Kunal-Chowdhury.com - Microsoft Technology Blog for developers and consumers: 2013

Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014

New Year is the time to remember all the memories we share, all the fun things we did, all the secrets we poured out for but never regret the follies of the past as we reminisce about the year gone by. Now that time came to celebrate with all of you.

 

Wish you and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014. May God make you more knowledgeable in the coming year and give you more prosperity than ever.



How to set no. of columns in Telerik’s RadDiagramToolbox?

If you are working on Silverlight and/or WPF project and using Telerik RadControls library, you might be aware of RadDiagram and RadDiagramToolbox. When you add gallery items in RadDiagramToolbox, by default it comes in three columns.

 

In some business scenario, you might want to increase or decrease the no. of columns in the RadDiagramToolbox. This small blog post will help you in this.


#WindowsPhone user? Get an additional 20 GB #SkyDrive space

It’s a Christmas time. Santa could be near your house to knock your door. If you are a Windows Phone user, you will get an additional 20 GB free SkyDrive storage to use in 2014. Microsoft is floating a Redemption Code over email to claim your extra space.

 

Check your emails to see whether you received it. Don’t worry if you didn’t receive it yet, you will surely get it soon if you are a Windows Phone user.


Compass APIs for Windows Phone

Today in this blog post we will discuss about Compass APIs available in Windows Phone SDK. After reading this post, you will be able to use your Windows Phone’s device sensors and build some apps and/or games for your targeted users.

 

Before using the compass in your game, make sure to check whether the device supports it or not. The SDK provides APIs to check that too. Let’s start discussing about it.


How to enable “Fast App Resume” in your WP8 app?

If you are part of DVLUP program of Nokia, you might have noticed that, all Windows Phone 8 challenges have the same requirement “Employ Fast App Switching”. This is more likely same as “Fast App Resume”. So, what is this and how can you configure your app to support fast app resume?

 

In this small post for WPDev, we will discuss a bit about it and the simple process to configure your WP8 apps and/or games to process “Fast App Resume”.


How to check whether Location Service is Disabled in WP8?

If you are building Location Aware app for Windows Phone 8, you might want to check whether the Location Service is enabled/disabled in the system and based on that, you can take appropriate steps asking user to enable that.

 

If you are one of such developer, this small but handy blog post will help you to figure out the status of the Location Service. Continue reading to know further about it.



How to launch the Rotation Settings page in WP8 GDR3?

Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 is already there for the developers to try out the new features that are coming in this update 3. Among them, one is orientation lock. If you already installed WP8 GDR3, you might have already seen the Rotation Settings page.

 

If you are a WPDev, you might want to add an option in your app to launch this settings page. In this post, we are going to discuss how to do this programmatically.


How to launch the Map settings page to download maps in WP8?

You might have used maps in your Windows Phone applications to help the user navigate from one place to another place. Windows Phone 8 supports downloading of maps for a specific place and/or country. If you want your user to easily navigate to download maps page, this post will help you.

 

Windows Phone 8 SDK exposes MapDownloaderTask, which will help you for this easy navigation. Continue reading for more information on this.


Download Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 (RTM) - Web, Offline Installer

After the release of Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 (RTM) in 26th June, Microsoft released the 4th Update to the web today, the 13th November 2013. Within this timeframe, they also released couple of intermediate release of the Update 4 for beta testing and bug fixes.

 

This includes the latest cumulative series of feature additions and bug fixes. If you are waiting for the final release of Update 4, it’s the time to update your IDE with latest set of features & fixes.


Now grab the Free version of XAML Spy (Express)

XAML Spy is the visual runtime inspector for Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone and Windows 8 Store applications which provides direct access to UI visual tree, runtime UI modifications to check/set different properties temporarily, monitor events, extract package contents and much more.

 

With the release of XAML Spy version 2, the company introduced a light weight Free version for the XAML designers/developers to play with their XAML files. Read more to grab your copy.


How to programmatically detect whether WP8 GDR3 is installed?

Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (aka. GDR 3) preview already released for developers to build and test their applications and games. There are few features in this release that you might want to add in your app. For this, you need to check whether the device already has GDR3 installed.

 

In this small post, we are going to discuss how you can check whether the Updated 3 (GDR 3) has already been installed in the user’s device.



The Programmers Newspaper

Programming is an art to implement the ideas into software which end user uses to accomplish their job easily. Writing articles for the programmers needs patience and skills to help the other clarify their doubts. There are lots of blogs and sites which already helps programmers day-by-day.

 

It’s about an year ago a team of passionate programmers took an initiative to compile a newspaper named “The Programmers” with valuable articles. If you are a developer, don’t forget to grab the copy.


#WPDev Tips: How to pass an object to WP Navigation Service?

While working on an application last weekend, I was in need to pass an object as query string parameter to the other page of my Windows Phone application. NavigationService does not allow you to pass any complex object.

 

Then I found a cool idea by which you will be able to send the whole object to the other page. In this blog post, I am going to share you the trick.


How to restrict Telerik RadDiagram within a specific viewport?

If you are a Silverlight application developer and using Telerik RadDiagram control, you might have seen that you can zoom and pan the diagram control and move it to any boundary. In some scenarios, we need to restrict it to a positive quadrant.

 

In such case, based on your business logic, you have to restrict the diagram to some quadrant value. In this small post, we will learn how to set it’s viewport to a specific bounds.


Ambiguous Reference issue in WCF RIA Service Generated Code

Ambiguity is the ability to express more than one interpretation in normal way. This can happen in any manner; in our code too. If you are working on WCF RIA Services in Silverlight, you might encounter this issue too with class references.

 

Today in this blog post, I will share you a small trick by which you will be able to fix this error in your Silverlight project. Continue reading to further discussion.


Microsoft: Windows RT 8.1 update for Surface is on Hold

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows RT 8.1 RTM on 17th October for general public to update their Windows 8 system. Many people already updated their Surface RT devices but as an exception, few people reported on Twitter and Forums that they are not able to update their RT devices.

 

If you are unable to update your Surface RT or unable to find the update in Windows Store, you are one of them who are victim of a small issue reported by Microsoft.



How to download Windows Phone 8 GDR 3?

Here comes an opportunity for Windows Phone Developers to try out the GDR3 update before it reaches to the actual consumers. If you are a WPDev, you can now download Update 3 in your unlocked WP8 device and test your applications against it.

 

Windows Phone 8 GDR3 comes with a plenty of features and enhancements including bigger screen resolutions, screen rotations and more. Read to get the GDR3 bits in your device.


Windows Phone 8 GDR3 Features and a new Preview Program for Devs

So Microsoft finally came up with an official list of new features in Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release, named as GDR3. Also, they are now opening a “Developer Preview Program” for the WPDev’s to test their apps against the new OS build before it comes to consumer.

 

In this post, I am going to share you the set of features that you are going to see in the next update of your Windows Phone 8 device.


“Place Explorer” app for #WindowsPhone users

Here comes my another application for Windows Phone users, named “Place Explorer”. The app is currently available in Windows Phone Store for free. Using this app, you will be able to find out the favourite places around the city near your current location for food, drinks, shopping, accommodations etc.

 

Find out more details about the app and a downloadable link to install in your Nokia Lumia series of Windows Phone 8 devices.


Announcing winners of #kcgiveaway contest. Are you one of them?

Last month as part of the 5th anniversary celebration of my blog (www.kunal-chowdhury.com), we organized a big contest where we had lots of licenses and subscriptions valued $50,000 above to give away. Thanks to all the Sponsors who came up to celebrate with us.

 

Now the time came to announce the winners of the contest. Are you excited to know who are the winners? You might be one of them too. Let’s check out the list.


NavigationService in WP throws Exception when navigating to Web URL

As a WPDev, you already know about the NavigationService class that we use regularly to navigate from one page to another. But what if you want to navigate to a web URL? If you use the same class for web navigation, you will face a ArgumentException unhandled in your App class.

