Windows Phone App: Flight Status India

This is our 3rd public Windows Phone app (and 4th overall one) now available in the Marketplace. Flight Status India (FSI, in short) is a new, and as far as I know, the only app for seeing live flight status for airlines and airports in India. So if you (or someone close to you) is a frequent traveller, this is a must have app for you. You can find it here at the Marketplace.

FSI-01

When you start up FSI, you are presented with a screen from where you can start your query. You can query in two different ways:

By Flight Number: You can choose the flight operator code from the drop down and enter the flight number in the text box on the right.

By Airport City: You can select from any of the major cities in this option and get to see the live status of flights to or from here.

You can of course choose to see flights for the current day or one day previous or subsequent as well as the departure or arrival status of these flights.

FSI-02

When you select a flight operator by its code and then enter the number of the flight, you can search for that flight specifically. The airlines supported in this release are:

  • Jet Airways (9W)
  • Kingfisher (IT)
  • Indigo (6E)

There are many more airlines planned to be supported in the future. Once you’ve selected the status type and the date, simply click the large button at the bottom to retrieve the live status. You will need an Internet connection at this point to be able to get the live status from the online service.

FSI-02a

When the data is retrieved, you will be shown the details of that flight (if found) for that date as well as the current status. You can also see the scheduled and expected time of arrival or departure in this screen. In case you wish to refresh the data, the first icon on the application bar at the bottom lets you do that.

Some flights have multi-city hops. In case such a flight is retrieved, you will get multiple “pages” of information – one for each hop. You can browse the status for each hop by using the back and forward navigation icons at the bottom of the screen.

FSI-03

In case you had selected an airport city, you can optionally also enter a flight city as the origin or destination. If you do not enter this, you will be able to see a list of all flights arriving or departing the selected city. In this version, the following airport cities are supported:

  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Bengaluru
  • Hyderabad

The same large button at the bottom will try and retrieve the live status from the Internet service.

FSI-03a

You will get to see a list of flights to or from the selected city – optionally filtered to the city you set as the origin or destination. You can scroll through this list and view the list of flights and their current status and expected time of arrival or departure. You can again refresh the screen with the button below.

The trial version of the app has the following limitations - You can only query Jet Airways (9W) or Delhi airport. The other airlines and cities are available only in the full version of the application.

As I mentioned above, we are planning on adding more airlines and cities in future versions. So do keep a lookout for them.


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Windows Phone App: Delhi Metro

Our next Windows Phone 7.5 app is meant for travellers on the Delhi Metro. If you wish to know the fare between two stations and the route to take, where to change trains etc., then this app is for you. You can get it here or look for Delhi Metro in the MarketPlace and select the one by Enterprise InfoTech.

DM-01DM-02Once you start the app, it contacts the Delhi Metro server to get the latest list of the metro stations. Once loaded, you can tap and select the station from and station to in the main screen. As with other parts of Windows Phone, click on the alphabet to get a Jump List that allows you to jump to the station of your choice quickly.

 

DM-03Once the stations have been selected, click on the button to get the fare and route from the server again. This will initially show you the total fare and the route. The route markers are designated as follows:

DM-04> Green: Your starting station
> Yellow: Stations where you need to change trains
> Red: Your destination station

So in the screenshot on the left, you start from AIIMS, change trains at Rajiv Chowk, then again at Yamuna Bank and finally arrive at your stop – Akshardham. The cool part is that you can tap this list which will show you the expanded route – all the stations you pass through on the entire route are shown in Blue as on the right.

The app is available in both Trial and Paid mode. The only limitation in the Trial mode is that it doesn’t allow you to view the expanded route. Feel free to try it out and do send feedback on the MarketPlace or from the Help screen within the app itself.


