Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How do you convert your blog to a Windows 8.1 APP?

Why do you need to convert? Well, you cannot lug along your 17" (OK 14") Laptop, Notebook to an interview, but definitely you can take your Windows Phone and show what you are capable of. I am talking about going to an interview and getting a job.

Your blog can show on a smart phone browser but an app has lot of other things like app bar, charms etc. The Web App Template provides you those extra things needed on an app.
This post shows you how without even having the fancy software like Visual Studio. But if you have VS you can do more. Read along..

In the previous post here,

the procedure to download and install the Web App Template was described with a few of the key features.

If you do not have access to Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Express Update 2, you could still create a project based on Web App Template at the Windows App Studio Beta site here:

When you are at the above site click of Start new project button shown on this page.

The 'Create' page opens as shown.


Click on Web App Template.

A project template will be displayed. It is now pointing to the Microsoft site (BaseURL: and is at a stage where AppBar Buttons (remember that Web App template adds the required items for a Store Application) are configured.

  • Click on Create
You can change the Base URL to point to your site by editing the Base URL text. I tried out my blog, by typing it in place of I also provided a App tile, HTEK_WAT.

I now click Save to save this information. As soon as I click Save, the preview on this web page changes as shown.

If you have touch sensitive screen you can scroll down the screen as well.

Click on the button with icon of refresh and you will see that button is also pre-configured.

Click on the one marked plus(+) next to refresh. The icon for 'accept' is applied (that is you will get a AppBar button 'accept').

If you want to delete it click on the 'Icon' image.

You can add a suitable 'tile'. Click on Tiles to display.

Let us say We pick the Flip Template which requires two images, a 150x150 pixels and another 340x340px.

Click on the Small Image 150x150px shown in grey.
This opens a page where you can access an image that can be added to your phone application (although this is a Store Application) you can only download code for Windows Phone app.

Click on Computer to get an image stored on your computer. Choose a image file (it has to be exactly same size), you will end up in an error otherwise.


The bigger image is screwed up. Let us push on.


Click Save.
Click Finish. Well. We can always come back and refine.

Click on Generate.
You get the following dialog displayed. It is really for WEB and not for Windows. Well and Good.

Click Windows Phone 8 and click Generate.


You can download the file to your computer.

If you do not have VS2013 then may be you should go to PublishInfo tab and follow it up to deploy to your Phone (device).

That is all there is to it.

In fact, if do a Bing Search to your Blog Site URL, it pretty much does the same thing. There may be slight differences. You can check and see the Home and Refresh AppBar buttons are functional.

Describing the config.json for this will be in another post.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Amazon's Holophone to make its debut

Apple, Google watch out! You too Microsoft.

Holophone is my concoction, but it is a phone that render 3D objects using perhaps 'Holograms'. It is not just a 3D phone but a phone with a new twist. Do you need 3D glasses, the answer appears to be no as it is not the run of the mill 3D rendering.

Well, Amazon can sell it cheap and it can be at your door steps in a matter of days starting June 18!
If the price is marked right, it could pose serious challenges.

Here are some pics from selected sites:




Monday, June 2, 2014

Exciting stuff announcements at Apple's 2014 WWDC

Picture from
Most anticipated event opens with lots of technical meetings and unveiling of new stuff opens in CA.

Key highlights

iOS8 Apple's new mOS
Only incremental changes in look and feel
improvements to map application which was lacking
new iTune features

OS x10.10 pcOS
The same guy who did a makeover to iOS7  has (?) worked on the new pcOS X.
So, OS x1.10 will have minimalist look

Flatter and better looking icons than OS X Mavericks

Health book Application which can interact with FitBit and in future with iWatch.

A separate iTune's Radio Application

Additionally, Apple will have new hardware
Set-top box
Smart  watch
Larger Phone
Customers will be looking at bottom-line cost-wise

Get into the thick of things with the Internet Of Things with i(Apple devices) connecting and controlling stuff in your Home, Sweet home with its iGizmos.

Looks like it want to beat Google's Androids and send them them back wimpering to where they came from.
Does it sound plausible?

