SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Mobile IoT, Silverlight

Microsoft Cloud: Book Review

Book Review: Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed

Everything about this book rocks!!!

Everything about this book rocks!!! It is in color which makes for a great read. Being able to see the code and screenshots in color doubles the value of a book like this. I wish all programming books that included coding client UIs were in color.

Although the chapter names usually highlight the main topic covered in the chapter, some chapters like chapter 2 cover a ton of topics. It covers XAP files, the capabilities model, threading model for graphics and animation, the frame rate counter, performance tools, how to determine device status, MVVM, and commands.

This book is 1095 pages huge and includes 29 in-depth chapters. It is broken into five parts. I have listed each part and the chapters below.

Part I. Windows Phone App Development Fundamentals
Chapter 1. Introduction to Windows Phone App Development
Chapter 2. Fundamental Concepts in Silverlight Development for Windows Phone
Chapter 3. Application Execution Model
Chapter 4. Page Orientation

Part II. Essential Elements
Chapter 5. Content Controls, Items Controls, and Range Controls
Chapter 6. Text Elements
Chapter 7. Media and Web Elements
Chapter 8. Taming the Application Bar
Chapter 9. Silverlight Toolkit Controls
Chapter 10. Pivot and Panorama

Part III. Windows Phone App Development
Chapter 11. Touch
Chapter 12. Launchers and Choosers
Chapter 13. Push Notification
Chapter 14. Sensors
Chapter 15. Geographic Location
Chapter 16. Bing Maps
Chapter 17. Internationalization
Chapter 18. Extending the Windows Phone Picture Viewer
Chapter 19. Camera
Chapter 20. Incorporating XNA Graphics in Silverlight
Chapter 21. Microphone and FM Radio
Chapter 22. Unit Testing

Part IV. Building Windows Phone Data Driven Applications
Chapter 23. Input Validation
Chapter 24. Network Services
Chapter 25. Isolated Storage and State Preservation
Chapter 26. Local Databases

Part V. Multitasking
Chapter 27. Scheduled Actions
Chapter 28. Background File Transfers
Chapter 29. Background Audio

One of the things I really like that the author did was introduce the Windows Phone Performance Analysis Tool right off the bat in chapter 2. Knowing how to make use of the performance tools may really help developers without an actual device.

Another thing I really liked was that the author made use of MVVM throughout the book. He did not just introduce it and then continue with the rest of the book without it, like I have seen done with some other Silverlight books, he made extensive use of it.

The author does a great job covering the Silverlight Toolkit. He covers the ListPicker, AutoCompleteBox, ContextMenu, DatePicker and TimePicker, LoopingSelector, LongListSelector, PerformanceProgressBar, TiltEffect, ToggleSwitch, and the WrapPanel. He does not just list them, he provides in-depth examples of each.

The chapter on Bing Maps is not only a great introduction to Bing Maps, it also contains a practical example of using Reactive Extensions (Rx). The chapter on Geographic Location also contains a nice example of Rx.

The chapter named Touch is all about gestures. It gives a great overview with some really good visual aids. It covers all the gestures and their associated events.

The chapter on Launchers and Choosers is awesome. The author does a great job of covering a ton of them. He covered so many of them, that I am not sure that he missed any. He provides a nice code sample for using each one.

The downloadable code is very well organized and usable. I did not run into any trouble with the samples, which is amazing because there are a ton of them.

Every chapter of this book is rock solid and they all go in-depth. The last thing I will say I liked about this book is that it took advantage of tools like LINQ to SQL, Odata, the Unit Testing Framework, and Reactive Extensions in practical real world examples. The author doesn't skimp on implementation examples.

All in all if you are considering getting into Windows Phone development, or are already involved with it, this book is an absolute must!!!

Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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