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Disappointed about WP7 APIs

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  • User profile image
    mawcc

    I'm a bit disappointed by the Windows Phone 7 APIs right now. First I wanted to control the flash light on the phone but there's no API. Then I wanted to access the video stream of the camera, but there's no API. Then I wanted to apply a blur effect to an image in Silverlight and - you guessed it - there is not API (in fact there was until the beta release, now it's gone).

    It seems that a lot of APIs are not in the first release and probably never will. I wonder what other limitations there are. Has anyone done some WP7 development and want's to share his/her experience? Has anyone experience in programming iPhone and/or Android and can speak about the advantages/disadvantages of the verious platforms?

  • User profile image
    Clint

    Build features or ship it.  Would you want it delayed?  New APIs and controls can be added after the fact.  Smiley

     

    Both Android and iPhone have constantly added in new APIs.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    Clint said:

    Build features or ship it.  Would you want it delayed?  New APIs and controls can be added after the fact.  Smiley

     

    Both Android and iPhone have constantly added in new APIs.

    Whatever the reason, for a platform that's shipping 2+ years after the competition, WP7's APIs are weak sauce. In many ways, both Silverlight and XNA are nice things to program, but you run up against the walls of that garden pretty quickly. Limited access to a lot of things that are taken for granted on iOS; the bizarre and unexplained dichotomy between Silverlight and XNA; no true 3d in Silverlight and no useful UI controls in XNA will make chosing one or the other tricky for some classes of app; no programmable shaders in XNA even though the hardware will support them; and of course no native code, meaning that porting games from iOS is off the agenda for most developers.

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    Honestly, I think it looks fine for a V1 release, easily covers the 90% case.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    CreamFilling512 said:

    Honestly, I think it looks fine for a V1 release, easily covers the 90% case.

    Honestly, I think that's what's so awful. They had all this time to see what the competition is doing and prepare to leapfrog them, and what do they come out with? Something that does almost everything you can do with competing phones.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    Bas said:
    CreamFilling512 said:
    *snip*

    Honestly, I think that's what's so awful. They had all this time to see what the competition is doing and prepare to leapfrog them, and what do they come out with? Something that does almost everything you can do with competing phones.

    Microsoft owns the best development platform in the world. That's why it's going to be awesome.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Maddus Mattus said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    Microsoft owns the best development platform in the world. That's why it's going to be awesome.

    Oh, the platform is awesome. Microsofts unwillingness to do more than the bare minimum in the mobile space is what isn't.

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    Bas said:
    CreamFilling512 said:
    *snip*

    Honestly, I think that's what's so awful. They had all this time to see what the competition is doing and prepare to leapfrog them, and what do they come out with? Something that does almost everything you can do with competing phones.

    I know what you mean, but give them some slack.

     

    They started from a white piece of paper for Windows Phone 7 , so it just simple can't be done to leapfrog other platform. Because a lot of the API's build on the underlying platform. They choose to get the 90% case as perfect as possible and ship that.

     

    Then with the power of Silverlight and XNA I'm pretty sure if the basis is stable they can easily leapfrog ahead of competition. XNA and Silverlight alow rapid development, in contract to objective C and C++ / Java the other platform are build on.

     

  • User profile image
    rhm

    CKurt said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    I know what you mean, but give them some slack.

     

    They started from a white piece of paper for Windows Phone 7 , so it just simple can't be done to leapfrog other platform. Because a lot of the API's build on the underlying platform. They choose to get the 90% case as perfect as possible and ship that.

     

    Then with the power of Silverlight and XNA I'm pretty sure if the basis is stable they can easily leapfrog ahead of competition. XNA and Silverlight alow rapid development, in contract to objective C and C++ / Java the other platform are build on.

     

    The thing is, Microsoft are telegraphing this as very much a 1.0 release (feels more like a 0.9 to me, but anyway). I'll probably do a few simple Silverlight apps, same as everyone else will - the ease of Silverlight means the marketplace will be flooded with crap from day 1 - but I won't be recommending to anyone to buy a WP7 device.

     

    Unless they are very cheap, there's no reason at all to buy one instead of a newish Andoid phone, or even the >1 year old iPhone 3GS. It's OK saying "what's more important, shipping or improving the APIs?", but I'm pretty sure that's not going to be the marketing message to consumers: Hey, we just wanted to ship a phone, sorry it's all a bit half-baked, but the next version will be great, promise!

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Clint said:

    Build features or ship it.  Would you want it delayed?  New APIs and controls can be added after the fact.  Smiley

     

    Both Android and iPhone have constantly added in new APIs.

    The iOS is at version 4 while Android is at 2.2. Windows Mobile is at version 7 with this release. I think by now it should have had these APIs.

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    Shining Arcanine said:
    Clint said:
    *snip*

    The iOS is at version 4 while Android is at 2.2. Windows Mobile is at version 7 with this release. I think by now it should have had these APIs.

    Windows Mobile is dead, they started from 0 with the new OS about a 1,5 years ago...

     

    7 is just a name

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    Bas said:
    Maddus Mattus said:
    *snip*

    Oh, the platform is awesome. Microsofts unwillingness to do more than the bare minimum in the mobile space is what isn't.

    Maybe they figure they dont need to do anything

     

    That the mobile devices in 10 years time will have grown so powerfull, they can use Windows 20?

