Back in June, we released our first ever cloud-powered controls for Windows Phone. We were the first vendor to see the needs of Windows Phone developers for cloud based controls and have continued to invest in new controls and features ever since. While a majority of developers have started using this functionality, some have wondered what the benefits of using it over traditional methods are. We will begin here by examining 5 reasons to use cloud controls in your next Windows Phone 8 app.
1. Low or NO Cost of Entry
Whenever someone hears the word, “Cloud”, they automatically assume it is expensive and the pricing model will be very confusing. At Telerik, we want you to be successful as a developer and have laid out very clear instructions on our pricing model. With every subscription of RadControls for Windows Phone, you automatically get our “Starter plan”, which is completely free. This allows you up to 100MB of data storage, 5GB of bandwidth and 1 GB of file storage. To assist you further, we have unlimited API calls and all incoming bandwidth is free. If you need more storage, then check out our vast variety of plans located at the bottom of the page here.
2. Maximize Developer Time Efficiency
Cloud Controls enables you (the developer) to extend your Windows Phone application with cloud functionality without having to write the control or the pieces that talk to the backend by yourself. Our cloud controls cover common cloud related scenarios like User Authentication, User Registration, Picture Upload, Picture Browsing, CRUD operations on data, In-App Notifications, etc. The Telerik Cloud Controls for Windows Phone are easily set up via a Visual Studio project template that adds the needed Telerik references as well as generates the required code to connect to our backend service. This saves you a great amount of time in getting started where you can focus on your core business logic.
3. No More Storage Wars
We’ve all been there before. We write an app that takes advantage of Isolated Storage and everything works fine until our end-user decides to restore or upgrade their phone or uninstall our app. If they restore or upgrade their phone, then Microsoft will take care of downloading the app onto their device again. What it will not take care of is the data that we persisted in IsolatedStorage. For an app that may be used to take notes, weight measurements, etc. that data is crucial to the end-user. By using cloud controls, that data is safely stored in the cloud and can be retrieved very easily. This not only makes our end-users happy, but helps our apps to get better ratings which in turn will result in better sales.
4. Keep Your Data Safe
Mobile devices are easily lost and anyone can pick up your phone and open your app. Even if you password protect your phone with a PIN, that doesn’t necessary mean a hacker cannot break into it and access your data. By using components such as CloudLogin, your end-user would need to login to your app to access the data.
5. Caring is Sharing
With various social media networks and more and more connected devices, we are all sharing information all the time. From breaking news stories to what we ate for dinner last night, people tend to love to share. With cloud components, you may wish to share a grocery list with your spouse, or a picture taken from your smartphone. Your company may wish to create a private portal that enables employees to share ideas on upcoming projects from their mobile device or PC/Mac. Cloud controls enable such functionality that allows us to stay connected at all times.
To recap the “Top 5 Reasons to Use Cloud Controls in Your Next Windows Phone App”:
Today we looked at 5 reasons to use Cloud Components in your next Windows Phone app. If you still haven’t tried Cloud Controls for Windows Phone, you can go to your Telerik account and download the Q2 2013 SP1 release. As stated earlier, it comes complete with project templates to get you started as well as CTP versions of the controls. You may also wish to download the cloud control showcase application to get a better understanding of how these controls fit into your next application. If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below.
-Michael Crump (mbcrump)
Michael Crump is a Microsoft MVP, Pluralsight and MSDN author as well as an international speaker. He works at Telerik with a focus on everything mobile. You can follow him on Twitter at @mbcrump or keep up with his various blogs by visiting his Telerik Blog or his Personal Blog.
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