Category Archives: Programming

Windows Phone 7 – Big Buttons!

3 Screen ShotsMicrosoft calls them tiles I call them big buttons. 

So far we really like the new phone OS by Microsoft.  The long-awaited replacement to Windows Mobile, a virtual Zombie in the mobile phone market.  As an owner of many Windows Phone devices including the Motorola Q, I faced a lot of disappointment in the pace that Microsoft was moving to this new OS.  The development team at Microsoft is essentially “FRESH”, they simply replaced many of the old Windows Mobile team members with people who had a clue. 

Now as a developer I couldn’t be happier.  Microsoft (I almost said Apple) is providing an amazing set of tools for mobile app development using the same languages that most MS developers already know.  Silverlight seems to be one of the most popular since it will run across multiple platforms including PC and XBox.  I can tell you that MS has had excellent turn around on app approval, we have waited weeks with Apple in the past and so far MS has taken care of our reviews in under 48 hours.  We all know MS isn’t always thinking of us, the small developers and maybe niche user but I think things may be changing for them.  

Honestly, I’m still an Android user on a day-to-day basis mostly because I want better hardware and more storage.  I don’t want to get stuck with an 8gb phone or SD card issues (go Google that).  I found a really great video on YouTube with a full description of the OS, answers to some development questions and of course a run through of a bulk of the new OS.     Please thank @chrispirillo on Twitter, make sure to follow both of us!

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24 Hours With An iPad :-)

As developers for the 3 major smart phone platforms (iPhone, Android and Windows Phone) we really shouldn’t show favoritism, and we’re not.  The truth is we need our iPads are for development and testing (mostly) and this was a business purchase.  Now time for the honesty, I can’t seem to put this thing down!

Every time I pick my iPad up I still expect to learn something new.  As a current owner of an iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 2G and most recently a Nexus One my expectations were high, well guess what so far, in my book, Apple has a “home run”.

Here at BustedAppZ! we see a lot of gaming potential and that was my first focus.  I started with 3D games like Real Racing HD and Gameloft’s Real Soccer 2010, they are both nothing short of stunning.  Not only are they clean and well designed applications, the iPad has crisp, vivid colors and the graphics processing in this thing is amazing!  My 16-year-old son had me go to multi-player in Real Soccer and we didn’t even need a wi-fi network, it used peer-to-peer bluetooth.  At this point the accelerometer and the large screen size makes games like this enjoyable even for a 37-year-old.Apple store employee, they were fast!

My next test was going to be video so I installed the ABC Player app and used the trusty YouTube app (pre-installed).  Keep in mind for the first 20 hours I owned this thing I was using public wi-fi or tethering with my Nexus One, so bandwidth wasn’t the best.  Other than the normal buffering issues (due to bandwidth) the video looks unbelievable.  We should all applaud ABC for offering such an awesome app on launch day (did I mention it’s free?).  Dont think that your going to launch the ABC app and get an episode lineup of old, out of date programming, it’s all current!  In fact the first episode I watched on it was one of our families favorite shows, Modern Family (the iPad/Birthday episode).  Well done ABC.  The YouTube app is a lot like the one on the iPhone or iPod touch, it allows you to search for any video or browse through the featured and top rated ones.  Pretty standard by todays terms but honestly beautifully designed and implemented.

Up next was possibly my biggest challenge, getting my wife to understand why these things exist (guys, you understand).  I quickly went out and got Facebook (the iPhone version) and Epicurious (a pretty amazing food/cookbook).  She doesnt cook very often since she’s a vegetarian and prefers raw food so I went on a hunt, beyond Apple’s Featured list and found WordSearch Lite HD.  Her initial feedback was pretty much what I expected, in our house technology seems to flow in and out on an almost daily basis.  One of her first questions was “is this something we’re going to have for 2 months and then you’re going to get rid of it?” my response was an honest one “probably” and “remember it’s for business so it will be at my office during the day”.  I knew I was in trouble at this point. 

FYI most Apple stores have them in stockIn a bit of a panic I launched “iBooks” and started to explain to her what it was.  She uses and iPhone too so I handed her the iPad and she proceeded to search for one of her “Raw” books, they had it!  Over the next few minutes she browsed the sample version of the book.  It seemed intuitive to her, easy to read and wow she could read with the lights off (lucky me!).  Next thing I knew we were hiking back up 5th Ave. with the hopes that Apple was not sold out.  Needless to say we got on our flight home to LA with 3 iPads between us.

