Today, we formally announced the release of the USA TODAY for Windows Phone application. If the optimistic early buzz around this begin is any indicator (http://bit.ly/lqhVTT), it looks like our app is already resonating with Windows Phone owners in need of a solid news and information experience.
My group is mainly proud of this launch because the app was conceived, designed and developed entirely in-house. The designers and developers on this project spent a lot of time trying to get our app to feel just right with the exclusive but compelling Windows Phone “Metro” interface. We think we got there and, in the process, became quite captivated with the platform. Who knows, there may be more apps coming soon on this platform ;-).
The Windows Phone 7 development knowledge itself was an enjoyable one. Our Digital Development group has primarily been a C# ASP/. NET shop over the years. As we advanced WP7, we were able to hit the ground running thanks to our familiarity of the Visual Studio development environment. The Silver light for Windows Phone toolkit and the fast emulator that comes with it made it easy to get up and running with little Silverlight experience. That same high bar for tools extends into the community as well. MVVM Light and JSON.Net were exceptionally useful moving past mundane tasks and instead getting to the business of building our app.
The community surrounding Silverlight development isn’t declared nearly enough. With several years of collective Silverlight/C# knowledge out on the web, it can be very helpful while trying to track down a bug being able to search for an issue and get a lot of hits back. Silverlight and Windows Phone developers are passionate and it shows – and with the upcoming release of Mango our lives as developers can only get better.
We hope you get a chance to make sure our Windows Phone app, the latest in a growing line of best-in-class native apps for phones and tablets!