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Windows Phone App: EMI Amortization

An update on the blog after quite a while – and that too to announce a new Windows Phone 7.5 app I pushed to the MarketPlace! This is an personal finance utility app for calculating loan (mortgage) payments (called Equated Monthly Installments) or EMIs and the amortization schedule for it. The app can be used by both individuals or bank loan agents. You can either click here or search for “EMI Amortization” in your Windows Phone or Zune. This post details some of the things you can do with it.

When you start up the app you are presented with a Panorama with 4 screens to it:

EMI-01Screen 1 – Loan Details: You enter the details of the loan you are taking – the amount, rate of interest and the number of years and the mortgage EMI is calculated automatically and shown to you here.EMI-02

Screen 2 – Amortization Schedule: this shows you the full list of the amortization you pay up for the entire loan amount for each month. You can see the month, the balance remaining, and the interest and principal amounts you are paying each month. You can also click on any of the items in this list to see even more details about that month’s payment.

EMI-04Screen 3: Settings: This allows you to do a couple of different things. You can change the start date of the loan – this will change the dates shown in the amortization schedule. EMI-05You can also change the background image in the panorama by selecting a new image from your Pictures Hub or clicking a new photo. You can of course revert back to default from here too.

Screen 4: Send Details: This lets you quickly insert the important information regarding the loan and send it as an email or SMS. This is quite useful for loan agents who wish to calculate a loan for a potential client and then send them the information. Simply click the relevant buttons at the bottom, select or type in the email ID or phone number and send the details.

The app is available in both Trial and Paid mode. The Trial version has the following limitations:

  1. Your loan details are not saved when you exit the app and they are not loaded back when you return. You will need to enter the data again.
  2. You cannot send the loan details by email or SMS.

Feel free to try out the app and use the Help screen (available from the settings page) to send any feedback you might have.


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Unofficial Method to Update WP7 to ‘NoDo’

While at TechEd India 2011 in Bangalore last week, my phone suddenly popped up a message saying that a new update is available. Unfortunately since my laptop was not on the Internet at the time, I had to click the button to “Remind me Later”. Sadly I didn’t know how much later this was going to be. Repeated trying to get the update when I did finally get connected did not show me the update on the phone or the Zune software.

But thanks to some enterprising guys over at XDA-Developers (dawnrazr, Bonebreaker, pLUSpISTOL, zard, and others), there is a way to get your phone to find the update immediately. Note that I’ve tested this on my unlocked Samsung Omnia 7. However please try this at your own risk. I’m not responsible for bricking or otherwise damaging your phone or data.

More...


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My New Phone–Samsung Omnia 7

An update to the blog after a long time! And this is to announce my new phone – a Samsung Omnia 7 running Windows Phone 7! The specs of the phone are:

  • Operating System: Windows Phone 7 Omnia7
  • Processor: Qualcomm SnapDragon QSD8250
  • Display: 4" WVGA (800x480) Super-AMOLED 24 bit
  • Camera: 5.0MP Camera with LED flash and Auto-Focus
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM, 1GB ROM, 8 GB Internal Storage
  • Connectivity: WLAN 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, USB 2.0
  • Dimensions: 122 x 64 x 10.99 mm
  • Weight: 138g
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Other: FM Radio, Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G-Sensor and capacitive sensor buttons

Said to be the best WP7 device available, it’s a big upgrade from the HTC TyTn II (WM6.1) that I had previously. It’s got a bigger screen, Super-AMOLED so the blacks are super sharp and crisp images.

I got an unlocked device for Rs. 24,999/- from a dealer in Gurgaon. I went over and tested the device and picked it up. (Contact me and I’ll send over the dealer’s details if you want.) This price was a steal considering the Clove UK was showing for approx. Rs. 32,000 with shipping to India (customs duty extra).

The phone setup went off quite easily too. I already had the Zune software on my machine and it detected the phone immediately and downloaded some drivers. I started syncing up some music and videos. They show very nicely in the phone.

