# Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On Saturday December 14, the Detroit Mobile .NET Users’ Group will host a Windows 8 Hackathon. Bring your laptop and build an application. Jennifer Marsman and I will be on hand to get people started with Windows 8 development, show some tools to quickly create an app, and help people along. Other experienced developers will also be attending and should be able to answer questions.

Developers at all skill levels should get something out of this event and should have the opportunity to create an app and submit it to the app store.

This event takes place December 14 starting from 9AM to 5:30PM at the Southfield, MI Microsoft office (1000 Town Center, Suite 1930).

You can find details and register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/devunleashed-se-michigan-windows-8-hackathon-tickets-9449308135.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:23:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If you know me, you know I am a big fan of my slow cooker. My slow cooker pot roast recipe was a finalist for DevIntersections top recipe contest in .NET Gurus Can Cook 2nd Edition.

So I was immediately drawn to a Windows 8 app called "A Taste For Slow Cooker".

This app brings together slow cooker recipes, restaurant reviews, and links to purchase crock pots and other slow cookers.

It doesn't appear the app contains any original content but it does pull articles and videos from various sources on the web, such as YouTube and Yelp.

If you aspire to be a better cook, you spend quite a bit of time finding good recipes inside this free app. You can download it at http://aka.ms/slowcookerfoodsTEC.

ATasteForSlowCookerScreenShot 

 

If you have written or know of a Windows 8 app you would like to see featured here, please contact me at dgiard@microsoft.com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 9:37:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, November 25, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013 9:46:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Road Runner Jump is a simple game in which the classic Looney Tunes speedster runs to his right and jumps from platform to platform. The player gets points by advancing further to the right without falling into the gaps between the platform.

The game could be improved by adding animations or by adding some obstacles or more complex achievements. Still, it is a fun little time-waster that takes almost no time to learn (pressing any key causes Road Runner to jump).

On the plus side, this app is free and contains no ads.

You can download this Road Runner Jump at http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/007B8B3B-68F8-4C63-A0F6-0D548CDBF469.

RoadRunnerJumpScreenshopt

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:55:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 3:06:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Knave Blackjack was created by my friend Jason Follas. It realistically mimics the experience of playing blackjack in a casino, down to the texture on the table and the sound of the cards flipping out as they are dealt.

In its simplest form, the player receives 2 cards and elects to hit (accept another card) or stand (keep and play the cards dealt). The player competes against the dealer for the highest score without exceeding 21. 

However, there are multiple options that allow you to add more players; change dealer defaults; and even select the dealer's next card by clicking a spinning deck. The game also includes information to help you learn blackjack, such as a "Hint" button; a "Strategy" diagram, indicating recommended moves based on the player's cards and the dealer's visible card; and a "How to Play" button that explains the rules of blackjack and this video simulation.

The free version shows an ad on the left, but you can pay $1.49 to remove all ads.

I found Knave Blackjack fun and educational, particularly for those of us who don't play blackjack very often. You can download this game at http://www.knave21.com/index.html.

KnaveBlackjack

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 8:31:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, November 11, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013 11:05:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Friday, November 8, 2013

Earlier this year, I wrote a Windows Phone app. I had to register for the Windows Phone store (and pay $19) so that others could download my app. Later in the year I wrote a Windows 8 app and registered for the Windows 8 store (for an extra $49).

Registering for these stores was not a huge chore and the cost was still cheaper than the iOS store. But this process just became much simpler and much cheaper. Microsoft announced this week that developers can register for both the Windows store and the Windows Phone store for a single annual fee of $19.

If you are already registered for one of these stores, you will automatically have access to the other; and, if you've registered for both (like me), you receive an additional year for free.

Full details of these changes can be found at http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/11/06/unifying-developer-registration-windows-and-windows-phone.aspx

This is good news for people like me who like processes to be simple and fees to be low. It removes much of the friction of publishing an app.

Friday, November 8, 2013 6:01:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Word Guesser is a simple 2-player Windows 8 game. Player 1 enters a word and player 2 tries to guess the word in as few attempts as possible. The only clues are that the word is between 2 other words in the dictionary. The boundary words are refined with each guess.

This looks like a fun game for children of elementary school age. I can see this game as a good one to hand to kids on a long car trip. It can help to teach both vocabulary (assuming you are providing challenging words) and the concept of a binary search algorithm.

Download Word Guesser at http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/b85001c1-0782-4d4a-af96-caf23d56806e

WordGuesserScreen


Have you written a Windows 8 app or downloaded an app that you would like to see featured here? I will give preference to apps written in the US Central District after July 1.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 10:44:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, November 4, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013 6:00:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)