How to: Pause/Resume BackgroundTransferRequest or BackgroundTransferService in Windows Phone

Recently, I came across a requirement where I need to perform a background download; along with pause and resume support in Windows Phone 8. The first part is quite easy and straightforward. You can create a BackgroundTransferRequest and add it to the BackgroundTransferService. Done! The BackgroundTransferService class will take care of the background operations for you.

Now, coming to the pause-resume support. I think with current stock APIs for background operations, it's not possible to perform a pause-resume. Why it's so? Because few HTTP headers - If-Modified-Since, If-None-Match, If-Range, Range and Unless-Modified-Since are reserved for BackgroundTransferRequest. From these reserved headers, Range header can be used to download a resource partially by specifying the starting and ending bytes, something like Range: bytes=500-999.

Being said, you can implement a pause-resume or partial download using WebClient class and specifying HTTP Range header value. Unfortunately, this runs in foreground only. Means, while downloading a resource you "should" remain in the UI itself.

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Bing’s search suggestion now has Quick Preview

Just now, I found something surprising and interesting in Bing’s search suggestion - Quick Preview. This quick preview will give you some quick information within the search suggestion UI, so that you can move (using keyboard/mouse navigation) through the suggested search term to see "that" extra information, without actually going into the search results page. A quick screenshot is below:

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If you move your selection to ‘iron man 3’, then you’ll get a preview like

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Similarly, if you move the selection to ‘iron man 2’, then you’ll get a preview like

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Well, this preview is not limited to movies alone. Here are some other search results

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I think right now this feature is limited to United States. If you couldn’t get this quick preview then please do try changing your country/region to United States.

I'm a Bing use for past 4+ years.

Hope you like it.

Cheers,

- A

Video flickering in Windows 8 simulator

Ever experienced this before? Your video gets stuck while running a video streaming Windows 8 App in Simulator? Well, I myself experienced it last week, while working on a video streaming app. I usually deploy the app to a simulator for testing purpose simply because I can easily switch between visual studio and the app itself, for debugging purpose. Strangely, I experienced this flickering kinda thing when deployed the app in simulator. I think that’s because we are running the app in a virtual machine that uses another desktop session.

You don’t have to try too hard to fix it. Deploy it directly to local machine or to the device itself. Done!

Hope this helps.

- A