Saturday
Jul202013

First Draft of Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8 is Complete

The first draft version of Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8 is now complete. This update to the full book document adds an introduction to the previously completed first draft versions of 17 chapters.

With the introductory material complete, I can now turn my attention to a thorough review of the book and make any necessary content and screenshot edits to prepare the book for its final 1.0 release. I should finish that sometime this week.

It’s pretty clear that I’ve not achieved most of my goals for this book, but I’ll provide a bit more in the way of reminiscing when the 1.0 version is ready. For now, I’m just happy to have sort-of completed it, though of course more work needs to be done. As noted previously, a 1.1 update I expect to provide in August will include coverage of Nokia’s HERE mapping and location apps, for example.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Paul Thurrott's Guide to Windows Phone 8 First Draft (626 page PDF, 39.1 MB)

Saturday
Jul202013

Final Content Update Before First Draft

Here’s a third and final update to the chapter “The Windows Phone User Experience” in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This update includes a few new sections and represents the final major bit of new content for the first draft version of this free e-book.

This version of the chapter adds major new sections about the Start experience and Apps and hubs, and a few other changes. Nothing unexpected.

More important: With this release, every chapter in the former Windows Phone Book is complete in first draft form. Next, I will write a short introduction and package that as a first draft for the book. Then I will go through the book as a single document and make any changes as needed, and Windows Phone Book will be “complete.”

I write that in quotes, of course, because the book will never be truly complete. I will continue updating the 1.x version of the book to address both coming changes to the platform and to add more content, including a major revision of the Maps + Location chapter that will cover Nokia’s HERE apps. My plan is to keep providing free updates to this book as Microsoft updates Windows Phone 8. When Microsoft moves forward with a new version of the software (Windows Phone 8.1, 9, whatever), I’ll switch new editions of the book to a (minimally) paid model.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A rough short-term schedule...

First draft of Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This weekend.

Initial release of Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This week.

Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8 updated for Nokia HERE apps. By the end of August.

Other changes. As required.

I also need to begin preparing the document for other forms of publication, including Kindle and other e-book formats. That work will start in August as well. And then there’s the next book. More on that soon.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download The Windows Phone User Experience 0.3 (43 page PDF, 3.72 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.067 (624 page PDF, 39.1 MB)

Wednesday
Jul172013

Maps + Location 0.2

Here is a second update to the Maps + Location chapter in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This chapter was previously split off from the Search chapter and will in fact be heavily revised again in a future update to cover the Nokia HERE Maps and Drive/Drive+ apps. This version covers Bing Maps and Local Scout.

This update in fact represents a rough first draft of this chapter, as it will stand in the initial 1.0 version of the book. In a future 1.1 version of the book, I will update it to cover those Nokia HERE apps as well. This is sort of a cheap way to help “finish” the initial version of the book in some ways. But since my family will be traveling in Europe soon, I thought it would be interesting for the Nokia HERE Maps and Drive/Drive+ apps coverage to include some slightly more exotic areas than we see here in Dedham.

This was originally part of a chapter I worked on very early in the process, back in late 2012. When I split off Search from Maps/Local Scout as part of a TOC reorg, I didn’t update it to support the task-based approach, and while I issued a single earlier revision of the chapter, there were no actual substantive updates. So this version of the chapter is significantly updated, with the task-based approach seen elsewhere in the book plus a lot of new content.

I’m getting pretty close to the finish line now, temporary though it may be. All I need to do now, I think, is finish a final update to the User Experience chapter and then go through the full book one last time. That’s 1.0.

Feedback is always appreciated. This one is probably pretty rough.

Download Maps + Location 0.2 (24 page PDF, 2.54 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.066 (610 page PDF, 38.1 MB)

Sunday
Jul142013

Windows Phone User Experience 0.2

Here’s a second update to the chapter “The Windows Phone User Experience” in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This update includes several addition new sections and is nearly complete.

I get really bored by the introductory topics, but this one is at least coming together quickly. This update adds the sections Use the multi-touch screen, Understand the hardware buttons, and Understand common software interfaces, which are part of the basic navigation stuff. Since the Personalization section was previously written, there are just two short bits to write about the Start experience and apps and hubs.

That said, I’ll probably have to move some things around. I’m sure I’m missing something basic here.

Regardless, I should be able to finish this up soon and move on to the Maps + Location chapter, which will need significant updating. Random tidbit: The book is now over 600 pages long in Word/PDF form.

More soon. Feedback is always appreciated.

Download The Windows Phone User Experience 0.2 (28 page PDF, 2.6 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.065 (602 page PDF, 37 MB)

Saturday
Jul132013

First Draft of Getting Started Chapter is Complete

The first draft version of Chapter 1: Getting Started in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8 is now complete. This update includes an opening section about configuring a Microsoft account and some other small changes.

Nothing major in this one: Since most people have Microsoft accounts now, less introductory material is required than in the past (in, say, Windows Phone Secrets from three years ago). One item I’ve put aside for a future (post-1.0) version of the book is a discussion around two-step authentication and using an Authenticator app with Windows Phone 8, which will be quite important going forward. But hopefully the rest of the material is the right combination of deep and brief. I’m trying not to beat topics to death.

I made a few minor changes and added a few references to the Lumia 1020, since that device changes a few things from a hardware specification standpoint, as well.

Looking forward, there is one more chapter (2: The Windows Phone User Experience) that needs to be completed, and then I need to update Chapter 8: Maps + Location to cover the Nokia HERE location apps. Aside from a short introduction, that’s it for the first edition of what used to be called Windows Phone Book. I’m still hoping to finish it up this month.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Getting Started 0.4 (32 page PDF, 1.71 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.064 (589 page PDF, 35.7 MB)