An Interview with WP7 Developer Quoc-Thy Ngo

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

Academically, I have worked mostly with java as school work. No real application or useful piece of software has come out of this. However, not too long ago, one course I took had the class develop an Android application together for some small business. This was the first and only real platform that I have developed for. Ultimately, this led to an interest in developing apps, specifically for Windows Phone 7.

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

Like I mentioned, I basically started off on Android. I was very familiar with the language but when it came down to actually writing the code, the ride proved to be a little bit bumpy. My original plans were to keep writing apps for that platform but when I finally tried out the tools for Windows Phone 7 (Beta release), I quickly fell in love with how easy it was to both design and develop the apps. Plus, on WP7, I didn’t need to worry as much about hardware variations like screen resolution because it was standardized. Besides how relatively easy it was to develop, the Marketplace was also going to be fresh. It would be less crowded and easier for my apps as a small developer to get noticed by the consumers as compared to the other markets, which were already filled with apps by now.

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

As a user, there’s too many great things to single out. But if I must choose, I’d choose the hubs. I much more enjoy the way you can just get quick access to things without jumping in and out of pages. It’s always on the current surface, you just simply need to swipe left and right to “focus” on which content you need to see. My second pick would be the fact that I can use the Zune pass on go now.

As a developer, I love how easy it is to make your own control with it’s own logic using User Controls. Plus, Blend is pretty awesome in making everything animate too.

4)Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

I am very satisfied with the development tools. In fact, almost everything is better than I’d expect as a developer. Some things are actually a little bit too easy and just given to us. That being said, there are some major things that I wish they had. One of the things that bothered me was that a lot of the controls that exists in the WP7 OS is available in the tools, but they’re a bit gimped. I often found myself saying “okay, now where’s the option to make it behave like the one on the native apps?” On top of that some controls are missing that are really useful such as the toggle button and the picker box. It’s not a big deal since we can make them ourselves though.

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

I only currently have one in the works right now. It’s called “DareNight” and it’s an app that helps you play Truth or Dare. It controls the roster of players and then allows you to set the settings of the game. Based on those two things, it dynamically gives you “players-aware” questions and dares during each player’s turn. It even has basic tools like a timer to help you play the game. There will be other apps in the future of course, but this one is my main focus right now.

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

It’s been said a million times, and I don’t personally think it’s that important but its worth mentioning. Flash and Silverlight in the browser would greatly benefit the OS. Also managed multitasking would be a good draw to developers and consumers as well. Xbox Live would also greatly benefit from live over-the-network multiplayer and would certainly help Xbox Live live up to its name. Other than those things, everything else is being nit-picky.

7)Future Plans of you?

I’m just trying to finish school and set up my life and career. As for app development, I will keep doing this so long as I’m able to. DareNight will continuously be improved as it’s still in its early stages. Hopefully I can have it done by the WP7 launch, but we’ll have to see since I’m still waiting for the final version of the developer tools. As DareNight gets closer to being done, I’ll start working on my next app.

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

If you have good suggestions for Truths or Dares, send them as comments. I’m also willing to collaborate with other developers and designers to work on bigger projects so let me know if any of you people are  interested.

Thanks Quoc for sharing with us.All the best for your future works.

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