If you develop native mobile apps using Xamarin you quite likely have used BTProgressHUD for iOS or AndHUD for Android. These are great components for displaying work-in-progress dialogs or toast messages.
While the components have similar APIs nevertheless they are different and in different namespaces and thus create an issue if you”re trying to code share between the two platforms. I hit up Nic and Jon on twitter this week and Jon suggested writing a class that wraps both.
I wrote XHUD.HUD as a result. It”s quite simple as it mimics the underlying APIs and unifies the slight differences between the 2 APIs. However, I didn”t map every variation of the APIs and thus it will need to be extended.
Longer term it would be nice to see Xamarin.Mobile encompass more things like this. Having said that it doesn”t seem like it is actively being developed. So for now we have XHUD.HUD but I”m not crazy about the namespace XHUD as it seems redundant and too narrowly focused. Perhaps XPlat as the namespace and it contains HUD, AlertDialog, etc? We”ll see.
I”ve decided to wait for the 5s. This may mean old-school standing in line somewhere or perhaps risking walkup at a retail store on the 20th.
Why the 5s? I haven”t done a lot of analysis on this but for own personal use I typically buy the fastest (5s) and midrange storage (32GB) . Since I spend the majority of my time developing mobile apps for iOS and Android I pretty much buy the latest and greatest from Apple each year. With the fingerprint scanner and the camera enhancements I figure the 5s will have more of a potential developer impact vs the 5c. Perhaps I”m wrong?
Craig Hockenberry makes a case for the 5c:
If you”re a developer, it”s easy to fall into the 5s group (we love tech!) But the most important customers are in the 5c group…
To borrow from and paraphrase Merlin Mann hopefully accurately, you are what you actually do, not what you think or wish that you did. So far, in 2013, I’m really a writer and podcaster and, to an embarrassing degree, a Twitter user with a programming hobby.
I’ve been a long time Windows Media Center user, going back to the days when Charlie Kindel was working in that group (before his time as a Windows Phone PM). I was also one of the early beta testers of Media Center and was actually seeded hardware from the group at MSFT.
Although in the past I’ve used the full monte of features that Media Center provides, in recent years I’ve found that my main use of the Media Center has been for streaming videos and other content from sporting websites or Youtube, etc. Last year the media center PC I had died due to a hard drive issue and so I’ve done without a media center pc since then.
Fast forward to 2013 when I blogged in March about deciding to sell my Surface RT (primarily due to getting a Surface Pro). After putting it up for sale I had a situation where I wanted to watch a sporting event that was only available via streaming. I decided what the heck, why not try the RT to do this. So I went out to the Microsoft Store and picked up an adapter to connect the RT to the home theater system.
I”ve listed the cost breakdown below:
Surface RT ($500)
micro-USB to HDMI adapter: $10 (I bought the $40 from the MSFT store but since found you can buy others much more cheaply)
Logitech Easy Switch Bluetooth Keyboard: $60 (this wasn”t really an added cost since I was already using the keyboard hooked to an Apple TV)
Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 (Free, as I had it in a drawer)
Total outlay is around $600.
The Surface RT is hooked into a relatively cheap Home theater receiver (Pioneer VSX-820) via one of the HDMI ports. One HDMI output then goes to a Sharp 52″ TV that is mounted on the wall above the fireplace.
The TV can be pulled out from the wall as shown below. You can see the mess of wires, etc. The Surface RT is sitting in there but hard to see since the display is not turned on since it is running on the TV.
I use a Harmony One remote to control everything. I created an activity called “Surface PC” which just switches the HTMI input on the receiver to the Surface RT. It also controls the volume via the Pioneer receiver.
The keyboard I use is a Logitech Easy Switch Bluetooth keyboard. The thing I like about this keyboard is that I can pair it up to 3 bluetooth devices. I have an Apple TV paired to F1 and the Surface is on F2.
The mouse is nothing special as it was laying around the house. However, it is bluetooth which is nice (no extra adapters) and it also has an on/off switch (as does the keyboard).
I”ve been using this setup now for 3 months now and like it quite a bit. I primarily use it when there is some event on that I want to stream from the browser. I”ve used it a lot to stream MLS soccer games via a MLS Live subscription. I”ve also used it with vdio.com (e.g. rdio.com video cousin) and youtube.
While I”ve played around a little bit with using some of the Windows “metro” applications so far I haven”t found what I”d call great 10″ UI apps. If you have some great 10″ UI apps please let me know.
As mentioned in my 2012 Post I bought a Surface RT back in November when they launched. While I like the device I haven”t had much time to use the device as I”ve been heads down doing iOS development and so it hasn”t gotten a lot of usage.
In January/February of this year I started doing Windows Phone 8 development on my MacBook Pro via a VM. When the Surface Pro came out in February I picked one up the week after they came out–the Microsoft store sold out but put me on a wait list and then got a call about a week later. The biggest thing about the Surface Pro over the RT is the ability to run Visual Studio (and thus do Windows Phone development). As an added bonus I”ve really liked using the stylus with OneNote for note taking in meetings.
Thus my Surface RT is going up for sale. I will be posting it for sale in the forums over at Surface Geeks (http://surfacegeeks.net). The unit comes with 32GB, a touch cover, and a brand new Incipio Surface sleeve ($40 retail).
First off let me say that I don”t like to make new year”s resolutions. I also don”t usually look back and analyze or review. However, this year I”m capturing some of the past partly because my memory seems to gets worse each year. By putting this down on paper I have something to remember this year by as well as to compare to next year.
I”ve listed some things I did, worked with, saw, used, etc. (not necessarily in order of importance)
Given the nature of the work that I do, I end up buying devices as they come out, if I feel that I will need or want them. Only after making a list do I realize how many significant devices launched this past year and how many I used or felt were important.
iPad 3 Verzion LTE (Mar)
Retina MBP (Jul)
Nexus 7 8GB (Jul)
iPhone 5 AT&T LTE (Sept)
Mac Mini (for blog, Sept)
iPad Mini Verizon LTE (Nov)
Surface RT (Nov)
Nokia Lumia 920 AT&T (Dec)
Apple TV – Gen 3, (Dec)
Of these devices I used the retina MBP tons every day. I used the iPad 3 a lot from Mar-June but then as I shifted focus to iPhone app development I used it very little. Once the iPad Mini came out in November I found myself very rarely using the iPad 3 (perhaps I should sell it?).
The Surface RT is a great device but suffers from a lack of good apps. The Nokia Lumia 920 replaced an android phone (Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket) and really is a beautiful phone on a nice OS/UI. In 2013 I expect to be doing some x-plat development for Android and so I expect that the Nexus 7 will see quite a bit of use.
Sharpening The Saw
2012 was the year I decided to focus on “sharpening the saw” by attending a few events.
In retrospect I”m glad I did since the iPhone 5 sold out in about an hour by all reports. I actually ordered 2 iPhones–one for myself and one for my daughter.
My daugher”s Android phone”s poor battery life is to blame as the main reason for her getting a new phone. That and the fact that all Android phones have large (4.5″ or larger) screens and she wanted something smaller.
My order was complicated by the fact that I am not eligible for the full subsidy since I got the 4S last October. AT&T wanted to charge me $299 $250 = $549. I wound up just ordering a phone using my wife”s upgrade for $299. I talked to AT&T today and they told me that I”d just need to activate the phone on my phone #.
Of the sessions the blogger mentions I also went to the session on iOS Security by Jay Freeman and can attest that it was excellent. I also wanted to attend the session by Gustavo Ambrozio but was in a Core Bluetooth session at the same time.