Category Archives: Silverlight

Introducing the PivotIndicator control for Windows Phone

Update: source code is now available on GitHub.

Today I would like to share a nice control which is part of my mysterious Windows Phone 7 app which will be released later this month. I call this control the PivotIndicator control. It can be used in order to show the user all the items in a PivotControl on a single screen, as shortcuts. A small rectangle (which use the phone’s accent color as background) is animated when the current pivot item changes. The user can press any item to immediately go to the associated pivot item.

You can grab the source code here.

Here is a short video showing the control in action:

[mediaplayer src=’/wp-content/uploads/PivotIndicator.wmv’ width=432 height=808 ]

Now let’s see the details…

  • How to use it?
  1. Adjust the layout of your page to be able to display the PivotIndicator. Typically this involves adding a row with a ‘*’ height.
  2. Use a binding with an ElementName in order to set the Pivot property of the PivotIndicator control
  3. Define the HeaderTemplate property of the PivotIndicator with a DataTemplate which will be used to render each item in the PivotIndicator
  4. You’re done 🙂
Here is what is looks like in the demo:





  • How it works?
Behind the scene, the PivotIndicator control is actually made of 3 parts:
  • SplitPanel: this is a panel (it derives from Panel) which arrange its children on a single line, and where each item has the same width. The width is computed as the total available width divided by the number of items
  • PivotRectange: this is a small control which contains a rectangle. The rectangle uses the phone’s accent color. Its position is animated based on the currently selected index.
  • PivotIndicator: is the control you will use. It is made of an ItemsControl with a SplitPanel as ItemsPanelTemplate and the PivotRectangle
Source code is documented so you might want to dig in it for more details 🙂
Note that I didn’t try but I think the PivotIndicator control should works just fine with a Panorama (and few code adjustments…)

Windows Phone vNext & Windows 8 next week

Update 26th 7:37PM: Nokia keynote live tomorrow morning at 8:30 CET. Live webcast here:

The coming week should be pretty interesting for any folks interested in Microsoft technologies. The Mobile World Congress will take place in Barcelona from Monday to Friday.

Windows Phone

On the mobile space, we can expect first official information about Windows Phone Tango. Tango is expected to be a version of the OS dedicated to low-end devices. From the various leaks that occurred in the last weeks we already have some ideas of what Tango might look likes:

  • ability to import and export contacts directly from the SIM card
  • ability to send multiple images in a single MMS
  • more languages supported (120, whereas Mango supports “only” 35)
  • ability to run on devices with only 256MB or RAM
None of those information have been confirmed yet but it’s only a matter of hours now 🙂
Of course in the Windows Phone world, the next big step will be Apollo. Apollo is expected to be the next major version of the Windows Phone platform. At this point, we don’t know if Microsoft is going to talk about Apollo during MWC.
After a leak about Apollo, Paul Thurrot wrote an article describing various aspects of this new version. Here are some expected features:
  • support for multi-core processors, new screen resolutions & NFC support
  • shared components with Windows 8 (this brings a lot of question: are we talking about WinRT for example ?)
  • app-to-app communication (similar to what is available in Windows 8 )
  • IE10
  • SkyDrive & Skype integration
Again, none of those information have been confirmed yet. We will see if MWC brings more answers.

Windows 8

On wednesday 29th Microsoft will hold a special event in Barcelona for the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

The Consumer Preview will be available for download to anybody and should be feature complete. I’m expecting a lot from this release as the Developer Preview was quite incomplete regarding XAML development (for example Blend was only able to target HTML WinRT projects).

Visual Studio 11

With the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft confirmed this week that we are also going to have access to Visual Studio 11.

Visual Studio 11 will include most of the extensions currently available in the Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio 2010. The XAML designer will be shared with Blend (hopefully that we will to better performance & less design-time issues). There are tons of other changes, improvements and new features…

For more details, you can check out those posts: Introducing the new developer experience part 1 & part 2.

Of course I’ll try to play with all those new toys as soon as possible. So you should expect more blog post this week !


Windows Phone performance analysis & optimization during TechDays

In about 2 weeks now, I’ll have the chance to be part of the French TechDays in Paris as a speaker. This year, I’ll own a session called “Windows Phone performance analysis & optimisation” with my colleague Charlotte.

The agenda looks like the following:

  • why performance analysis ?
  • device vs emulator
  • leveraging WP7 threads
  • using the VS profiler for WP7
  • tips and tricks

During the session we will use a “real” app we’re working on for a few months now (I’ll share more details after the session). We have some cool tips that haven’t been shared anywhere before, so if performance is a topic of interest for you, stat tuned !

Click on the following image for a link to the TechDays website:

I’m planning to share the most of the content of this session on my blog soon after the event.

Don’t hesitate to stop by and say hi…