Book review of Windows Phone 8 Application Development Essentials

Hello Folks!

This is no technical post, as you can clearly tell from the title, this is a review of a book that I recently had the chance to go through.
PACKT Publishing  “one of the most prolific and fast-growing tech book publishers in the world” and of course the publisher of my book Developing Windows Store Apps with HTML5 and JavaScript, recently contacted me with the ask of reviewing one of their new publications titled Windows Phone 8 Application Development Essentials,
and I accepted the ask with utmost delight.

Just having a look at the Table of Contents, makes you certain that you are on a very good read. I have an experience with Windows 8 app development with strong emphasis on Javascript/HTML5 and always wanted to learn the essentials of Windows Phone development with XAML. So if you share the same story, someone who wants to learn about Windows Phone development from A to Z, then you will find this book very helpful.

Chapter 1 brings a great introduction to XAML in Windows Phone, covering the most important topics for someone who wants to develop for Windows phone: common controls, containers, navigational controls and working with data.  The controls are very well documented.

Moving forward, you will learn about the design principles and best practices from a fellow Windows Phone developer.

Chapter 3 covers MVVM (The Model View ViewModel architectural pattern), the backbone of developing Windows Phone apps, and interestingly the chapter covers the aspects of the MVVM that you will need in Windows Phone development and doesn’t elaborate more, which is more than you need if you are there to learn about Windows Phone 8 development only.  A great thing about this chapter is that it covers the MVVM light toolkit that developers find a very useful and allows speed of development with Windows Phone.
Then the author, briefly covers the integration with the Windows Phone as a device with topics of launchers (camera launcher for example), notifications, storage, files and background agents.

Last chapter, is like the dessert following a very healthy meal, sweet but not too heavy. Teaching you in details, how to integrate with Facebook and Twitter APIs which will help you implement great features in an app. The author goes in details, step by step with each.

In a nutshell, it was an excellent read. Furthermore, the book is great for the developers who want a jump start course on Windows Phone 8 app development while learning about very important topics in programming which are XAML and MVVM pattern. This book will also be your guide along the way after you finish it, it will serve as a resourceful reference.

Happy Reading

About

I work as a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft Azure and Windows Apps with Microsoft. In my spare time, I write technical books. I am the author of the book “Developing Windows Store Apps with HTML5 and JavaScript” - http://www.packtpub.com/developing-windows-store-apps-with-html5-and-JavaScript/book. I have a little over 8 years of experience in programming for the web. I was awarded Microsoft Valued Professional in 2013 and 2012 for my contributions in the technical communities of Visual C# and ASP.NET/IIS respectively. During that time I was featured a regular speaker at Microsoft Lebanon's main events including Open Door and Tech Days, delivering hands-on workshops on Windows 8, HTML5, Azure, and Visual Studio. When not working, I do enjoy running and playing music. And when on vacations, I enjoy traveling and visiting new places around the world.

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