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PC Integration 0.7 and Book 0.061

Here’s the promised update to the PC integration chapter in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8, which includes information about the latest versions of the Windows Phone mobile app and Windows Phone desktop application for Windows. The latest version of the full Book document also includes a restructuring of the table of contents, with the locations of two chapters switched.

This was a lot of work for what doesn’t appear to be a huge change.

As I noted in the previous update, I’ve decided to remove the Business chapter from the book for now and switch the locations of the PC Integration and Security + Networking chapters. So the first thing I did was edit the full Book document to switch those chapters, so that Security + Networking is now Chapter 16 and PC Integration is now Chapter 17. Then, I laboriously scanned through the book for any references to these three chapters to either remove those references (for the Business chapter) or fix them to accommodate the new layout.

That was Saturday.

Today, I worked on the rewrite of Chapter 17, PC Integration. Actually, I had started on that some time ago and worked a bit on it over the past few days as well. After a ton of work, and a brief but ultimately discarded new layout that I felt was just too ponderous, I ended up switching it back to something that actually resembles the original version of the chapter. Long story short, I was going to monotonously spell out how to copy/sync each content type using each of three methods (Windows Phone mobile app, Windows Phone desktop application, File Explorer) and then realized that the processes were basically identical for each. So I simplified it and … voila! … It’s much like it was originally.

Anyway, I still needed to rewrite it to accommodate changes to the syncs, and to take new screenshots. So now this one is out of the way as well.

For the second time, I will consider the PC Integration chapter complete in first draft form.

Download PC Integration 0.7 (19 page PDF, 1.25 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.061 (571 page PDF, 34.9 MB)


Security + Networking 0.5, Some Book Changes

Here’s an unexpected update to a previously “completed” chapter: I moved a section about restoring from backup from Chapter 1 (Getting Started) to Chapter 17 (Security + Networking), necessitating a new release of the latter chapter. But this isn’t all that’s changing with Windows Phone Book.

First, the Security + Networking chapter changes.

This is one of those things that happens fairly frequently when you write longer manuscripts: You either forget something until later on, or realize at a late date that some material is in the wrong place. In this case, I had covered Backup in Chapter 17, but was going to cover Restore in Chapter 1. That doesn’t make sense, so I moved the Restore stuff into the Backup section in Chapter 17.

So. We have a new version of Chapter 17 and a new version of the full Book document. I made minor edits to Chapter 1 as well, but that one is so early there’s no need to publish a second update of that yet. I did, however, add whatever minor changes I did make in Chapter 1 to the full Book document, so that one is up to date.

Confused? Don’t worry about it. :) It confused me too.

And while we’re being confused, I’ll really throw a wrench into the whole thing and mention three other things that are changing with the book.

Business chapter. As I had hinted at, the business chapter is cutting cut for the 1.0 version of the book. I’ll reexamine this as we move forward.

PC Integration chapter. I started reworking Chapter 16 (PC Integration) and in doing realized it needed a major organizational change. So that’s in place now, but I need to copy in whatever content I’d already written that still fits, and then write new stuff too. Long story short, the new writing will be more than I had expected, but I like the new structure of the chapter so much better that I’m OK with it. I’ll try to post a first peek at the new version of that chapter soon.

Chapter reordering. Looking at the TOC (table of contents), I realized I need to swap the final two chapters. Right now, they’re:

Chapter 16. PC Integration
Chapter 17. Security & Networking

But they should be in the reverse order:

Chapter 16. Security & Networking
Chapter 17. PC Integration

Why? Because in this new order, the stuff that isn’t happening on the device is at the end of the book. And I like the idea of de-emphasizing the PC stuff in this way since Windows Phone is so cloud-focused. Anyway, I’ll make this change soon, fix the full Book doc, and issue new versions of each.

Phew. More than expected. :)

Download Security + Networking 0.5 (57 page PDF, 4.06 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.060 (572 page PDF, 35.1 MB)


Getting Started 0.1

Here’s a very early peek at another new chapter-in-progress for Windows Phone: This is the first chapter, Getting Started. It focuses on configuring a Microsoft account, choosing a Windows Phone handset, and initial phone set up.

As you may recall, I’m also currently working on Chapter 2: The Windows Phone User Experience. But I’m getting bored with all this introductory stuff, so I’m trying to mix it up. With more introductory stuff. (I’m running out of things to write about.) I’ll probably work in a little of the revised Chapter 16 soon, too.

