Download Lumia 925 Emulator Skin

Have you seen this feature demo video of Avirall? (jump to 00:50)

Do you like the emulator? This is Visual Studio Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 925 emulator skin, i created :D.

Nokia925_UP

You can also create your own app demo video with this skin! Download this skin from here.

Instructions about how to apply skin to your emulator are here.

Happy skinning, oops!

Talk About Your App

As an app developer you are supposed to reach out to your prospective users as much as you can to let them know about your app. Social networks – FB, Twitter, Reddit, etc. are some great tools to spread the word. I also think creating a small video about your app and publishing it to YouTube is an effective way to let your users quickly get to know about your app. These are some fantastic posts to talk more about how to promote your apps:
Making A Love Connection? Build Relationships To Promote Your Apps
The Simplest Things People Don’t Do To Market Their Apps (But should)

In this post I will share some points about creating video.

The simplest and very effective way of creating a video is capture the physical phone screen while you are using it. That’s it. You can upload it as it is with your commentary in it. If you want to be fancier, there could be many other pricey options – e.g. hiring an advertising agency. Here I would talk about a no-cost (but a little extra work) option for creating attractive videos showcasing your app. The two videos, listed below, are created with following tools and processes.

In this setup I chose not to go for a video on physical device screen because i wanted to keep focus on the functionality and information about the app, rather than telling about how to use the app. I used emulator instead. It’s easier with emulator and it also gives more control to capture the desired section on the screen.

Prepare Emulator

You could choose to use the default generic emulator image to show your app in. Following is the generic emulator skin which comes with the IDE:

WM7_Skin_Up

Or, to make your video more personalized/interesting, you could use a custom skin. You can customize skins at your heart content, for example, for one video I created this skin:

Nokia925_UP

More about the above skin here.

Once you have taken care of the device skin, have your app installed on the emulator. Don’t forget to prepare example data and load with the app, if your app is data heavy and you want to showcase the same for your users. Set up a nice background on your desktop (it could be your app’s or company’s branding). Background is required because in this case you would have the complete HD movie created along with the background. The least HD movie size is 720P, so apart from the device there would be a lot of background in the video.

Animations and 2D Graphics

Silverlight is an ultimate tool to create fantastic 2D animations. You need to come up with a story as to how you would want to present information to the audience. Think about dynamics of the information, their movements, exit, and entry. Plan 5-10 slides. Create animations and transitions in Silverlight desktop application. If your animations and graphics are showing on the same screen with the video, first capture the video and using VideoBrush add the video in the Silverlight application. Fine tune the timing of the video while test running the app. You can see in the videos below, one of the video is a completely Silverlight video captured on screen and other is a mix of Silverlight and pre-captured video. You can have your titles, credits, and subtitles in the app itself with your custom animations.

Raw Video Footage

I captured screen with Expression Encoder 4 (I hear that the studio has been discontinued, but there are other tools available to download with which you can effectively capture screen). Set the capture size to minimum 1280X720 to play well in HD. Run the app on emulator, or run your desktop Silverlight application and capture the video.

Voice Over

You might want to include commentary in your video. It might be your own voice or you can choose to use text to audio tools. In both the cased you will need a script to read. Prepare the script  by running and re-running the video and match your speed with the video speed. The best free tool to prepare audio is Audacity. You can add commentary, music, effects in a single with multiple tracks. You can adjust the speed of your audio and match it with your video output.

Fuse Video And Audio

Now remains the simple task of bringing Video and Audio together. In this step you would make least changes to video or audio so a simple video editing tool like Movie Maker is enough. Export the video in MP4 format with the source dimension locked.

Examples

C#|.NET|XAML : Get Children & Grandchildren

This is, again, an extension method (C#, .NET). This particular method is tested with Silverlight only, but I do not think there should be any problem in .NET 4.5 WPF. This is a useful method to get children of a given type inside a DependencyObject. For example, you want to get a list of all textblocks inside the grid of this form:

ChildrenList

You can get all TextBlocks inside LayoutRoot using following code:

IEnumerable<TextBlock> _textBlocks = LayoutRoot.GetChildrenByType<TextBlock>();

Here is the code of the extension method:

namespace YourCompanysAwesomeExtensionMethods
{
    public static class ViewExtensions
    {
        public static IEnumerable GetChildrenByType(this DependencyObject parent) where T : class
        {
            List _children = new List();
            for (int i = 0; i < VisualTreeHelper.GetChildrenCount(parent); i++)             {                 var child = VisualTreeHelper.GetChild(parent, i);                 if (child != null && child is T)                     _children.Add(child as T);                 if (VisualTreeHelper.GetChildrenCount(child) > 0)
                {
                    IEnumerable _subchildren = GetChildrenByType(child);
                    if (_subchildren.Count() > 0)
                    {
                        _children.AddRange(_subchildren);
                    }
                }
            }
            return _children as IEnumerable;
        }
    }
}

Avirall Time Suite : Update 1.2.8544.0

Find more help here.

With simple timer to professional task tracking, Avirall is a Windows Phone exclusive and unique suite of 5 innovative millisecond precise professional grade time keeping tools. Avirall has Quick Stopwatch, Stopwatch Pro for sports people, and students, Timer Pro, Activity Logger and Project tracker to keep track of your projects, tasks, money, profits, and payments. Best tool for freelancers. You can create and maintain multiple timekeepers with each of the tools and keep them running for as long as you need them. Timekeepers in Avirall maintain themselves even if you shut your device off completely. Professional class clocks have days, hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. You can edit, remove, or keep timekeepers on your device. Some unique features of Avirall are:
– Tasks & profiles
– Mail sharing
– Multiple projects with multiple tasks, rates, earning, payments and summaries
– Alarm and notifications for timers
– Photo sharing
– Pin TaskTimer to Start screen for instant access
– Define millisecond precision for individual timekeepers
– Running timekeepers adjust with current time zone of the device
– Lots of settings to control app’s behavior
– Image attachments in every timekeeper

462x120_WPS_Download_cyan

===
CHANGE LOG

Oct 2013 [Ver 1.2.8544.0]

-3 new time styles
-Project report image design update
-Now supports 6 languages – en, fr, de, nl, ch, ru
-Peek view re-designed
-Quick stopwatch digital area redesigned
-Large tile for 7.8 and 8.0
-Bug Fixes


Sep 2013 [Ver 1.1.8338.0]

-Bug Fixes
-Imagery change for more contemporary design
-Comprehensive title – Avirall Time Suite
-Help button on Quick Stopwatch
-Tool names changed
-New timekeeper’s default name will be “New [hh:mm:ss]


Aug 2013 [Ver 1.0.8112.0 ]

[First published]