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Thursday
Apr102014

Windows Phone 8 Field Guide Version 1.07

Here's a long-overdue and possibly final update to Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8, which has been renamed to Windows Phone 8 Field Guide to make it consistent with my other recent books, Windows 8.1 Field Guide and Xbox Music Field Guide. This is a fairly major update, but only from a formatting perspective.

I don't want to get too bogged down in the details of this, mostly because it's so boring. But the short version is that I did a lousy formatting job on the original version of this book, something that I cleaned up for the subsequent titles mentioned above. I'd been meaning to clean it up for a long time, but it's so tedious to do so, so I put it off.

However, Windows Phone 8.1 is coming. And I want to base the next edition of this book, Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide, on this initial version. And that cleanup job has to happen sometime.

At first, I figured I'd just use the cleaned up version for v2 (8.1). But in working my way through this over the past week, I realized I could at least pop out a final update for the original book. This might be it.

Now, you may recall that I originally intended to update this book with information about Nokia Maps and Drive+, and possibly some other content. (I did provide updates for Windows Phone 8 Update 2 and Update 3.) But I also started work on Windows 8.1 Field Guide, which was of course a major effort. So that stuff will need to wait for the 8.1 book, sorry.

I'll be posting more about Windows 8.1 Field Guide when Microsoft announces the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview next week. For now, here is a cleaned up version of the Windows Phone 8 book for you to enjoy. And there are some major changes, formatting-wise.

First, all of the headings are now correct and in line with the other books.

Second, I've resized every single full-screen screenshot from 3-inches horizontally to 2-inches. This is a big deal because, when you think about it, these shots are all portrait-oriented and very tall. So the savings are incredible. The book went from 655 pages to 536 pages. It's much more manageable.

Also here's a fun fact: This book is almost exactly the same length (word count wise) as Windows 8.1 Field Guide. That latter book comes in at 104,454 words (currently), whereas this Windows Phone book is 104,324 words. That's crazy close.

Feedback is always appreciated. But it's time to turn my attention to the next release.

Download Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 1.07 (536 pages) PDF | MOBI | EPUB

Note: Remember, MOBI format works on Kindle and ePub works on Nook.

Saturday
Nov162013

Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 Version 1.05

Here's a long-overdue update to Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8, plus an update to what's happening with the book. I have a few more updates planned for the days ahead.

You may recall that I had written about updating the book for the Nokia HERE navigation apps. I'm still working on that, though sporadically, and it's fallen well behind my original goal of September. Complicating matters, it's pretty clear I need to cover Nokia Pro Cam in the book as well, and perhaps other Nokia camera apps, so I need to reconsider how that kind of content can be integrated into the book.

To date, I've been working on a "Maps and Location 0.3" document in which I planned to replace the existing chapter with one that covers the Nokia apps instead of Bing Maps. (I figured I could move the Bing Maps text into an appendix or something.) But I'm not sure about that.

Structurally, and regardless of where I place new material, it's pretty clear that I need to move to table of contents like that used by Windows 8.1 Book in which there are no chapter numbers. Separately but related, I also need to spend the time and effort to reformat the headings in the book so that it's cleaner and can be submitted to Kindle and Nook. So I'll begin work on that soon as well.

With regards to today's update, the 1.05 version of the book adds information related to the new generation of Windows Phone 8 devices with 1080p screens. This thankfully doesn't change things too much, so 1.05 is a minor update.

That said, I will soon deliver a 1.6 update that includes information about the broader Update 3 (formerly GDR3) for Windows Phone 8, which is included on the Lumia 1520 and other new and coming Windows Phone 8 handsets, and will soon be provided to users of previous Windows Phone 8 handsets too. (Enthusiasts and developers can get Update 3 now if interested. Check out my article Windows Phone 8 Update 3: Update Your Handset Today! for more information.)

1.6 will be a bigger update and will likely require me to re-generate the table of contents. But I hope to have that out within the week.

No promises, but my rough plan is to update/clean up the TOC after that and then think about publishing this version of Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 to Kindle and Nook. After that, I'll integrate the Nokia HERE and Pro Camera information (somehow) and then update everything (including Kindle and Nook).

Unrelated to Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8, I'll also be providing an update to Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music soon as well. And of course work continues on Windows 8.1 Book. Lots going on.

More soon. Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 1.05 (655 pages)

SkyDrive: PDF | MOBI | EPUB

Dropbox: PDF | MOBI | EPUB

Google Drive: PDF | MOBI | EPUB

Note: Remember, MOBI format works on Kindle and ePub works on Nook.

