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101 Windows Phone 7 Apps, Volume I: Developing Apps 1-50 Paperback – Apr 8 2011


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About the Author

Adam Nathan is a principal software development engineer for Microsoft, a best-selling technical author, and arguably the most prolific developer for Windows Phone. Adam previously cofounded Popfly, Microsoft’s first product built on Silverlight, named one of the 25 most innovative products of 2007 by PCWorld magazine. He is also the founder of PINVOKE.NET, the online resource for .NET developers who need to access Win32.

 

Adam has created several top apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace that have been featured on Lifehacker, Gizmodo, ZDNet, ParentMap, and various Windows Phone enthusiast sites. Many of them are identical to or based on apps in this book. Chapter 36’s Sound Recorder app was featured on MSDN’s first Channel 9 “Hot Apps” show. With the purchase of this book, the same app is now yours to tweak and sell!

 

Adam’s books have been considered required reading by many inside Microsoft and throughout the industry. Adam is the author of Silverlight 1.0 Unleashed (Sams, 2008), WPF Unleashed (Sams, 2006), WPF 4 Unleashed (Sams, 2010), and .NET and COM: The Complete Interoperability Guide (Sams, 2002); a coauthor of ASP.NET: Tips, Tutorials, and Code (Sams, 2001); and a contributor to books including .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 2 (Addison-Wesley, 2005), and Windows Developer Power Tools (O’Reilly, 2006). You can find Adam online at www.adamnathan.net or @adamnathan on Twitter.

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Amazon.com: 36 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
It will definitely become a classic April 19 2011
By T. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was planning on waiting until Mango was released before I downloaded the Microsoft phone tools. Two things changed my mind, Mix 2011 and this book. When I saw this book coming out I pre-ordered it immediately.

The author calls his book "unconventional". The question I had was will this be unconventional in a good way, or a bad way. I am happy to report the book is unconventionally awesome!!!!

The book is broken down into 8 parts. 1- Getting Started, 2- Transforms & Animations, 3- Storing & Retrieving Local Data, 4- Pivot, Panorama, Charts, & Graphs, 5- Audio & Video, 6- Microphone, 7- Touch & Multi-Touch, 8- Accelerometer Tricks, and then 5 handy appendices that include a XAML Reference, Theme Resources Reference, Animation Easing Reference, and a Geometry Reference.

The book is designed to be read from front to back. The author builds on topics as he goes, but it also makes a great reference.

Each chapter is an application that teaches a topic. For example Chapter 1: Tally covers Application basics, Chapter 2: Flashlight covers Application Bar, Timers, Brushes, and Message Box, Chapter 3: In Case of Emergency covers Orientation, Keyboard, and Emulator-Specific Code, and Chapter 4: Stopwatch covers the Grid, StackPanel, User Controls, Alignment, and Progress Bar.

Appendix A, the Lessons index is arranged by topic and points to the chapters that cover it. For example Background Worker is listed as being covered in chapters 11, 24, and 25. Throughout the book there are also sidebars that answer FAQs, dig deeper, offer tips, and give warnings. There is no filler/fluff in this book which is not true of many books these days, especially 1130 page books!!!

Each chapter cover and lists the XAML and the code behind. That makes it possible to read the book without having to have a computer with the code nearby.

I still don't have a windows phone (I am typing this review in OneNote for the iPhone). The author points out the trouble this may cause when developing. Not being able to test on a real phone could really come back to bit you if you deployed to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Although he points out where to get one for development purposes (without a voice or data plan) they are $500.00. That is not going to fly. The same phones are $0.01 with a voice and data plan. I wish Microsoft would buy up a bunch of refurbished ones and resell them at a reasonable price.

I will be buying a Microsoft Touch Mouse as soon as they become available to help with programming for gestures.

The downloadable code is sweet. It contains some copies of applications the author has published to Windows Phone Marketplace. There is a fully functioning application for each chapter.

The book is in full color so it is a pleasure to read. The author has a great writing style. I haven't put the book down since it arrived. The one problem you will have is that a lot of the applications are simply fun to play, so you may find yourself getting side tracked. I have been bugging my dog with the talking parrot sounds and been playing darts a lot. This is by far the most fun I have had reading a book in a long time!!!!

With Mango just around the corner, now is the time to get up to speed on Windows Phone. This book makes it a pleasure to learn the platform.

All in all, if you are interested in Windows Phone development at all, this book is a must have!!!! It will definitely become a classic. This is one of the best programming books I own, and I own a lot of them.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
That's what we need to learn April 15 2011
By Jesus Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A book that teaches you how to learn a language/platform/whatever is always a good book, but a book that teaches you how to learn those things with examples is a really good book.

The best way to learn is with examples, with practice. You can read a bunch of paragraphs on how to use something but you will forget what you've read if you don't put it into practice in that moment.
Adam knows that and he made a book where EVERYTHING is practice and you're learning as much as anybody else.

There is not much to say, you have to get this book, open it and enjoy. My aim was to start seriously with WP7 dev in the summer but... I bought the book and yay, I can't stop reading it.

