#1 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -

I've been working on a GB app for Windows Phone 7 for a few weeks now and wanted to throw out some work in progress to try to gauge interest and lock down features.  I'm thinking that v1 will have feature parity with the iPhone app, plus some direct video integration into the Zune player built into the phone and support for browsing the DB without starting from a search.   If anyone has any suggestions for features, I'd love to hear them.
 
I've also included offline caching so that downloaded data is stored to the phone to viewing when you don't have network access.  This should allow me to display the entire list of items in the app rather than the 25 at a time approach the iPhone version works, but this is still a work in progress. 
 
I'm trying to get this finished so it will be available in the marketplace when the phones launch, but that's 100% dependent on how much time I get to test on real hardware before then.

#2 Posted by harris (848 posts) -
@TheFaxman:  Looking good! Try posting this in general or getting it moved there, not a lot of users read the api developer forums, so if you're gauging interest this might not be the best place. 
 
I don't have a Windows Phone 7 phone, so I don't really have anything else to add, but good luck and keep up the great work!
#3 Posted by jkz (4050 posts) -

That looks great. I'm still thinking I'll wait on WP7 until they iron out some of my issues with it, but it's great to see you're already getting started.

#4 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -

Wow. Fantastic. Are the forums going to be on it at all?

#5 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@harris: Good point.  I originally posted this in the API forum to get a quick feel for things. I'll announce something in general soon - I'm holding off a bit as I'm about to be feature complete and once that's done I'll be able to post some videos of it in action, hopefully on a actual phone. 
 
@FunExplosions:  Most likely no forums in v1 of the app - they don't expose an API for it and I want to see if it would overlap with the mobile version of the site Whiskey is preparing.  I don't really want to compete with them in any way.  That being said I'll keep this in the back of my mind so I can get a feel for what kind of effort it would take to integrate for an update to v1.
#6 Posted by mosdl (3243 posts) -

The best feature to offer is resume for the Bombcast - so you can easily continue listing where you left off.  Working on that for the webOS version.

#7 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@mosdl: The video & audio playback goes through the built-in Zune media player on the phone, so it should offer resume similar to how it would work if you loaded it directly on the phone and show up in your history.   I'm still testing all the details as I have limited time with real hardware and the emulator doesn't have the full Zune client in it.  
#8 Posted by Nagare (1 posts) -

I was thinking about making one of these but I have no experience and don't want to pay the annual fee, are you going to make the code open source? (I'd love that, would be great for learning)
 
Also, how about making the link colors be the accent color selected by the user in the phone settings? There is a way to do access that information in silverlight (iirc).

#9 Posted by TWIXMIX (10 posts) -
@TheFaxman:  
 
Hey, nice application I can't wait to give it a shot. I'm just wondering how you got the videos to play in the WindowsPhone7 media player? I've been working on my own applications just to get experience with the Windows Phone Tools, and when I try to play the video it says the format isn't supported. I've tried using the _ip.m4v version of the file to no avail. Am I missing something here by chance?
#10 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@TWIXMIX: The emulator has some known limitations with file formats.  In this case, it won't play h264 / mp4 but the actual devices will.  This is all documented in MSDN somewhere, but it's still hard to keep straight. 
 
After spending a few months developing things, I can say you're MUCH better off using a real device to test & debug as the emulator isn't a perfect match of the device, especially when it comes to performance.  I've had a few opportunities to test my app on real hardware and each time it found things that didn't manifest at all with the emulator. 
 
That's part of the reason there hasn't been much updates on the GB app - I more or less have it finished but am not willing to submit it to the marketplace until I have a few weeks of constant usage on a device so I can make sure there's no show-stopper bugs left.
#11 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@Nagare: No promises on open-source vs not, but I wouldn't rule it out either.  It's a bit more complicated than usual because I work for Microsoft so I have additional restrictions on anything I place in the marketplace.  If you decide to play around w/ developing and have some questions feel free to drop me a line and I'll offer what help I can.
 
