Last year November, I had blogged about a new initiative from Microsoft regarding Windows Phone 7.5 called “I Unlock Joy”. Here is the link to that article: Unlock Your Joy With Windows Phone 7. As part of the program a developer needs to develop 3 apps and host it in the marketplace to claim a Windows Phone for free. In my endeavor to claim the Windows Phone I started developing applications. Today, I present here, in this post my first Windows Phone 7.5 Application titled “Elec Bill Analyzer”. Read on to know more about this application.
About the Application Idea:
Electricity Bills in India is a common house hold thing. Every home in India has a Electricity Meter and it is read every month by the electricity board. Once the meter is read, we get a bill which at the bare minimum information contains the Bill Number, Consumed Units and Amount to be paid. As every house hold my house too gets a bill and I used to wonder how to analyze my bills if I am over using the electricity or not. I used to make an manual entry in Excel sheet and used to generate graph from the information I used to accumulate. When “I Unlock Joy” was announced the first thing that came to my mind was to develop this into an Application. Lets know more about the application in coming sections.
As any other application, I too decided to make a splash screen. In Windows Phone 7.5 application development – the SDK provides a default splash screen when you create the project. Its always a good practice to replace the default splash screen with your own application related splash screen. Since my application is all about Electricity Bill I decided to use a Bulb in the background. So here is the splash screen for the application.
The Windows Phone UI follows a new guideline which is known as “Metro”. It’s a very new UX design guidelines according to me. As I am not a designer myself I just went with a basic design – which, when I look back now is not a Metro design at all . I am a coder and the design is something which just doesn’t come within the blood. But my zeal to develop the app made me pick a design to start and I did just that. Did not worry if the UX was metro or not. So here is my main view which I call as Options. I provide all the option available in the app. Application supports following capabilities:
This view allows you to view all the bills you have entered into the application. At a quick glance the view shows Month and Year of the Bill. Also the consumed units and amount for a particular bill is also shown as additional data. You also have the ability to delete the Bill from this view. The navigation points available from this View are to create new Bill & Analyze Bills. You can always jump to the Main view with the back key press. Here is a screen shot of the view.
This view will allow you to enter a new Bill details into the system. The new Bill view will collect details which include – Month and Year of the Bill, Bill Number, Units Consumed and Amount to be paid. Once you save the details you will be navigated to Bills view.
Analyzing the bills is a feature using which you can analyze the bills you have entered so far month over month. Analysis of the bill can be done in 3 ways:
By Units – a graph plotted against Month v/s Units
By Amount – a graph plotted against Month v/s Bill Amount
By Units & Amount – a graph plotted against Month v/s Units & Amount
The graph provide a way to keep a check on the electricity usage with a simple line graph. You can visualize how month on month you are spending electricity and can take a decision to use electricity more wisely.
Elec Bill Analyzer Website:
If you are interested in downloading and using the app on your Windows Phone – I have set up a website exclusively to this app. You can have a look at the following site:
This was my first attempt at developing for Windows Phone 7.5. By far this has been the most easiest development I have seen in a decade of my experience. I still have 2 more apps to go to win a Windows Phone device for myself from Microsoft India. Would love to hear feedback or ratings from your side if you decide to try this out. So go ahead download and play around and let me know if this was useful for you.
Till next time, as usual – Happy Coding. Code with Passion, Decode with Patience.