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How to open Internet Explorer by code in a Metro style application

Recently I've worked on a Windows 8 application to promote my blog: people can use it to read my posts within the application and to be notified (using both toast and tile notifications) every time a new post is published. The application uses a web view to display the detail of a post: the problem came when I had to manage the snapped view, since there isn't enough space on screen to display a web view.

During the pre certification lab that I've attended in Microsoft Italy the trainer gave me a good tip: in case the application is snapped, the post detail should be opened using Internet Explorer and not inside the application. In fact, in this scenario, Internet Explorer will open in filled mode and the user will be able to read the post without any difficulty.

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Visual Studio 2012 is releasing on 15th August 2012

Yes, you read the title right. Just after the announcement of Windows 8 RTM, Microsoft announced the release date of Visual Studio 2012. The final product will be available to MSDN subscribers and general public on 15th August 2012. Visual Studio 2012 virtual launch event will be organize by S. Somasegar and Jason Zander on 12th September 2012. Don't miss the opportunity to watch it live.   Today just after the Announcement of Windows 8 RTM, Jason Zander (Corporate Vice President for the Visual Studio team) and S. Somasegar (Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division) announced that the Visual Studio 2012 (aka. Visual Studio 11) and .NET 4.5 build is now ready. The final bits will be available to MSDN Subscribers and other places on 15th August 2012. As the final build is now complete, the team is now preparing it for the final distribution. Both of them also announced the official launch event of Visual Studio 2012 on...
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WP8 SDK Leaked (Not by Microsoft)

As if the soon to be released Windows Phone 8 couldn't get anymore mysterious, it just did. A chinese website leaked the SDK for Microsoft's new mobile OS and those who have gotten their hands on it seem to have mixed feelings about WP8. In June, Microsoft held a Windows Phone Developer Conference where they told some of their secrets regarding Windows Phone 8 but none of that information included what's come out from the leaked WP8 SDK.

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Creating beautiful views for local files in Window 8

Part of Metro style design is building clean views that allow content to shine and help users accomplish their tasks. We explore in particular how you can create beautiful galleries with content from user's files and folders on the local file system. Being able to display local content is a key requirement for many gallery apps that let users browse and consume their content – photos, videos, music, or documents. Windows 8 provides tools to do this in a simple, efficient, and customizable way.

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Hardware accelerating everything: Windows 8 graphics

In computer graphics, high performance is a guiding principle. In the early days of personal computing, discrete, add-on graphics cards were mostly focused on specialized applications such as CAD/CAM and gaming. Even early on, there was a view that all of this graphics horsepower could be used for more: notably a better user interface and experience. One of the first graphics cards for a PC was called a "Windows Accelerator" from S3 Graphics, which focused on the user experience by moving windows around the screen faster. As graphics hardware evolved, so, too, did the methods that developers use to interact with that hardware.

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Metro Applications - FAQ

With the advent of Microsoft Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Office 2013, Microsoft is now all about Metro UI and Metro Apps. And when Windows 8 will be released, everybody will be developing or talking about Metro apps. But what is a Metro app and how to build these apps? There are many questions in the mind of many developers. Let's just find answers for few of them in this blog post.

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Exploring Win8 Metro: The RichEditBox & FilePickers

Win8 provides a number of controls in the XAML toolkit that are easy to use RichEdit-File Pickerand that provide a great deal of flexibility and power. I'll be writing about some of these controls now and then, starting with some simple and easy to use controls that do a lot of work for you.

The RichEdit box allows the user to open and view and edit a Rich Text document. Rich Text refers to all the text attributes you associate with a word processor but not with a text editor (e.g., bold, color, etc.). The RichEditBox control handles all the work of understanding and presenting the rich text.

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8 New Platform Features Coming to WP8

Did you miss the Windows Phone 8 Summit? The phone team announced a number of platform features that are coming to Windows Phone 8 when launched later this year that are based from a new Shared Windows Core between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Below is a recap of the session delivered by Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone Engineering Director, that provides a great technical overview of the features coming to a Windows Phone 8 near you!

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Positioning Popup Menus in Windows 8 Metro

Often when building Windows 8 apps you'll want to provide a menu of options from the app bar, this may be a list of different ways to sort or filter the data. For these simple menus WinRT provides the PopupMenu control (for more complicated popup user interfaces I recommend the Flyout control from the Callisto library), these menus are very easy to create by creating UI Commands and appending them to the menus Commands collection.

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Ultimate WP About Dialog

What does your app say about you as a developer? The app about page establishes your reputation in the eyes of the app user. It is as important as your interview attire. As you wouldn't wear flip-flops to an interview, you would also not want to have a poorly designed about page in your app.

