Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mobile app development day 2: Windows Phone 7

OK, now some of my fellow Apple people, and some of you Android fanbois will scoff at me for going to a Windows Phone 7 development workshop, sponsored by Microsoft, but I'll tell you it was fun!  I think that as much as I like the iOS, Windows Phone 7, with the MetroUI  seems interesting as platform and with the backing of Nokia I think we'll see it rise up and be viable competition to Android and iPhone (if apps come out that is...)

In any case, the workshop was pretty interesting and it gave me an opportunity to mess around with Visual Studio, something I haven't done in three or four years, since I was a student in the MSIT program.  I have to say that  developing for WinPhone7 seems to be quite comparable to designing iPhone apps. From the top level, and from the quite limited exposure I've had to them, the IDEs (Visual Studio and XCode) seem pretty comparable at this point.

The one thing I noticed is that both Microsoft peeps (hey, I actually met Edwin Guerin today!) has Samsung Focus phones and we got a little hands on with the devices.  The screen feel was more along the lines of android phones. Unlike my iPhone 3Gs, where I barely touch the screen and it registers the touch and and the action, the Samsung Focus needed a much heftier press on the screen to make something happen. It felt like the screen was closer to a non-capacitive touch screen.

All things considered, I think it would be interesting to mess around with WinPhone7, however with only 4GB of RAM on my work mac, I don't think I'll be able to run Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010 on Parallels.  My work PC is a geriatric Dell GX280, so while Visual Studio will probably run it will be sluggish. I guess I'll wait and see what happens at tomorrow's workshop to form a final opinion.
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