Marathon 4.0 released for Windows Phone 8!

The Windows Phone 8 update is finally here! Thanks to the new OS capabilities you can now use other applications while Marathon continues to record your data in the background.

 

 

 This version also adds a few other features that’s been made possible thanks to WP8:

  • The new Nokia Maps, including a 3D mode.
  • A new wide Live Tile with information about your latest result.
  • The ability to open GPX files and save them on the device or share to marathon-mobile.net, Twitter and Facebook.
  • The first and currently only app on the Store that can open KML files and view the route on a map.
 Got a Windows Phone 7 device? Don’t worry; the app is still available and packed with features. You can read more about them here
 

Premium with trial ($1.99):

Get Marathon for Windows Phone 8


QRCode

Free:

Get Marathon for Windows Phone 8


QRCode

Marathon 4.0 Beta available for Windows Phone 8

 I've been working on an update for Marathon to add many of the new features of Windows Phone 8, such as background execution, the new Nokia Maps and a large Live Tile. Thanks to the new maps there’s also a 3D mode showing your current location:

 

If you'd like to try out the new features, simply drop me a message containing your Windows Live ID and I'll add you as a beta tester. 

The full version is available from the Store, see links in the next post.

Snotify 1.2 released - lets you specify weekly schedules

I've just released an update to my Windows Phone app Snotify (click here to find out what it does). The new version will let you set up multiple schedules and specify the days of the week for each schedule. If you set up a schedule that spans two days it'll use the weekday the schedule started on. Optionally you can also let Snotify silence your notifications 0-30 minutes before the actual schedule starts. This can be useful since the background tasks on Windows Phone only run once every thirty minute. But keep in mind that the OS may prevent the task to run at all, so don't depend upon it.

 The previous versions of the app have been downloaded over 2500 times. Not that bad, considering that it requires an unlocked device with WP7 ROOT tools. :)

 

Snotify is available for FREE and can be downloaded here:

Snotify_1_2_0_1171.xap (279.75 kb)

Snotify_1_1_0_1155.xap (269.11 kb)

Snotify_1_0_0_1153.xap (267.87 kb)

TvMonitor down due to TvRage maintainance

TvMonitor uses a free API provided by TvRage to list upcoming shows. This API has been stable (and very accurate) for years, so a big thanks to TvRage for this fine service. Unfortunately they are currently having some trouble with their database servers; according to this forum post you can expect everything to be back to normal within a few days.

Update: The API is back online, everything should now be working as usual.

Snotify 1.0 released - Silences notification sounds

I've just released my latest app; Snotify which is a Windows Phone 7.5 application that silences notification sounds based on a schedule. The application will let you set a schedule to turn off notification sounds once a day. It's the perfect application to keep you from waking up at nights due to emails, text messages or toast notifications.

Changing notification sounds requires write access to the registry. Thanks to Heathcliff74 and his WP7 Root Tools SDK, this is now possible if you have a compartible phone.

 

 

Snotify is available for FREE and can be downloaded here:

Snotify_1_2_0_1171.xap (279.75 kb)

Snotify_1_1_0_1155.xap (269.11 kb)

Snotify_1_0_0_1153.xap (267.87 kb)

Marathon for Windows Mobile 6.x is now available for free!

Now that Microsoft is shutting down the Marketplace for Windows Mobile, I've decided to release the full version of Marathon for free. You can grab it from here:

Marathon 1.4.0.3 Full (WM 6.X)

Marathon for Windows Phone 7.x is still available in a free and a premium version, and will continue to be so. If you haven't tried it out yet you can grab it here.

Marathon 3.1 released - adds a Live Tile and pace announcements

The latest version of Marathon contains a new Live Tile where you can see your achievements, total distance and your latest result directly on the home screen of your device. There’s also a new voice announcement telling you how many minutes and seconds the last kilometer or mile took. Here's the full list of changes:

  • A Live Tile containing achievements, total distance and latest result.
  • A new pace announcement for the last km or mile.
  • A percentage modifier for when your goal is based on track average or a previous result.
  • Pace is written as 5:10 for "5 minutes and 10 seconds" rather than 5.16 (5 minutes and 16/100 minutes).
  • Any link from the app to www.marathon-mobile.net will include your credentials (so you’ll be logged in automatically).
  • Updated a few announcement translations.
  • Changed so the system tray (the signal/battery/time bar at the top) is visible.
  • Changed the buttons for "Start" and "Resume" to make them more intuitive.
  • A few minor bug fixes. 
  • Performance optimization (increased battery life).

Premium with trial ($1.49):

 

 

Free:

Cold outside? Add your treadmill workout results to Marathon!

I've added a new feature to the Marathon web site, namely the ability to manually enter results. From now on you can add your treadmill results to Marathon and keep all your statistics in the same place. All you have to do is logging on to the webpage and select "Personal -> Manually add result".

Utilize the built in HTTP cache to speed up your WP7 app

There are a lot of apps out there acting as a facade to expose a webpage. Some are just there to ride on the app hype; full of ads and worse functionality then the mobile webpage for the very same site. There are also apps out there doing an excellent job by providing a neat UI and some additional features. For the latter I have a suggestion that could improve your app in a way most mobile sites won't; it's a way to improve the network performance of your app.

I've done some experimenting with how Windows Phone handles HTTP request and come to the conclusion that it likes to cache a lot of things. If you request the same URI twice it'll return a result from the cache, a lot has been written about this on the net and the only way around it seem to be to add a random parameter to the query string. This behavior isn't isolated to either HttpWebRequest or the WebBrowser control, the cache is shared between them and that is what you can take advantage of.

Let's take a "Reddit Reader" app as an example. Unless there's a very good connection, the end user will spend most of his time waiting for that meme or cat picture to load. The image will not start loading before he clicks on the link, so all the time his connection was idle when looking at the previous image was wasted.

But if you (as the author of the app) build a queue in the background and do HttpRequests to cache up the next 5 items, the end user will be a lot more happy when the WebBrowser control returns the result almost immediately.

There's however a little gotcha. The HttpWebRequest will happily cache your pages, but in most cases the user is also interested in 1 or more images. So you'll have to manually parse the page and do requests for these as well.


Here's a simple sample app I've written to show the concept:

CachedWebRequest.zip (16.69 kb)

Please note that I'm not parsing any HTML, so if you'd like to check the performance of images you'll have to write the full URL of an image. Try this and you'll notice that if you use the cache feature the image will appear as soon as the WebBrowser control is set to load the image. If you don't use the cache the image will load normally (note that you'll have to add a random query string parameter if you want to do multiple tests on the same image).

I haven't implemented this in any of my apps, nor have I tried to figure out how long the items will be cached. So if you decide to try it, please let me know how it performs!

Pingy released - Run PowerShell scripts from your Windows Phone!

I've just released Pingy, my second app for Windows Phone. Its main purpose is to periodically monitor network resources and notify you when something goes wrong. Thanks to the background tasks in Mango it checks the status of your resources every 10 or 30 minute and notifies you through toast notifications and a live tile. It also contains quite a unique feature which lets you run remote PowerShell scripts from your Phone.


Pingy supports three different protocols:

  • HTTP(s) for web resources.
  • TCP Ping for any other service.
  • PowerShell for remote scripts.

Pingy has its own PowerShell script library which lets you update secondary live tiles and send toast notifications based on your requirements. This will let you set any text or image as a live tile, the only limit is your imagination. Pingy uses the built in WS-Management service, so no third party application is required to run remote scripts.

The application is available for free from the marketplace:

 

 

Read more about Pingy and the PowerShell library here.