So, if you want to learn WP7 development, THIS is the book, so go and buy it and wait for the next volume that will be awesome too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Adam Nathan figured it all out so I don't have to May 12 2011
By Maria B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a masterpiece. It teaches by example; it is much better than the usual cookbook-style technical reference, because it contains real-world, fully functional apps rather than just code snippets. The variety of the apps is impressive. And according to the book and the comments in the code, which you can download, you are licensed to use the code in your own apps if you buy the book. Totally worth it--the author has figured everything out so you don't have to. It's amazing how many times I would look at some of the sample code and think "Now why did he do it like that?" and then immediately afterward I would see an explanation of the very thing I was wondering about (it's a workaround, something non-intuitive, something I hadn't thought of to improve the user experience, or just a concept I wasn't familiar with). I cannot imagine how long it must have taken to write this book, because I get the feeling the author experimented with every possible detail and idiosyncrasy of WP7 any reader may be curious about, saving us a lot of time.

The book covers a huge amount of ground (and it is about two inches thick), including the basics of packaging an app and using Silverlight for Windows Phone, vector graphics, animations, storing and retrieving data on the phone (including some helper classes and an example of a 3rd party database library), pivot and panorama, charts and graphs, audio/video/microphone, touch/multitouch, accelerometer, and many others. There is an appendix listing topics of interest in alphabetical order with the corresponding apps/chapters that cover them. It does not cover synchronization with desktop or web, which I'm hoping will be in Volume 2--but the subjects that are covered are done so very comprehensively.

I am a professional programmer (my work is not related to WP7) and I'm somewhat familiar with WPF from this author's other books. However, I found the book to be pretty self-contained (there's even a XAML reference), and while familiarity with C# is expected, I don't believe you need any background in Silverlight or WPF to be able to make great use of it. The author made a comment on his blog that the plethora of complete apps you can tweak makes the book accessible to people with little programming experience, which I can believe. I see no reason to own any other WP7 book at this point (except Volume 2 when it comes out).

I recommend getting the paperback book rather than an electronic version. I had access to the book in electronic form through an employer-sponsored subscription (Safari), but I elected to purchase the paperback, and I like it a lot more. I have not seen the Kindle version, but based on my Kindle experience with other books I would definitely suggest getting this one in paperback. It is quite visually appealing, and you'll want to flip through it a lot.

I've liked Adam Nathan since .NET and COM: The Complete Interoperability Guide (2 Volume set), and I think he may be my new favorite technical author. I feel like I want to get this book for all my friends!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Best book to learn Windows Phone 7 development for beginners and advanced developers May 12 2011
By Sam Jarawan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been developing Windows Phone 7 apps for about a year now and was amazed at all the little tidbits the book gave me that I didn't know about. It's extremely thorough and methological as it slowly gives more and more info in each chapter. I'm not even finished it, but want to read each chapter and ensure I catch everything as I go.

I highly recommend this book to beginners and more advanced developers as well and don't skip the apps you don't care for, because each chapter gives more info the in and outs of Windows Phone development.

I wish I had this book a year ago. I've also never reviewed a book before but felt this book was really worth it.
Nice job Adam Nathan and anyone else involved!

thanks!
Sam
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The amount of information in this book is amazing May 9 2011
By Bill L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been a software developer professionally for 15 plus years. My mobile device background is in Windows Mobile 6.5 and earlier in C# and the .NET Compact Framework. I also have experience in XNA programming in C# on the Windows Phone 7. This book was my first exposure to Silverlight development on Windows Phone 7.

This 1130 page tome was written by Microsoft developer Adam Nathan, a prolific developer for Windows Phone 7. There is a tremendous amount of code in the fifty examples applications in this book as each chapter implements additional features. The book does not come with a CD/DVD, so you will either need to type the code in by hand or download the source from the books website after registering. I actually keyed in many of the examples, only using the source zip for images.

This book is written to be used by all skill levels, but it doesn't attempt to teach basic programming concepts in general or C# programming in particular. It moves into some more advanced topics quickly, such as Reflection, without much explanation. Some other advanced topics are explained in great detail.

The book contains 50 chapters broken up into 8 parts.

Part I - Getting Started
Part II - Transforms & Animations
Part III - Storing & Retrieving Local Data
Part IV - Pivot, Panorama, Charts & Graphics
Part V - Audio & Video
Part VI - Microphone
Part VII - Touch & Multi-touch
Part VIII - Accelerometer Tricks

The amount of information in this book is amazing. Not only does the author coach you through Windows Phone design guidelines and best practices, he provides other tidbits of information that I had not read prior, such as the existence of a Visual Studio extension for allowing Visual Basic development on WP7 if that is your language of choice.

The author's experience shines through as he points out may gotchas such as functionality you cannot test on a WP7 emulator versus running on a physical device.

There are a few minor typos common in a first edition book. My only real grip is that classes used in earlier chapter are not implemented until later examples, for example the "Setting" class in the Chapter 1 Tally application. I would prefer to have the classes implemented the first time they are called and then refer back to them in later examples. This is only an issue if you type in the examples rather than just load the example solution from the available source.

I would also have liked to see some examples of localization (not through all examples yet, so this may be a non issue).

I highly recommend this book.


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