About page is a great way to show your professionalism in a pretty and engaging way. Furthermore, It also provides an opportunity for you to advertise your other apps.

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Return Multiple Values(or Objects) in VB.NET

You might have searched "How to return multiple objects in VB.Net" in google and you might have got a lot of Ir-relevant articles. But this is not such an article, this goes to the point. I am going to teach you how to return multiple values in VB.net.

I gave a lot of try (Searching), how to do the stuff but most of the search results turned out to be like using a single object and returning multiple values in it, but that I do not need. So I thought of writing an article here about the same. So at least it will be helpful for sum beginners.
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Windows Phone Crosswords

In this article I'll explain how to create a new game, a newspaper-style crossword puzzle, by using the Windows Phone framework to access resources existing on the internet.

The internet is full of useful and free services for a myriad of areas, and we just need to find out which services fit our need. In our case, we needed some online English dictionary to provide the clues for the crosswords. I hope the following article may be of help for those looking for similar kind of applications.
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Fixing problems with Background Tasks in WP

Recently here at Windows Phone Central we've received a few help requests through our app from users who's live tiles all appear to have stopped updating, including our own. Previously there have been bugs in our app that would cause it's tile to fail, but when all live tiles on a device that rely on Background tasks get stuck, there's a bigger problem.

Up until this point I have been unable to reproduce the issue myself so I've been struggling to assist those of you asking us for a solution. In a stroke of luck though my Lumia 800's tiles recently stopped updating at all (excluding those updated through push notifications), and after a simple restart of the phone didn't help I have a solution to share with you all.

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Application name matters in Window Phone

If you are developing an application for your company with a brand name or if you are developing the next Angry Bird game with a cool new name, this post is not for you.

However, if you are concocting a generic application like a calculator, a converter, a task manager, you might want continuing to read this post.

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Building a WP Count Down Timer app Step by Step

The main goal is to create an app that allows the user to enter a time and automatically starts counting down the seconds until it reaches 0. Options for Start, Stop and Pause will also be implemented. The UI needs to be as simple as possible since we want the app to do just what it is supposed to do rather that offer some additional features.

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WP: Dynamically toggle PanoramaItem visibility

A strange issue with the Panorama control, that has been brought to my attention by @lancewmccarthy, and which has also been encountered by some people on StackOverflow.

The original scenario was a bit too complex for a blog post, but we can reproduce it in a much simpler way.

Create a new page, and add a panorama control called 'Panorama'. Then add two PanoramaItem, and put a button in the first one.

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A gesture-driven Windows Phone to-do application Part Two – drag re-ordering

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a todo list application which uses gestures to achieve its basic functions, a left swipe deletes an item, while a right-swipe marks it as complete. In this blog post I am adding re-ordering which is initiated via a tap-and-hold gesture and performed via a drag.

As mentioned previously, this application is heavily inspired by the iPhone application Clear, who I give full credit for coming up with such an innovative user-interface design. This blog post is for fun an education, you are strictly prohibited from using this as the basis of a 'Clear' clone for WP7.
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Why most of Windows Phone apps that connect with Facebook will stop working on July 5, 2012

When developing apps that connects to social networks like Facebook or Twitter, the common practice is to show the user a web control that allows him to authenticate.

To provide a better user experience, it is recommended to use the appropriate display mode:

'page' for desktop web browsers
'popup' for desktop web browsers without a page redirect
'touch' for touch devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.)
'wap' for mobile phones (deprecated)

The problem is that currently the 'touch' display mode is not supported by Facebook on Windows Phone, so it falls back on 'wap'.

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Telerik RadImageButton: A new control for WP in Q2 2012

Today we are going to present one of the new additions to our Windows Phone Controls Suite: RadImageButton. This control inherits from the native Button, so it has all of its properties and events that you are familiar with. What RadImageButton actually does is to allow you to place an image or a set of images that change when the button gets tapped or disabled.

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Weekly Thai Recipe! for Windows Phone

This article describes the implementation and process of developing Weekly Thai Recipe. Weekly Thai Recipe is the third application that I developed for the Window Phone. This article is also the third article about developing for windows phone. More information about why I am developing Windows phone applications can be found here and here.

I got a lot of positive reactions from my first and second article, which made me decide to write a new article and also open up the source of this application. I hope that this article will inspire other people to start developing new windows phone applications. I wrote this article during the implementation of the application and finished it just after Weekly Thai Recipe got certified. Weekly Thai Recipe is currently available in the Marketplace.
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