 

If you are one of the victim and came to this page by searching online for the solution, this post will help you today to resolve the exception in your code.



Just a few steps to make your WP app recognizes your speech

Do you want to add a functionality in your Windows Phone device which can actually listen to users voice or commands? Do you want the app to record the speech or convert the speech into a text string which you can save as a document?

 

Okay, this blog post will cover that topic for you today. Here we will discuss how to use the API to enable the speech recognition in your WP device.


Re-awarded as Microsoft MVP for the fourth time, but…

October 1st 2010, the day when I first received a mail from the Microsoft mentioning as one of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) awardees of the quarter as a Silverlight contributor. I was holding that title on Silverlight platform for last 3 consecutive years.

 

Like last three years, this time also I have been awarded for this prestigious title but… I am no longer a Silverlight MVP now. Microsoft awarded me as “Client Development MVP” this time.


Battery of Windows Phone device draining quickly?

These days almost everyone has a smartphone for Net surfing, Music, Games, Messengers, Official works and many more. If you use the device and subscribe to many services, it will consume more battery power and drain quickly than expected.

 

In this post we will discuss how to increase the battery power of Windows Phone series devices while in standby mode. If your device battery is draining quickly, check out the solution.


#VisualStudio 2013 Improvements - better commenting in XAML

Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 RC (Release Candidate) is already there and I hope, many of you already downloaded it and started exploring the new features and enhancements part of the release candidate. Visual Studio 2013 provides us a better way to handle XAML pages.

 

In this blog post, we will learn the new feature introduced to better commenting XAML codes inside Visual Studio 2013 IDE. You will definitely like it.


5th Anniversary of kunal-chowdhury.com - Huge Licenses to Giveaway

It’s a month to celebrate on various occasions and I want to celebrate them with all of you. This month was the special time when I saw the first sunlight, this month was the special month when my blog www.kunal-chowdhury.com was first launched. Not only those, we reached a special milestone of 2 million hits with 2,500+ Twitter followers and 3,500+ Facebook fans.

 

As we are approaching the 5th anniversary with a long journey all together since 2008, I want to celebrate it with lots of excitements and thus came up with a set of goodies/licenses especially for you. Let’s take part in this giveaway and win those goodies from us.



Solution to Visual Studio crash while working in XAML

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If you are working in Visual Studio to design XAML pages for your Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone or Windows 8 Store application, you might have noticed that, sometime the Visual Studio IDE freezes for a long time and sometime it crashes.

 

I faced this issue many time and later found some way to recover from that freeze to continue working. In this post, going to share you the trick. I hope this will help you.


How to calculate distance between two coordinates in WindowsPhone?

Sometime while working with map control in Windows Phone, we may need to calculate distance between two GeoCoordinates. The Windows Phone 8 SDK already provides you the required API for you to calculate the distance very easily.

 

If you are looking for a piece of code to do the same, here is the small post for you to understand the API and the way to use it in your app.


#VisualStudio 2013 RC now available for developers

In a blog post today, S. Somasegar announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate (RC) and .NET Framework 4.5.1 which is now available for download and has “Go Live” license. You can install Visual Studio 2013 RC on top of preview release or along with Visual Studio 2012.

 

This post will provide you details about Visual Studio 2013 RC and downloadable links. If you have MSDN/TechNet subscription, you can also find it in your subscription page.


Windows 8.1 RTM now available for MSDN/TechNet Subscribers

Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8.1 RTM version for the MSDN and TechNet subscribers today. That means, if you have any one of the MSDN or TechNet subscription, you will be able to download it from your subscription page.

 

General availability of Windows 8.1 will be on 18th October 2013. If you hold a Windows 8 installation, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Store after that.


#VisualStudio 2013 and Windows Phone app development

Visual Studio 2013 Preview is already here and many of you already downloaded it and started exploring the new features and enhancements introduced in this version. Few people asked me that, they are not able to build Windows Phone 7 applications in Visual Studio 2013 even after installing the WP7 SDK.

