Wall Of Silver joined the TweetBeam Twitter wall family

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As you may already know, I like to turn little ideas into small side projects. One of that project was Wall Of Silver – a simple Twitter wall solution written in Silverlight. It started as an entry in a contest that was part of MIX conference in Las Vegas back in 2010. (For more info, check out my old blog post.)

Today, more than four years later, Wall Of Silver is no longer mine. It has joined the TweetBeam Twitter Wall Family and it’s completely rewritten in HTML5. I haven’t worked on my Wall for years, and Yousef from TweetBeam made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Interestingly, Yousef had participated in the same Mix10k contest with almost the same idea. His TweetArt (don’t click, doesn’t work any more) has grown into TweetBeam (working with many events world-wide), my Wall Of Silver entry (again, don’t click) got his own domain, and now, four years later – they’re together, ready to conquer the world of Twitter walls!

I’m glad that Wall Of Silver is reborn and that TweetBeam is taking good care of it! Good luck to you both!

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Giveaway: Dear, @dvlup, please #expandDvlup to more countries!

DVLUP, a great Microsoft/Nokia’s awards program for Windows Phone developers, is available in 55 countries, but not all around the world. One of them is Croatia, where I’m from. I would like this to change, not only for Croatia, but for other countries as well (Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia… just to name a few in my neighborhood). Developers in all those unsupported countries would really appreciate this!

Will you help us?

I happen to have three (3) eighteen (18)* codes for 100 XP (DVLUP points) and I’ll randomly give them away to three lucky people that tweet anything that contains hashtag #expandDvlup and mentions official @dvlup Twitter account. You can tweet as much you like, or just retweet the existing tweets to enter. 100 XP are waiting for you. Tweet, share, help!

Do it now – the codes are expiring in a few days, so this giveaway is open for 48 hours only – until midnight (GMT), June 14th 2014.

Winners will be listed on June 15th here on the blog, as well on my Twitter account.

(Unfortunately, only people from DVLUP supported countries can redeem codes – that’s what this is all about. We want to collect points, too!)

Thanks!

Update: my friends Igor, Toni and Filip offered their codes as well, so we have 18 x 100 XP to give away! Yay!

Update 2: First of all, thank you all for supporting this small initiative. We had a bunch of retweets and tweets, but mostly from the countries that do not have DVLUP available (yet! :-)). So, we ended up with more prizes than eligible winners, so some of them got two codes and 200 XP in total. Some of them got “only” 100 XP (blame Excel’s RANDOM() function). The winners are: @skendrot, @chief7, @guy_tarded, @bbakermai, @MoaskeFoto, @giacomocusi , @Utebolatas, @rgunawans, @tomverhoeff , @kunal2383 , @JosueYeray

Update 3 (July 2nd): DVLUP is available in 192 countries worldwide, including mine and neighbouring. Woohoo!  Furthermore, according to a DVLUP blog post, “the most new people have come to us from the wider Balkans area, which we think is pretty cool.”. I don’t think that my little “action” caused this, but it proves that countries in my area have really missed DVLUP. Achievement unlocked! :-)

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Windows Phone app update error c101a006

wp_ss_20140513_0001My Analog Clock Tile app is doing great, thanks for downloading it so much. I was pushing updates like crazy last few weeks, and I just may have overdone it.

Windows Phone certification is extremely fast these days, it usually takes less than a couple of hours for the app to be certified. Then you have to wait two hours more for the app to be downloadable from the Store and available to your users.

One day, I’ve pushed two updates in a row. The second one was submitted just after the first one had passed certification, so I haven’t waited two hours for the app to propagate through Store servers – I’ve pushed another update right away.

That was a mistake.

Next few days nobody could install the update of the app or even do a reinstall – error c101a006 was popping up all the time.

The solution is simple – wait a couple of hours and push another update.

So, from now on, I’ll do one update per day. Not only you don’t get the inquiring error, you get more sleep!

This happens with beta submissions as well. I’ve learned that, the hard way, as well.

I hope this will help somebody, although this is not the only cause of this beautifully-named easy-to-google error.

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Analog Clock on a Live Tile – my new Windows Phone app

simulationI’ve been busy with a large project last few months, but now that’s over, I’ve switched to some fun stuff. First on the list – a simple little app that shows analog clock on a live tile. That sounds like a trivial task, but actually it is not. Windows Phone 8.0 restrictions says that you can update a tile once every 30 minutes, and that’s obviously not enough for updating a clock that needs to change every minute. Windows Phone 8.1 introduced a way to update a tile more often, but the things you can to there is quite limiting.