To wrap up I think the question for anyone out there who is on the fence about getting one of these things I can help.  Let’s step through this logically.  Here are some questions (and answers) you need to ask yourself:

  • Do I want one? (duh, YES)
  • Do I need one? (probably not)
  • Do I want one? (yep, even more now!)
  • Can I shell out the $500 bucks and still make rent? (you have to answer this one)
  • Is it really just an iPhone (or iPod touch) but bigger? (No Way! You can’t play great 3D games on an iPhone, easily view .PDF’s on your iPod Touch, watch movies in HD on that old thing, and don’t get me started on how cool the Weather Bug HD app is)
  • Will this replace my computer? (hmm, my wife asked that and it’s a loaded question.  Simple answer is NO, but honestly once you set your iPad up, sync your photos and music you can pack that computer up and store it because the iPad is so convenient you will only use your computer for business from now on, HONESTLY)
3 Days Before Launch!
Me and Greg Packer @ Apple 5th Ave.

OK keep in mind that the title of this post is “24 Hours With An iPad” there’s a reason for this.  Today is Easter but it feels like Christmas!  All this may wear off in a couple of weeks but the truth is the iPad is well-built, fun to show off, has excellent battery life (10-12 hours), thousands of simple & useful apps and is so portable I’m trying to decide if it will make it to the gym with me this week.

–Take a minute and install our apps on your iPad, they really look great, even at 2x view–

This Is Only A Test (post from iPad)

So I’m going to give this a shot, no guarantee how it turns out. I’ll keep it short since I’m still getting iced to the keyboard. Included in this post is a few screen shots of the iPad.

First you’ll notice 2 of them are game, not BustedAppZ but a lot of fun. My son and I had multi-player action going on our flight home from New York last night. These 2 games allow you to connect and compete, no wires attached!

Next you’ll see a shot of my desktop. I really wanted to show the icon layout and also a cool background. Thanks to many free desktop image apps (a lot of them are free), the one I installed is called “Backgrounds HD” and it has some great images.

Shortly I’ll be posting a full review but damn you Steve Jobs, you did it again! (note to reader, I’m honestly no Apple fan boy)

–this was written using the WordPress iPad app

Got QR?

BustedAppZ! QR Code
Scan this with your iPhone or Android Phone

We do!  QR codes are becoming more and more popular.  Their typical use is directing traffic to a website.  If you run a website and want people to be able to view it using their mobile devices (mainly iPhone and Android devices), add a QR code to your link and let people scan it.  Most of the current “smart” phones have free (and paid) barcode or QR code scanning apps available for them.  To take advantage of them you must post a QR image, like this!  (It sounds like Windows Phone Series 7)

It’s actually very simple to setup, there are websites out there that have eveything you need to set one up.  It takes less than a minute.  We used Kaywa and their free QR-Code Generator, they allow you to set the code to link to a URL, MMS, Phone Number or Text message.  Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.

Are We Developing The Next HALO Game?

Visit The Halo Website

We all know the HALO series and the guys at Bungie, wouldn’t it be great if you had that same success? 

BustedAppZ! is currently working on our first game launch.  Right now we are in early development and the first line of code is yet to be written but we have high hopes.  We spent more time studying the current hits on the Android, iPhone and even BlackBerry markets, hours, days, weeks! (not really weeks but that sounded impressive).  Our goal it to figure out what you want, feel convinced you’ll play it and hope that you enjoy it for a long time.  Currently our plan includes a complete series covering all ages.  Simple, addictive and fun; sound like a good game?  You’ll just have to wait and see.

BustedAppZ! will be attending the digiday:MOBILE show the week of March 8th, in Los Angeles and the E3 show later this year, also in Los Angeles.  Working hard to get it right!

Android, iPhone and now Windows Phone 7 – What will you develop for?

As an app development company we will have to make a choice of what (who) to develop apps for.  At some point there has to be a judgement call made, will it be cost effective for us to develop for all 3 platforms?  Here’s just a couple of items we will consider when making these decisions:

Is the UI the same?  Will controlling our app be similar on all 3 platforms? (remember KISS)
Can we use the same graphics files on all systems?
Do all 3 platforms have the same user type? (gamers, day to day, enterprise, kids)
How will the Microsoft team regulate app deployment?
Can the application be profitable? 
Only time will tell, at this time next year will BustedAppZ! be as excited about building for Windows Phone 7 as we are to build for Android today?

Building You A Secure App

We are currently working on a couple of new apps that require us to secure them.  At first thought it didn’t seem like much of a concern because it would be password protected but we really want the user to be reassured.  Keeping secure information in your mobile device is inevitable but is it really secure?

Just like any security if someone wants it bad enough odds are there’s a way to get it whether it is a car stereo or your personal information.  At BustedAppZ! we are committed to fun, simple and safe mobile applications.  Our programmers are highly skilled and our management team is thorough.  You can bet that any app from us can be trusted.  Unlike many other applications that collect your personal information our apps don’t, we earn our money from the sale of advertising or the app itself.

We hope you continue to enjoy our products whether educational, entertaining or a utility!