New App: Year in Pixels

This month a new app joined the Valley Software stables on Windows 10, Xbox and Mixed Reality.

Year in Pixels is a take on the popular diary technique of ‘Pixel Journals’ with a modern Windows 10 design and feel.

At it’s heart; Year in Pixels is a year calendar broken up into a grid appearance of Months down the side and days along the top.

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You can colour each ‘Pixel’ (Cell) to mark something about that day. It is regularly used to track mood and emotions in a fast, simple way without any onerous typing or text. By removing this requirement it becomes really easy to record regardless of feeling or even being busy.

Another common use is the daily tick sheet to record doing a certain activity each day.

The beauty of this method is in:

  • It’s visually appealing.
  • Fast to enter.
  • Ease of spotting patterns, warning signs or achievements as they arise.

I have also tried something different with the monetisation. Rather than make it paid with trial it is FREE with ad support. The further options, and removing ads are individual IAP to purchase cheaply in the app so you can customise only what you need. Alternatively I have also included an ‘bundle’ IAP which gives you all the IAP for a lower combined price.

Get it now from Microsoft Store and let me know what you think!

Rob.

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As an added bonus : here are free codes to unlock the Patterns and OneDrive capabilities for the first 200 people!

Free Patterns In App Purchase unlock

Free OneDrive In App Purchase unlock

Easy Writer – New Freature: Auto Save.

From your feedback, I have completed adding an Autosave feature to Easy Writer.

AutoSave
If you look closely, you’ll see the AutoSave indicator fade in and out again in the top corner.

It’s minimal, so as not to be distracting, but should be a reassuring reminder as you create.

AutoSave happens every 2 minutes while in Edit mode.

Releasing to store this week!

Rob.

Dipping my toe in Xamarin; Hot Tip for Navigation.

I’ve been tinkering in Xamarin, to allow my development to more easily target multiple mobile platforms.

I’ve made a start on two apps, and I just hit a little wall that was easily fixed but I thought was worth sharing:

The Xamarin tutorials show navigation as being done with a “Push” like this:

await Navigation.PushAsync (new Page2Xaml ());

Which is great, except it doesn’t work out of the box.

The issue is for this to function, you need your app to be utilizing a NavigationPage element.  A Navigation page is a page which holds other pages and navigation… I suppose (very) roughly like a Frame in UWP.

But the default templates don’t include one.  So the easy way to change it is to go to your App.xaml.cs and change the constructor from opening a regular page like this:

MainPage = new MyAppName.Views.MainView();

to this creating a NavigationPage and then “Push”-ing to the start view**:

var p = new NavigationPage();
MainPage = p;

p.PushAsync(new MyAppName.Views.MainView());

Now your whole application exists within the NavigationPage element and navigation should work as intended.

Rob,
Valley Software.

 

** Yes the var is not required, however this is a logical layout to show the example.

Horizontal Gradient Colour Picker

I needed this week, a particular kind of colour picker.  I couldn’t find one so I made one.

I tried using a gradient background, but was unable to find a way to pick the tapped colour out of it, even though I could get the POINT co-ordinate.

Instead, I had to do it like this.

It isn’t a custom control, just a usercontrol so I can re-use it.

It’s a Image of the gradient, and in the background it holds the original image as a WriteableBitmapEX.

On the right is a grid with the background set to the colour selected.

On the Tap event I got the position of the tap along with the width of the visible image control (as it could stretch with the users screen).

Then I bilinear resize the background image to match the visible image and grab the pixel from the tap events position. Push it back into the property and ta-da!

It’s now getting some further work (stop the image from resampling resampling if the image hasn’t resized (speed and avoid loss of quality) and it would be great if it set the colour while holding so you could drag a finger/cursor and see the color change without lifting).  But this first iteration was interesting so I wanted to share.

I should note; this binds to a string property.