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Windows Phone development

They were missing in action for a few years, but in late 2012 Microsoft finally plunged into the consumer computing market, joining Apple, Google, and Amazon in the world of smartphones and tablets. They are unarguably late to the party, but they arrived in style.
The visual language that is used in Windows 8 and Windows Phone is called Metro, and it’s supposed to be “authentically digital,” and also inspired by the clear, crisp, and beautiful signage of the world’s various underground transportation systems. This is more than just marketing speak. Metro really does emphasize simplicity, cleanliness, bold typography, solid colors, and confident open spacing in its design. This is very different from mainstream app design as practiced by Apple, where there is a focus on the reproduction of physical effects – reflections, shadows, textures, buttons that actually press, and the like. You will find none of that in Metro. A tile is not meant to be anything more than a tile. Its a UI element on a digital device, and its not trying to pretend that it isn’t. That doesn’t mean that Metro is boring. The UI is alive with smooth animation, with ever-updating information, and with color. Its exciting and refreshing. But its not like anything that exists in the physical world, because it doesn’t have to be. And this is what Microsoft means by “authentically digital.”
These days, any consumer computing platform will live or die by the strength of its ecosystem. As such, Microsoft has brought the expected music, movies, television, and gaming in via its Xbox brand. That leaves apps. To attract app developers from other platforms, Microsoft has made it possible to develop in HTML and C++, but the obviously preferred way is using the C#/XAML combination of technologies, and that’s what we do.
C# started out over a decade ago as “Java, but better.” It has all the performance, robustness, and excellent tooling of a statically typed language, much like Java. It has an excellent garbage collector for cutting down on bugs and speeding development, much like Java. But Microsoft has been developing C# at a steady speed, and unlike Java they have not been conservative. The web has ushered in a new set of dynamic languages like Ruby and Python, and Microsoft has not been shy about using them as inspiration. So, C# now has dynamic types as well as static. Linq allows C# to manipulate collections and do work in parallel that would put a smile on the face of any Jquery pro. C#’s capable set of functional technologies allows for the flexibility and terseness and expressiveness of Javascript, Ruby, and Python. The latest version of C# has brought new asynchronous capabilities that take the pain and instability out of threaded and callback driven programming, a perfect fit for apps that are driven by unpredictable internet connections.
And finally, Microsoft has developed a markup language that goes with C# the way that HTML goes with Javascript. XAML is an xml-derived markup language that can trace its roots to HTML and to Android’s xml-driven layout system. It’s a mature language that has been used to power Microsoft’s WPF and Silverlight runtimes, and has now been brought over to Win8 and WP8. XAML removes the pain of imperative UI construction, allows for HTML’s elegant separation of content and presentation, and makes possible a distinct set of tooling meant for designers, thus enabling designers to work with developers much like in the web world.
Modern demand a lot from both the technical and presentation layers. We must code for small, weak, battery-constrained devices that people throw in their bags and expect to last all day on a single charge. Apps must start up and shut down in a blink. They’re powered by cloud backends that rely on unsteady internet connections. And the consumer expects apps to be beautiful, simple, powerful,  and to move and pop in a way that surprises and delights. All this on devices of various shapes, sizes, capabilities, and input technologies. Its challenging, but our in-house C#, XAML, and design expertise allows us to build all the pieces ourselves and thus offer truly great Win8/WP apps.
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