An Interview with WP7 gReadie Developer Chris Sainty

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

Windows Phone 7 will be the first platform I take an application to commercial release on. I have looked at iOS and the previous WinMo platforms but only briefly.

My background is in line-of-business and web applications.

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

Previous experience with C#/Silverlight/XAML are all a big help of course. But more than that I believe Microsoft are building the right platform this time around. They have a consumer product that looks every bit as "sexy" as the competitors, paired with great development tools and a marketplace strategy we know works for both consumers and developers.

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

 Something that stood out for me straight away that I have not seen on other mobile platforms was the "trial application" mode. As an avid fan of the Xbox Live Arcade I really hope most developers build trial versions of their applications to really improve the shopping experience for consumers. It might not be the flashiest of features but I think it will make a huge difference.

4)Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

Generally I am very happy with them. There was very little extra learning needed to upgrade a Silverlight skillset to Windows Phone 7. I believe that is a great achievement by Microsoft and it is great to see how some of the investments in .NET 3.5/4.0 are really starting to pay off. Can you imagine what WP7 development would have looked like before XAML?

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

 The first app I will be releasing to the Marketplace is called gReadie.

It is a Google Reader client that aims to capture my early impressions of the feel of the platform. So I have tried to keep the navigation wide rather than deep ample use of sideways swiping.

There is support for viewing, adding (by URL or search) and removing feeds, Starred Posts, Tags/Folders and the option to send posts to Instapaper.

I also put a lot of work in ensuring the application will work well with the phone "tombstone" features so that a user can switch out and back in without losing their place or needed to resync with Google.

There will be more features to come before launch as well.

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

Since I do not have a device yet, this is hard to answer. I know the lack of Copy/Paste and Multitasking at launch is really going to bug the community. In truth I rarely use either feature on my iPhone, but that is just me. One concern I have simply from using the simulator is how usable the home screen of the phone will be if a user chooses to install a lot of applications. Both the tile view and the list view have the potential to get really hard to navigate I feel.

7)Future Plans of you?

 At the moment I will continue to develop the application and be ready to launch it when the marketplace opens for business. Beyond that I will be looking to get a device as soon as I can and start considering some other applications. I have a few ideas both apps and games that could see the light of day.

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

For the community I would say it is great to see the level of interest and excitement that exists for these devices, both from consumers and developers. Not long to go now everyone 🙂

Thanks Chris for sharing with us. I’ll be one of the early adopters of your app since I use Google Reader all the time.

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