Archive by Author | TechPreacher

MS Virtual Academy Live event: Porting Unity games to Windows 8.1 & Windows Phone

Microsoft Virtual Academy Live events presents a fast-paced live virtual session on “Porting Unity games to Windows 8.1 & Windows Phone” for developers, free of charge.

Basic knowledge of the Unity editor and engine is recommended.

The event will be hosted by Michael “Mickey” Macdonald, a Microsoft Technical Evangelist @ScruffyFurn and Bryan Griffiths, Video Game Design Instructor at triOS College.

The live event will take place December 6, 2013 / 9:00am – 5:00pm (PST)

Details and registration at http://corti.ch/6bkoc

Windows Phone developers can now download WP8 Update 3

If you are a developer of Windows Phone apps, you can update your Windows Phone 8 device to the announced OS update titled “Update 3” or “GDR 3” now.

Requirements are that you (a) have an active Windows Phone Dev Center account; OR (b) have an active App Studio account; OR (c) be running a registered developer device (‘dev unlocked’ phone)

Note that You CANNOT REVERT to a previous OS version once you have taken an update via this program.

The tool itself is very simple, allowing you to opt-in or -out of pre-releases of the Phone OS with one click.

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The download is available here: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/preview-for-developers/178ac8a1-6519-4a0b-960c-038393741e96

Video Messaging now part of the Skype App on Windows Phone 8

Skype updated its Windows Phone 8 app today, adding video messaging.

This is another great way to keep in touch. Once you have updated the app, just open a conversation and tap + to create a new video.  New to Skype? You can download the latest version of the app from the Windows Phone Store.

There’s more about the new update on the Skype Garage Blog today.

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Evernote 5 for Windows is ready for download, looks very good!

Even though I mostly use OneNote, I keep Evernote around for snapped business cards. The Windows version of the desktop client just had a major update to version 5, which looks very nice and handles very fast.

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Have a look at the official blog post about the release for a lot of details.

Now I am only hoping for an updated Windows 8 store app version to make the Windows Evernote clients just perfect.

Microsoft PubCenter change requires developers to update their Ad Units.

Microsoft PubCenter has recently introduced targeting changes aimed at improving application/ad relevancy.

If you use PubCenter ads in your Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 apps, make sure to update your Ad Units to reflect the store category of the app that the ad unit is used in.

Three Required Steps:

1. Associate your Mobile ad unit to a specific Application via the pubCenter’s setup tab.

2. Select Category and Subcategory (when available) for each Mobile ad unit. Your selection should match the same categories you’ve selected in Windows Phone Dev Center.

3. Save, and repeat for each Mobile ad unit.

You will need to update all your existing Windows Phone Ad units by September 12st, to continue receiving ads. Ad units not updated by Sep 12, 2013, will stop serving ads.

More details can be found in the blog post in the Advertising Community Blog.

Awesome Package Design

I just unpacked a “Beats Pill Bluetooth wireless audio system” and was amazed by the ingenious package design. It’s called a pill and it surely is wrapped like one. Nice!

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Technical Evangelist MACH role available at Microsoft Switzerland!

There is a job opening at Microsoft Switzerland in my team – right now. Beware, you will be working with me! (;

It’s a Technical Evangelist role with focus on App/Game Development. The opening is looking explicitly for a MACH candidate (Microsoft Academy for College Hires).

In the Microsoft Academy for College Hires MACH, we have customized experiences to help you start strong at Microsoft, build your global network, and drive your career. Our two year program (while being fully paid) is focused on ensuring that you receive the professional development early to help you accelerate your impact in role and that you have the tools and knowledge to steer your long term career.
In order to qualify for the MACH program and this role you will need to have a bachelor or master degree and no more than 3 years of working experience.

The overall goal of a Technical Evangelist is to share his passion for the newest development technologies and stimulate the local developer community in embracing these technologies. By giving inspiring speeches in front of technical audiences, working with technical communities and leveraging social media channels effectively. This job focuses on the evangelization of the technologies to implement Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Store Apps (XAML/C#, HTML/Javascript/CSS).

Within this area, you will be responsible for:

  • Talking at events in front of a technical audience (Developers).
  • Writing educational sample code and prototypes.
  • Liaising with communities and user groups.
  • Writing technical articles and short texts that will be included in our channel communication (newsletters, blogs, Facebook page, Twitter,…).
  • Staying socially connected with the target audience to stay on top of market trends.
  • Inspiring the local game developer community, to help them understand the benefits of the Windows Platform, and supporting them with its adoption.

Some people still frown at the term “evangelist” but I suggest having a look at the Wikipedia page to learn about its origins. Also, Thomas Lewis, technical evangelist for over 12 years at Microsoft, wrote an interesting piece on “8 Tips To Become a Microsoft Technical Evangelist”.

The job listing can be found here: https://careers.microsoft.com/jobdetails.aspx?ss=&pg=0&so=&rw=1&jid=119073&jlang=en&pp=ss

For more information on the MACH program, have a look at: http://careers.microsoft.com/careers/de/ch/graduate.aspx

Windows 8.1 release date announced (via “Blogging Windows”)

The Windows 8.1 availability date has been announced publicly on http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/08/14/mark-your-calendars-for-windows-8-1.aspx

Starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market.

Any Developer can now unlock and register 1 Windows Phone to side-load up to 2 Apps for free.

This is amazing news! With the recent announcement of the beta of the new app development tool, the Windows Phone App Studio that can help you create your app without coding, we are now offering every developer the possibility to unlock and register 1 phone to side-load up to 2 apps. Registered developers with Dev Center accounts continue to have the option to unlock up to 3 phones and upload up to 10 apps on each.

This means that it is now possible to develop and deploy your own software for testing on real phone hardware without paying for a Windows Phone Dev Center account.

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Want to develop your apps using the full development tools or edit the projects you have generated online with the Windows Phone App Studio? No problem! The full developer tools are free for download, just grab the “Windows Phone 8.0 SDK” from http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/downloadsdk

Only if you want to publish your app to the store however, you will need the full account. But thanks to the  $19 “Summer Break” limited-time Dev Center registration offer (through August 26, 2013). With this offer, the annual Dev Center registration is just $19 (or equivalent local currency). See official terms for more details.

Halo: Spartan Assault in the Store for Windows 8, coming soon to Windows Phone 8

Halo: Spartan Assault is the first touch-optimized game set in the HALO universe. It plays on any Windows 8 system, but really shines on a tablet.

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Even though the controls are touch-based and very easy to master, the game feels very dense and immerses the player in the Halo universe.

Set between the events of “Halo 3” and “Halo 4,” “Halo: Spartan Assault” is a new chapter of the award-winning “Halo” universe that explores the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. Play through the eyes of either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity as they fight never-before-seen battles against Covenant forces.

Visit the official site for screenshots and gameplay videos.

Download Halo: Spartan Assault from the Windows 8 store. The soundtrack is available from Amazon.