Universal Windows App Paper Prototype

In honour of the announcement of universal Windows apps, I though I’d create a simple one page paper prototyping template to visualise what an app would look like on both a PC/tablet and a Windows Phone. This template compliments my previous Windows 8 paper prototypes.

Universal Windows Apps Paper Protoype template


Paper Prototyping Templates for Windows 8.1 Store Apps

These are updated paper prototyping templates for Windows 8.1 Store apps.

The changes from the previous 8.0 versions are mostly to do with the removal of snapped and filled modes in Windows 8.1 Store apps; there are new versions for the new default minimum width of 500px and also for the optional minimum width of 320px.




50 Apps By Christmas: Share to Clipboard

This article is part of the 50 Apps by Christmas series.


When I’m using Windows 8, sometimes I wanted to copy something from one app and use it somewhere else. If the app allows selection and copy all is well, but a lot of apps don’t.

When an app does implement sharing I could share to another app such as Twitter, select all the text, right-click then copy to clipboard, which is tedious.

So I wrote Share to Clipboard.



PubCenter Updates For Your Windows Store (8.0) App’s Ads Sizes

Microsoft have announced changes to pubCenter ad sizes and new targeted ad support.

For Windows 8.1 there will be a new SDK, but there is also a new version of the 8.0 SDK.

If your current Windows Store (8.0) apps use the following ad sizes you’ll need to replace them and resubmit your app:

  • 292x60
  • 500x130
  • 250x125

In addition to removing these sizes, there’s a new size of 300x600, this means the new sizes you should be looking at are:

  • 250x250
  • 300x250
  • 728x90
  • 160x160
  • 300x600

Steps to Take

Even if you you don’t use these sizes you may still want to update to the latest ad SDK.



Theming and Styling Your Windows Store App the Easy Way

This article shows one way of choosing and using a colour scheme in your Windows Store app.

The default style looks like this:


Step 1 – Choose a Colour Palette

We can use our fave colours or use a tool such as Adobe Kuler to help us come up with a scheme.

The screen shot below shows a Kuler theme “kathy 1” and it’s RGB values.


Our styled app will contain these colours.



50 Apps by Christmas: SilverKeys - Porting a Silverlight App to a Windows Store App

This article is part of the 50 Apps by Christmas series.

Graph of 50 app progress

I developed a Silverlight app a few years ago and I wanted to see how easy it would be to port to a Windows Store app. You can download free trial of SilverKeys for Windows 8.

The Original Silverlight App

Here’s a screenshot of the original Silverlight app:

Original Silverlight app screenshot

The app helps amateur composers try out different scales and also helps them understand what common chord progressions are often used.



50 Apps By Christmas

So I thought I’d issue myself a challenge.

By Christmas (2013) I will have 50 apps in store. This will most likely be Windows Store apps, but also smattering of Windows Phone 8 apps for good measure.


  • To see if I can do it
  • To learn
  • To make some cool stuff


  • Build a common library of useful code
  • Use portable class libraries wherever possible
  • Fully embrace releasing minimal functionality in V1 products


That’s it, sounds simple. I might not succeed but it will an interesting journey!


Getting Daily Emails with your Windows Store and Windows Phone App PubCenter Earnings

If you’re writing Windows Phone or Windows Store apps and you’re using Microsoft’s pubCenter to display adverts, you can schedule a daily email report of your earnings for that day.

Log in to pubCenter.

Go to the reports tab and choose Create report.


Expand Save report template.


Give your report a name, schedule, and email address for it to be sent to.

UPDATE: Make sure you tick the “Include report as e-mail attachment”.

Click Save Template.

Now you’ll receive a daily email with an attached CSV containing your revenue for the day. It would be nice if this was in the body of the email rather than as an attachment though.

You can also look at some of the advanced options :)


A Windows 8 App - From Idea to Store in 8 Hours

I had an idea for a simple Windows Store app, so I thought I’d develop it but keep track of how long it took me and what I spent my time on.

The total time spent working on the app was 8 hours and 10 minutes, this included: sketching ideas and feature possibilities, developing the app, creating icons and promo images, and submitting to the Windows Store.