[Theoretically, you can use push notification to do whatever you like with a tile, as often as you want, but that will do awful things to phone battery and data plan, and it is not that reliable – what if a user has no Internet connectivity, or there is a battery save mode active?]

There are quite a few clocks with digital clock (e.g. showing the numbers on a tile). It’s quite easy to do that – take a look at the complete example here. This originally is a Windows 8 project, but since Windows Phone 8.1, the (almost) same technology can be used for developing Phone apps as well. Furthermore, this app is made as Universal App (my first published), so expect Windows 8 version as well.

I wanted to do an analog clock – it looks much better on a tile, and there actually is a digital clock at the top of your screen (almost) all the time, and you have one on your lock screen as well. (So, basically, this app is useless, but it looks nice on your start screen.)

The app has a transparent, Cortana-like tile, so it works perfectly with custom backgrounds you may use in Windows Phone 8.1. There is a support for small and standard tiles, as well as a wide – but that last one is a joke.

By default, the clock will not work if you have battery saver mode active. But that can be changed as well – go to Battery Saver app, find this app, and check “Allow this app to run in the background even when Battery Saver is on”. That will do the trick.

This app is very gentle to your battery. This is not something I did, that’s just the way this API is done, so all kudos go to the Windows Phone OS.

To cut the story short – click here, install the app and let me know what you think. I hope you’ll like it.

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Publish your Windows Phone app for free promotion – retrospective

One thing I did definitely wrong was not giving a name to this promotion. Referencing it as “promotion for European devs” or “publish your WP apps for free” was quite difficult and not catchy at all. I’m noting this for the future.

imageFrom your side, everything was perfect! I got a big number of shares, many retweets on Twitter (including some very popular profiles like @nokiadeveloper and @ch9), the story featured on WPcentral.com (wow, thanks!), the initiative got support from Lance McCarthy (who did this in the first place for the US market) and – the most important – prototypes you have sent were great! Ok, there were few I’ll-make-this-in-an-hour-to-get-the-token apps, but most of them were pretty good and I’m very happy that all those enthusiastic developers got a small token of appreciation through this initiative.

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The offer was valid for European countries only, and the tokens went to: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and UK. There were multiple participants from each country, of course. The initial number of tokens was not enough, so I got another batch from Nokia during the last week – that lasted almost to the end (I was one day short).

I asked each developer to send me a link to his/her app when published in the Store. I got quite a few links already, and the apps look great, so I’ll probably do a blog post with the top 10 apps from this initiative.

Once again, thanks to the Nokia Developer Champions program for making this possible!

(By the way, if you live in South Africa, hurry up – there is a similar initiative active for just a few days.)

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I’m a Nokia Developer Champion of a month

This post will be very short, but I just have to write a sentence or two about it.

I am part of Nokia Developer Champions program since mid 2012. and I have always been very proud of this– not only because of the Windows Phone platform I love so much, but because of Nokia as well. I don’t have the exact statistics, but I would say that 70-80% of all mobile phones I have ever had were Nokias, including my first and last one.

But, things can always be better! On October 15th, I was selected to be Nokia Developer Champion of a month! I think this is huge – being selected among all those hard-working Champions around the world is a real honor and I just want to say thanks – thanks for selecting me and thanks for your ongoing support for all my community activities!

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Windows Phone Week was in Zagreb, and it was great!

First things first – if you don’t know that Windows Phone Week is, you should read this article first. Long story short – Matteo Pagani, Joost van Schaik and Rodolpho Marques Do Carmo, three Windows Phone MVPs, planned to host Windows Phone events in their respective countries (Italy, Netherlands and Brazil) in the same week. Other Windows Phone MVPs joined, and there was 13 locations around the globe in no time! (And that was not the final number!)

Around that time, Matteo shared the news in Nokia Developer Champion group on Facebook, and I liked the idea so much that I wanted to bring the event to Zagreb (Croatia). It seemed to me like a long shot, but I got a green light from Matteo and Microsoft in just a few hours! I checked with local DPE team when a conference room was available and we had a date – October 4th. I was quite worried at the time, since that was Friday before a long weekend in Croatia, and a working day. And there was only 16 days left to organize the whole thing.

