Powered by Squarespace

Calendar 1.1 and Photos 0.6

I’ve updated the Calendar and Photos chapters in Windows Phone Book. Calendar was updated to the new task-based approach, while Photos chapter needed more minor edits.


This is the very first chapter I wrote for the book, all the way back in September 2012, before Windows Phone 8 even shipped. This version of the chapter is significantly cleaned up and shortened.

Some notes about the changes…

I referred to the Mail app as Email for some reason, so I corrected those.

I changed all references to Hotmail to

As with the previous chapter edit, for Messaging, I converted the chapter to a task-based approach. I also edited the images as I went rather than doing so after editing all the text.

A lot of the early chapters have/had yellow highlighted text as a note to myself to check something, such as a chapter or section reference. I removed all the highlighting.

I had add a number of new screenshots related to Facebook Events. Not sure why those weren’t added earlier.

The editing and screenshot size reductions reduced the page count in the chapter from 45 to 38 pages. But after adding the Facebook Events screenshots, it jumped up to 41 pages.

As with the Messaging chapter, it’s nice to get this out of the way.


Looking through other chapters that might need edits, I found that the Photos chapter—which was written in the task-based approach originally—had a now-deprecated Outside the App section. So I removed that, and the conclusion, and moved a few small sections around. Nothing major, but I had to push the changes into the main book document as well, of course.


Download Calendar 1.1 (41 page PDF, 2.1 MB)

Download Photos 0.6 (28 page PDF, 2.82 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.046 (435 page PDF, 27.7 MB)


Messaging 0.8

I’ve updated Chapter 7: Messaging in Windows Phone Book to the new task-based approach. This is one of the first chapters I wrote for the book, back in late 2012, and this version is significantly cleaned up and shortened.

Some notes about the changes.

First, obviously, was the move to a task-based approach. Sometimes this was as simple as changing headings from things like “Managing threads and messages” to something like “Manage threads and messages.” Other times, there was a lot of rewording or just removals of superfluous blocks of text.

The early, non-task-based chapters each had a section called “Outside the apps,” which detailed (monotonously, in retrospect) each of the ways in which the functionality of the chapter topic also popped up throughout Windows Phone. In the case of this chapter, I simply moved some of that stuff out into the main text of the chapter. In others, I just removed it because the topic was covered elsewhere. (People hub integration is a good example. That stuff was subsequently covered in the People + Me chapter.)

Once I had edited the text down, I arrived at a chapter that was 31 pages in Word, down from 37 pages in the earlier version. So the next step was to crop and shrink some images. This was actually a lot of work. At some point I switched from a width of 3.5 inches on all full screen shots to a width of 3 inches, and as one of the older chapters, the images in this one were the older, bigger width. So basically ever shot had to be resized too. Once this was all done, the page count had shrunk to just 25 pages. Nice!

I’m not hugely interested in doing this kind of work, so it was nice to get this one out of the way.

Download Messaging 0.8 (25 page PDF, 1.74 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.045 (440 page PDF, 26.9 MB)


First Draft of Store Chapter is Complete

The first draft of the Store chapter in Windows Phone Book is complete. This chapter focuses exclusively on the Store app and the Windows Phone Store experience. It was previously called Apps + Store.

Store 0.3 adds a number of sections, including Access Windows Phone Store from your PC or tablet (with various subsections), Browse for apps, Search for an app, Make an in-app purchase, and Get app and game suggestions. I also added a new section called Rate and review an app.

Amazingly, I’m starting to hit the home stretch as far as new chapter writing is concerned. I think I’ll write Chapter 17, Security + Networking, next, but we’ll see how it goes.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Store 0.3 (29 page PDF, 2.82 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.044 (429 page PDF, 27.7 MB)


Apps + Store 0.2

Here’s a second update to the Apps + Store chapter in Windows Phone book, which will likely be renamed to Store before the next update. This update adds several new sections of content.

As I mentioned in the initial update, there’s still a straggler (and unwritten) section about apps in the front of this chapter that doesn’t seem to be in the right place. After working a bit more on the Store section, I’m almost positive it needs to be moved. I’ll likely add it to Chapter 2, The Windows Phone User Experience. So next time around, this chapter will likely just be called Store.

This update adds the following sections: Launch the Store app, Learn more about an app, Share an app, Make an in-app purchase, Protect purchases with a PIN, and Get app and game suggestions. I will finished up Tour of the Store user experience.

More soon.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Apps + Store 0.2 (9 page PDF, 1.02 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.043 (443 page PDF, 26.6 MB)


Thinking About the Next Chapter, Apps + Store

Here is a very early peek at the next chapter in Windows Phone book, which is preliminarily named App + Store. I’m probably going to make some big structural changes to this one before I get through much more of it.

This chapter started out as “Apps,” though I always intended to cover Windows Phone Store as well. But now, I’m now considering getting rid of the apps coverage and just calling it Store. The preliminary bit about apps that’s in there now just doesn’t feel right, but we’ll see. Perhaps it could go into an introductory chapter.

Certainly, it’s going to change: I’ve been looking for a place to very briefly discuss built-in utilities like Alarms and Calculator, and this isn’t it. I just don’t want to forget.


What we have for now is two not totally related topics, apps and Store. Skipping the apps bit for now since I don’t know what to do with it, I think Store part is pretty well laid out. I’ve only written a few small sections so far, most of the tour section and all of the Install, buy or upgrade an app section. There just isn’t much done yet, sorry.

Feedback, always appreciated. With the understanding that this one is early yet.

Download Apps + Store 0.1 (9 page PDF, 1.02 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.042 (432 page PDF, 25.9 MB)