Try to tackle PayPal and such with iBeacons.

Still sitting on the side lines to make apperance are iWatch and new Apple TV.

To get a sense of what's going on at WWDC 2014 which opened in San Francisco watch this,

and the blog on WSJ's web page here:


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Windows Phone App for Desktop has great features

I tried to transfer some pcitures from Nokia Icon running my windows Phone 8.1 and I got an update to my phone app on my desktop. Now sync between phone and laptop has become lot easier.

Although my phone is a Nokia Lumia  Icon even the updated version shows Nokia Lumia 929.
Here is the connected(with the usb connector) view of the PC and Phone.

Here is the feature list:
The Windows Phone app for Windows desktop makes it easy to:
• Sync music, photos, movies, TV shows, and podcasts from your existing Apple iTunes library or your Windows Libraries to your Windows Phone 8.*
• Automatically import pictures and videos you've taken with your phone to your PC.
• See at a glance how much space you're using for each type of content, so it's easy to make sure you never run out of room on your phone.
• Get your playlists on your phone.
• Find songs that will work as ringtones and add them to your phone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surface Pro 3 will be available soon at a store near you

Surface Pro 3 has received a lot of god reviews and it should be available anytime soon. I was disappointed that a demo model was not available at Microsoft Store today (5/21/2014) at Ala Moana's Microsoft store in Honolulu. The staff on the floor could not tell me when they would have a demo model. Well, that's not good. If I am serious in selling I would have had one displayed last week!

Surface Pro 3 is ways ahead of the previous model with lots of great features. The price tag is somewhat hefty compared to often compared models from other operating systems. The cheapest is around $799 and could go up depending on your memory needs. Of course the accessories are not free like mouse etc.

Here is a copy of the technical specifications from Microsoft site:

The 12" display is great. It has a fourth generation Intel processor and comes preloaded with Windows 8.1 Pro  and you can install the full Microsoft Office suite + 1000's of Windows Programs.

It's very easy to go from using it as a tablet to use it as a laptop. Periferal connectos like a full size USB 3.0, MicroSD card reader are all ready to go including a Mini DisplayPort (you will need an adapter for this).

You can write on Surface Pro 3 and pass it on to OneNote but you need the Surface Pen even if the device is in sleep mode.  You need to buy a pen.

Want to watch movies, no problem it has a brilliant Full HD and Dolby Audio.

Well watching some of the Wall Street guys I get a feeling that it is too pricy and too late to enter the market to make a difference to the bottom line and it might have harmed the business as other hardware makers in the Windows Group may feel threatened and may peel away from Windows OS.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fixing Windows Phone Apps error using Blend for VS 2013

In my previous post here:

 I described some UI errors in projects created using Windows App Studio which is in beta. Notice the bleeding from the next section into the section in display.


I had attributed those errors to my incorrect usage of the App Studio. However looking at sample the project (Windows Phone App Studio Sample App) I believe it is some errors not fixed in the beta. Notice the 'bleed' in the next screen shot.

I went back and opened the project in Blend for Visual Studio 2013 and fixed the errors in my previous post.

Basically, the horizontal alignment was wrong and the seciton widths were not set correctly. After making these changes, the display was corrected as shown.

Blend is very handy for fixing the UI errors, more intuitive than VS.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

With Nokia Asha can Microsoft make significant impact on its mobile phones?

Microsoft Mobile is a hardware manufacturing company located not in REDMOND but in Espoo, Finland.

That Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices and services divison is knwn although details finalized this April 2014.

Microsoft Mobile will:
  • Design Develop
  • Manufacture
  • Distribute Mobile Phones
  • Smart Phones
  • Tablet Computers
  • Accessories
The 'Lumia' and the low end 'ASHA(Hope in Samskruta aka Sanskrit)' are owned by Microsoft.

I am not sure if 'Asha' can compete with 'Akash' which traces its DNA to INDIA?

In any case, I wish good luck to Microsoft Mobile.

You can develop apps for Nokia ASHA either with Java or Web.

You should read this article if you are into developing apps:

Watch this Nokia ASHA related video from Vietnam.