Category Archives: Windows

New version of Pixelated Shapes

IMG_00000136Pixelated Shapes has been updated to version 1.3 for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows 8. This updated reduces the file size by 7% for the BlackBerry 10 version of the app, while also adding support for the BlackBerry Passport that is due to be released next month. Meanwhile the Windows 8 version of the app got updated in order to better support the variable sized side by side apps supported by Windows 8.1

About Pixelated Shapes

Pixelated Shapes is a twist on the classic version of Pixelated that replaces the familiar squares with triangles and hexagons. The object of the game is to get the screen a single color by slowly growing a blob out of the upper left hand corner by matching it to the colors of the surrounding shapes. This is done repeatedly until either the game is won, or you run out of moves. Under the default settings you must clear the screen in 29 moves or less in order to win. A one time in-app upgrade can allow you to adjust the difficult, switch color schemes, change to different game modes, and get an indicator giving you the number of remaining moves.

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Starbeams gets another 10 levels

Z10Starbeams has been updated to version 1.8 for BlackBerry 10 and Windows 8. This update adds an additional ten levels, and also adds support for the soon to be released BlackBerry Passport.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Links & Information

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How to get a TextBox in a Windows 8 app to support auto-capitalization

Unlike with most platforms, TextBox controls in Windows 8 metro apps default to a lowercase keyboard instead of assuming that the first word of a sentence should be capitalized. This can be frustrating for users of virtual keyboards who would rather use less keystrokes and let the OS take care of basic formatting. The fix for this is non-obvious, but fortunately quite simple. The solution consists of making sure that spell check is enabled for the TextBox.

This can be done either in XAML with

<TextBox IsSpellCheckEnabled="True" />

or in C# with

TextBox tb = new TextBox();
tb.IsSpellCheckEnabled = true;

How to sideload apps onto WindowsRT devices

With WindowsRT Microsoft has made a bit of an odd platform that only accepts apps from the Windows store and does not provide a simple way to install any custom built apps. The easiest way to sideload an app onto a WindowsRT tablet is to set it up as a developer test device. Unfortunately this does require you to be able to log-in to a Microsoft developer account. Not only is this account not free, but you will be required to reconfirm your credentials every three months. Still this is far easier then the other options to sideload onto WindowsRT.

Step one:

First you need to find the Windows PowerShell app open it using the “Run as administrator” option. Then confirm yes at the UAC prompt. Open the keyboard to type Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration and hit enter. Then agree to the prompt, and then log-in to your developer account.

Step two:

In Visual Studio create a Windows Store app in the same manner you would as if you were planning on releasing the app to the store. However once the executable is generated in the AppPackages folder, instead of uploading the .appxupload file find the similarly named test folder and transfer this whole folder onto your WindowsRT device. For WindowsRT devices without support for USB drives this is a challenge all on its own, where the best solution may be to email yourself a .zip file.

Step three:

Now with the folder on your WindowsRT tablet find the Add-AppDevPackage.ps1 file, touch and hold to bring up the right-click menu and select “Run with PowerShell”. Confirm that you do in fact want to open the file, and then follow the multiple prompts within PowerShell. Eventually the app will load be able to run the app as if you had installed it from the app store.

Developing apps for Five Years…

Today marks the five year anniversary of my career as a mobile app developer. On May 31st 2009 I sold three copies of Pixelated Plus for less than nine dollars. Five years, and few million downloads later, I have come a long ways since then.

As I enter year six, pretty much everything has changed since when I began. I just hope that five years from now, my apps can see the same rate of improvement that they have seen over the past five years…

Xploding Boxes updated to version 4.11

cropXploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.11 in the BlackBerry, Google, Amazon, Windows, and Nook app stores. This new version adds levels 441 through 450 to the game.

It is important for BlackBerry 10 users to upgrade and run this version of the app at least once in order to ensure that their game progress will still be available on future updates to the game. Version 5.0 of Xploding Boxes will bring some major changes to the BlackBerry 10 version of the app and will be unable to read data from versions prior to 4.11.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

More levels for Starbeams

Q10The Starbeams game has been updated to version 1.7 for BlackBerry 10 and Windows 8. This update increases the number of levels to 170.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Links & Information

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Pixelated Shapes updated to version 1.2

Pixelated_ShapesPixelated Shapes has been updated to version 1.2 in BlackBerry World, Google Play, Windows Store, and Amazon App Store. This new version consists of bug fixes and includes a 3.5% reduction in the file size of the BlackBerry 10 app.

About Pixelated Shapes

Pixelated Shapes is a twist on the classic version of Pixelated that replaces the familiar squares with triangles and hexagons. The object of the game is to get the screen a single color by slowly growing a blob out of the upper left hand corner by matching it to the colors of the surrounding shapes. This is done repeatedly until either the game is won, or you run out of moves. Under the default settings you must clear the screen in 29 moves or less in order to win. A one time in-app upgrade can allow you to adjust the difficult, switch color schemes, change to different game modes, and get an indicator giving you the number of remaining moves.

Links & Information

150

Xploding Boxes gets 10 new levels

Nexus4Xploding Boxes has been updated for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, and Windows 8. Version 4.10 adds ten new levels to the game, bringing the total number of levels up to 440.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

10 new levels for Starbeams

Z10Starbeams has been expanded to 160 levels in BlackBerry World and the Windows 8 Store.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Links & Information

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Update to Xploding Boxes

cropXploding Boxes has been updated to version 4.9 with ten brand new levels. Additionally this update also includes a redesigned (and larger) menu button for the Android versions of the app.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

Three years of Xploding Boxes

This past weekend, Xploding Boxes celebrated its third Birthday.

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The game has grown dramatically over the past three years, from a start of 100 levels to the 420 different levels that the game has today. On BlackBerry World the game has 1886 reviews and is averaging four out of five stars. Additionally, while the original version of the game only supported BlackBerry OS, the game has since been rewritten in order to also support the BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry 10, Android, Kindle, Nook, and Windows 8.

Users not upgrading to Windows 8.1

Stats from netmarketshare.com and other web statistics sites are showing very low upgrade rates for Windows 8.1 with roughly two out of three users staying on OS 8.0 instead.

win8.1

With only 37.3% of users upgrading to the newest version of Windows 8, the question is why? Version 8.1 is a free upgrade, and is not subject to the carrier approvals that typically cause issues with upgrade rates. There is an understanding on why users may want to stick with Windows 7, but for those already on 8 there is no reason to not want to upgrade to 8.1 instead.

The culprit may be the manner in which Microsoft is pushing the update. Instead of making the upgrade available through Windows update (as they have traditionally done with service packs), the upgrade to 8.1 must be downloaded from the Windows app store. This process is actually very smooth, but the suspicion is that users simply are not checking the store often enough to notice the upgrade.

Xploding Boxes version 4.8 brings new levels

level174An update to Xploding Boxes has increased the total number of levels to 420. This update also brings some tweaks to the swipe down menu on BlackBerry 10 devices, and a smaller install size for the Windows 8, Nook, and PlayBook versions of the app.

Additionally, Xploding Boxes has received its official ESRB rating, and is rated E for everyone.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game for BlackBerry, Android, Nook, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 where the goal of the game is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level gives you a different number of touches, and requires a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information