Thanks to a great people around me and support from Milan, Redmond and San Francisco, it was much easier than expected. In just a day I had a venue, registration site, catering and five excited speakers, eager to participate. As a cherry on the top, Andrej Radinger, our local Windows Phone MVP, joined and helped me with the next steps.

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The program officially started at noon with a few words from organizers and some housekeeping notes. Andrej Radinger was the first in line – he had a talk on Windows Phone App Studio, great web-based tool for making Windows Phone apps without coding.

Andrej

After that, we had a session on designing Windows Phone applications by Matej Huljev, a professional designer who is quite experienced and good in Microsoft design language (previously known as “metro”). Developers often have problems with the design part of app development, so he shared some very usable tips & tricks about grids, typography and whitespace.

Matej

After the lunch, Toni Petrina (C# MVP) talked about game development for Windows Phone, going through many technologies and tools available for the platform. As you may know, games are statistically the most popular apps on any platform, so it was interesting to see how we can make our own game for Windows Phone.

Toni

There was also a tips&tricks session by my colleague Igor Ralić and me. We’ve shared ideas and howtos about icons, in-app purchases, Windows Phone Power Tools, advertising, file & protocol associations and open source libraries for Windows Phone.

At the end, we had a guest from Hungary. András Velvárt (Kinect MVP & NDC) talked about his new SongArc app and shared his experience with AppCampus funding, app promotion and beta testing. (BTW, AppCampus is an excellent award program for innovative Windows Phone apps, powered by Nokia and Microsoft, make sure you check it out.)

We planned to be done by 5pm, but we have stayed a bit longer, and afterwards all the speakers went for a dinner. (I’ll skip the awesome food photos here for your own sake.)

sold out in a day

Prizes are a nice way to motivate people to come to the events and to stay until the end. But, this time, all the seats were “sold” out before we announced what kind of prizes we have! Actually, we had the event sold out before all community members in Croatia (around 2,500 people!) got the invitation in their inboxes. We have opened the registration for 100 people, and all seats were taken in 48 hours. (Actually, we didn’t have that many seats in the room, we have overbooked a bit.) At the end, more than 80 people showed up, that’s more than average for a free event (the average is 66% percent).

We had a good coverage in local media (all in Croatian): Bug, Gadgeterija and Netokracija (in alphabetical order). Thank you, guys, for your support!

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The prizes were awesome. Lucky participants took home one Nokia Lumia 920 (sponsored by Microsoft Redmond), one Nokia Lumia 820, three portable USB chargers, one wireless charger (all sponsored by Nokia Developer Champion program); a Microsoft mouse and a headset (sponsored by Microsoft Croatia). But that’s not all – there were Dev Center tokens for everyone (by Microsoft Redmond), and we have given away a bunch of Nokia eyeglasses, caps, umbrellas, bags… thanks to local Nokia folks (check out the photo). (For those who like numbers – we had a total of 149 prizes!)

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Thank you

And, at the end, we have to thank a bunch of people for making this possible. First, thanks to Matteo, Joost and Rodolpho for starting the whole thing. It is a great initiative and I’m sure you’re very proud how things turned out. Thanks to Desiree Lockwood and Sharon Hobbs from Windows Phone Division in Redmond for including us on the list and for fast and constructive support we had received. Thank you Antoine Naaman, a Nokia Developer Champions Program lead, for supporting the event (and basically every initiative I have). Of course, a big thanks to local DPE team (Tomislav Tipurić and Draško Ivanišević) – without a local support this would be much harder (if not impossible) to organize. Thanks to our local Nokians as well: Iva Carić, David Pavlinić and Dea Milovan, for goodies and ongoing support. And last, but not the least – thanks to all the speakers – Andrej, Matej, Toni, Igor and András (and me :-)) – and all the participants for making this event a rememberable one.

What next?

Windows Phone Week is not over – actually, it has become a month long. So you can check this page and find other events until the end of October 2013. There are 21 events all around the world announced at the moment!

If you’re working on a Windows Phone app, check this offer out. You can join Nokia Premium Developer program and publish your app for free (and get some other stuff, too). (My offer is valid until October 25th for Europe only. There is a similar offer for the USA as well.)

If you have missed our event, and you live in Croatia, you can join a FutureDEV user group – we talk a lot about Windows Phone so you’ll be able to join us next time.

