This week’s featured article in the Nokia Asha category is Using Bluetooth Heart Rate monitor from Java ME by oniongarlic.
Heart Rate monitors are popular tools for sport enthusiasts and the Asha/S40 devices make excellent companion devices. This article describes how to use a SportsTracker HRM2 Bluetooth (ST HRM2) belt from a Nokia Asha (or any other JSR-82 enabled) device.
This article is a winning entry in the first segment of Nokia Asha Wiki Competition 2013H2. The next and last segment of this competition ends on 15 December – so there is plenty more time to compete.
Last weekend a national Windows Phone and Windows 8 hackathon was organized by Microsoft with the help of the local Microsoft Student Partners teams in 5 cities simultaneously. 250 developers participated in total, 50 from Timisoara and over 120 from Bucharest. The winners from each city received an Xbox and will have two more weeks to polish their apps and then participate in the next round where the national winner will be selected.
In Timisoara, the 24 hours hackathon took place at Startup Hub and gathered 19 teams.The schedule was very busy, starting on Saturday at 10:00 am with the official opening. During the first day, there were the two technical sessions and two of the three Quickfire Challenges in which students were asked to implement specific functionalities for Windows Phone and Windows 8. The coding continued over night until the next day at 12:00.
Arthur and I participated as experts and I presented at one of the two technical sessions during the event. I chose to show the students how to create a complete Windows Phone application, from an API, using basic MVVM structure and to the UI. More details and the source code are on the dev blog.
Here are some photos from the event.
The event opening
My technical session
Saturday night coding
This is the hackathon’s official website.
We’re fast approaching the time of year when more people are releasing and updating apps in time for the big shopping holidays (Thanksgiving & Christmas).
The store typically takes at most 5 working days for processing submissions but they have advised that due to traditionally larger volumes at this time of year things may take longer than usual*.
If you want the app certified by Thanksgiving, you should submit it by Wednesday, November 20th.
If you want the app certified by Christmas, you should submit it by Monday, December 16th.
If you want the app certified by New Years, you should submit it by Friday, December 20th.
Of course submitting early won’t hurt and meeting these dates still doesn’t guarantee it will pass certification if it doesn’t meet all the requirements
* For reference I submitted an app on Sunday just gone and it was ready this morning. Taking approx. 4 days.
For the next five weeks the original poster of our featured discussion board post will receive a Nokia Lumia 620. Thats a pretty awesome prize just posting your problems on the Nokia Developer discussion board!
Nokia Lumia 620
It really is that easy, but of course there are some ground rules. Firstly the posts have to go onto the Nokia Developer Discussion boards – not here, or anywhere else. We’re not going to pick a question that looks like it was made up just to win, or which could have trivially been answered by reading the documentation. We will tend to pick questions that are interesting to other developers. You can find out more about featured posts here, and check out past featured articles here.
Lastly, I guess you’re wondering why we’re not awarding the person who answers the question. We’re rewarding posters in this case to highlight the great service provided by our community of Nokia Asha and Lumia developers. Our best contributor/answer provider on the discussion boards is rewarded as Poster of the Month – they win a really high end device.
The Nokia Asha Wiki Competition 2013H3 is a competition to create great original articles that can help developers make better and more innovative healthcare related apps and products.
The first segment has just completed and the winning article is Using Bluetooth Heart Rate monitor from Java ME by Kaj-Michael Lang (oniongarlic). This article shows how to communicate with a SportsTracker heart-rate monitor over Bluetooth from a Nokia Asha device.
Kaj-Michael will receive a Nokia Asha 501 phone, Coloud Knock for Nokia headphones, a Nokia Portable USB Charger. As a bonus, he’ll also receive 200 DVLUP XP points!
The second (and final) segment completes on 15 December. There are still over three weeks for you to compete, and four more prize-packs to win. For more information and ideas check out the competition page.
Can’t wait to see what awesome ideas you come up with!
It’s common to want to ask your users something. Maybe you want to prompt them to rate your app, provide feedback or update to the latest version.
