Who’s on 8: Memorylage

Memorylage on Windows 8Memorylage (on Windows 8 and Windows Phone) is the work of Jeffrey Harmon of AgileData Software. I first met Jeff at one of our first Windows 8 Hackathons last September, and indeed his Windows 8 app was one of the first in the store. Since that time he’s not only enhanced the app, but he’s built a companion Windows Phone version and continues to be a visible and impactful presence in the Boston mobile developer community. Below Jeff offers a few words about his experiences with the platform.

Memorylage is an app that gives you a new way to view and interact with your photos. Instead of showing you a standard grid of tiny thumbnails, it presents them in a dynamically created collage that you can scroll through. You can then select your favorite photos to use in a custom collage, which can be edited and shared online or with other apps, through the share charm. There is also a Photo Booth mode that uses your web-cam to take timed photos of you and your friends to use in a collage.

Memorylage on Windows PhoneI started on Memorylage in December of 2011, right after Windows 8 was first announced at BUILD. I wanted to get in early in the eco-system that was sure to grow quickly, and wanted an app that would work well on a tablet, since that was a market Microsoft wanted to enter. It was released in the store on October 26, 2012; the launch day of Windows 8. Since then, it has been featured in the store, mentioned on many different web sites and podcasts, been downloaded over 60,000 times and is at almost 500 global reviews with a 4 star average.

The process of writing for Windows 8 has been fun, and I have learned a lot about the design language behind it. I already had plenty of experience with WPF, MVVM and XAML, so the coding was pretty straightforward. The hardest part was just figuring out the best way to fit into Windows 8 itself, when there weren't really many example apps at that point to look at. From the reception I have received though, it appears that I did a good job of fitting in, while at the same time, standing out.

After Windows 8, my next challenge was Windows Phone, which I had never worked with before. Again, the development environment was extremely familiar, so after about a week of playing around with it and getting oriented, I felt completely productive in a brand new environment. After only 2 months of development, I was then able to release the Windows Phone version, and have gotten even better ratings than on Windows 8. It currently has over 180 reviews, with a 4.5 star rating, and has over 4,000 downloads. As it is a paid app on the phone (vs. free on Windows 8), the download count will always be lower, but it is still doing quite well.

My next project is also on the phone, so look for it soon in the next month or so.