Extra properties when data binding

When you are binding data there are additional properties that allow you to format the display and to handle errors and null values. These are a valuable addition to any data bound control to ensure your user has a great experience.

The StringFormat property allows you to add any standard .NET format string that matches the type you are binding to, the FallbackValue instructs the binding on what to display if the binding fails and the TargetNullValue instructs the binding on what to display if the value bound to is null.

Full Article: Jesse Liberty

Panorama Backgrounds & Minimised AppBars

Before the Mango update, Windows Phone developers were advised against using the application bar with a Panorama control. This was somewhat changed with the Mango which includes a new minimized mode for the application bar. This mode can be accessed using the Mode-property of the application bar.

For example the built-in People hub uses this new mode. But if you cycle through the panorama items in the People hub, you’ll notice that there’s one panorama item where the application bar is shown in its default mode. This is a nice behavior because it draws the user’s attention to the functionalities provided by the application bar. And this same behavior has been replicated by many 3rd part applications. But be careful with it, because in its current state, changing between the two different modes may cut some pixels from your panorama’s background.

Mikael Koskinen has written a short piece on how to overcome this problem and ensure a continuous user experience.

Full Article: mikaelkoskinen.net

Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone in the UK

The Microsoft Advertising SDK was only available in the US for the initial Windows Phone launch. With the release of Mango however, 11 additional countries were added including the UK.

What does this mean? It means it’s really simple to integrate advertising into your Windows Phone application (or game, Silverlight or XNA). Microsoft Advertising Network servers deliver ads to your users and you get a share of the advertising revenue.

In-App advertising can offer a great alternative mechanism for monetizing your apps. Instead of charging up-front, you offer the app for free and make money through advertising. Or you offer a free, ad-supported version alongside a paid, ad-free version. Experimenting with different models may itself prove to be a very worthwhile investment!

Mike Ormond has written a quick post on how to implement the Ad SDK into your Windows Phone Project.

Full Article: Mike Ormond’s Blog

Using full container width for ListBoxItem

A couple of days ago I was building a ListBox for a wp7 app which required the ListBoxItems to use the full width of the container. I tried to apply some of my WPF knowledge to fix the problem, using HorizontalAlignment=”Stretch” but to no avail. It took me ages to find a work around & I ended up using fixed width’s. For now, a fixed width solution is okay in portrait mode, but if I wanted the app to support both orientations, I would need a better solution.

This morning I stumbled across this post which explains that there is a bug in the coding for the WP7 Silverlight ListBox and the correct XAML code to fix it. Click the link below to read the full article.

Full Article: Timdam’s blog

Music Voice Command using WP7

I’ve already tweeted this a few days ago, but thought it needed a special mention. The other day The Verge picked up on the video from @KeyboardP. At the time the video was only posted as a proof of concept, but I have to say, that it’s awesome. Following the initial response from the video, KeyboardP has put together a quick FAQ which answers people’s immediate questions. It’s definitely worth a watch & I can’t wait for the first release.

Full Article: The Verge
FAQ: www.keyboardp.me
Via: @KeyboardP