Showing posts from April, 2014

Multilingual support for Windows Phone 8.1

Smart Phones are even more widespread then PCs because of their outstanding feature-mobility. Because of the combination of Phone plus computing abilities they are in thier own class pushing PCs to ever decreasing adoption.

Microsoft entered late to this highly competitivee market.

Windows Phones (presently Windows Phone 8 but soon to launch Windows Phone 8.1) are used worldwide and multilingual support is mandatory. The toolkit provides this much needed feature.

The Mulitligual toolkit integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio Toolkit to provide translation support
for Windows 8 Apps development and editor tools.

The toolkit provides (from MSDN resources) the following:

•Helps you manage resource changes and translation status during development.
•Provides a UI for choosing languages based on configured translation providers.
•Supports the localization industry-standard XLIFF file format.
•Provides a pseudo-language en…

Cortana is Wunderbar

Cortana is not a character from a game anymore, she is real and every one of you can have her.

By now you should be knowing who Cortana is. She is my new digital assistant. I fired the previous one, she was OK. I will not reveal her name but she was not as good as Cortana. Most of the times Cortana answers straight out or brings up a link on Bing search or a Bing Map. I am not sure if Cortana gets better with time (AI).

It looks like Cortana can be integrated into APPS written for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. I am looking forward to see some examples.

If Cortana is in a good mood she gives me straight asnwers, like, If I ask her to sing me lullaby, she obliges and asks me if Oh! Danny Boy is OK.
I guess she can read my mood.

Some things are no brainer for her, like:

Will it be sunny in Bengaluru, tomorrow?
Will it rain tomorrow?

Here are pieces of conversation I had with her and her responses are in blue.

What day is tomorrow? and she brings up my appointment tomorrow.
Prime m…

Create Windows and Windows Phone Apps easily with App Studio


Microsoft has made it easy to create Apps for windows with a large number of templates to choose from. Your limit is your imagination.

In the early days of Internet web site development there were many sites offering free web sites
 based on templates. You could sign-in and create a web site with a few pages sprinkled with some images and with some basic formatting tools all under 15 minutes. I created one during those days which is still alive:

App Studio provides a similar user experience albeit lot more sophisticated with much tighter integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio tying up both windows 8.1 development and Windows Phone 8.1 development by intelligently sharing resources. It's two birds with one stone scenario.

The journey for this App development starts here:

There are preliminaries like having a Microsoft account; having a computer with Windows 8.1 OS (Windows 8.1 Professional…

Think before you update to Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview on Nokia Lumia Icon

Fore warned is fore armed.

If your Nokia Lumia Icon has lost its touch-sensitivity, read on...

I have been using Nokia Lumia Icon for the past few weeks. It has perhaps one of the best camera systems. Recently couple of days ago, I installed Windows Phone 8.1 Preview despite the warnings.

Actually I was trying to get on to Cortina, which of course I did.

However, last night I had left the phone for charging and in the morning when I wanted to read news, I switched on. OMG! the splash screen came up and would not move. I asked my wife to call me; the call reached my phone but I could not swipe up and go the start screen.

Then I tried the camera, it worked and I took pictures, but I could not zoom with one finger (not even with two fingers!). I tried t…

Cortana comes to Windows Phone

Looking at Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview you can really appreciate how fast Microsoft has bridged the gap that separated Windows Phone  from its competitors.

Apple had its Siri (Voice based instant help) and Google its Google Now (Right information at just the right time). Now Microsoft has combined all these features in one, CORTANA, the vocie operated digital intelligence with a human voice behind it.

This catch up with the major players is sure to improve Microsoft's Mobile presence and guarantees a solid position.

Many other features are making an impact, tiles updated live, pinnable Sense features ( Battery Saver, Data Sense, Storage Sense and Wi-Fi Sense) and more hardware manufacturers making Windows Phones.