Windows Phone 7 sample About Page

Creating an About Page for our apps is probably one of the last things we do as developers. Although it is not required by Microsoft for an app’s acceptance into the Windows Phone Marketplace an About Page is a good idea as it allows you to house all the information someone downloading an app looks for. In this post I will show you my sample About Page that I have used on many of my apps and provide you with the code to download so you can add it to your apps quickly and easily.

When I build apps I favour the Pivot Application template. I find that it allows users to navigate around my app effortlessly. As such my About Page example will be for a Pivot application but with minor modifications this code could be added to any WP7 app.

This is the Pivot Item code for my MainPage.xaml Pivot Control:

Windows Phone 7 About Page Xaml

To use the code as is you only need to input your app’s title and your name at the bottom where you declare your copyright. You can also modify this code if you wish to move items around or change your ownership declaration.

And here is the code behind:

Windows Phone 7 About Page Code Behind

And here are the using statements:

Windows Phone 7 About Page Usings

 

To use the code behind from the example you will need to add both the Microsoft.Phone.Tasks and the System.Reflection namespaces.

As you can see the help button generates an email to an email address of your choice. This method needs you to only set your email address and your application title in the subject line of the method. The method pulls the current major and minor version numbers out of the Assembly property in the AssemblyInfo.cs file.

If you wish to use the version number in the WMAppManifest.xml instead you need to add a reference to “System.Xml.Linq” in your project references and then add the following using statement: “using System.Xml.Linq;”. From there you can draw the version number out with the following piece of code:
string Version = XDocument.Load(“WMAppManifest.xml”).Root.Element(“App”).Attribute(“Version”).Value;

You will want to provide a support link as it allows users to notify you if there is a problem. They will also email you to helpfully suggest improvements to your app so that their experience will be better. It is like giving your app to a focus group!

Both the MarketplaceReviewTask and MarketplaceSearchTask use the Microsoft.Phone.Tasks namespace. Through this reference users can both rate your current app and also search for your other apps. For additional information on this namespace check out this link. There are many more classes that you can tap into with this namespace.

Allowing users to rate and review your app from the About Page is a great idea as they can do it while they are thinking of it. Their ratings will then increase your standing in the Marketplace and in the developer community as you are seen as someone who develops quality applications.

Windows Phone 7 About PageAs you can see from the finished product on the left that creating a functional About Page is a pretty easy task and it provides a benefit to both the user and yourself.

You can download the code from this article here and from my GitHub account.

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About Ken Cenerelli
I am a Programmer Writer, .NET Developer, Microsoft MVP - Visual Studio and Development Technologies, Public Speaker, Blogger, and Microsoft Azure Nerd. I blog regularly at kencenerelli.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

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