Building Torrential – A Windows Phone 7 Story

After a frantic few weeks and very little sleep my newest creation has finally been submitted to the Windows Phone 7 marketplace.

Some of you may remember the exciting day when I declared myself to be an Android Developer, however since then I’ve been left with only a shell of an application and not a whole lot of motivation to complete it. I found that as a .NET developer, Java was not so different and therefore not so bad to work with, the XML layouts were ok after you got used to them and overall it was nice to be able to do whatever I wanted with the platform. Creating the application and functionality wasn’t so hard, it was just the polish that I couldn’t seem to get. There was never a time when I thought, “Hey, this actually looks really cool”.

A few months later and in comes Windows Phone 7. At first I was afraid, I was petrified (sorry I had to), but since I had never used Silverlight or WPF, the whole XAML thing looked weird and scary. Luckily it wasn’t so hard to pickup the basics especially when using the amazing Expression Blend software. Having a gui UI editor has really been a godsend.

The major reason I have enjoyed building a Windows Phone 7 App so much, has been the effortless beauty you can achieve straight off the bat. With absolutely no extra styling, you can create an amazing looking app using the default templates. Of course I didn’t want just the default templates, I also wanted to create some cool looking styles and templates of my own. Microsoft have done a great thing here by releasing the UI Design & Interaction Guide. I’m a developer, not a designer, so this document has been great for letting me know exactly how I should be laying out my listbox items, or how many pixels I should have between controls, or what font style I should use for certain situations, or how a dialog box should look… I could go on.

So here we are with Torrential, a nice looking uTorrent remote control app. It has only taken me around a month or two’s worth of work after work to get it to this stage and I’m confident that I can continue to make it even better with the limited time I have available.

If there’s ever a reason to be a .NET fanboy, it’s that Microsoft treat their developers so well, with first class development tools, allowing you to create truly awesome software, websites and now mobile apps. If you haven’t used Visual Studio 2010 or Expression Blend yet, you’re missing out.

All in all, I urge anyone who has some .NET skills to just give it a dig, and see what you can come up with. You can check out my app, Torrential for some inspiration :)

Windows Phone 7 App Hub – The home base of windows phone development contains everything you need

Windows Phone 7 Training Kit – If you decide you want to learn, this is where to start

Windows Phone Developer Tools – Download it now. Inspiration comes from playing with the tools

Windows Phone Developer Blog – A great place to keep up with tip and tricks, and of course the dev team

Happy developing!!