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In the middle of September 2011 Microsoft released Windows 8 Developer Preview and Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. We were (as usual) very quick to begin testing. We deployed the products on Hyper-V and since then we have been testing the new development features on Windows 8 and also a lot of our own product testing on the new platform.

On February 27, 2012, Microsoft released a Consumer Preview of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 Beta. A lot had happened since September and this time we also started developing Windows 8 Metro Style Apps. These apps are very different from the traditional WinForms Applications. They demand more considerations to form factors and capabilities.

My first Metro Style App

My first Metro Style App for Windows 8 is not nearly complete but nevertheless I’d like to share some details about it.

Since last summer we have developed Mobile Apps for iOS, Android and of course Windows Phone 7.5 for our customer Rikspolisstyrelsen (Swedish Police Board). The apps focus on giving the user insights about wildlife accidents in the users’ proximity.

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So with this background I thought I’d develop a Windows 8 App that utilize the same data. The App named Viltolycka contains a large map that is centered on the user’s location, using the Geolocator class. The user can pan the map and when he/she taps on it, a signal is sent, with the tapped location, to our servers that responds with Wildlife Accident data containing the accident location and what kind of wildlife that was hit by the car. All accidents are then rendered as Pushpins on the map.

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As you can see, I haven’t focused on design that much yet. But my fine colleague Kim will most likely be involved in that part.

Closing comments

Developing for Windows 8 is a lovely task. It’s much more straightforward than iOS development, which is kind of a pain sometimes.

We will keep working on this Metro Style App and maybe a few more and we will surely have some cool stuff to show off at the launch of Windows 8 (if not much sooner).

A few minutes ago Mindbite released its very first Android App. This is of course celebrated by our little Plushie “Andie”.

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The App is a port of Viltolycka, previously released for both Windows Phone 7 and iPhone. It’s developed in Java using the Eclipse IDE. For this project we had to transform all features to the Android Design Guidelines, and we think of it as quite the success.

The Design

It contains three views; The Map, The Accident Reporting and The App Information. We used the design guidelines for Android 4 (even though it’s released for Android 2.1 and above), and found inspiration for the navigation pane.

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The navigation pane holds the three views. The first area is considered the most important and contains the map where accidents are displayed along your route. Therefore we made it wider than the other two.

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The Map

The map displays your current location and at given intervals it connects to our Web Service at www.viltolycka.se and asks for accidents nearby. If accidents are found they are displayed on the map. If three or more accidents are found nearby, the app will sound an alarm.

The Project

The Viltolycka project is driven by Rikspolisstyrelsen (Swedish Police Board). Mindbite has been involved with development for this project for over two years now. Since the start we have delivered a website with a back-end system for managing all wildlife accidents in Sweden. The system serves about 7 600 user accounts.

In august 2011 we released the first App for Windows Phone 7. In October we released the same App for iPhone. And now we have also released an App for Android.

The App for iPhone has been downloaded about 6 000 times. The Web Service that provides accident location data has served over 800 000 requests since December 2011 (approx. 2 months).

93.31% mobile phone coverage

Now that the App is released for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 we reach 93.31% of all Swedish mobile phones.
Source: StatCounter GlobalStats (Mobile OS, Sweden, January 2012). iOS (61.91%), Android (31.2%) and Windows Phone 7 (0.2%).

Download the app here

For the last few weeks we have been working on an App for NVR and Rikspolisstyrelsen (National Police Board). We are very proud to announce that it was released on the App Store yesterday evening. The App which is named Viltolycka provides a unique service to its users, warning them about known areas of wildlife accidents.

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Teamwork

Everyone at Mindbite was involved in the development and it has been a good example of our teamwork strengths. I have been responsible for coding the app and Kim has been responsible for all graphics and design. Alexander, Marcus and Therese was a great test panel providing useful input in both look and feel.

Yesterday the entire team worked hard putting the finishing touches to the app, so that the final release would be as good as possible.

How it works

The app monitors your current location and every time you move it sends location data to a Web Service at www.viltolycka.se. The Service responds with coordinates for every wildlife accident that has occurred near the location.

Every accident is marked with a red circle on a map and if three or more accidents has occurred nearby the app sounds an alarm, alerting you that you are entering a risky area.

Data Source

Since the beginning of 2010 we have been working with Rikspolisstyrelsen on a web project that is used for reporting every wildlife accident in Sweden. So we have a massive database containing almost every wildlife accident since january 2010.

Get it!

Search for viltolycka in the App Store or click here.