Derek Lakin

BETA: Piccolo

Piccolo.Beta.QRI’m about to start the beta for a new Windows Phone app that I’ve been working on. This is a first for me, I usually go straight to market, but this time I want to get feedback before I go live to ensure I hit the market with as good a product as possible.

UPDATE: The beta is now available at http://is.gd/piccolo_beta

What is Piccolo?

I don’t know about you, but every morning I go through the same process:

  1. Unlock my phone.
  2. Check to see what appointments I have in my personal and work calendars.
  3. Check the weather forecast for today.
  4. Check for new tweets on a Twitter list of people I follow (the ones that I really wouldn’t want to miss any tweets from).
  5. Check the news for the current headlines.
  6. Check Instagram for new images from the small list of people I follow.

This involves using five different apps and whilst I do love the Start screen on Windows Phone and the Live Tiles that these apps I use provide, they just don’t give me enough information without loading the app. So every morning I’m in and out of five different apps and then I can get on with my day. The focus on content not chrome means that I can get the information I want relatively quickly and without distraction, but that’s still focused time before I can get started.

Piccolo is my attempt to solve this problem by providing the information that you want, all in one app. I understand that different people care about different things, not everyone uses Twitter or Instagram and some people are happy to just look out the window to see what the weather is like, but other people are hooked on Facebook, tumblr or other services. So, I decided to use a “data provider” model which enables me to have a single infrastructure that handles the presentation of data and settings, and then each data provider is responsible for fetching and displaying it’s own data.

At the moment, I have built data providers for reading Appointments from the calendars registered on the device and I’ve also built a weather forecast provider that uses data from Forecast.io. Needless to say, I have plans to implement plenty more data providers including Twitter, Facebook, news, and more, but I’m interested to know what data you want.

How can I get involved?

If you want to take part in the beta, just sign up to the beta mailing list and I’ll add you to the beta. As you use the beta, please add any bugs, feedback, comments or suggestions to the UserVoice forum over at http://piccoloapp.uservoice.com

The first version is being ingested right now, so what are you waiting for?

Screenshots

01.SelectDataProviders 02.Appointments 05.Settings.Appointments03.Weather 04.Settings.Speech 06.Settings.Weather

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