Anyway … This is very basic stuff, and not a lot of writing, despite the page count. I’ve only written part of the Set up your phone section, which will include bits about initial phone setup (done) plus some post setup tasks, as well as restoring a phone from a backup.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Getting Started 0.1 (14 page PDF, 958 KB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.059 (570 page PDF, 34.9 MB)


The Next Chapter, and Some Thoughts on the Rest of the Book

Here’s an early peek at the next chapter-in-progress for Windows Phone, which is about the Windows Phone user experience. Also, with the first draft of the book winding down over the next month and a half, I’d like to explain where things are at in the schedule.

First, the next chapter, which is Chapter 2: The Windows Phone User Experience. This very early version of the chapter includes a rough outline (including some topics that are sort of orphaned from elsewhere and may not make it) plus two “completed” sections, A modern user experience (very short) and Personalization (which is pretty lengthy).

The issue with this chapter is that a lot of it simply won’t fit into the task-based approach I’ve adopted throughout most of the book. There is just some introductory material here (and in Chapter 1) that needs to be written in a fairly straightforward explanatory way. (Actually, the “A modern user experience” section that’s in there now is a good example of that.) I want to keep that stuff at a minimum. But it’s unavoidable.

Download The Windows Phone User Experience 0.1 (16 page PDF, 1.22 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.058 (556 page PDF, 34.5 MB)

With regards to the rest of the book, there are three more chapters that need to be written:

1. Getting Started. This will include information about Microsoft account, choosing a handset, setting up your new phone, and configuring accounts.

2. The Windows Phone User Experience. This is the one I’m currently writing: basic navigation, apps and hubs, and personalization.

18. Windows Phone at Work. The final chapter in the book might get bumped (or “punted” in Microsoft-speak) to the 2nd edition because it’s not clear that it can be done in a clear task-based way. Right now I’ve got notes about topics such as BitLocker, Secure Boot, EAS policies, System Center/Intune/Office 365 integration, app side loading, and micro-SD app installs. It doesn’t seem very cohesive to me, but I’ll hold off on this one until the end.

Additionally, there are two chapters that need to be revised, one heavily. These include:

8. Maps + Location. Split off from Search, this chapter will be rewritten to document Nokia HERE Maps and, to a lesser degree, the other Nokia HERE location apps. This will be a major rewrite/expansion and is almost a new chapter.

16. PC Integration. This one is a minor revision that needs to pull in some content I had written originally for other parts of the book, and it needs to be updated for the latest versions of the Windows Phone 8 sync apps for Windows (desktop and Metro).

At one time I was hoping to finish the first draft of Windows Phone Book—which will be called Paul’s Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8—by the end of June. But given the date, I’m now shooting for late July. By that time, I’ll provide an update to my plans to distribute the book in non-PDF formats like Kindle, NOOK, ePub, mobi, whatever. But I want to focus on getting the writing done first.

Since I started writing Windows Phone Book last September, you could look at the schedule and decide, rightfully so, that 11 months is a long, long time for a book like this. To be fair, I took some number of months off to write Xbox Music Book (Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Xbox Music) and experiment with the task-based approach using a shorter (mini) book. So the real writing time is closer to 7-8 months. But that’s still too long.

The issue, in part, is that Windows Phone 8 is a huge topic. And it’s bigger even than the space I’ve devoted to it so far, and of course will change over time as various GDRs and then Windows Phone 8.1 are released. These milestones will give me a chance to update this book and test my notions about digitally published content. Hopefully that won’t be as far off as my original estimates for writing the actual book. But if you’ve been following along, this was meant to be a learning process, and it’s certainly been that.

I’ll do some more navel gazing when the first draft is done, and of course I’ve been thinking a lot about the next book, too. More on that soon.


First Draft of Security + Networking Chapter is Complete

The first draft of the Security + Networking chapter in Windows Phone Book is now complete. This chapter focuses on the security features—lock screen PIN, Wallet, Kid’s Corner, Backup, Find My Phone, Phone Update—and networking features—cellular data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data Sense, Internet sharing, and Airplane mode—in Windows Phone 8.

New sections added in this update include a short opening intro, Kid’s Corner, Find My Phone, and Cellular data.

Three chapters of new writing are left: Chapter 1 (Getting Started), Chapter 2 (User Experience), and Chapter 18 (Business Features). I also need to dramatically update Chapter 8, Maps + Location, to address Nokia’s HERE apps. Chapter 16 (PC integration) needs to be updated as well, but that’s mostly done; it just needs to be pulled together. Almost home.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Security + Networking 0.5 (55 page PDF, 3.95 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.057 (540 page PDF, 32.8 MB)