Appy Christmas in London

'Appy Christmas!

On Monday and Tuesday this week I was invited down to Modern Jago in London for Microsoft’s Appy Christmas event. It was a relaxed workshop to hear some presentations about Windows 8 app design and develop your own apps to submit to the Store. I had a lot of fun, even though it was tiring having early starts and we walked around London a lot on the second day. The event was well catered with lots of crisps, coke and pizza - and some alcamahol on Monday night :D

I suppose this post is also an announcement for the Cheap Ass Gamer app I’m making for Windows 8. This is the app I was developing at Appy Christmas. Development is going well, I made great progress at the event and also got to deploy it on a Microsoft Surface RT (the very first time I’ve seen one).

CAG on Surface

The Surface is a lovely device. It’s very well built and very nice to use. My only dislike is that the touch cover isn’t so good. It is made of a fabric which is not to my taste and typing without any feedback is weird and a bit disconcerting. The type cover (pictured above) is great, I would definitely recommend that one. The other thing is the power of the Surface RT is a bit low as it lagged on Jetpack Joyride.

Visual Studio has a fantastic feature where you can debug your app wirelessly from your computer to the Surface, including all the debugging tools you would get when running locally or in the simulator. It means you get real world tests of how your app would run on an ARM-based version of Windows and what the app feels like when using a touch screen. Remote debugging turned out to be very useful indeed as I found a bug where the whole app could be scaled and moved around with pinch to zoom. This is very bad as it takes away how the developer meant the app to be controlled. The bug would not have been found if I hadn’t used the app on the Surface.

CAG appBack to the app, it will hopefully have all the features of the Windows Phone version, including background audio for the podcasts. I have a much better feeling that this will be finished compared to Flashdeck; the app is simpler and more focused. I’ll try and keep the blog updated with my progress.

Below are some blurry photos of the rest of my trip to London. Big thanks to Microsoft for hosting the event :)

The view from my hotel. Windows Phone 8 advert! :PThe view from my hotel. Windows Phone 8 advert!

The shower at the hotel was fantastic :PThe shower at the hotel was fantastic :P

Tower Bridge in the distanceTower Bridge in the distance

The ShardThe Shard

The London Eye with pretty blue lightsThe London Eye with pretty blue lights

Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament

Aaaaand back to King's Cross and home.Aaaaand back to King’s Cross and home.