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

What are the experimental Console features in #Windows 10?

Windows 10 – all you heard about it. Microsoft recently released a Technical Preview version of it to the Windows Insiders opted for it. In this release, there is an option to play with some new features coming into Console Window.

 

Today in this post, we will go thru them and understand what these options actually means. Continue reading and share your views about those cool new features.



How to bring back the Start screen in #Windows 10?

Those who have already installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview might noticed that the Start Screen is no more there by default. Rather, Microsoft placed the old Start menu with additional features like adding Live Tiles into it.

 

In this Tips & Tricks post about Windows 10, we will discuss how to switch between Start menu and Start screen. If you love the Windows 8 like Start screen, you will be able to bring it back.


Awarded as Microsoft MVP for the 5th time - [Windows Platform Dev]

Another October for me. The golden moment of my life when I first received the MVP award from Microsoft in the year 2010 and since then continuing it. It’s the 5th continuous year when I received the award from Microsoft for the contributions I have done for the developer community.

 

First three years I was Silverlight MVP, last year it changed to Client Development MVP and this year it changed to Windows Platform Development MVP.


Windows Phone 8.1 Email Compose - What’s changed for #WPDev?

Who don’t want to put a link in the apps/games to provide feedback directly to the developer via email? To do this in Windows Phone Silverlight applications was pretty easy. We just had to create the instance of the EmailComposeTask and call the Show() method.

 

But this has been changed a bit in Windows Phone 8.1 RT applications. In this post, we are going to discuss this along with comparison to what has been changed.


Dear #WinDev and #WPDev, DevCenter is now a life time Subscription

A big news just shared by Microsoft today for all the developers in Windows Platform. Yes, it’s for both Windows Phone and Windows developers. Dev Center account is now a life time membership and that means, you don’t have to renew your account every year.

 

If you are a dev, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to build for any or both the Windows platforms. Read to find out more on this topic.


Windows Phone 8.1 Phone Call - What’s changed for #WPDev?

You might already know that, Windows Phone 8.1 SDK came with few API changes targeting the Windows Runtime. If you are a developer and looking to launch the phone dialler from your app, this post will help you to know the changes.

 

In this post we are going to discuss “How to programmatically do a Phone Call in Windows Phone 8.1” with a comparison between the API changes.



Recap: Transforming Data Center Roadshow, Kolkata - 2014

It was the big day for the Kolkata developers and IT Pros, when we organized the first successful event in the city of Kolkata targeting the IT Pros as the audience. Thanks to these vast audience for attending the event and make it successful.

 

Today, I am going to share some snaps and little bit of recap of the event. It was our great pleasure to have Biplab Paul (Program Manager, South Asia MVP Community) among ourselves.


How to create your laptop a Wi-Fi Hotspot using Connectify?

If you don’t have any Wi-Fi router but still want to connect all your devices like laptops, tablets phones etc. to the internet, you can make your laptop a virtual Wi-Fi hotspot and connect all those devices via it. This way you can save your money purchasing a hardware device.

 

In this post, I am going to share a way to create a virtual Wi-Fi hotspot using Connectify. Though a paid version of this exists, but you can use the free version with limited functionalities.


Windows Phone 8.1 Screen Orientation - What’s changed for #WPDev?

Windows Phone 8.1 SDK came with slight changes in it’s API and among them, few changes I already blogged earlier with a comparison to the previous SDK version. If you are looking for Screen Orientation changes, this post will help you.

 

In this post we are going to discuss “How to set the Supported Orientation and Screen Orientation in Windows Phone 8.1” with a comparison between the API changes.


Community Day, Kolkata - August 2014

Kolkata Geeks proudly announces “Community Day, Kolkata – August 2014”. It’s an initiative taken by global MVP communities. Like other cities, we are also organizing the event in Kolkata, but In-Person. So, if you are in or near Kolkata, don’t forget to join us.

