An Interview with WP7 Developer Blake Haas

1)Have you developed Apps for any other platforms before? If Yes What are they?

I have never developed Apps for a mobile platform before, so this is new to me. I am currently a senior in college for a B.S. in Computer Science, so i don’t have much experience other than course work and little side projects that I do with what little free time I have.

2)Why did you choose WP7 as a platform of your choice?

I have always enjoyed using Microsoft’s platforms for one main reason; The Visual Studio IDE is superior to anything else that I have used. It simply gets the job done, no fiddling around. It allows me to focus more on my project than dealing with small issues, but other people may disagree. I was excited when Microsoft announced a complete overhaul of their mobile operating system. Windows Phone 7 looks really exciting and the developer tools make it really easy for anyone to just pick up and start going!  The combination of Silverlight and C# is really appealing and I think will attract a lot of developers.

3)Which one do you think as the single most feature you liked in WP7?

Well, my favourite feature for development would be Silverlight, but as for the operating system itself I would have to say either the Xbox Live integration or Zune. 

4)Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

 Absolutely! Like I said previously, Visual studio is the best IDE I have used. The documentation is there. The emulator is really nice, without it I wouldn’t have been able to even begin development.

5)What are the Apps you are developing now in WP7?Details on the Apps?

 

The application I have been developing in my spare time is a workout app. I love staying fit and I’ve always been serious when it comes to working out. Having goals and sticking to a schedule is what gets you results. I used to walk around with a piece of paper that had my workout routines printed on it. That paper eventually gets lost or too crinkled to read, so I tried using some of the various android workout apps that were available. While they did work, they just weren’t for me. I hated fumbling around 7 or 8 sub menus to get to my one exercise. I also discourage the idea of having “pre-set” workouts. I wouldn’t want someone walking into a gym thinking that the 5 random exercises they just picked will get them where they want to be. More than likely it will discourage them when they don’t see results or possibly cause injury.  I see enough people who don’t know what they are doing in the gym already, no need for more. So my app is designed to be a basic but efficient workout app that allows you know your schedule right when you start it, allow you to time your rests in between sets, and if needed calculate your one-rep max and accompanying power levels below that. I expect my users to have prior knowledge about working out in a safe and effective manor and if not then to take the time to learn beforehand. This app will be free with no ads. If I can just make one user happy they installed it, then I feel it was worth it.

6)In what way Microsoft can improve their WP7 or What does WP7 lacks from?

I am a little upset that there is currently no way to link to other hubs from within 3rd party apps. I would have loved to allow the user to navigate into the music hub from my app. Also continuing on from what I said above, I don’t like that there is no current “quick” app switching. It’s a tiny bit tedious to have to start button your way out and then re-launch the application. Sure you can hit the back key like 6 times and hope that you had those two apps running close together but that’s not quick by any means.

7)Future Plans of you?

I plan to first and foremost graduate and get myself a job. I would love to continue writing apps for the windows phone 7 platform provided I have time.

Apart from these questions, Other things you want to share with the community?

 Everyone should download the sdk and give it a try. Anyone can write apps, it’s a lot of fun!

Thanks  Blake for sharing with us.

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