[Code] Handling Backspace Key in WP7

I just came across a question on Stackoverflow asking how to handle the backspace key in a textbox. This isn’t something I’ve had to do, but my initial reaction would’ve been to handle it as with any other button. Simply, handle the textbox’s OnKeyDown event and then check the event argument to see if the relevant key has been pressed. For example, if we wanted to see if the ‘Enter’ key had been pressed whilst the textbox has focus, we could do this:

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‘The Windows Live ID Service is unavailable at the moment’ Fix

This morning I tried to download various updates for apps I have installed on my phone. However, every time I tried to update, I kept receiving an error message stating that “The Windows Live ID Service is unavailable at the moment. Try again later.

I searched around and the solutions I found required either a hard reset, or having the phone revert back to the factory settings. However, it would result in all my information and settings being erased, so I wanted to make sure there were no other methods available before performing a factory reset. Fortunately, I found a way to fix this error without deleting any information.

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Creating Emulator Screenshots the VERY Easy Way!

Often, developers want to take screenshots of their emulator so that they can submit them to the marketplace. There are various ways of doing this such as print screen, dedicated WP7 emulator screenshot application etc.. My personal favourite, and arguably the easiest, is to use the Snipping Tool built into Windows 7. This isn’t anything new, and many people use this. However, it seems I was using it in an inefficient way (maybe I’m the only one :neutral:). Anywho, if you load the snipping tool (Start…type in ‘snip’ in the search box), the default value is Rectangular Snip, as shown below.

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Transparent Wallpapers – Video Tutorial

I’ve had quite a few requests asking how to create transparent wallpapers for Windows Phone 7 lock screens. I explained the basic concept in my original post, but I figured I would clarify the process by creating a video tutorial. You can check out the video below and hopefully it helps :). If you’ve created your own wallpaper, you can share it in the gallery.

MY LOCKSCREEN APP – Get text on your lockscreen wallpaper (with or without PIN)

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Creating Transparent Lockscreen Wallpapers for WP7

MY LOCKSCREEN APP – Get text on your lockscreen wallpaper (with or without PIN)

For more transparent wallpapers, check out TransparentWallpaper.net

YouTube often has the Wikipedia effect. I visit for a specific reason and end up on a completely unrelated subject and never leave bread crumbs to find out how I got there. Well, today I was on YouTube watching some physics videos and ended up with a trip down memory lane with the X-Men cartoon intro. With the theme tune on loop in my head whilst working on an app, I was inspired to take a break from development and update my lock-screen wallpaper on my device. I had an idea of creating (Wolverine-inspired) claw marks as part of the lock screen. All the wallpapers I’ve seen for Windows Phone 7 contain no transparency. I thought it would be cool to be able to display the home screen ‘through’ the claw marks.

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Making it Easier to Debug Media in Windows Phone 7 Apps

My current app requires me to mess around with media files on the device. I have my device plugged in and Zune software running. Simple, right? Well, not necessarily so. It seems that when you’re running the Zune software, the media library becomes locked and inaccessible to your app. This may be quite annoying when it comes to debugging and stepping through code on your device. Further more, if you’re running it on the locked emulator, you won’t have any music media to test with and so you have to debug on the device.  Fortunately, MS have released the WPConnect tool to make this possible, but it means having to close the Zune software. If you run the Zune software, you have to run the tool again to allow media debugging. I like listening to my music whilst developing, so having to switch between the Zune software and WPConnect tool can get a bit tedious. I decided to integrate WPconnect into the Visual Studio IDE for quick access. I’m going to explain a quick and simple way of doing it.

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[Code] Saving an Image as Transient Data

If you’ve been developing Windows Phone 7 applications, you’re probably aware of tombstoning and information that should be handled during this process. An important factor is the storing of data to provide a seamless experience and give the illusion that the app has always been running. This data is commonly known as transient data and is essentially information that will not persist outside the app’s life cycle.  A useful example of transient data could be that of a user filling out a form and completing various textboxes. The app is then tombstoned and the user eventually returns to the app by pressing the ‘back’ button. By default, when the application is reloaded, the textboxes will be empty since a new instance is created. To provide the illusion that the same instance is running, and to improve the user experience, the app should refill all the data that had been entered prior to the tombstoning. That data should be stored in the PhoneApplicationPage.State property.

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Free WP7 Training – Advanced Topics

You may remember back in July, there were Windows Phone 7 Jump Start sessions. You can now register for another set of sessions regarding more advanced topics. Like the Jump Start sessions, these will also be free.

The date and times for these course sessions are the following:

  • September 21, 2010 – 8am to 11am (PST): Session One
  • September 21, 2010 – 12pm to 4pm (PST): Session Two

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Loading a Local HTML File in the WebBrowser Control

There was an interesting post over on the official WP7 Development forums. The nature of it wasn’t necessarily interesting, but it was something that seems quite straightforward on the surface but required a bit more thinking that I had initially thought. You can see the question here, but it was essentially “How do you display a local HTML file in a WebBrowser control“. I’ve never used Silverlight before Windows Phone 7, so the answer may be obvious to some, but I figured I’d write a quick blog post about it anyway for those who don’t know. The easy way to do this is to simply have your entire HTML stored in a string variable and call the WebBrower.NavigateToString() method. This works, but can be quite tedious. Firstly, if your HTML is long, it could quickly become tedious copy and pasting into the VS IDE and making sure that all necessary characters are escaped so that the entire HTML content is one string. Secondly, if you have multiple HTML files, then you’d have to do that for each HTML file.I figured there must be another, probably better, way of doing it.

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WP7 Programming For Silverlight Developers – Reloaded

Jesse Liberty will be releasing a number of tutorials which will result in a new open source application. These tutorials assume you already have knowledge of Silverlight and C#, so there could be a good chance of in-depth discussions. You can find the course outline and, soon the tutorials, over at Jesse’s blog. (I will update the Developer Resources section as the tutorials are released)