After completing my Weather Phone 8 application I had grasped some very complex skills within the Windows Phone operating system as well as PHP, upon realising there was not application in the marketplace which would create a Live Tile out of Steam profiles I began work on Steam Live Tile.
Expanding on my knowledge of web based services and API’s as well as creating efficient XML parsing algorithms along with unwanted text removal I was able to download user profile data with ease.
Having a good understanding of Steam I was able to achieve a sense of style which replicated the official Steam application perfectly, giving it a professional and slick look.
With Steam Live Tile I also delved into an area of mobile applications I had not explored before, implementing in-app purchasing. I was eager to implement this feature in some way because I know some developers have had great success with it. With this application the user is limited to adding one profile to the application, if they wish to purchase more then they can purchase a single, one-time purchase which will then unlock an unlimited number of profile additions to the application. With a system implemented into the app to download a users friends list and add then easily without manual entry, this promotes the in-app purchasing much better.
Despite this application being similar to Weather Phone 8 in certain respects, it is still amazing to me how complex things can become very quickly, despite my vision being fairly simple. The amount I have learnt from creating Steam Live Tile as well as all my other applications is incredible, each application I make I am extending my knowledge further and further no matter how similar they may be. If I had a chance to create SLT (Steam Live Tile) again I would definitely be more organised with my shared classes, for example I had forgotten that in order to add a scheduled task agent in Windows Phone I would be adding a new project which meant it wouldn’t be able to access files from my original projects leading to a few duplications. I would happily work on the application more to improve its efficiency from a back-end point of view.
A valuable lesson I have learnt from this application and Weather Phone 8 is the importance of backing up data and how much time can be saved by re-using code. After my external Hard Drive crashed recently I lost almost all my code for Weather Phone 8. Sometimes you’ve got to learn things the hard way though, backing up data now is extremely important to me and that you can never back up your data too much, nor across too many mediums. Through a mixture of external, internal and online storage now, I can be confident that my data is always safe.
Motivation was something I had a lot of during the development of this application, I was able to turn this application from a simple idea to a marketplace submission in less than a week despite re-creating and re-learning about code I had already made previously with Weather Phone 8.
Windows Phone official store link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/steam-live-tile/6fb43bb9-07c3-48f5-a5cf-cfefb1b539ba