Thursday, February 23, 2012

Developing for the Motorola MC 75 smart device

I worked on a small application for the MC 75 handheld device from Motorola this week. The device sports Windows Mobile 6.5 and .NET CF 3.5 and you can use v 2.6 of the symbol EMDK to access the barcode scanner and other goodies.

It was quiet a experience hammering out a app in 2 days considering the last time I worked on windows mobile was when Visual Studio 2005 was the hot new thing and I was the envy of developer brethren for getting upgraded to it. I ended up spending 70% of time setting up my environment and getting the "hello world" or "howdy world" app on the device.

I never realized that Microsoft cut off support for Windows Mobile when it launched the Windows Phone 7 platform in the Visual Studio 2010. They still support the old versions of VS if you have them for smart device development. This was a bummer as getting an older version of a microsoft product can be a pain in the ass.

This is what I did to get the env setup on a Windows 7 (64 bit) machine:

1) Install the trial version of Visual Studio 2008. ( you could buy it too if you wanted to)
3) Microsoft device center, this was way cooler then Active Sync.
4) Symbol EMDK ... I used 2.6 for C#

The actual device is pretty cool but getting the Wi-Fi to work was not as straight forward as you would expect. I finally got it to work after reading the blog post and first comment from Michael.

I hope that the smart devices from Motorola ( and Symbol) move either to Windows Phone 7 (or 8) or get on to the Android bandwagon. Windows mobile 6 with the .net compact framework was awesome but its time has passed and I really dont want to code on that platform again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

AppQuu : Love the concept but need more functionality

I hate to say this but I was just thinking about a way to do a "read me later" for the apps that I see and read about on my commute. I had grand plans on how one magical weekend I would find the time to hammer out an app that would let me do just that... and here it is. Came across AppQuu on and felt the instant connection.

AppQuu in its own words is "Your Personal App Store" and works pretty well if you have an iPhone. Its really a pretty neat bookmark service.

The only setup required is to install their bookmark in your browser after providing them your phone number on their site. Its a pretty simple step on Chrome and I assume they support firefox and IE too. To use it, all you have to do is click on the bookmark when you are browsing a web page that has the download link of a application. Note, the bookmark looks for links to the Apple app store (http://itunes...) so if the webpage does not have the link then you will not be able to add the bookmark.

Once you collect your bookmarks, you can get them emailed or texted to your device. The message contains a link that pops up a WAP page that lists your apps. You click on the link to install the app. Simple enough ?

How does AppQuu make money ? I am not sure but one of the ways is the click throughs when you download the app from iTunes. The link they provide is through the linkshare network for iTunes.

Thumbs up to the AppQuu team for putting this together and providing a nice UX.

I am a Android user myself and havent yet figured out if they support Android at this time. Looks like my search will continue until they add Android or I find the magical weekend.