For more info on similar activities around the world, you can follow Windows Phone Dev on Facebook or Twitter.

And of course, I’d be honored if you chose to follow me, too. I share a lot of stuff about Windows Phone, so it may be a good source of information.

Domagoj & Andrej - at the end

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European devs: Publish your Windows Phone app for free

Update: This offer is not valid any more because there are no tokens left. I’ve distributed more tokens than initially planned, but even that wasn’t enough! Great job, devs!

Here is a deal: you send me a working prototype of your app for Windows Phone, and you’ll get a Nokia Premium Developer Program token (priced at $99, valued at up to $1500 value) – for free.

Nokia Premium Developer Program includes:

- One year of Windows Phone Developer Center membership
- A free license for Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone
- Buddy.com Cloud API with unlimited API calls per month with 5GB of data storage
- 2 Nokia Tech Support tickets

In other words, this will enable you to publish your app for free, improve it with the cloud API and nice controls, and solve up to two technical issues you may have.

How can I build an app?
It is easier than ever. You can build your prototype with Visual Studio (including free Express version) or you can use Windows Phone App Studio (no coding needed, just updated with new features few days ago). Or you can mix both.

Restricted to Europe only
This offer is restricted to Europe. If you live in USA, check out the similar offer.

Already a developer and have apps published?
There is something for you, too. Create a brand new app and you’ll get the token, too. This will enable you to extend your Dev Center membership once it expires and use cloud, controls and support for all your apps.

Please note
- Deadline for sending me your working prototype is October 25, 2013.
- Dev Center token, Telerik license, Buddy.com API calls and support tickets are bundled with the token and can be used any time within a year from redeeming the token
- There is a limited number of tokens – first come, first served rule applies
- All tokens received part of this competition must be redeemed before October 31, 2013. I will not be able to provide you with another token if you forget to redeem yours on time!
- Every app you send me will be handled with the utmost confidentiality

How to participate?
Send an e-mail to domagoj@dizzy.hr with the following information:

- your full name
- your e-mail address
- your country (Europe only!)
- app name
- your app prototype (XAP) or direct Store link of an app (beta, private or public, published after October 1st)

Thanks to the Nokia Developer Champions program for making this possible!

Looking forward to your new apps!

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Giveaway: Three Syncfusion licenses for you

Are you developing for Windows Phone, Windows RT or with ASP.NET MVC? Well, it’s your lucky day! Syncfusion has offered to give away three licenses to – whomever Random gods prefer. Basically, it will go like this:

Random rnd = new Random();
List<Participant> participants = LoadParticipants();

foreach (var p in participants) {
p.RandomizedPoints = p.Points * rnd.Next(0, 100000);
}
var winners = (from x in participants orderby x.RandomizedPoints descending select x).Take(3);

foreach (var winner in winners) {
  winner.ChooseBetween(“ES for Windows Phone“, “ES for Windows RT“, “ES for ASP.NET MVC“);
}

Syncfusion has a wide range of high quality controls for just about anything related to .NET: ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript, Mobile MVC, Silverlight, Windows Forms, Windows Phone, Windows RT and WPF; and a nice free e-book collection. But, that’s not all – I especially like their Metro Studio, a royalty-free collection of over 2.500 Metro-style icon templates. What more do you need?

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Speaking at KulenDayz and DevArena

You know that feeling when you have two kids, and someone asks you to pick a favorite. Well, nobody asked me to pick the favorite between these two conferences, so I don’t have to. That’s good, because I could not.

Kulendayz conferenceKulenDayz (September 13-15th) is organized by my peers from mscommunity.hr in Osijek, a beautiful city on the east of Croatia. It’s a community conference, and that means that networking is more intense than anywhere else. It literally feels like you have come to a family gathering (assuming that you like your family and that kind of gathering :-)). My session is about developer opportunities in the Windows Phone world (Saturday 5pm), and it’s a chalk&talk session, without the PowerPoint, so I’ll have my dear Lumia in my hand with the notes. That’s why I’m thinking about 1520 :-)

DevArena (October 15th) is a developer oriented conference, organized by Ekobit, one of the most successful regional development companies (check out the sites linked, made by my company). I really enjoy that conference, not only as a speaker, but as a part of the audience as well. I have two sessions there How to make money with Windows Phone apps? at 10 am and Speech API: talk to your phone at 2:15pm.

Hope to see you there!

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