 

In this post, I am just sharing the agenda, venue and the event details. Join us on the event day to know more about Windows Phone app development.


StorageHelper - For Windows Phone + Silverlight app developers

Few months ago, I wrote a small helper class for all my Windows Phone Silverlight applications, which helped me a lot to store and retrieve data to and from IsolatedStorageSettings. Thus I thought to share the same with you, in case you find it useful.

 

Read more to  find out the code, which you can use freely. Here the only catch is: it works only with the Silverlight type applications.



First look to Apps Corner in Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1)

Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) is already there for Windows Phone developers as part of the “Preview for Developers” program. It brought some new features like Live Folders, Apps Corner, Multi-SMS selection and more to empower your daily needs.

 

In this post, sharing about “Apps Corner” in detail to give you a brief on what is coming up next in your Windows Phone 8.1 device, once Microsoft starts rolling out to consumers.


#WPDev: Download Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) SDK

Microsoft already started rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) this Monday to the Windows Phone Developers via a preview program called “Preview for Developers”. With this, they also released the new SDK for developers to try out the latest bits in their apps/games.

 

In this post, I am going to share the link to download the Windows Phone 8.1 Update (GDR 1) SDK and the new emulator images.


Microsoft started rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 for WPDev’s

Today Microsoft started rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (aka. GDR 1) only for the developers to try out the latest bits of the upcoming updates. Those who have the “Preview for Developers” bit installed, will only get this update.

 

Read further to know about the latest bits. If you didn’t yet register for this update, it will help you to setup the preview in your device.


How to create an Excel file using Silverlight and C#?

Sometime we need to export data as Excel report. This can be a plain Console application or a high end desktop and/or web application. You can of course do this using plugins/add-ons but what if you don’t have permission to use any 3rd party assemblies in your application?

 

Okay, in this post we are going to discuss this with help of a simple Silverlight & C# application but logic will be same in other platforms/technologies too. Keep reading.


Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 arriving next week to Preview users

Microsoft reveals the news… the first update is coming up for Windows Phone 8.1 preview users next week with new features along with Cortana in new markets. This update will be rolling out to users who activated the preview updates in their devices.

 

In this post, sharing some insights about the new features and new markets where Cortana will be available. Read out the post for more details.



How to schedule your Windows to hibernate?

It happens sometime when we want to schedule shutdown or hibernate our Windows OS after a specific time of interval. If you are an advanced user, you must be aware of schedule shutdown option from a command line.

 

But how to schedule hibernate? In this small tips & trick post, I am going to share you the way to do this from command prompt itself. Continue reading to know the trick.


Microsoft started rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 (build 12400) Preview

Microsoft started rolling out another update to their most awaited phone OS i.e. Windows Phone 8.1 having a build no. 12400 released as Developer Preview. If you did not receive the update notification yet, go to phone settings and force a phone update.

 

Start enjoying the major improvements and functionalities available in Windows Phone 8.1 OS, if you already have WP8 hardware device.


Windows Phone 8.1 Ratings & Review - What’s changed for #WPDev?

You might be already searching for it and landed to this post. If you started working on Windows Phone application/game development, you might want to add an option to rate your app/game in the store. The API has been changed a bit in WP8.1.

 

In this post we are going to discuss “How to launch the Rating & Review screen in Windows Phone 8.1” with a comparison between the API changes.


Windows Threshold - Microsoft should have done this before

This post is my personal view with reference to some rumors published in few websites regarding Windows v-Next code named as Windows Threshold (probably branded for consumers as Windows 9, can’t say until Microsoft officially announces it).

 

After reading few rumoured posts, I am expressing my views in this small blog post. Irrespective of that, I would be happy to hear your opinions too.


Windows Phone 8.1 TTS Voice API - What’s changed for #WPDev?

In the last post “Windows Phone 8.1 Text-To-Speech - What’s changed for #WPDev?”, we discussed about the Text-To-Speech API changes in Windows Phone 8.1 in comparison to Windows Phone 8.0 APIs. We also covered the capability changes in WP8.1.

