Note: This is a repost from earlier in the week that became corrupted in my WordPress database.  The old post URL has been re-directed to this update.

Well the day is close enough now to share some details with you about the soon to be released update for the WindowsObserver App for Windows Phone.

I have tweeted a few times over the last several weeks as development has progressed, about the work and how neat it has been watching the ideas and discussions turn into reality. A company from Orlando, Neuralnet Systems, has been doing the design and coding of the app along with us all putting together the ideas for the apps presentation and UI. These guys do some great work and have been profiled here on the website in the past.

You may have noticed some recent changes here at the website such as new category icons and an overall shift in the base blue color we use, now hex code 004A7F, and you will see that color in the updated app as well as the category icons.

As I mentioned above, the app is very close to being ready for submission to the Windows Phone Marketplace and will be an upgrade from the last version which is Version 1.1. Since this app is a significant upgrade from the earlier version, which was built with the Follow My Feed framework, we are going to make this Version 2.0. It has also been built to take advantage of features in the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS update such as Fast App Switching, Secondary Start Screen Tiles and Background Audio Player.

So as a sneak peek here are some screen shots of the new app and I will give you some info about each element of the app as we go along:

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Start Screen Tiles – the bottom six tiles are for the app.  The last five are secondary tiles that take you directly to that categories/all posts listing in the app. The second shot shows the app splash screen.

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The main pages of the app in the order they appear as you open the app.

  • The latest news shows the last four posts to the site
  • The categories page lists all posts and then each of the main categories which also match the possible secondary tiles you can place on the start screen from the settings page
  • The feedback page lets you send us feedback either via email or the Windows Phone Marketplace app review process
  • The settings page is where you can place the secondary tiles on the start screen and also check out the other great apps the guys at Neuralnet have available for Windows Phone.

Each page has a rotating headline banner at the bottom which rotates through the last 20 posts on the site. Tapping on that headline will take you to the posts reading page in the app.

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These are the landing pages for the all posts and the four main category pages. These are accessible from the categories page or directly from the corresponding secondary tile.

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The first shot here is of the podcast page in the app with the podcast streaming using the phones built in audio player which you control using the phones volume buttons. When you tap on a podcast to listen to you will see the Podcast is streaming… text and the share button to indicate it is loading.

The second shot is the reading page which is standard for all category pages when you click on a individual story link anywhere in the app.

The Share button you see in the app allows you to share the post or podcast your checking out with friends on your social networks or via email. The Feedback button allows you to send us an email with any specific feedback or ideas you might have.

So there is the preview of the app and some of the features you will be able to enjoy once it goes live. It has been a great experience working with the guys at Neuralnet on this app and we are all very excited to see what you all think of it as well. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback once it is in the marketplace.