The way I see most people do this is with a MessageBox being displayed when the app is launched.
I don’t think this is the best approach.
I hope you’re creating apps with the user and what’s best for them in mind.
When a person starts your app they probably have a task, goal or purpose in mind. People don’t launch apps to rate them or send feedback, although the desire to do this may come up while they’re using the app.
By prompting the user to take some action that you want, you’re putting a barrier between them and what they really wanted to do when they launched the app.
Adding a minor frustration just before you ask for a review may not be the smartest thing to do.
I suspect that a better approach would be to prompt the user with such requests when they’ve done what they launched the app to do.
For some apps it may be harder to identify just when the user has completed what they wanted to do.
As a general rule, prompting when a person leaves the app, rather than when they start it seems to make more sense to me.
I’d love to hear from anyone who’s experimented (and tested) in this area.
The Featured Discussion Board Post this week is Merge two images, by DamMen
DamMen needed to blend 2 images into one: an interesting and useful effect that is not as straightforward to implement as might be expected.
Yan_ suggested using the Nokia Imaging SDK (beta) and adding the extra step of extracting the alpha layer of the image to blend, and then applying the
CreateImageFusionFilter. This works very well and solved the problem. The Nokia Imaging SDK has since been updated and now includes support for blend that will make things easier.
This post was selected due to its technical implementation of the solution for an simple but eye-catching effect.
Keep those interesting questions coming! That’s what a community is all about!
Added: For the next five weeks you can win a Lumia 620 if your post is featured
I think I’ve found another bug in Windows Phone but it seems really odd.
I’m documenting it here before escalating to find out if it really is a bug but I can’t believe its intended behaviour.
Maybe you have an idea or explanation as to why this is happening? If so, do please share.
Have a look at this code:
It creates a page that looks like this:
The thing to note is that the CaretBrush on the TextBox, the Foreground on the Button, the Foreground on the first TextBlock and the Fill of the Rectangle are all bound to the same resource.
This is exactly the sort of thing I’d expect to see when wanting to apply the same colour to multiple elements on a page (or app).
What’s probably unusual, or somewhat of an edge-case, is setting a custom colour for the CaretBrush, although this is often necessary when using a heavily customised UI. (That’s where I first discovered this. – The above is the simplest reproduction I could find.)
So what’s special, well, the caret (if you’re unfamiliar) is the little line in the TextBox that flashes to show you the edit point when the control has focus.
The odd thing here is that rather than just the caret flashing, in the above example everything with the “colour” bound to the same resource as the CaretBrush flashes too. That what the right hand image shows.
This can be quite an odd experience when you see seemingly random elements on a page start to flash while typing into a TextBox.
Fortunately the fix is easy. It’s just to not bind the CaretBrush to the same resource as anything else.
Of course this means you will have some otherwise unnecessary duplication in your XAML though.
My guess is that there’s something odd internally with the way the TextBox finds the caret so that it can cause it to flash. If not that the the Brush is remembering the items that reference it in an incorrect way. Either of which are very odd.
I’d love to hear any thoughts on this and will report anything I hear back from official channels.
*** UPDATE ***
I’ve had it confirmed that this is a very old (over 5 years) known bug with the Silverlight TextBox control. One to be aware of if heavily styling a TextBox and easy to work around.
Just made a discovery that may be worth noting.
If creating a ShellToast with a Title of more than 64 characters (including any whitespace) then the toast will be displayed but the title will not be shown.
If Content is specified this will still be displayed. If no Content is specified then the toast will just include the application icon.
This is both undocumented and unexpected behaviour.
It’s particularly unexpected as deliberately specifying an empty string for the title causes an error.
I’m not sure if this is a bug or a built in back door to avoid displaying the title. Either way this worth being aware of when working with toasts.
Mapping points of interest using Java ME by adarsha_saraff
This article explains how to use Nokia SDK 2.0 to create application for mapping points of interest for a Series 40 full touch device. The app also gets weather and news information from web services.
This article was submitted under Asha Touch Competition 2012Q3.
See Featured Articles for other great articles from the community.