Data caching in Windows 8 apps

caching1When working with a lot of data in apps based on web services (JSON return format being quite common), you’d normally want to cache it in order to make your apps faster and make your users spend less Internet traffic on refreshing which actually isn’t necessary. Also, if the users opens your app while having no Internet connectivity, it’s nice to show him something, even though it’s cached data. It’s always possible to implement your own caching framework, but there’s a nice library already out there called Q42.WinRT which makes it very easy to do the caching.

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Modern UI PowerPoint template

image_thumb2.pngModern UI, Microsoft Design Style, Metro… Doesn’t matter really in this case. I was looking for a PowerPoint template to use in my presentations and didn’t find many clean and nice online. I didn’t want Windows 8 start screen in my presentations, but clean interface with Segoe font and maybe some solid fill rectangles in great looking colors. I found one which was looking OK and working great, so I modified it to fit my needs, created dark and light versions and now I’m sharing it.

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Live Connect SDK for Windows Phone 8–authenticating and basic info

image_thumb.pngLive SDK makes it easy for you as a developer to use Live services from inside your Windows Phone 8 app. More than 500 million people use services like SkyDrive, Hotmail, Messenger etc. There are some things which you don’t want to store locally when building apps, such as data that needs to be used from any device that a person has, calendars and events, people etc. When you use Live SDK, it synchronizes beautifully in the Cloud and becomes available on all the devices. I’ll try to cover some basic Windows Phone 8 Live Connect stuff in 3 days. This is day 1.

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How to set vertical title in Windows 8 GridView items

screenshot_10232012_194913One of the issues when it comes to space and properly designing a GridView on devices with 768 pixels of height is the fact that the title of each GridView item can often take just the amount of space on the top that you need to fit all your data. Considering the fact that the GridView is predefined to scroll horizontally and that in landscape orientation you get more space horizontally, why not put the title of each item vertically next to the item and get those approx. 60-100 pixels back. Plus, it looks really cool. Read more to find out how to do it!

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Windows Phone 8 emulator wasn’t able to create the virtual machine

There I am, all happy and excited about the latest Windows Phone 8 SDK released today. And so I downloaded it (took quite long, I am probably not the only one in the world who wanted it immediately :)) and installed it. Opened Visual Studio 2012, created a new template project, tried to run it in emulator and… error occurred. What? Windows Phone 8 emulator wasn’t able to create the virtual machine. Here are some of the steps that helped people online and myself to get it fixed.

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Four simple ways to fail Windows Store app certification

There are many ways to fail Windows Store app certification, and in this article I’ll show you my “favorite” 4 which are almost the simplest but very common. Of course, if you wish to pass the certification, you must think the opposite way, and make sure that those do not happen to you. You could still fail, but you’re chances for passing are much better. Before submitting, always check the official certification requirements list for any changes since your last submission!

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Oh and just four more things

Feeling tired and exhausted after a really long but exciting day at Microsoft Sinergija conference in Belgrade where I had a late afternoon session about Windows Phone and augmented reality, I decided to mention four important things that I might have not written about earlier, or might have not emphasized enough. And I should have. Here they are, chronologically.

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Layout transform in Windows 8 WinRT XAML

Layout transform is an interesting concept in XAML development. This of course includes WPF, Silverlight, Silverlight for Windows Phone, WinRT XAML. It is often a nice feature (let’s call it a design feature) to have your text rotated 90 degrees to save vertical space. This is especially true on Windows 8 devices where the standard layout includes more horizontal than vertical space. Usually, one would try to use render transform and rotation, but that doesn’t work as expected.

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