learned a lot in 2009 and I will for sure continue writing posts on topics I find interesting.

To summarize 2009 I will list my top ten posts in 2009. This list is created based on visitors stats and my own rating of the posts (there are always some posts that you are more proud of and have spent more time writing than others).

Creating gradient background with transparent labels in .NET Compact Framework

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Dec 08

Today I found this great guidance regarding WCF for Mobile Devices. It is a 72 pages PDF document written by Michele Leroux Bustamante and Nickolas Landry in May 2009.

I recommend that you read this if you are designing/developing Windows Mobile applications that are using any kind of communication.

You can download the document from CodePlex: WCF Guidance for Mobile Devices.

Thank you for sharing Michele and Nickolas!

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Nov 24

GPSIt is easy to think that developing an application for Windows Mobile using the built in GPS unit requires  a lot and complex code. Luckily this is not the case. You can actually have the base for a .NET Compact Framework GPS application up and running in less than 10 minutes if you choose the correct tools.

This post describes what I have found to be the easiest and fastest way to create an application that is interacting with the GPS unit in .NET Compact Framework.

Windows Mobile have created a sample for using the GPS intermediate driver from managed code and this is all you need to get started. The sample is included with the Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK. How to use this is explained very well at the Windows Mobile Development Center: Using the GPS Intermediate Driver from Managed Code.

If you do not have any special needs you can use this directly by compiling the sample and adding the .dll as a reference in your project. If you need to customize it you can simply just add the sample source code to your project and modify/extend it where needed.

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Nov 12

When developing Windows Mobile applications in Visual Studio creating user controls or custom controls will often help you get a better application and decrease your development time. Often you will have problem using your user controls or custom controls in the Visual Studio designer. Forms using your controls will not show at all in the designer and sometimes Visual Studio will shut down because of this (happens often if you are referring to external .dll in the user control or custom control).

I will walk you through a simple example on how you can achieve this with out any problems at all.

I will use a simple example where I have created a Header user control that is referring to the Microsoft.WindowsMobile.dll and Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Status.dll. Then I have a simple Form that I will use the designer to append the Header to and make sure the Visual Studio designer still works.

I am using Visual Studio 2008, Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK and .Net Compact Framework 3.5 for this example.

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Oct 29

Microsoft My PhoneMicrosoft My Phone is a service for synchronizing the data on your Windows Phone to a web account. I tested this service when it was released in beta and have not used it since, until today. I have not used it because I am using active sync to synchronize my contacts, calendar and mail with outlook. Today I took a firmware (ROM) update on my phone and wanted to store more information like images, sms, videos, music and documents. That’s when the My Phone service came in handy.

A lot have happened since the last time I used this service. First of all the user experience on the phone is much better and there are more functionality now than before. To start using this you simply install a small application on your phone and register for an account with your Windows Live pass.

You can choose what to synchronize from a menu on the phone were the options are:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Tasks
  • Text messages
  • Browser favourites
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Documents

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Oct 17

windows phoneFinally, we have decided to start a Windows Phone Developer Community in Norway. I will do this together with my good colleague Alexander Viken and we will be responsible for running and facilitating this community. Before we started this group we discussed it and had a meeting with Microsoft Norway, so they are supporting this initiative and will help us getting hold of good and interesting speakers for the upcoming meetings.

The purpose of this community is to have a place where Windows Mobile/Phone developers can meet and exchange knowledge within this field. In the near future we will create a website for this community with a forum, blog posts and useful information. We have created a meetup group were we will announce all meetings and events. We have scheduled the first meeting for this group Thursday, 3th December in Oslo. This will be the start up meeting were we will present the group and discuss what this group should do from this point on. We are also looking for persons that are interesting in helping us organize and facilitate the community.

You can find the Windows Phone Developer Community at meetup.com and read more about the group and the upcoming meeting 3th December (text in Norwegian).

I’m really looking forward to be a part of this group and meet other Windows Phone developers. I hope to see you there! Continue reading »

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Oct 07

Windows MarketplaceTo boost Windows Mobile 6.5 development and applications added to the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft announces the race to market challenge. They challenge you to develop application(s) and add them to the Windows Marketplace.

It looks like Microsoft will be focusing more on the mobile market in the future and as a part of this they have changed the name from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone. Windows Mobile will still be the name of the OS on the phones, but Windows Phone will be the branding name.

Microsoft will reward:

  • The developer whose paid application earns the most revenue within the contest period.

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