 

Today in this blog post we will learn about the API changes to retrieve all voices installed in the device as well as the way to set a specific voice. Continue to read further.



Windows Phone 8.1 Text-To-Speech - What’s changed for #WPDev?

If you are a WPDev, you might want to integrate the Text-To-Speech engine of WP8.x SDK in your application/game. Though it is not a new feature, but the API has been changed in Windows Phone 8.1 SDK which you might want to know before integrating.

 

In this blog post, I am going to share the API changes in Windows Phone 8.1 and do the comparison with WP8.0 APIs. Continue reading to know more about this.


Another way to unlock AT&T Lumia device without inserting SIM?

Few days ago, I shared a blog post “How to unlock AT&T Lumia device without inserting SIM?” that talks about a way to unlock your Lumia handset of AT&T models without inserting SIM card. The steps are easy but a little bit tricky while pressing the star (*) button.

 

Today in this post, I am going to share you another simple, effective way to unlock the device without inserting any SIM cards into it.


Windows Phone 8.1 StatusBar - What’s changed for #WPDev?

If you have already started working on Windows Phone 8.1 app/game, you might have observed that, unlike to the older versions of Windows Phone, every XAML page starts with a Page tag instead of PhoneApplicationPage and thus, you are not able to show/hide the StatusBar control in that page.

 

So, what’s needs to be done in order to show or hide the Status Bar of Windows Phone 8.1 based on the requirement of your app? In this small post, we will discuss about it.


How to prevent deployment of WP8.x apps in SD Cards?

Sometime for some security reason, developer might want to restrict his/her Windows Phone application to be deployed in SD cards. There might be different reasons too. So, how can you prevent your user to deploy the app in the SD card of their device?

 

Let’s discuss the No-Code way to prevent this deployment. Remember that, it is only applicable for Windows Phone 8.0 or higher apps.


How to unlock AT&T Lumia device without inserting SIM?

This blog post is more of a bookmark for me. Also, this will help you to unlock your AT&T Lumia devices without inserting SIM. I am not sure about other AT&T handsets, but it works on Lumia devices smoothly without any issues.

 

It’s not as easy to get a micro SIM or a mini SIM in all over the world and thus unlocking a device is quite difficult. This small post will help you to unlock the device in case you don’t have the SIM.



#pubwin - Official Recap of //Publish/Kolkata/2014 event

For last couple of days, only one event was trending over the Microsoft developer community and that was global //Publish/Satellite event happening all over the world on the same day May 16th – May 17th, 2014. Like other cities in India, we also had the opportunity to organize this event in Kolkata.

 

Great community, great devs and great apps. Let’s have a small recap of the entire Kolkata event for those who missed to join us.


#TelerikTechEd: Claim your Free Telerik licenses (#WPDev, #WinDev)

Almost everyone uses 3rd party controls to reduce the burden building them from scratch and when it is Telerik control libraries, it’s pretty awesome! Telerik announces an offer to help the Microsoft developer community to use their product for Free.

 

It’s a very limited time offer. So, don’t be fool. Claim your free license of Windows Phone, Windows Store control libraries and save some money to use in other good things.


Download #VisualStudio 2013 Update 2 RTM - Web, Offline Installer

Microsoft released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM, which will now allow you to develop applications for Windows Phone 8.1 and Universal Windows platforms. Using Universal Windows Apps templates, you will be able to build apps that targets both the platform from a single solution.

 

In this blog post, I am going to share you the links to download Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. This includes both the web installer and the offline/standalone installer (ISO image).


What’s new in #WindowsPhone 8.1 - First look to InPrivate browsing

After the last post on “What’s new in Windows Phone 8.1 - First look to Start Screen, Theme”, I wanted to share another new feature that’s coming as part of Windows Phone 8.1 within few days. If you are a developer, you might have already experiences the new phone OS.

