There are countless tip calculators for iPhone and Android platforms but what about Windows Phone 7.5 OS? It turns out that there are already quite a few Tip Calculators for windows based phones as well. Nevertheless, I wanted a tip calculator that would prove to be simple yet powerful enough to provide all necessary data on one screen with the least amount of typing. Furthermore, I wanted to be able to easily adjust various portions of the bill on the fly, round up or down totals and split the bill all on the same screen. Finally, I thought it would be useful to be able to compare the amount of the tip to the level of service.
So, I download and installed latest Windows Phone Software Development Kit 7.1, fired up Visual Studio, and started coding away. Well, almost. One bit of confusion was the versioning scheme. Note that Windows Phone OS Mango is version 7.5 yet the SDK is versioned 7.1. Why? Rob Miles and Andy Wigley in their Mango Jump Start videos explain that there was a disconnection between marketing and development teams when it came to versions. No kidding. This was a small yet unnecessary hurdle. Overall, working with windows phone SDK proved to be a very positive experience. There are two ways you can go about creating an application for Windows Phone Mango. You can either use the XNA or Silverlight frameworks. Since XNA is better suited for games, Silverlight was an obvious choice for personal finance type of application. The most time consuming part of tip calculator proved to be designing the interface. I must admit that Microsoft Expression Blend came very handy in this part and although I usually prefer to just hand code XAML, this time I found myself constantly going back to the Expression Blend.
I think of this application as something a little more than just a tip calculator hence I decided to call it “Tip Assistant”. If you are a happy owner of an Windows Phone 7.5 device and are looking for simple yet powerful tip calculator, try Tip Assistant. It is free!