Posts Tagged ‘.NETCF’

I have been an ardent and a loyal Windows Mobile user. There were several reasons for this loyalty. I come from a development background that is heavily biased towards Microsoft (read .NET). With this back ground I found it quite easy to develop a few applications for the Windows Mobile platform using .NETCF. So whenever I had the option to upgrade my mobile, I went for a Windows Mobile device.

But since I was given a Blackberry Curve in my current job I have fallen in love with the Blackberry. One of the facts that I love about it is the fact that the OS is more biased towards the usual phone style. Windows Mobile OS is more biased towards the usual computer navigation style.

And the other thing is it is definitely a lot better for Email on the GO. With Windows Mobile, you need to initiate an operation to check for new Mail. I know there are solutions to provide Push Email on Windows MObile as well, but these usually require special software and additional configurations to get them to work. At least I never could get Push Email to work on my earlier Windows Mobile device.

And the BB is a lot lighter and sleeker than most of the Windows Mobile devices. It is definitely aesthetically more pleasing than the Windows Mobile device I had and a hell of a lot lighter.

My next step is to port my mobile application development knowledge to the BB platform so I can write a few apps for the device. Most of the applications that were a bit hard to find for the Windows Mobile devices were easy to find for the BB. But still there are a few that I could not still find. So hopefully I will be able to fill that gap, starting off with the applications that I would like to have on my BB!

My only hope was that there was some kind of an emulator which allows to run .NETCF applications on the BB. Now that would be superb. That way, I wont have to learn java to write apps for my BB. Do you know of anything like that?

Advertisements

The most requested feature for moBlog has been the ability to upload photos from the devices. Since most devices are equipped with a camera it makes perfect sense to enable photo blogging on moBlog as it will give people a quick way to get their photos in the devices to their blogs.

Of the blogging platforms that moBlog the easiest to get photo blogging working on was the on WordPress. WordPress supports Metaweblog API’s newMediaObject method and it worked like a charm. You can see the first photo uploaded from moBlog on the previous post!

Blogger now hosts the photos uploaded to the blogger.com blogs on Picasa Web Albums. The documentation vaguely mentioned something about Blogger creating a default album on Picasa for Blogger photos, but this web album is not accessible via the API. Hence I devised a crude method of creating an album for moBlog and uploading the photos to that album!

But the biggest disappointment was Live Spaces. Though they support Metaweblog API, their support of that is limited. Specifically they do not support the newMediaObject method. That was a pretty bad decision from the Live Spaces team. If they support a particular API, either MetaWebLog API or ATOM API, they have to support it completely. To make matters worse they do not provide any API to upload photos to the Live Spaces Blog.

I know that Windows Live Writer supports uploading photos to Live Spaces blog posts and similar to Google approach, those photos are stored in a seperate album on Live Spaces. But my problem was I was not able to find any documentation on the approach taken by Live Writer.

In any case, a new version of moBlog will be released in a couple of days with photo blogging support on Blogger and WordPress blogs. Along with that I will be releasing a few more enhancements to the post composition screen with the option to decorate the body of the blog posts.

Look forward to an enhanced moBlog!

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

I have been thinking about what to do next with moBlog. Since the initial release and the subsequent bug fixed version, I have been thinking about where I wanted to take moBlog.

There have been a particular feature request from the those who gave it a try. It is to enable support for posting images to their blogs. Since most of the devices come equipped with a camera this makes perfect sense as it will be great to post those pictures that you capture from your phone. Actually it was something that I also thought of doing, even initially, but differed as I wanted to get the application out as soon as possible. So it is definitely at the top of planned features list.

I have a few other features that I wanted to incorporate as well. If you have used moBlog with WordPress or Livespaces you would have noticed that moBlog currently does not support tags (or labels) for that. Tags are only supported for Blogger posts. This is because I could not figure out, at least with the client code I was using for MetaWebLog API, how to pass the Tags to the API. So this is something I want to incorporate on to a next version: option to tag wordpress/livespaces posts.

Currently moBlog is a .NET Compact Framework application. This deprives all those non Windows Mobile device users of the option to use a great mobile blogging application (do you notice me blowing my own horn here??). So I was thinking about hacking out a moBlog J2ME version as well! Now that is easier said than being done as I have not coded Java in a long long time, let alone tackle the intricacies of J2ME as well. But I think that will be a pretty good challenge for me to get on to a bit of Java coding. I am hoping that coding on Java has become as easy as it is to code on .NET. After all, Java lobby kept on saying that C# was a copy of Java, so I am hoping that those similarities will work in favor for me, coming from a C# background.

