Posts Tagged ‘Windows Mobile’

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?

A couple of weeks ago I got a new laptop from office. It is a Dell Latitude D630 running Vista Business. I didn’t get much time to setup the machine, just did the bare essentials to do my day to day work. And during the last long weekend, since I had sometime in my hands, I started setting up my development environments on it.

I started off with Visual Studio 2003 as the main solution that I need to support on my new job is a ASP.NET 1.1 application. Through officially VS2003 is not supported on Vista, I managed to install and run it on my machine. I still havent done any debugging or anything yet, but hope I wont face much issues. In case I do, i do have another laptop running Windows XP, on which I have installed VS2003.

Then came my favourite IDE, VS2005. Installed the Professional Edition and WM5 SDK’s and tried to do some changes to moBlog. Managed to do the changes, but was not able to test it as I could not get the emulator to connect to the Internet. Also, since I have switched my mobile also to a Blackberry I did not have a device to test it on either.

Ended up installing an untold number of software on my laptop including Virtual PC, patches, WM6 SDK’s, you name it. But still I cannot get my emulator to connect to the Internet. The Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) only started to recognize the cradling of the emulator after I installed MS Virtual PC. Now, when I cradle the emulator, WMDC recognizes and initiated a connection. But still I cannot browse the Internet from the emulator.

When I try to browse a web site from it, I get a message saying that “Page cannot be found. Check the name and try again”. From moBlog, I get a exception saying that the remote host name cannot be resolved. I know the issue is with the connectivity between the emulator and machine. But right now I have run out of ideas. And I could not find much information on the Internet regarding connecting emulators to Internet using WMDC. All the articles refer to ActiveSync. But the information is straight forward enough to apply to WMDC, unless there are any specific things that you need to do with WMDC.

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome!

UPDATE: I allowed WMDHost (C:\Windows\WindowsMobile\WmdHost.exe) through the firewall and it happened to solve the problem.  Voila! Now my .NETCF programs can connect to the Internet through the Emulator!

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

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.