 

Okay, let’s come to the point. This time I will be talking about Internet Explorer In-Private browsing, part of IE11 in Windows Phone, which will help you to securely browse internet.


Download .NET Framework 4.5.2

Microsoft released .NET Framework version 4.5.2 as redistributable package. It is a compatible, in-place update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4, .NET Framework 4.5 and .NET Framework 4.5.1. This version of the .NET Framework runs side-by-side with the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and earlier versions.

 

Want to download Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2? Here you can find both the web installer and offline installer of it.



Windows Phone 8.1 TextBox Control - What’s new for #WPDev?

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Windows Phone 8.1 is already there for developers and developers already started building and/or upgrading their apps to support the new changes in Windows Phone 8.1. The RC version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 is already there with WP8.1 SDK preloaded.

 

In this post, we are going to discuss the enhanced TextBox control which came with additional features like place holder text, header content etc.


What’s new in #WindowsPhone 8.1 - First look to Start Screen, Theme

Microsoft already released Windows Phone 8.1 as part of Developer Preview programme, that means, developers having Windows Phone store account and/or App Studio account can try this before it comes out for general public to experience.

 

Windows Phone 8.1 has some cool new and enhanced features set and among them Start Screen and Themes are there. In this post, we are going to discuss on this today.


What’s new coming up with #WindowsPhone 8.1?

Today, 2nd April 2014, during the //BUILD conference Microsoft officially showcased the new features set which are coming as part of Windows Phone 8.1. Also during the event, they showcased the features and improvements coming as part of Windows 8.1 Update 1.

 

In this blog post, I am just noting down those exciting new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1. Just go thru them and let me know which one will be the exciting one for you.


How to force a WindowsPhone app to use a specific Theme?

It happens sometime that a specific theme like Light or Dark looks good in some application. In such case, you have to specify all the colours manually to background foreground etc. This is very hectic job. Is there any easy way doing this?

 

Yes, we have. Jeff Wilcox simplified this process by releasing a ThemeManager library (open source) for you which you can use in your app and force a specific theme for your Windows Phone application.


How to open command window in the same folder location?

While working with some folder specific operations and console window, I learnt a new thing (I would rather say it as trick) today i.e. how to open console window in that specific folder path without using any special tricks in Windows Registry or typing the full path in console.

 

Today in this blog post, I am going to share the same trick with you. In case you find it useful, drop a line below.



Windows Phone Emulator - Shortcut Keys

When working a lot on Windows Phone Emulator, it is sometime easy to use the  computer keyboard to perform some specific tasks instead of tapping onscreen display on the Emulator. Sometime, it is also require to know the keys when you don’t have the hardware buttons in emulator.

 

Here I am sharing all the keyboard shortcuts which the Windows Phone Emulator supports. I am sure, this will be handy to have while developing apps.


How to change #WindowsPhone 8 Lock Screen background?

As a WPDev, you might want to provide your users an option to change the Lock Screen of their Windows Phone 8 device. It can be from a locally stored images within the app XAP, a RSS feed, Camera Roll and/or periodically from a push notification.

 

In this blog post, we will learn how to integrate the functionality in your app to simply load and set the lock screen background from a set of images available within the app xap.


Inheritance in XAML Styles

Style inheritance in XAML? Sounds funny? No. If we have inheritance in classes, CSS styles; then why not in XAML styles? There are many such occasions when we need to copy the same style in multiple templates/styles of a control.

 

In this post, we will learn how to use a single piece of style and use it in other place to inherit the common styling. If you are using XAMLs excessively, this might be a very good topic for you.


“Auto History” Extension - Keep track of your code changes in VisualStudio 2013

Have you ever lost in your way while coding in multiple files inside Visual Studio and want to recover some piece of code that you changed but not yet pushed to your TFS code repository? Have you ever wonder if there was a mechanism by which you can actually track the changes in your code file?

