It's OK to Take a Break from Your Apps, but...

by Kevin November 3, 2014 18:04

It's OK to take a break from your apps, but don't forget to keep an eye on your support emails.

I learned this the hard way recently when the Windows Live SDK login stopped working in my Bill Reminder app, while I was taking a few months off. If I had stayed on top of the support emails, I would have known about the problem earlier and not ended up with quite a few upset (and vocal) users. Here are a few of the deservedly bad reviews from the store:

1 star out of 5
by Amy 10/7/2014

I use to Love Love Love it! ❤ but now I can't sign in? I switched phones, reinstalled, tried to sign in and now.... nothing?

1 star out of 5
by Robert 10/6/2014

Nice program but no longer supported by the developer. When SkyDrive changed to OneDrive, the program will now no longer backup and restore. Many times I and others have attempted to contact developer per "help" instructions but no response back. Therefore, cannot expect program updates and program to continue to work well as future Window Phone operating systems evolve.

1 star out of 5
by Dave 10/2/2014

So far I can't even back up or restore. Everything else works fine.

2 stars out of 5
by Andrew 9/10/2014

app is great, except for some reason i can't log in to my OneDrive to connect to a backup...keeps telling me 'not signed in' i've contacted the publisher 3 times with no response...frustrated!

Once I was aware of the problem, it was a quick fix. I updated the Windows Live SDK in the app, tested it, and submitted it to the store the same day. It actually took longer to go back and reply to all of the support emails, which I did.

Everyone appears to be happy now, and I'm definitely keeping up with the support emails from here on out.

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Windows Phone

Bill Reminder Featured in the Windows Phone Marketplace in February

by Kevin February 21, 2012 16:16

The paid version of Bill Reminder was featured during February as one of the winners of the [Your App Here] Advertising Campaign from Windows Phone & Nokia that features innovative Windows Phone 7.5 apps that use the Metro interface design and Live Tiles.

After being featured in the Marketplace for 1 full day on the 18th, Bill Reminder jumped to the #1 spot in the Personal Finance category.

Bill Reminder #1

Is It 12/23/2011 or 23/12/2011?

by Kevin December 23, 2011 08:39

In my rush to get the Live Tile and pop-up reminder update out for Bill Reminder, I overlooked testing different date/time formats for the pop-up reminder scheduler. Result? DateTime.Parse error, and no way to get to the main page.

Maybe jumping to an error page to report an exception wasn't such a great idea. I'll be rewriting the error handling in a future update.

As for the bug at hand, I just needed to specify the culture that the date/time was originally stored in and let the DateTime.Parse function handle the conversion. The code looks like this and should be available for download in a few days:

reminder.BeginTime = DateTime.Parse(popUpReminderTime, new CultureInfo("en-US");

Apologies to my international users, and thanks to Mathieu for reporting it and helping to find a fix.


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Windows Phone

Ask Me About My Apps...

by Kevin November 14, 2011 18:31

I started developing Windows Phone apps at the beginning of February 2011 in anticipation of the HTC Arrive's release on Sprint's network in March (Yes, I had all of one phone to choose from). I wasn't new to .NET development, but I had never worked on phone apps or with Silverlight, so I didn't know what to expect from the learning curve. I was surprised by how many excellent examples and tools Microsoft had made available to developers, free of charge, and the move from ASP.NET to XAML was easier than I thought it would be. I quickly had my first test app up and running and consuming Web services.

That first app was something that I could only use to talk to my database server at work, so I turned to the emulator to create my first "real" app. WinPhone Info was a way for me to work through a number of the sample apps that let you tap into the hardware and OS on the phone. While working on each of the samples, I thought it would be nice to have them all combined into a single metro-styled app, so it became my first app in the Marketplace on 5/24/11. It now has over 15000 downloads, which I think is quite good for the small user-base that Windows Phone has gained in it's first year.

November brought the OS 7.5 (Mango) update, new developer tools and APIs, the first Nokia Windows Phones, and some excellent new hardware from HTC and Samsung. It also saw the start of some real advertising coming from Microsoft and the phone manufacturers, especially Nokia in Europe and Asia. The next year should be an excellent one for Windows Phone, as it gains even more ground on iOS and Android. I'm excited to be a Windows Phone developer, because as millions more people make the switch, they will be downloading and using my apps.

My current apps as of November are listed below. Click on the icons for more info and links to download the apps from the Marketplace.

Bill Reminder

Bill Reminder

If you are like me, you already use a full-featured money management program on your computer, and you don't want to re-enter all of your financial information into a separate application on your phone or rely on email reminders to know when your bills are due. Bill Reminder was written with those problems in mind. It gives you convenient, color-coded, reminders to quickly see when your bills are due; red for past due, yellow for due today, and green for not due yet. No account numbers or amounts are required. Just enter a name, frequency, and next occurrence date, and Bill Reminder color codes and sorts your bills into the correct lists. Mark a bill as paid, and Bill Reminder automatically updates the next occurrence date, color code, and reminder lists.

UCF News

UCF News

If you want to keep up with sports, campus, and college news at the University of Central Florida, then UCF News is the app for you. It brings the news from 30 separate RSS feeds into a single, easy to navigate, panorama application, so you can quickly get the news you need on the go. Additional feeds and feed filtering will be included in future updates.


WinGPS Info

WinGPS Info

WinGPS Info displays your location information and provides a Bing map to view the data updates in real-time and to send a map link to your current location via email or SMS.


WinPhone Info

WinPhone Info

WinPhone Info displays information about your Windows Phone device. It combines multiple sample applications into a single, Metro-styled interface.



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Windows Phone

About the author


I work on .NET development by day; Windows PC & Windows Phone development by night.

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