Napt – Simple Rest

Napt Windows Phone Napping Application Napt is a beautifully simple Windows Phone application brought to you by the folks at RDVO.

Set a time and alarm sound, click pin, and you have a one click shortcut to set a nap alarm. All of the alarms are original compositions by the RDVO team.

Check out Napt in the Windows Phone Application Marketplace.

Napt Windows Phone Napping Application

Find all Bindings in a XAML UI project

Rob Relyea created a utility to find all bindings in a XMAL project. Get BindingFinder-Utility here.

Search and Navigation Tips in VS

Scott G has a great post here on Navigation tips within Visual Studio.

Geosense for Windows

Rafael Rivera and Long Zheng have been hinting at a new initiative for a few days now.

This morning they revealed Geosense for Windows.

Geosense is a Windows Sensor that provides the Location and Sensors platform in Windows 7 with accurate and reasonably ubiquitous positioning information without requiring or the assistance of GPS hardware, enabling more practical location-based applications and scenarios on Windows 7.

The release comes with an open call to action to download and develop location aware applications against it. Who’s going to be the first out the door with a desktop FourSquare client?!

iPhone and Windows Phone 7 Series side by side comparison

Here’s an interesting post comparing the iPhone OS to Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S). The conclusion here is that the WP7S UI makes the iPhone look dated and overloaded with chrome. I agree!

Windows Phone 7 hands on UI demonstration video

Windows Phone 7 series is looking sick!

Watching the Mobile World Conference live feed of the windows Phone7 phone reveal. The UI is awesome. Every thing I had hoped for with a perfect tie to the Zune experience. Watch the live feed here (9AM EST)

Silverlight Heat Map

Cool heat map of traffic accidents across the US built on Bing with VisualFusion and Silverlight.

BiDi Screen, 3D gesture interaction in thin screen device

Coo demo of a 3d display with multitouch and off-screen gestural control.

We transform an LCD into a display that supports both 2D multi-touch and unencumbered 3D gestures. Our BiDirectional (BiDi) screen, capable of both image capture and display, is inspired by emerging LCDs that use embedded optical sensors to detect multiple points of contact. We exploit the spatial light modulation capability of LCDs to allow lensless imaging without interfering with display functionality.

Converting Flash to Silverlight, is SilverX up to the task?

Lately there’s been quite a bit of buzz about SilverX, an application that claims to convert Flash files to Silverlight. The SilverX website does a good job of outlining the features and benefits of the application but there was little information on how it handles Actionscript.

Is this the Holy Grail for Flash developers looking to use the Adobe IDE to build Silverlight applications? We decided to put it through the paces to see what it’s all about.

Installing SilverX is straightforward and it provides an uninstaller in the application folder if you decide to remove it. One thing I didn’t expect was that it inserted a splash page to Expression Blend. A nice touch, and useful as I wouldn’t have immediately known that it added items to my ‘File’ menu.

Converting a Flash file to Silverlight
For the first test I decided to load a fairly complicated Flash application that I had built as a prototype for a touch screen picture frame. The reason I chose this file was because it had no externally loaded assets, it was built as one fat .SWF with embedded images.

The Flash to Silverlight conversion process only took a few seconds

Oops, a warning that Actionscript was not supported. Not surprising.

Having a look at the output, it created a folder with 3 areas that were very well organized.

  • Preview containing the original .swf, the .xap Silverlight app and supporting HTML/JS
  • Resources containing all the placed assets in the .swf
  • Solution containing the .sln and Silverlight project files

Running the application
Upon launching the application I found that none of the Actionscript was implemented, but all of the artwork came over nicely. Below is a preview of both the original .SWF and the .XAP outputs.

Note that this is a large file (2.7mb) with no preloader as it was originally indented to be run locally.

Original Flash version | Flash converted to Silverlight with SilverX

Another test
I knew that converting such a complicated app was a lot to ask, so I ran another test with something much more basic. This is a timeline based animation of a crane unfolding that I had used for the website.

As you can see from the examples the conversion of the animation was flawless. The only thing it missed was some Actionscript that sets the visibility of my guide asset to false and a stop action at the end of the timeline.

Original Flash version | Flash converted to Silverlight with SilverX

Considering that I was running version 1.2 of the application I’d say it’s very solid. Is it the Holy Grail for flash developers who are looking to build Silverlight applications with the Adobe IDE? No. But SilverX never said it was. Maybe in future releases we’ll see support for Actionscript conversion, but I imagine that is a huge undertaking and in the end may not be all that useful.

The strength of SilverX is in its ability to quickly and cleanly extract assets, vector graphics and timeline based animations from .swf files. If you’re a Flash developer that needs a jump start on a Flash to Silverlight project SilverX is a must have in your application toolbox.

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