 

So, what is the issue? How can we build Windows Phone application that targets OS 7? This short post is for those developers who are seeking this information.



Product Review: Crypto Obfuscator for .Net

Everybody wants to protect their code from unauthorized reverse engineers. Isn’t it? For this, a company or a developer needs a Obfuscation tool to add huge noise bits in the generated executable and encrypt it to make sure the disassembler can not read it.

 

There are many tools in the market and I did some research with few of them. Among them, I liked the “Crypto Obfuscator” tool from LogicNP Software and thus thought to write a review of it here.


Few noticeable changes in Amber update for Nokia Lumia (WP8)

Everyone wants to update their phone’s operating system whenever a new update comes up with new features and applications etc., isn’t it? Recently Nokia started rolling out an Amber update with new features and applications to it’s entire set of Lumia series and will be available to all users by end of September.

 

Yesterday I received the update and at a first glance, it was just amazing. In this post, I will share you some noticeable changes in Amber update for Nokia Lumia.


Do you know that you can easily shift code lines in #VisualStudio 2013?

As a developer working inside Visual Studio IDE, there comes many scenarios when we need to position our code few lines above or below the other. Sometime such kind of refactoring of code is quite obvious to execute the code properly.

 

Considering this case, Microsoft came up with a new enhancement in Visual Studio 2013 where you will be able to position your code easily just using shortcuts. Let’s see what it can do.


Do you know about Peek Definition Window in #VisualStudio 2013?

Here I continue the series of “What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013?” and today I will be covering an ultimate tip that a developer working with Visual Studio must know. This will not only help you but will improve your productivity while coding.

 

In this post, we are going to talk about “Peek Definition Window” that comes with Visual Studio 2013. What does it do? Let’s check out it.


Do you know about Reference Counter in #VisualStudio 2013?

If you have already installed and used Visual Studio 2013, you might already noticed that every class and method has “x references” marked on top of it, where ‘x’ is a counter. These are called as “Reference Counter” and provides you information about the uses.

 

It’s a new feature in Microsoft Visual Studio and will definitely help the developers to find out the referenced count easily. In this blog post, we will discuss about this in detail. Keep reading.



“Tripura - State of India” - Download the app in your Windows Phone

Tripura is a small hilly state in Northeast India, occupying an area of approx. 4,051 sq. mi (10,490 sq. km). The state is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south and west border. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to its east. The state capital is Agartala.

 

Those who want to know about the state, it's districts, culture, tourist places and hotels can download this app which will provide you more details about the state. Get the free downloadable links in this post.


Guest post @Telerik.com - How to export RadRichTextBox content?

Recently I got a chance to write a guest blog post on Telerik’s official site and the topic was “How to Export content from RadRichTextBox to a variety of formats in WPF or Silverlight”. Thanks to the Telerik XAML Team who gave me this opportunity.

 

The article covers the simple steps to export the rich text content of the Telerik RadRichTextBox control. This could be an additional benefit to the end users who are using Silverlight or WPF app.


Do you know, #VisualStudio 2013 can sync all settings across Devices?

Visual Studio 2013 Preview is already available for download and probably the RTM version will come up soon later this year (no expected date yet). Microsoft came up with a set of new features in this release of Visual Studio IDE.

 

Among them, the first feature that you will notice in VS2013 is the synchronization of appearance, settings, keyboard shortcuts etc. across all devices that you use. Let’s have a first glance to it.


Recap of #CSCJBPChapter monthly meet (August 2013)

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We had a great event on 10th August on Windows Phone application development in our C# Corner Chapter meet. We had a no. of enthusiastic attendees this time in our event and everyone enjoyed the sessions a lot. Thanks to everyone who attended. Looking forward for your participation in the coming days.

 

In this post I am going to share the agenda, pictures and slides. Also, I am announcing the date of the next monthly meet. Don’t forget to register for the event and join us in September.


How to Start, Stop, Recycle IIS application pool programmatically?

IIS application pool defines a set of web applications and their corresponding worker processes to provide a convenient way to administer a set of web sites and applications. Sometime developers need to programmatically start, stop or recycle the IIS application pool.

 

In this post, we will learn how to programmatically call the directory service to invoke the start, stop and recycle operation on IIS server.



How to set focus to TextBox once Telerik RadBusyIndicator stops?

Most of you have already used BusyIndicator control in your Silverlight or WPF application while communicating with server or processing a huge data. Sometime developers want to focus to a particular control like TextBox once the busyIndicator stops.

 

I noticed in various forums that developers really suffer a lot focusing to a TextBox at the end of the processing and when the busy indication stops. Let’s read the trick to resolve this.


How to Build a RSS Feed Reader using Windows Phone App Studio?

Everyone wants to build their apps, whether you are a geek or not. And when you have a website or blog with RSS, it’s by nature to build a RSS phone of your blog. A developer who has knowledge of programming can easily start with that. But what about non-techie?

 

Microsoft has recently launched a tool called “App Studio” which will allow you to build a Windows Phone app without any programming skill. Today we will discuss how to use this tool.


Windows Phone App Studio - Build your WP app in 4 easy steps

It’s time for developers to easily build Windows Phone applications and host them in the Windows Phone Store (Marketplace). Microsoft came with a great online tool which will guide you to build WP apps in four easy steps. Though the app is currently in beta stage but you can create professional apps with it.

 

Not only that, Microsoft also came with some offers for the WPDevs which will encourage you to get started with building apps for Windows Phone community.


Bluetooth in rescue to your Windows 8.1 Surface RT battery level

It does not sound good but this is the real fact. If you have a Microsoft Surface RT device with Windows 8.1 Preview installed and facing issue with battery consumption while in standby mode, it’s time for you to turn ON the Bluetooth of your device.

 

Microsoft support team answered in a forum thread that it is a bug and the current solution to resolve the quick draining of battery is to turn on the Bluetooth.


How to create a modal InsertSymbolDialog for Telerik RadRichTextBox?

If you are a Silverlight application developer and working with Telerik’s RadRichTextBox control, you might have already used the InsertSymbolDialog that comes in-built with the control. This dialog provides you a direct API to insert symbols in your rich text box.

 

By default the said dialog opens in non-modal dialog and there are no easy way to make it modal. In this blog post, we will learn how to customize it to make a modal window for that.



Download WP SDK 8.0 Update for Windows Phone 8.0.10322

Microsoft released Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Update for Windows Phone 8.0.10322 with four new emulator images to an existing installation of WP SDK 8.0. The new SDK version no is: 8.0.10322. You must have an existing WP8 SDK installed before installing this latest bit.

 

If you are a WPDev, don’t forget to download the latest SDK to test your apps. Find herewith the link to download the WP 8.0.10322 SDK update.


Missing [RoundtripOriginal()] in RIA Service auto-generated code

Recently after upgrading to latest Telerik binaries in my Silverlight RIA Service application, I noticed a different behavior in the auto generated code. After searching a lot on the issue, came to know that the RoundtripOriginalAttribute was missing in the entity set.

 

As we can not add the attribute explicitly in a auto generated file, I had a tough time to find out the solution of this issue. Lately, got the solution which I am going to document it here for you.


Visual Studio Intellisense Stops Working. How to reactivate?

Sometime it happens with most of us when Visual Studio stops showing the intellisense menu. Most of the time it happens when the license of some Visual Studio plugin expires or when you uninstall any productivity plugins like ReSharper. It makes you annoyed to think what is the root cause here.

 

If you faced similar issue in your Visual Studio IDE and unable to bring back the beloved intellisense menu, here is the solution for you.


How to get the Geolocation in WP8?

If you are a WPDev and looking for a way to retrieve the Geo Location of the user and integrate that Geo Coordinates in your Windows Phone 8 application, this post will help you step-by-step to understand the API and the way to use it.

 

The Geolocator class provides us details about the user’s location. To use this class, you need to add proper capabilities to your application. Let’s start discussing on that.

 
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