Tuesday
Oct012013

Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 – Now in MOBI and EPUB Formats

While I still need to update this book for Nokia's HERE navigation apps, I thought I would first provide versions that look and read better on popular eBook devices. So here are experimental first versions of Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 that should provide a better reading experience on Kindle and similar devices.

Please don't be confused by what these releases are and how they work. In the future, I will publish Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 to Kindle, NOOK and whatever other eBook platforms that make sense, and those versions of the book will be fully functional. These MOBI and EPUB versions simply offer better formatting for eBook readers, with the expected text flowing and so on. (PDF, by comparison, renders in a fixed format on eBook readers and is borderline useless on those devices, especially the smaller ones like Kindle Paperwhite.)

The in-book links don't work in these MOBI and EPUB versions, at least not at the moment, though I'd like to figure that out. So when you see text like, "To find out more about this feature, please refer to this other section," that italicized text no longer links to the correct place. (It does in the PDF version.) My expectation is that this will work as expected in the native Kindle and NOOK versions down the road. But the links in the table of contents do work. It's not horrible.

Unfortunately, the full screen portrait screenshots (i.e. most of them) take up too much space. I will look at making them smaller or more aggressively cropping them in the future.

Looking forward to Windows 8.1 Book, Rafael and I are talking about how to best serve the needs of readers for that paid book and this could/should include regular MOBI and EPUB book versions as well. More on that soon. And I will still update Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 for the Nokia HERE apps, though that is obviously taking longer than I had hoped. Certainly this fall.

More soon. And please do let me know if these files work for you. I've tested the MOBI version on a Kindle Paperwhite but that's about it. I'm very curious to know how these work on other devices.

 

Download Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 1.04 (655 pages)

SkyDrive: PDF (32.11 MB) | MOBI (53.03 MB) | EPUB (85.65 MB)

Dropbox: PDF (32.11 MB) | MOBI (53.03 MB) | EPUB (85.65 MB)

Google Drive: PDF (32.11 MB) | MOBI (53.03 MB) | EPUB (85.65 MB)

Wednesday
Aug212013

Version 1.03

Here’s another small update to Paul Thurrott’s Windows Phone 8. This one adds information related to changes in the General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2) update to Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft was nice enough to publish a detailed list of the changes in GDR2 this past week and looking through this, I realized I missed a few things, including the addition of FM radio support to Music + Hubs and several other minor changes related to the camera app, music playlists and more.

There's one feature mentioned in that post (the ability to copy playlists from the PC to the phone using the Share charm) that I can't get working yet, so I'll add that at a later time. And I identified a few other storage related features I'll need to shoehorn into the book later as well. So there's always more to do.

Anyway ... I'm still working on the updated Maps + Location chapter, which I've renamed to Maps + Navigation, but will be adding that later as well.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 1.03 (655 page PDF, 40.3 MB)

SkyDrive - DropboxGoogle Drive

Monday
Aug122013

Version 1.02

Here’s another small update to Paul Thurrott’s Windows Phone 8. This one adds a few more screenshots and a small section about using Favorites in the Photos hub to customize the hub’s tile and background.

I’m back from vacation and will be working more on the book this week. This update’s additions necessitated an update to the table of contents, since the new screenshots and section changed the page numbering. This was itself an interesting test, and it was very easy to do.

The next step is to figure out how/where to add information about two key areas, one of which was previously known:

Nokia HERE apps. I’m going to cover Nokia HERE Maps and Nokia HERE Drive/Drive+ explicitly in the book. The question is how the Maps bit, especially, impacts the Bing Maps coverage that is already there. I’ll be looking at covering both together, but if that doesn’t make sense, I may push the Bings Maps stuff into an appendix or something and just focus on the Nokia HERE stuff, since everyone can get it and the app is preinstalled on 80 percent of Windows Phone 8 handsets.

Bing and Bing apps. Microsoft announced recently that it is significantly changing the Bing experience on Windows Phone, and that will impact the Search chapter whenever that update appears on my phones. In concert with this, Microsoft has also released four Bing apps—News, Weather, Finance, and Sports—that in some ways replace (and in many ways enhance) functionality that was originally in the Bing experience. So the question is whether I add information about those apps to the Search chapter (perhaps as just a mention), or create a new apps section in the Store chapter (which, not coincidentally was originally called Store + Apps) and include that info there.

Once I figure that all out, I have to actually write and insert that material of course. Most likely I can just write it first and figure out how it fits in afterwards. So maybe these updates will be created “outside” of the book for a bit. I’ll probably know more soon.

In the meantime, here’s that minor update. Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8 1.02 (651 page PDF, 40.1 MB)

SkyDriveDropboxGoogle Drive