Getting the apps from the WP7 Marketplace was a little more involved. Basically as Microsoft has not yet launched WP7 in India yet, the marketplace is not available on the Phone or through Zune. But thanks to the guys over at The Windows Club, you can use a simple software to enable apps from India as well. I’ve managed to load a ton of free apps so far – yet to try some paid ones – although they do show prices in Rupees!

Pros

  • Stunning screen, fast response, light, thin
  • Integration with Zune is brilliant
  • New Metro UI is really cool and snappy
  • Apps look great

Cons

  • Still getting used to the Phone Dialer
  • Can’t search Exchange mail from Inbox – but can do it from the browser
  • The “Search” key on my phone is too sensitive, I keep jumping into the search unintentionally

I’ll start posting about some of the apps I’m starting to use on the phone soon.


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Windows Phone 7–India Readiness Workshops

With the Windows Phone 7 launch just completing in the US and most of the world, including Europe and parts of Asia getting ready to receive the WP7 handsets this or the next month, it’s only natural that lots of us in India are also waiting for them.

Unfortunately, there is going to be a delay before the handsets are available to purchase in India. This is expected to happen hopefully in the first quarter of 2011. Till then you will need to just read the rave reviews for the phone all over.

But here’s the good news. I’ve been working with the WP7 team here in India and Microsoft India has graciously offered to lend handsets for testing existing applications developed locally during a workshop. We are planning to conduct 1 or more workshops in cities in India for WP7 application development and testing.

The workshop will be for 2 days consisting of a few development sessions and hands on where you can test apps you have developed on real handsets rather than the emulator.You can work with us to figure out issues in your apps and optimize them for submission to the Marketplace. Not only that every participant will also get a bunch of goodies – one of which I can’t describe here but is potentially a great gift for getting visibility for your app.

If you are an individual or part of a company developing an app for Windows Phone 7, please contact me with the following details via email (through the Contact me link above) or via twitter (@vinodunny). Please do note that we are looking for apps that are well into development and for submission into the Marketplace and are not demos or samples that you’ve built for learning WP7 development. You can of course submit more than one app.

These are the details I’ll need:

Your Name:
Company Name:
WP7 Application Name:
Application Description:
State of Readiness:
City:
Contact Info (email, phone, twitter, etc.):

We’ll be collating this information and sending out invites for workshops that we conduct in your city. Please note that the seats are limited in each city (which are still in planning stage), so please do reply to me quickly.

Looking forward to seeing you at the workshop soon.


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Windows Phone 7 – My first app

As I unfortunately could not be at Mix 10 this year, I had to be content watching the Keynote from their live stream (which BTW worked flawlessly). Scott Guthrie as usual was outstanding and fun. And while showing off the new Windows Phone 7 developer tools went ahead and created a simple Twitter app on stage in about 5 minutes.

Well, I went ahead and downloaded the tools and installed them. Since I already had VS 2010 RC on my machine, it didn’t need to download the Express edition. It did install a bunch of other things and finally once done I went ahead and started it up.

So here’s how I beat ScottGu at his own game. I build a simple Twitter app for the Windows Phone 7 in even lesser time than him.

I created a Windows Phone application from the new project templates provided.WP7-01

Next, I changed some text around for the page and title. I also dropped in a TextBox, Button and a WebBrower control into the ContentGrid area on the phone.

WP7-02

WP7-03 I then simply added an event handler for the button’s click, like so:

webBrowser1.Navigate(new Uri("http://twitter.com/" + textBox1.Text));

That’s it. I then simply ran the application which started up the Windows Phone 7 emulator and deployed the application within it. Here’s what it looks like running.

The emulator doesn’t really have too many things in it other than Internet Explorer and some settings pages. You can of course go ahead and use the emulator to test out apps you create with Visual Studio 2010 or XNA Studio 4.0.

Here to creating great apps on Windows Phone 7. Have fun!


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Categories: Development | Gadgets | Microsoft | Rave | SilverLight | Windows Phone

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