  • User profile image
    Bas

    CKurt said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    I know what you mean, but give them some slack.

     

    They started from a white piece of paper for Windows Phone 7 , so it just simple can't be done to leapfrog other platform. Because a lot of the API's build on the underlying platform. They choose to get the 90% case as perfect as possible and ship that.

     

    Then with the power of Silverlight and XNA I'm pretty sure if the basis is stable they can easily leapfrog ahead of competition. XNA and Silverlight alow rapid development, in contract to objective C and C++ / Java the other platform are build on.

     

    Give them some slack? Why? They've had all the slack they could have asked for. They've had years to look at what the competition was doing and where they were dropping the ball, and subsequently act upon it. This whole "Doing the bare minimum is good enough because it's a 1.0 release" mentality is horribly frustrating.

     

    As for the platform, the fact that there aren't even any pivot or panorama controls - staples of the metro experience - is just pathetic. Why does this have to come down to some hobbyist on codeplex instead of just offering a native, supported control that's 100% consistent with the ones in the built-in apps? They hammer upon the greatness of the metro experience and then don't even provide people with the tools to actually create applications with a consistent UX? Inexcusable. So much for a great development platform.

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    Bas said:
    CKurt said:
    *snip*

    Give them some slack? Why? They've had all the slack they could have asked for. They've had years to look at what the competition was doing and where they were dropping the ball, and subsequently act upon it. This whole "Doing the bare minimum is good enough because it's a 1.0 release" mentality is horribly frustrating.

     

    As for the platform, the fact that there aren't even any pivot or panorama controls - staples of the metro experience - is just pathetic. Why does this have to come down to some hobbyist on codeplex instead of just offering a native, supported control that's 100% consistent with the ones in the built-in apps? They hammer upon the greatness of the metro experience and then don't even provide people with the tools to actually create applications with a consistent UX? Inexcusable. So much for a great development platform.

    I agree with you on one point: They made the decission to reboot Windows Phone 7 to late. And indeed they did. It was to late, but still glad they made it... (Imagine Windows Mobile 7 to look like the leaked screenshots) But lets not keep looking to the past, once they decided to reboot, they made good progress.

     

    En pivot and panorama controls are available on http://phone.codeplex.com , but are not made by hobbyist. They are made by microsoft and released out of band.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    That codeplex project is by Stephane Crozatier, who has this to say about it on his blog:

    • I’m not on the Windows Phone team. This is not the official control, and i don’t know if they have plans for such controls in the future. The developer FAQ seems to suggest something may be coming down the road.
    • This is not production code. I am using it as a learning experience for Silverlight, which i’ve started less than 2 weeks ago. I’m still learning about the technology and writing controls : there are lots of areas for improvements in the current implementation (quality and robustness, templates and customization, resource usage, fonts, themes, …).
    • This is a pet project i’m working on during my free time, just for fun. For now there’s no plan to turn it into something more than a pet project, although i’d like to continue the effort and perhaps build something i will call the Pivot control.

    Stay tuned for more, and remember : this is by no means a Microsoft supported and official project, i’m just a guy trying to learn Silverlight on the Phone. Please use the official controls if/when they are released.

    I mean.. my god.

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    Bas said:
    CKurt said:
    *snip*

     

    I mean.. my god.

    Hmmmm, I could have sworn I saw a C9 interview about the controls where they said

     

    "Please use these controls as they are official and will be updated frequently, so you don't need to change code and get better performence with these controls. This will also make different WP7 application, still have the same feel to it, taking advantage of what users allready know"

     

    Looking for the interview right now...

    (edit: did not find the interview)

  • User profile image
    mawcc

    Bas said:
    CKurt said:
    *snip*

    Give them some slack? Why? They've had all the slack they could have asked for. They've had years to look at what the competition was doing and where they were dropping the ball, and subsequently act upon it. This whole "Doing the bare minimum is good enough because it's a 1.0 release" mentality is horribly frustrating.

     

    As for the platform, the fact that there aren't even any pivot or panorama controls - staples of the metro experience - is just pathetic. Why does this have to come down to some hobbyist on codeplex instead of just offering a native, supported control that's 100% consistent with the ones in the built-in apps? They hammer upon the greatness of the metro experience and then don't even provide people with the tools to actually create applications with a consistent UX? Inexcusable. So much for a great development platform.

    There has been an official announcement that a Pivot and Panorama control will be released in a few weeks.

     

    Of course we all appreciate the time and energy Microsoft puts into making WP7 a worthy development platform, but on the other hand it's easy to get jealous about iOS and Android, since they are already established and a couple of iterations ahead. I really hope the pace of updates to WP7 is kept up and we see regular new releases like with Silverlight. I guess everybody agrees that there is only one chance to do it right. And I really would hate to switch to Java and/or Objective-C Sad

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    From what I read, WP7 should be Live ID centric (apparently you need one even just to activate the phone). What surprised me is that the API don't allow any kind of access to those credentials, so I guess that even a registered Live ID application may have to provide its own login page and manage the authentication.

     

    Assuming this is true, I wonder if it's just a feature cut dictated by the looming deadlines, or if there is some deeper reason (security? privacy?) that I cannot grasp. For sure it is going to make using Live ID less appealing...

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