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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Fiddler and WP7 Emulator – Working!

From the Beta SDK onwards, it seemed that there was no easy way of getting Fiddler to work with the emulator. For those unfamiliar with Fiddler, in short, it’s a must-have tool if you’re dealing with web requests for your applications. It lets you monitor the HTTP traffic between your  computer and the web, which is very useful when it comes to debugging web traffic problems in your apps.

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Use your webcam with the WP7 Emulator (with code!)

The GPS Simulator seemed pretty popular with many developers and whilst I was browsing through various forums, I noticed the request for webcam usage as the emulator’s camera. In an earlier project (using the April CTP), I needed to be able to use the webcam as well as the ability to use images from within the application. The latter spawned the Testing Photos with WP7 Emulator post, but I could see no way to use my webcam as the camera. Well now (literally 10 minutes after coming up with the idea – that’s what happens when you have awesome dev tools ;)), I simply re-factored the GPS Sim code and have it working for a webcam instead of Bing maps. What PicSim allows you to do is to use your webcam to capture an image and then immediately have that image streamed over to your WP7 application, as well as other images stored on your computer. You can download the source code and see a screenshot below.

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No Device? No GPS? No Matter! – (With Code!)

Necessity is the mother of all invention and so I went about creating a quick application to better help simulate GPS coordinates when developing for WP7. Most developers don’t have a test device and two common reasons for asking for one is for the GPS and for the accelerometer. The latter has been simulated quite well (via the HTC HD2 or the Wiimote), but the former is usually simulated by manually typing in (or downloading a set of) coordinates. I’m currently reading up on WCF and decided to kill two birds with one stone – learn WCF and help other developers.

So, what is it? Simple – A locally hosted server displaying Bing maps and a client (e.g. your WP7 app) consuming those coordinates. As you move your mouse along the map, the GPS coordinates are retrieved and sent to the phone. This opens up quite a few possibilities. For example, you could store the coordinates every X seconds  in a list to generate a ‘path’ that simulates someone driving from one point to another. If you need to know exact coordinates for your application, you can also extend the app so that you can  press a key whenever you want to store a particular coordinate. Whatever you use it for, hopefully it saves you time and makes it easier to develop the GPS aspects of your application. Check out the video and source code below.

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Unlocked WP7 Emulator Walkthrough, Ringtones and Tips!

fignewtron is uploading small tips on using the emulator which may be handy.

Long Zheng has created a couple of walkthrough videos of the unlocked OS (thanks to the xdadevelopers), which demonstrates the new features, speed and ringtones! Check out the videos below and find more info at Long Zheng’s blog iStartedSomething.

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Testing Photos with WP7 Emulator

Update (06/08) – You can now capture images with your webcam and send it straight to your app. Check out my source code here.

Quick tip if you’re using the April Refresh SDK. If you’ve tried calling the PhotoChooserTask from the WP7 emulator, you’ve probably noticed that there aren’t any images to import. You can take a ‘picture’ from the CameraCaptureTask and use the static ChooserListener class to grab the image. However, it is a very basic picture (simply a square on background), so if you’re developing image-editing apps, it may not be too suitable for testing. Instead, what you can do in the emulator is to launch the Internet Explorer application. Find the image you want to use. Click and hold on the image, and you’ll have the option to Save or Share the image. Simply save it and head back into your app. Launch the PhotoChooserTask and you’ll be able to see that image. You can the use the ChooserListener class to grab the image selected from the user. This method seems to provide a better testing opportunity than the image obtained from the camera. Here’s what I used to obtain the photo using the ChooserListener class (I’ve removed some code specific to my project):

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