Windows Phone 8 Unleashed
By Daniel Vaughan
Paperback edition: UK -£24.95 U.S. $38.99 Kindle edition: UK £20.15 U.S. $30.63
Daniel Vaughan will be well known to anyone in the international Windows Phone developer community. He is a Microsoft MVP and a member of the elite WPF Disciples group as well as a Member of the Microsoft Developer Guidance Council. He is also well-known on LinkedIn because, along with his wife Katka, he runs the Windows Phone Experts Group. (http://linkd.in/jnFoqE ).
Daniel’s journey has taken him from Australia, via the United Kingdom to Switzerland, where he now lives.
Windows Phone 8 Unleashed is very much a techie manual for techies. It is aimed squarely at app developers who want to develop apps for the Windows Phone 8 and is encyclopaedic in scope (and in size, too, at more than 1,100 pages long).
The book is divided into five parts. The first deals with the fundamentals of app development, including an introduction to Windows Phone. Part two deals with essential elements such as text and fonts, web elements, and jump lists. Part three is the key section on Windows Phone app development – dealing with issues that include processing touch input, Live Tiles, sensing movement, and capturing images and sound. It also includes accepting payments and the wallet function. Part four is about validating user input, communication with network services and storing app data locally. Part five is devoted to subjects that include performing file transfers in the background and coordinating background audio playback.
What will be of particular value to the developer is that the book not only includes many diagrams illustrating processes and functions, it also has many actual screen shots showing just how the executed code should appear.
In his introduction, Daniel Vaughan says, ‘Although you see some examples incorporating XNA for audio and media, this book’s focus is squarely on XAML for Windows Phone. The book covers all main areas of the topic in a deep, yet easily comprehensible way, using practical examples with real-world context.’
The goal, says Daniel, is to provide developers with concepts and techniques that will help them design and develop well-engineered and robust Windows Phone apps.
Wherever possible, says Daniel, readers are given the tips and techniques that go beyond the topic, and the book frequently has content that is not easily found elsewhere. ‘A substantial amount of custom code is provided that extends the Windows Phone Software Developer Kit to support real app scenarios.
Looking at the scope of this book, its attention to detail and its encyclopaedic content, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that it’s likely to remain the Windows Phone app developers bible for quite some time to come.