Mobile Flares for Windows Phone 7

  1. Introduction
  2. Setup and project overview

Some ideas are more or less useless, but also just as timeless. Some time ago, I started to implement a project called Mobile Flares for Windows Mobile 6.5. It was a small app for getting flare predictions for Iridium Flares.

After I got myself a brand new Windows Phone I thought about revisiting the project to make it work on the new platform. But it was only when the new Windows Phone Mango features were announced that I eventually got into it. Mango has interesting new APIs this small application can benefit from, which is why I’d like to shine some light on implementation details in order to turn the project into a Mango tutorial.

In the following posts, I will describe the implementation progress in steps and also point to the corresponding code revision. All the code is available on Codeplex, I am using Mercurial as version control software. I have to apologize for my random switching between german and english commit comments, I will restrict it to english from now on.

Even though the main use case of Mobile Flares is extremely simple (get predictions for the current location) there are a lot of sub-usecases revolving around this, which is why the application uses, among other APIs:

  • Location API
  • Compass API
  • Background Agents
  • Live Tiles
  • Local Database
  • Reminders

It also uses Visual Studio Async CTP (SP1 Refresh) and MVVM Light.

What I like about Windows Phone development is that it’s only a special flavor of Silverlight development, and Silverlight will look familiar to anyone who has done some WPF, which is, as it happens, exactly what I have done. I will not cover the basics of XAML, data binding etc for this is not a Silverlight tutorial.

Instead, I will show how to achieve this with LiveTiles:


and this using reminders


and this using compass data



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