The screenshots are a bit dated - I've done some work trying to get the app to match whatever theme settings are set.  This still needs a bit more work but things like link colors will definitely use the system accent color.  I'll try to drop some updated screenshots & maybe a video this weekend as they better show off the work in progress.
#12 Edited by TWIXMIX (10 posts) -
@TheFaxman:  
 
Well it's good to here.  I can't wait to see how your app turns out. Hopefully I can get mine to look as nice as yours.  
 
Thanks for the help.
#13 Posted by DuderBattalion (269 posts) -
#14 Posted by petedee (67 posts) -

Glad I came here before I started developing my app, yours looks pretty much what I had in mind :) 
 
If you need a hand developing and / or testing I have an Omnia 7 I can test it on :D 

#15 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@petedee: I've been trying to put the finishing touches on things at this point - I spent a lot of time fighting with performance w/ large entries in the wiki like Nintendo so this project has been a lot slower than what I wanted.  That being said I'm hoping to have a completed test version done either this weekend or next weekend depending on how long it takes to pull out all my ugly debug code.  Once that's done I'll post a link to the XAP for anyone that wants to test it before I submit it to the marketplace.  I've been testing on a Focus (and rarely a HD7) so getting more handset coverage would be great.
#16 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
For anyone that has the developer tools emulator or an unlocked phone and wants to try the near-complete version you can get the bits here:  http://gb.thefaxman.net/GiantBomb.xap  The current plan is to submit this to the marketplace on or around May 1st - hopefully it'll be available for everyone shortly after.

I've also made some new screenshots showing off the details page, theme / video aware news articles, and the new main screen that focuses on quick browsing and featured items.


#17 Posted by Phyle22 (1 posts) -

@TheFaxman: Nice app!  I look forward to see it on the WP7 Marketplace!

 

It works well but I have a small suggestion: in your pages other than the main panorama, add shell:SystemTray.IsVisible="false" in your phone:PhoneApplicationPage tag.  This will remove the time area that makes the screen jump when switching between the main page and the others...

 

You should submit it for others to try it out!  And for the next version after that (1.1 or later), may I ask a feature request: to be able to filter on our favorite(s) platform(s)? That would make it even better!

 

Thanks for building it!

#18 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
@Phyle22: I've gone back and forth as to whether or not to hide the tray - the design guidelines basically say "Don't do it unless you have a really good reason".  I may still hide it before submitting but I'm not 100% sold it's the right thing to do.

What specific filtering do you want?  My options are fairly limited here in terms of what the GB API will do but I'm willing to consider anything I can get working.
#19 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -
#20 Posted by Marz (5667 posts) -
@TheFaxman: nice work, just downloaded it.   
#21 Posted by MarioBoza (46 posts) -
@TheFaxman Thanks for making this app! Its rocks!
#22 Posted by radix (40 posts) -

Awesome! Can't wait to try it out.

#23 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

This might be reason enough to pop my SIM into my Samsung Focus for a few days! Haven't used it in months.

#24 Posted by TheVideoHustler (406 posts) -

THIS HAS MADE ME ERECT

#25 Posted by wok (18 posts) -

Nice!

#26 Posted by KuribosShoe (640 posts) -

APPROVED

#27 Posted by Butano (1774 posts) -

YES! Great job, duder! Pinned to the top of my home page!

#28 Posted by ip007 (266 posts) -
@TheFaxman:  This looks cool. Have no WP7 yet unfortunately so I cannot see the app for myself. Can you upload a video of it in action?
#29 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3504 posts) -

Very nice! I've tried another GB app, but it just links to site pages. This one is much better.

#30 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

I don't have a WP7.


But I appreciate your work! I love using my app on android. 
#31 Posted by evilmax17 (58 posts) -

@TheFaxman: Great app! Nice to have a native Metro interface for this stuff.

It looks like Whiskey now provides an API for all of their websites, instead of just GB/CV. Any chance we can get apps for the other 4 sites?

#32 Posted by TheFaxman (51 posts) -

@evilmax17: The API for their sites other than CV & GB are limited to video information only (they're what drives the Boxee / Roku apps). I have considered building a generic WP7 Video App for all the Whiskey properties, but that's on hold until I finish the Mango improvements for the GB app.

Once I'm done with those it's a toss up between porting the GB app to Windows 8 or building a more Zune integrated WP7 video app.