Dmitry Lyalin's Applications for Windows Phone 7

Announcement

Paul Thurrott: PocketTech

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I am very happy to announce the release of Paul Thurrott’s official app for Windows Phone 7 which I built for Penton Media. The app is live in the Marketplace as of Saturday and can be yours today for $1.99, simply search for “Paul Thurrott” to find it.

Note: all proceeds go to Penton Media who hired me to build this application

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v1.0 Features include:

  • Read most recent articles from WinSupersite, WinSupersite Blog and Windows IT Pro
  • Read the latest posts to his Windows Phone blog
  • See Exclusive content generated for his mobile apps (interesting short-form posts and/or links, similar to Twitter)
  • Listen to his Windows Weekly Podcast from TWiT

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While I don’t control this application (it is built for Penton Media) I am optimistic that its features will continue to expand in the future and I for one have many ideas.

Please send all feedback, questions and bugs to Penton directly by emailing paulwp7apps@penton.com

So if you’re a fan of Paul or simply want a great source of news around the Microsoft technology world then go buy the app from Marketplace!


TWiT v1.6 Released to Marketplace!

I am happy to announce that TWiT update v1.6 has been approved for release and is now being published in the Marketplace.

This releases fixes some issues introduced by update v1.5, below is a list of things that I fixed.

Summary of Fixes

  • Live Audio Playback Fixed: Once again Live Audio playback should work
  • Episode List Loading-time Improvements: Fixed an issue where the show episode page would load multiple times behind the scenes due to a bug causing a delay in loading the episodes list. While this does not fix all loading issues with the episodes list it should at least make things better
  • Error Information Improvements: When an error occurs and the user agrees to send me the “Exception” detail for diagnosis it will include the version number of the app; this will greatly help me debug future issues
  • Other Fixes: Behind the scenes I have fixed some other issues that could at times cause errors so the app should be more stable

Known Issues in v1.6

Unfortunately not every issues is resolved by update 1.6, there are still issues with as listed below:

  • Playing back episodes that were in-progress when you had version 1.4 or earlier installed – I cannot fix this but in the future hope to avoid it from happening again
  • The word “Calendar” is misspelled on the Live Audio panorama page – I will fix this in version v1.7
  • Episode list in the show page is still a bit slow to load and laggy to use – I will attempt to improve this in version v1.7 and really hope to fix it this time
  • Some new shows are still not correctly listed. This can even cause playback issues so I’m looking to address this in v1.7
  • Some shows names have been changed and this is not properly updated – Should be fixed in version 1.7
  • Paul Thurrott’s Twitter is not properly listed in the application – Should be fixed in version 1.7
  • A few other crashes that happen occasionally it seems though I have been unable to reproduce all of them.(please keep those error reports coming and add detail when possible)

What about a “Paid Version” without Ads?

Also I have heard “loud and clear” that people want an ad-free paid version of the app. I hope to release this soon once a few more bugs are resolved.

This has not happened yet for one simple reason; I just don’t believe in charging people for an application until I’m happy that all the core features work as expected. I do appreciate everyone’s patience on this matter and I’m working hard to get this ready for you.

Closing

Thanks again for everyone who reported issues, please continue to send me errors and feedback as I do read every email I get, though I cannot always respond personally.


TWiT v1.5 Released!

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I am very happy to announce that after a long pause between updates the TWiT.tv Windows Phone 7 App has finally hit v1.5 and that update is now live on the Marketplace.

Big Change – Added Advertisements

Why? To help fund this applications development going forward

The application now includes advertisements. You will find a small and I really hope un-intrusive ads on the Episode Detail and Show Episodes list pages. (using the Microsoft ad platform for WP7)

This change is a big one for me and one I wanted to avoid. My goal to create the TWiT App was to create a first-class experience that everyone could enjoy and in many ways I think I accomplished it. Unfortunately my hopes of “donation supported” applications or something I could “figure out how to fund” have fallen short of expectations. Therefore I am forced to try something different and this is the first step.

Ironically the TWiT podcast network itself started with a donation model that later led to an advertisement supported model, I guess some things never change – donations just don’t seem to work in most cases.

Hate Advertisement? No worries, a paid version is coming

In the near future you will also see a paid version released without advertisements, I know many want this version and will see it go live shortly.

Long-term Plan? Not really, not yet at least

Long-term I have not made all the decisions yet on “what features” will be included in which version, nor do I think I have optimized the advertisement placement and other factors. Much will be figured out this year so stay tuned.

Big THANK YOU to those who did donate

In closing I want to also say a big THANK YOU to the 11 people who did donate to support the application. Unfortunately after 12,000 downloads its too small of a number to sustain development without the changes noted above.

