Setting Up a Development Environment for Windows Phone 7

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You can use Microsoft® Visual Studio® development system and the Windows Phone Developer Tools to simplify application development for Windows Phone 7. The Windows Phone Developer Tools include the following:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • Integration Components and Templates for Visual Studio 2010
  • Windows Phone Emulator
  • Microsoft Silverlight® 4 Tools for Visual Studio
  • Microsoft Expression Blend® design software for Windows Phone
  • XNA® Game Studio 4.0

The tools install Silverlight, and you may see an error message during installation if you have a patched version of Silverlight already installed. You can uninstall Silverlight before you install the tools to avoid this, or you can just ignore this message.

Visual Studio 2010 with the Windows Phone Developer Tools and emulator

 If you have a touch-sensitive screen on your development computer, you can use this to operate the emulator. You can also install additional input devices, such as a tablet or an extra mouse, to test functions such as zoom that require “two finger” operations when you do not have access to a development computer that supports touch.

Expression Blend for Windows Phone

The Windows Phone Developer Tools also include Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone. This provides an environment more suited to graphical design of the interface and makes implementation of features such as animations, gradient fills, and other attractive effects much easier than in it is in Visual Studio. You can open a project in Expression Blend or Visual Studio and then develop different parts of the project in the most suitable tool.

Figure 2 illustrates a Windows Phone solution open in Expression Blend. You can run it from here. It uses the same emulator as Visual Studio to display the application at run time.

Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone

To see a video presentation that shows the power of Expression Blend for creating a complex interactive user interface (UI), see Authoring for Windows Phone, Silverlight 4 and WPF 4 with Expression Blend on the Mix 10 website (http://live.visitmix.com/MIX10/Sessions/CL02).

Additional Silverlight Controls for Windows Phone 7

You can obtain several additional and useful controls to use in your Windows Phone 7 applications by installing the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. The toolkit includes the following:

  • The GestureListener control that allows you to detect and handle the full range of gesture events, including Tap, Double- Tap, Hold, Drag, Flick, and Pinch
  • The DatePicker and TimePicker controls that make it easier for users to enter dates and times; these controls automatically localize to the correct date and time format setting
  • The ContextMenu control that makes it easy to incorporate shortcut menus in your application
  • The WrapPanel control that allows you to more easily manage the way content is displayed
  • The ToggleSwitch control that implements an on/off input metaphor
  • Additional UI themes for Windows Phone 7 applications

To obtain the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit, see the Silverlight Toolkit page on CodePlex (http://silverlight.codeplex.com/).