But what I actually do next will more or less depend on the user feedback that I get over the next couple of days. Either way, I think an enhanced version for WM with option to upload images will come out way before any J2ME  version sees the light of the day.  But if the demand for a J2ME version out weighs the enhancements for the WM version, I might consider dedicating my time on to that. What do you say?

Today seems to be my release day!

Just released a new enhanced version of GMobileSync (1.3.6) which now has Proxy Support as well as a few bug fixes.

One major bug was due to Who.Rel being a required property since of late on GData API. GMS had not implemented this property before but since our last release updating GCal was failing since Who/Rel was made a required parameter. That is now fixed with 1.3.6 so your syncs should work like a charm!

Go ahead and grab yourselves the latest release and be in Sync with your WM Devices and GCAL!

Happy holidays!

It is official! Though it is in beta, moBlog is released. I have created a page for it on this blog.

Those who wanted to give it  a spin, please go ahead and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback and comments. Looking forward to those!

I have been toying with the idea of creating a blogging application for the Pocket PC / Smartphone devices for sometime. i had done some extensive research on it sometime back, but due to limited time available for coding 4 fun (as I call my experimental coding activities) I had been pushing this idea away. But since I got myself a Windows Mobile phone, this need kept popping up.

My initial reaction was to go back to the applications that I had come across earlier and try them out on the phone. Well the fist one I tried refused to work on my blog unless there was an active Internet connection. This was a major limitation as I did not want to be online while I was writing my post. I know that GPRS/3G usage is charged for the actual traffic, but the downside was an active Internet connection on the phone drained the battery! So that experienced was very shortlived.

Then I did come across several other applications that allowed you to work offline, but I had small issues with them. Some I had issues setting up and running. They had exceptions. Some supported only one blog. I wanted something more as I have a couple of blogs. And I wanted my client application to support all of them without me having to delete and setup when I wanted to switch blogs.

 Also, I still had the urge to develop an application myself. With my involvement in GMobileSync now I was experienced in working with the GData API as well. So I went to work on my Mobile Blogging Application: MoBlogger.

Here are a feature list:

  • Multiple profiles
  • Multiple Blogs within a profile. So if your blogger account has multiple blogs setup, all of them will work!
  • Work Offline – you can work offline and save your posts for uploading later.
  • Supports labels.

Sounds great right? Well yeah… except right now it only supports Blogger! But I am working on supporting multiple blogging platforms! The immediate platforms on the radar are WordPress.com and Windows Live Spaces.

In the mean time if you would like to have a go at it, drop me a mail, I’ll be happy to send you an installation.

I have been busy and it’s not just been my work! I joined an open source project on codeplex. I had this idea to create an application that would sync a Google calendar with a Pocket PC’s Outlook Calendar. Then I was searching around to see whether there were similar applications around and came across GMobileSync which was an open source project on http://www.codeplex.com.

I requested the project’s coordinator to accept me as a developer and I was accepted. Then I took it upon me to fix a few of the bugs that were reported on the bug list. Then Eric, who is the creator of GMobileSync, told me that if I fixed two way sync, which is the most requested feature I will become the ‘hero’ of the GMobileSync world! That prompted me to put in my free-time towards fixing this issue / feature and last weekend, I managed to fix that. I made a release to codeplex and Eric has since released it to about 500 beta testers. And now I am awaiting for beta test results and keeping my fingers crossed that there wont be any bugs!

Working on an open source project has been pretty exiting. For one Open Source projects will give you the largest audience for your applications. Already the release I did has had 88 downloads for the space of one week. All this time the release was not even public. It was the beta testers who were invited to download and test. Hopefully the number will go up once the release becomes public.

GMobileSync has had about 40,000 downloads. Even if 10% were actively using the application, then that would mean 4000 people. You know it feels good to have an application where there is some little contribution of yours, being used by so many people. The difference in the open source world is that people will be appreciative about your work, unlike in commercial software. In commercial software, since they pay for the software, they tend not to show their appreciation!

If you had been looking for a tool that would sync your Google Calendar with your Windows Mobile device, then give GMobileSync 1.3.5 a try! And feel free to let us know your ideas for improvements or bugs!

Finally, thanks to Eric for accepting me into the project and letting me contribute. And to Lushi for tolerating my coding sessions that went into late in to the night 🙂