New Features & Changes

Removed Items

  • Donation links and screen have been removed – this application no longer requires or accepts donations for the project
  • The audio/video media player no longer supports dragging a slider to switch positions (see more info below in “Media Player Changes”

New Features

  • Added a Live Calendar that is a web view of the TWiT Google calendar listing upcoming live shows. This is just a temporary solution and I hope to integrate this further into the interface as we head towards Mango release of the platform
  • Added new or renamed network shows such as the “Mostly Photo” netcast

Panorama Changes

  • New Panorama section added dedicated to Live Audio playback / Calendar
  • Random featured shows are now displayed in the shows Panorama section (instead of the Highlights section)
  • Show list is no longer a horizontal scrolling list – instead it’s a vertical list that makes it easier to find all the shows available

Media Player Changes

  • The audio/video media player no longer supports dragging a slider to switch positions – this proved to be too buggy and prone to errors though I’m looking to get it back in. For now you will have a button to seek Left or Right though this experience is also not ideal at this time.
  • Increased buffering time to 15 seconds minimum to try and avoid a scenario where audio would “start/stop” in a very annoying fashion during moments of poor network data strength
  • Buffering related text should no longer get stuck on the screen indefinitely during video or audio playback as it happened under certain conditions

Bug Fixes

  • The application should no longer crash when you press the back button to the episode description view when the video is loading
  • Due to the (bad) design of the old horizontal show list some of the network shows were hard to find, this is now addressed by the vertical show list mentioned above

Other bugs have been fixed but its hard to have an exact list with the amount of changes I made – in general I just hope the application will get more stable over the coming few releases


TWiT v1.4 for WP7 released

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I am happy to announce that TWiT app for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to version v1.4 having past certification. The update should be available world-wide within 24 hours.

This is a bug fix release including:

  • Live Tiles on the home screen should work again (they stopped updating in v1.3)
  • Recent Episodes list should work again (stopped working due to some unhandled data-cases in RSS feed I consume to create that list)
  • Tech Guy podcast will no longer crash when opening the episode list for this podcast
  • Pressing Pause during audio/video playback while its buffering will no longer Stop the playback, but instead actually Pause it as originally intended

Big thank you to everyone who has been reporting issues and making suggestions. This feedback is critical, so please keep it coming.

My contact info for app bugs / suggestions:

Email: twitwp7@lyalin.com
Twitter: @lyalindotcom


TWiT 1.3 for WP7 now available

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I am happy to announce that v1.3 of the TWiT application has passed certification and should be available for everyone to update within 24 hours.

This is a minor release mostly focused on bug fixes and includes the following changes:

  • On “your TWiT” panorama tab the recently played history items data (template) has been updated with the following changes:
    • The “date” shown is now the episodes release date, not the date you played it (for consistency with other places I show a date)
    • The exact time where you stopped playback is now shown along with the total time of the episode
  • Audio / Video player fixes have been added that should allow you a better experience especially around stopping / re-starting playback
  • The settings tab now shows “on” or “off” for controlling the Live Home Tiles instead of “on/off” which was confusing

I want to also thank all our fans and the excellent reviews that have pushed this application to #3 most top rated application on the marketplace! (as recorded on 12/30/2010). More fixes and features to come in 2011!

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See the most recent rating here on Bing Visual Search.


TWiT 1.2 for WP7 now available

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I am very happy to announce that TWiT for WP7 v1.2 is now available on the Marketplace.

note: Those getting it as an update should see it added to the updates list in the next 24 hours

Features include:

  • TWiT Live audio stream added! You can now listen to shows as they are recorded over the live audio channel (live video is still not available but I’m working on it as its not simple to do, so no ETA can be made)
  • Windows Phone Home Tiles for the application will now reflect the last two published shows (by displaying their cover-art right in the tile, see screenshot below)
  • A donation link has been added to let people know how to donate to support this application and they can do it right from their mobile phone (via PayPal, same as this link)
  • Various other misc. bug fixes

Screenshot – Live Home Tile:

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What’s next:

Now that this update has made it through certification (and trust me it was not easy) I will begin to focus on my next patch that will include improved audio/video player experience, additional Twitter integration and more. Stay tuned as ill publish the details closer to the release on this blog.


TWiT for WP7 v1.0 is LIVE

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I am VERY happy, very proud to announce that TWiT (v1.0) for Windows Phone 7 has been published to the marketplace.

Thank you folks, for your support

Big THANK YOU to my wife, for her patience during all those lost nights and weekends I spent working on this since July

Big THANK YOU to my testers, you know who you are, your feedback was invaluable.

Big THANK YOU to the local DPE team who supported me, thank you!

Big THANK YOU to TWiT network for your support and encouragement throughout this large undertaking

Application Details

Description: “TWiT for Windows Phone 7 brings you all the networks netcast content to your mobile device in an easy to use Media Hub. Listen or watch great shows on demand such as This Week In Tech, Windows Weekly, Security Now, This Week In Google and much more (28 shows to choose from and growing)”

Zune Marketplace Link: http://bit.ly/evwZjh
(You’ll need the free Zune.net client on your machine to access this link)

Don’t know know what TWiT is? click here to learn all about this amazing netcast network! (Video / audio podcasts of 28 shows)

Upcoming releases

Patch v1.1 (Pending Marketplace Approval)

  • Minor bug exists in v1.0 where under certain conditions the Cache will store the wrong episodes for a show and not update from RSS feed, this has been fixed
  • Application will be moved for Entertainment category (instead of Music and Video)
  • A few other Misc. fixes

This is already submitted for marketplace approval and I hope to have it out next week (Week of 11/29).

Patch v1.2 (Tentative)

  • Adding Live audio feed!
  • More Misc. bug fixes

Bugs? Suggestions?

Please be sure to report all suggestions and issues to me by emailing twitwp7@lyalin.com.