Category Archives: Windows Phone

Playing with the Nokia Lumia 1020 shutter speed

It was Kaila’s (my Wife) birthday yesterday, and all she requested was sparklers. Turned out to be a ton of fun!


All the photos here were taken with the Nokia Camera app on my Lumia 1020. All settings were default except shutter speed was set to 4 seconds. I didn’t have my 1020 camera cover so these are all taken free hand (no tripod) which means they’re slightly blurred (pretty hard to hold a phone still for 4 seconds Winking smile). The photos are untouched besides cropping and upping the contrast a bit.


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MyEdit for Windows and Windows Phone


We developed the MyEdit Windows and Windows phone app for Media24.

The MyEdit app is the ideal one-stop hub for discerning readers wanting to read content from South Africa’s top magazines and news titles – and the best part is you can personalise the app so it is organised according to your likes and interests.

News, entertainment, sports, parenting, recipes, technology, home and garden – there are dozens of stories in these categories and more in one easy-to-access station. MyEdit Lists are a regular feature too – read quirky listicles revolving around issues everyone is talking, tweeting and texting about.

This app offers auto-renewable subscriptions:
• Subscribe and get full access to content from 36 magazines, including Huisgenoot, You, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fairlady, Go and TopCar for only R60 a month.
• All subscriptions are 1 month in duration. Content is updated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on the publication frequency of each title.






Creating a Bluetooth game controller for Windows Phone with ATTiny + Arduino

It is 2014 and control-schemes on touch screens still pretty much suck. Yes, touch is suited for a lot of games, but it just doesn’t work for shooters and racing games. That’s why there are companies like MOGA making game controllers specifically designed for phones.

I decided to make my own with an ATTiny connected to Windows Phone over Bluetooth.

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Microsoft MVP for Windows Phone Development

I’m excited to announce that Microsoft has made me a Windows Phone Development MVP for 2014! I am honored to receive it, and it is the first time that I have.


The other MVP’s (comprised of people I’ve looked up to for years) have been extremely welcoming, and seem like a great bunch. I can’t wait for the next MVP Summit to meet everyone Smile

For those interested in numbers, I am told that there are about 30 Windows Phone MVP’s in the world, and in MEA there are only 2 (one in Turkey, and me in Africa).

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Quick read: Windows Phone is growing in South Africa

I don’t often look at my sales stats as most of my self-published apps are just little experiments. But I took a look today and decided to set the filter to South Africa.

This graph shows quite an interesting trend:


The black line is a cumulative total, while the purple is daily downloads. They are on different scales.

It pretty clearly shows how downloads were pretty dead until the end of 2012, and have been consistently rising since then. Turns out that WP8 launched around that time in South Africa.

Besides this pretty non-scientific graph, I’ve also heard from multiple sources that it is growing quickly and selling faster than iPhones. This is probably due to the low-end devices like the 620.

Downloads from South Africa account for 6% of my total downloads.

Nokia Lumia 1020 photos from a non-photographer

I take a lot of photos with my phone wherever I go, and I always have. But I am very far from being a photographer or even knowing anything about it (I don’t even know what the rule of thirds is). This means that I cannot justify buying an actual DSLR (nor would I carry it around with me), but like having something that can take good photos. And I think that is what makes me the perfect target-market for the Nokia Lumia 1020.

This phone is mindblowing. You point it in a general direction, tap the capture button, and magically a good image is produced more often than not. The Nokia ProCam app also has lots of settings that would be useful if I had any idea what they did Smile with tongue out.

Below are some photos I took on a recent trip to Cape Town, South Africa (one from Sweden too). These are scaled down versions of the 41MP originals, but are not edited in any way at all.

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Publish your Windows Phone app free (and R15k worth of goodies!)

Over the past few years you might have noticed a bunch of great promotions that Nokia and Microsoft have run to help get developers up and running on the platform. However, it sometimes  seems like they don’t know South Africa exists 🙁

Lance McCarthy is currently giving out Nokia Premium Developer Program tokens to people about to publish apps, but this is restricted to US and Canada. But because he is a really decent guy (and knows geography) he got the Nokia Champion program to hook me up with keys for South Africa (rejoice!).

So I am giving away Nokia Premium Developer Program keys!

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Making a Windows Phone weather app in an hour

TechEd Africa 2013 ended a few days ago in Durban, South Africa.

I did a couple of talks – one of which was an hour-long session where I guided the attendees through the process of creating a good-looking weather app for Windows Phone. There are no shortage of weather apps in the marketplace, but it was a nice example to bring in a lot of different real-world situations like consuming JSON, using MVVM, and lots of binding stuff.

The point was to show how easy it is to create an app quickly. It only took 20 lines of code and 60 lines of XAML (half of which are closing tags so don’t count). The app would take around 15 minutes to make if I weren’t explaining.


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Windows Phone panorama RAM usage (i.e. crazy high)

I’m nearing the end of a Windows Phone 7.1 app that I’m writing. It’s a TV-related app and as such has a lot of images – so keeping RAM usage down is really important.

Visual Studio has a pretty awesome performance profiler for WP apps, and I suggest you use it frequently. So while checking my app’s memory usage I noticed something very worrying. Around startup the usage was ramping up to over 250MB- that’s massive for a phone app, and is waaaay over the 90MB limit to pass certification.

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