Whassup people?! We are back with a new entry in our very interesting line of Windows Phone 7 Development. Last time we had dealt with how we can run codes in the Windows Phone SDK. That consisted of me explaining the step-by-step methodology to compile our code and execute it. We also noted how important the ‘emulator’ is in our Phone App development.
- Beginner’s Guide to Windows Phone 7 App development
- Create Hello World Application in Windows Phone 7
So considering the importance of the emulator, I am going to give you the detailed analysis on the emulator in my blog today.
Do concentrate on the visuals.
My App looks like this?! Wow!
1. Well, by now you would have noticed how wonderful the Windows Phone 7 SDK really is. A great part of this admiration comes from you, with no doubt because of the emulator. It looks really cool and boy, would you love to have your app displayed and run on it! We will rewind with our little ‘HelloKennedy’ program, or any program which you wrote on your own name and we will run it again. I do hope I won’t have to explain the steps again. If you do have forgotten, don’t hesitate to go back and refresh your memory.
2. When we run the code, we will be presented with the click me button and the text block with the display ‘Hello Kennedy!!’ as shown-
If you would have noticed we have got three prominent buttons on the emulator. I have highlighted them for you and marked them as 1,2 and 3. Each of them has a specific function and pressing any one of them will lead to a very unique action,
1. Back button-Clicking this button will take you back to the previous page you visited.
2. Start button-This button will take you back to the home page or start page.
3. Search button-This will open a search option for you.
3. A little info that I want to get into you is that the codes we will be writing on will be based mostly, for touch-screen based phones. So you will have to consider many attributes while coding for the app as this is not a normal app for a computer but for the operating system of the windows phone.
So every time the user clicks on the phone surface, the OS has to determine what kind of action needs to be executed. More like when a person calls you, the reaction you give would be something like, ‘facing him/her and greeting him’. Similarly, the phone has to know what kind of action the user is requesting and act accordingly.
4. Let’s just play around a little bit and get to know our emulator a bit more. If you hover on the right corner of the emulator, you will notice that a new pane pops up which has a set of controls to manipulate the emulator. Clearly shown below-
You can close the emulator, minimize it, rotate it 90-degree right and left, fit to your screen or customize your zoom level. You can also drag the emulator where you want using the controls. I will leave it to you to find out how these work.
5. Now try pressing the ‘Start’ button on the emulator. A page like this will be displayed-
Clicking the screen on the area I highlighted will display a list of options-
Wow! We even have our first App displayed in the options! Let’s try to change the setting of the emulator, so naturally, click ‘Settings’. This will open up a window where you can manage the way your emulator appears-
You can change the theme, date & time and region & language as per your wishes. Try click each and playing with them. Now in the theme option, you will realize that the default background is set to ‘Dark’. There is a reason for this. In a phone one of the primary concerns is the power consumption, as we are not going to plug it in the power point all the time. So naturally we will need to have sufficient battery life so that it can be used efficiently without needing to plug in every now and then.
The touch screens of most phones are based on the OLED displaying technology or the ‘organic light emitting diodes’. The OLED screen is activated on white screens, i.e. they ‘glow’ when we have a white screen anywhere. The main advantage of the OLED technology is that it consumes about half the power that traditional displays consume. But when they are activated, they consume three-times more power than the traditional displays. So we can make sure the power consumption is low by making the background dark. But you can change this according to your preferences.
6. Once you are done with the settings option, click the ‘Start’ button to go back to the home page. There, click the internet explorer installed by default.
On my emulator, I have the default page set to the ‘bing’ search from Microsoft which is displayed in the visual above. You can even type in the URL of your favorite page and take a look at how that page looks on a phone screen. Let me try my blog. When I click the address bar, I am displayed with an in-built on screen input keyboard-
Now I am going to enter from the keyboard as typing each letter from the phone screen would be troublesome. To deactivate the on-screen keyboard, just press the ‘Page Up’ key. Now you can enter from your keyboard. I type in ‘www.bing.com’ and press ‘enter’. This displays my blog like this-
Cool, isn’t it?! Now if you will notice, we have three more buttons that we can use with the emulator web-browser. These include the ‘Add bookmarks’, ‘Display Bookmarks’ and to display the pages we are visiting at the moment. Let’s just see the third button. On clicking this,
This page sums up what pages we are browsing at the moment and even add a new page to it.
So that’s pretty much about the emulator we are so much in love with, its time I take your leave and say ‘let’s continue learning!’ See you next time around!