Windows Phone 8 Development Pitfalls

WP8 Silent Hours App ConceptSince about a month I’m the owner of a Lumia 920. Last week I downloaded the Windows Phone 8 SDK because I had a few improvements in mind. First I’d like to code an app that activates my WP8 lock screen as soon as the brightness sensor discovers a rapid fall into dark – I was used to this functionality on my iPad, close the cover of the iPad and it will go black. But I had to learn that this isn’t possible for a WP8 app because of the security sanctions.

At this time I was a little disappointed but I understand the security reason – with this functionality you could permanently exclude the user from the device if you trigger it on every unlock action. So I got creative and thought about dimming the brightness of the screen as soon as the cover is closed and also set the timeout interval for the lock screen to the minimal possible value, all in the name of saving some energy.

Turns out the minimum value of the lock screen is 30 seconds! And do you think I could listen/hook up an event to the brightness sensor in the background process? A background process can run for max 6 seconds, after this time period the process will be terminated by the system and starting a new process out of the running background task wasn’t properly working either -.-

That was my experience with the WP8 development since tonight. Today I had the great idea to code an app that turns the volume and vibration off at night and enables it at morning (I have a light sleep). Turns out you can’t change any phone settings inside an app, you can only open the right settings panel to offer the user to change the appropriate setting.

I just have no luck on programming something that my WP8 experience would improve :-(

After all this pointless coding I’m the opinion that it would be great if Microsoft would ease restrictions – because of me you have to pay extra for this ability’s because they will test your app more thorough. For the WinRT development there is something like this available. You only can use some functionality (for example: company authentication) if you use a company owned account.

As a side note: If you’d like to debug your code on a real phone you need a WP8 development account for a $99 USD. I think this is stupid for hobby developers. I’d like to train my WP8 development skills by programming nice little apps for myself until I think I have something others would enjoy (and I could earn/compensate the account license) then I would be happy to buy a license. I think buying a license before I can see the value on my own device is discouraging – happily I was still registered as student and could test the software on my device for free ;-)

Links to start with WP8 development:

Edit: Found this post by Ralf Rottmann in which he writes about his system change because of to many restrictions.

One thought on “Windows Phone 8 Development Pitfalls

  1. You can develope for free on a windows phone. I registered my phone and have no problems using the app, when my phone is not connected to the PC.

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