Thursday, April 30, 2015

Building for Windows 10 with Objective-C and Java IS AWESOME!

Hopefully I'll find time to write up my thoughts about all that's being announced at //build/ sometime soon but my initial reaction to the headline news that it will be possible to take existing Android code written in Java or iOS code written in Objective-C and use that to compile an app for Windows 10 is a great thing. (I believe the phrase I used ws "F*ck Yeah!")

I know that some people have big reservations or concerns about this and there are some people who expect to lose work or even their jobs as a result of this. People losing their jobs is unfortunate and rarely a good thing but I'm sure they're smart people who will find new work quickly.
Overall I am incredibly positive about this announcement.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How do you think about free?

If it's about paying with money, then there's no such thing as free. There's only "somebody else pays".

If not paying with money there are still other prices to pay.
Change, even if it's just the change to add, use or own something new, can have a physical, emotional or mental cost.

An app can be free, but it takes time to install plus mental effort to understand and use.

An update can be free, but if it takes time to install that's a cost. If I need help to learn the changes that's a cost. If I need someone to help me with a problem, either during or after the update then that has a cost. If there's concern about what might be different after an update is installed then there's a mental cost in the uncertainty (fear).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Windows Phone OS version market share changes since January 2014

I've been looking back over the AdDuplex monthly reports (the latest is here) and wanted to have a way of seeing how the OS version usage has changed over time.
I came up with this:

All figures are from the reports posted on

It looks like some of those WP7 devices were really built to last.

Monday, April 20, 2015

So why not just kill Windows Phone?

So why not just kill Windows Phone? “Windows Phone is small, relatively speaking. But absolutely speaking it still sells a lot of units. And they can’t not have an OS. So it’d be nice if they had more market on mobile, but having zero just topples the whole strategy.”

Now, where have I heard that before? - Oh yeah, I've been saying the same thing for years.
Microsoft can't not have a mobile/phone OS. I have to remind "mobile industry experts" when they say Microsoft should just scrap Windows Phone.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Game rating certificates for Windows Apps games

Today, helping someone submit their first Windows Phone game to the store the issue of gaming rating certification came up. Particularly about knowing which countries/markets required certification and how to get those certifications.

Fortunately there's a good blog post that summarises this and includes links to help you get the certificates you need:

Posted here for my reference as much as yours :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

My first 24 hours with a Microsoft band

If you're in the USA then you've been able to get one for months but they only became available in the UK yesterday.

Here are my notes, thoughts and observations on my first 24 hours with one.

  • According to the sizing strip my wrist was to big for one but I got the largest and it does fit. Which was a good start.
  • It came with the battery 80% charged which was good.
  • The getting started guide was good enough. I managed to customize the band how I think I want it in terms of theme and tiles.
  • I didn't wear it overnight. I wasn't sure I'd find it comfortable. Maybe I'll try that another day.
  • When I put it on in the morning it said I'd already burnt 800 calories. Hmmm. I'm not sure how confident I am in believing that though. Or maybe I do burn about 100 hours an hour lying down.
  • Scanning the barcode in the Starbucks app when buying my morning coffee on the way to work was possible, eventually. More on this in another post. But, at least it was an interesting talking point with the barista who hadn't seen one before.
  • I wear a watch on my left wrist and didn't want to stop, so wore the band on my right wrist. I had the display on the inside of my wrist so I could more easily interact with it. Being right handed I didn't expect to be able to type on it and with very large hands this makes typing on it harder. I'm sure I could learn how to type on it if I felt inclined to try. Maybe one day.
  • Working at a desk all day I normally take my watch off so the strap doesn't bang on the desk. I took my watch off but kept the band on to get more experience with using it. I found I was holding my arm higher than normal though.
  • At lunchtime I played football for 45 minutes. It was just a casual 7 aside on the field by the river. I played in goal and kept the band on. I only did this as I could fit it under my glove. I wanted to keep it on to get the full biometric data. The band survived fine but I don't think I'll do that again. I was aware of it on my wrist during the time and if I was playing a more competitive match where I'd throw myself about even more then I'd be less confident in its survival and definitely wouldn't want the distraction of being aware of it.
  • I know of several fitbits that have been lost by people running around on a football pitch. I'm not sure I'd wear the band while playing sport. I would wear it when going for a run though.
  • In the afternoon I became more aware of how tight the band was and quite how I was wearing it on my wrist. I found I adjusted it regularly without finding a position that stayed comfortable.
  • Because I have tiles for SMS, email and general notifications on the band I found I was getting more notifications than was useful. In response to this I actually added some extra rules to my inbox to lower the number of notifications I get.
  • One other downside of the way the notifications work on the band is that if my wrist vibrates I look at it but then have to scroll though the tiles to look for the new notification. Ideally I want a quick, easy way to see the latest notification(s) regardless of app.
  • Also, the notifications in the notification center on my phone aren't kept in sync with the band. If I have no notifications on the phone and I get a new notification which I view on the band, the band may also show older notifications which have since been cleared from the phone.
  • At the end of a days use the battery was down to 50%. That bodes well for not having to charge it every day.
  • Even with the battery seemingly lasting several days, because it uses a custom charger I'm thinking I'd like another one so I can treat it like my other chargers where I have at least one of each type in at home and one of each in my bag.

Do you have a Microsoft band or thinking about getting one?
What are your thoughts and experiences?
Got any suggestions on getting the most from it?