Media Remote for WP7.5 submitted to marketplace!

This will be a short post, just for the purpose of informing you that Media Remote 1.2 for WP7.5 Mango has been submitted for certification, and should show up in marketplace for all you people running WP7.5!

I will write a bit longer post about this release when the app is available in marketplace! Meanwhile, check out our previous preview at http://attowares.com/blog/2011/08/28/media-remote-soon-ready-for-submission/

You can now also fetch the latest version of the server software, which is required for the new client, but still works with old clients! It can be downloaded here: http://attowares.com/mediaremote

Media Remote soon ready for submission!

So after many more hours of work, Media Remote for WP7 mango is almost done, and I am happy to announce the full update list:

- Uses sockets instead of webclient to communicate. Faster and more reliable connection!
- Pin songs/albums/artist to your start screen, just like in Zune with artist and cover art on front and info on back side of the tiles.
- Search region; you can now choose your country in the settings so that only tracks that are playable in your region appears in the search results.
- Share what you are currently listening to Facebook/Windows Live/Twitter using your WP7 accounts.
- Instant resume feature in WP7 mango is now supported.
- Animations; the application now has more and smoother animations when navigating between pages.
- New tile and splash screen image.
- New version of server software required, that works with both 7.0 and mango clients, but is faster and more responsive for mango clients.
- Various performance and bug fixes.

Overall it got some new sweet features as you can see above, like pinning artists, but the app now also feels a lot more responsive when controlling Spotify thanks to the use of sockets and the new version of the server software, that will be available soon.

Now for some screenshots of pinned tiles and new GUI:

playingpinToStarttilestiles2

Hope you enjoy the changes, the application will be submitted to marketplace within a few days!

Media Remote 1.2 early preview

After spending some serious amount of time learning how sockets work I have now rewritten the Media Remote server to work with both the new and old client for Windows Phone 7.

I have also started working on the new client, Media Remote 1.2, that will be for the Windows Phone Mango update. The client now also relies on socket connection instead of using the WebClient’s request methods. This makes the connection a lot more stable, and the delays in updates and button presses that could be noticed before are almost gone! It also connects most faster when the application is started or resumed. (Of course it supports instant resume in Mango too).

The hardest part was making that I had close to no experience using sockets before and furthermore I have implemented the client using BackgroundWorkers to handle the connection, so the UI wont freeze (kind of nice… Blinkar), which I also had to learn. The server is already using threads, but it was more of a challenge to get it to work in client because the results from the BackgroundWorker needed to be shown in the UI.

But now for some sneak peak screenshots of the client, which also got a refresh in the UI:

screenshot_0

I would love to hear your thoughts about the new UI, it is made to look more like the new Zune interface. Where would you want to have the volume buttons?

More info to come soon! Ler

Whats coming in the future?

So as I wrote in the last post I’m currently working on making my apps ready for Mango release, and I thought I would share some inside info with you.

Currently I’m working on a remake of SMS-Tickets, which will be completly free (currently $0.99), and let you pin your tickets to the start screen!

As for my most popular app Media Remote I also plan to let users pin artists/tracks/albums to the start screen, much like you can do in Zune. Also the possibility to save several server IP’s will be introduced. (Great when you want to control multiple computers). I’m also thinking about rewriting it to using the new Socket support in Mango to get better performance!

As for the other apps you will have to wait a while before I reveal the future plans!

Media Remote 1.1 now in marketplace!

Media Remote 1.1 is now available for download in Windows Phone Marketplace. The app is still completly free and ad-free.

The new features include:
- Search for artists, albums and tracks.
- Read last.fm wiki about albums
- And ofcourse some bug fixes.

And as before you can also play/pause, adjust the volume and alot more from your Windows Phone 7! There is also no need to update the server software if you already have it installed since last version.

Screenshots:

Download it now:

This product uses a SPOTIFY API but is not endorsed, certified or otherwise approved in any way by Spotify. Spotify is the registered trade mark of the Spotify Group.

Media Remote now available in marketplace!


Media Remote is now finally available in the Windows Phone Marketplace! Media Remote is a Spotify Remote for Windows Phone 7. The application is completely free (not even ads!). You will need to download the server software for your pc, it can be found here: http://attowares.com/mediaremote. (Also free)

Features:
- Play/Pause Spotify
- Change track
- Use gestures to control Spotify, for example flick left/right to change track and up/down to adjust volume
- Album and artist are for a beautiful user experience, that you are comfortable with in Zune.
- Works with ALL Spotify account types!

Search for songs/albums/artists is coming soon too, read more here.

Here are some screenshots:

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What is going on?

I just realized it was a while since my last post here, so thought I would write something about what is currently going on.
I can report that version 1.0 of Media Remote was submitted to Marketplace a few days ago for certification, but will give more details when it is available.

My current project is improving the Media Remote, more precisely version 1.1, which will include search for music in the Spotify catalogue. A little teaser of the interface so far can be seen below. It is still an early version, but it is progressing nicely. If you got any comments on the interface or the app in general, please feel free to leave a comment!

WP7 Quick Tricks

Since I started using WP7 I have over time found more and more small tricks that improves the overall user experience and saves you time, and I thought I would share some of them with you.


Pin it all
You can not only pin apps to the start screen, here is some example of what more can be pinned. You can see how it looks in the image to the right:

  • Contacts: tap and hold on a contact and choose “pin to start”.
  • OneNote notes: tap and hold on a note and it will pin to the start, perfect for shopping lists.
  • Map locations: Press and hold on the map in Bing Maps to add a pin, then press the pin and the location will be shown, there in the application bar you can choose to pin the location to the start screen.
  • Websites: Navigate to a webpage and open the application bar and choose “pin to start” and the website will be pinned. You can choose how the tile will look by zooming in on different parts of the site.
  • Artists/Albums/Songs: You can also pin all kinds of music on the start screen, just tap and hold on an artist, song or album in your Zune library. The tile will show cover art for albums, cover art with song title for songs, and a double tile with artist art for artists.

Other small tricks

  • If you are bored of the background in the picture hub and the tile, you can manually change it by tap and hold on the background.
  • If you select text in Internet Explorer and press the hardware search button Bing will search the web for the selected text.
  • Press and hold on a textbox to show a curser that you can move in your text. Great when you want to just change a letter somewhere
  • If you copied and pasted something, you can paste it again by sliding the word suggestion bar to the right and the paste icon will be visible again.
  • You can get delivery reports for text messages (SMS) by opening “messaging” and press “settings” in the application bar and check “SMS delivery confirmation”.
  • Ignore a notification that shows at the top by sliding it to the right.

If you know any more, leave a comment and I will update the post!

Listening to your users

To make an successful app you need to listen to your users, and after having the beta out for just one day I got a few comments on the overall design, which I agreed with. So I remade big parts of the UI. If you are in the beta, a new version will be sent out soon.
Also gestures was something that was wanted, so I also added that. You can now flick left and right to change track, and up/down to adjust the volume.

Some more new features in latest beta:
- Almost completly new UI
- Gestures
- Connection issues fixed (hopefully :) )

The server software also got a few updates:
- Shows all possible IPs that might work in a list
- Now listens on all IPs

Here are some screenshots of the new GUI: