Filed under app , C# , mobile , windowsphone , wp7
Over Christmas I decided to dip my toes into making a Windows Phone app for my Lumia 800. If there's one app that I was missing when I moved over to Windows Phone from iOS it was the RTE app. There was no official app so I went about making a quick little app to pull in their RSS feed and make readings the news stories a bit easier to consume on the phone.
I ran into issues straight away as the RTE feed does not support RSS 2.0 which a lot of the code samples out there seem to be using. Thankfully as I've been using Linq to XML so much in my job I did a little workaround to allow me take in the feed in the app. After that any other issues I had were just your basic 'getting to grips' issues. Funny things like finding out that Windows Phones can't support GIF images out of the box or that they only have 16bit displays so gradients look crappy caught me off guard as I coded up the app.
Thankfully I could work around these limitations. Making the app was a great learning experience and was actually surprisingly easy to do for a typical .net developer. If I have one complaint it would be that the App Hub website is a bit dodgy right now. This is the website you register your app on. The website is really slow and while they have implemented ajax calls for most operations, it can take upwards of 25secs to see any results with zero indication that anything is actually loading for the user.
Having said that, there is nothing sweeter than the satisfaction of thinking that there are people out there who are using your app (and hopefully enjoying it!). I have tons of new features I'd like to add to make the app a lot more useful for others. As soon as new updates are out I'll let you know here or on my Twitter feed.
I was also a little shocked that my app went to number 1 in the Irish News section and number 6 in the overall top free downloads for the Irish Marketplace! That's pretty sweet :)
If you want to check out the app yourself, head on over to the Marketplace and give it a whirl! I respond to all emails sent through the app so don't be shy and get in touch. I don't mind if it's good or bad. If there's a feature you'd like and I can add to the app than I'll do it :)