 

Then here is the solution for you. There is a nice VSIX extension named “Auto History” that could help you in this case. Let’s discuss more about this.


How a #WPDev can identify whether shutter was pressed Half or Full?

If you are a Windows Phone app developer and building a Camera application, you might want to know whether the user pressed the shutter key half or full. In general pressing the shutter key half sets the focus to an object and pressing it completely captures the view.

 

In this short blog post, we will learn how to subscribe for the shutter key press events and identify whether the user pressed it half or full.



Microsoft soon to rename SkyDrive to OneDrive

You might have already known that, the UK firm named BSkyB raised a complaint against Microsoft infringing the name of their online cloud storage service “SkyDrive” and then a settlement was made providing Microsoft a time to change the brand of their service.

 

Today, General Manager of Microsoft consumer apps & services Ryan Gavin announced that, they are soon going to rename their popular cloud storage service “SkyDrive” to “OneDrive”.


How to check the supported Camera Type in Windows Phone?

If you are a WPDev and building Windows Phone app and/or game that uses primary or secondary (front facing camera), you might need to check whether the device supports either or both of them. Windows Phone SDK provides APIs to check for supported camera type.

 

In this blog post, we will discuss about this API and learn how to know whether the phone supports either or both of those camera types.


Download Visual Studio 2013 Update 1

Microsoft released the RTM version of Visual Studio 2013 in October 2013 and after that, this is the first release of an update for it named “Visual Studio 2013 Update 1”. This version includes a set of fixes for the issues and improvements requested by the users.

 

Here I am sharing the download links for you to download and install the update before it pops up in the Visual Studio update notification area.


How to retrieve Free Space details in WP programmatically?

How many of you want to check the available free space in your Windows Phone device? It is very simple to get the details from the settings page. But think about a case where you want to check the free space from your app and want to chose some logic to notify the user.

 

In this small but useful post, we will discuss about the API and will share a small piece of code, which will allow you to know the available free space in user’s phone device.


Nokia started rolling out Lumia Black for WP8

Another good news for the Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone 8) users. From today, Nokia started rolling out Lumia Black update to it’s entire set of Windows Phone 8 devices, a big update after Amber. This update consists of new features and apps for you.

 

You will get this update notification within a few days, based on your residing country, carrier and device. To know more about this update, continue reading.



Microsoft: #WP8 users can upgrade to #WindowsPhone 8.1

Good news to all Windows Phone 8 users. Greg Sullivan, the director of Windows Phone public relation, confirmed in an interview that all Windows Phone 8 users can upgrade their device OS to Windows Phone 8.1 (which is most likely going to release this spring, as per different source).

 

It’s not yet confirmed what are the new things coming with WP8.1, but  surely there will be something new for the consumers.


Clipboard API in Windows Phone

Windows Phone by default provides the inbuilt mechanism to support Clipboard Copy, Paste functionalities and shows the proper icon in any TextBox control. But in some case, you may need to handle the copy experience explicitly.

 

This small post will discuss about the API and the code that you can use in your Windows Phone application. Continue reading.


Simplest way to Encrypt and Decrypt of data in Windows Phone apps

Sometime we need to provide an encryption mechanism to protect user data in phone and/or sharing the data over internet to a database. Data security should be always maintain by a developer to protect the content of the application that the user enters.

 

If you are building an app and looking for some way to implement the mechanism, here is a wrapper class for you to do encryption and decryption of a string literal easily.


For #WPDev, a new set of WP8 Emulators are now available

Microsoft released a new set of Windows Phone 8 emulators for the Windows Phone developers to support development environments for both WP8 Update 2 and Update 3 release. If you are targeting your apps  for a large screen display, must try out them in the new emulator before submitting for certification.

 

Let’s discuss little on the new set of emulators in this post. You will also find the appropriate links towards the Microsoft Download Centre to install them in your development environment.

 
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