Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amber Alerts for Windows Phone - Find Amber: I built it!


Find Amber Available for Windows Phone

Find Amber has finally been approved and is now available in the Windows Phone Store! This project is close to me, and not in a "I have lost a child" way thank God. But I do have children and if something were to happen to any of them I can't imagine what it would be like.

There are ways to get this information but generally it is slow to deliver. Television, Radio, etc. but these delivery mechanisms are allow but allow for detail. In contrast, there is a text message service and/or the road signs that are available which solves the speed of delivery but the content is lacking. My solution was to give the user both speed of delivery and content.

I decided to combine the latest available technology and tools from Microsoft using Windows Azure, SQL Azure and ASP.NET Web API to build a robust system to get the data and deliver it to first the Windows Phone Platform but also create an API that allowed me to expand this to Windows 8 and the other mobility platforms.

The Windows Azure Services provide the necessary notifications to be sent to the phone when a new Amber Alert has been created. If the user has pinned the application tile to their home screen, they will be notified on the Live Tile if the Amber Alert has occurred in their state or near their location.  These notifications are sent within 1 minute of the notification being created at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC).

Other features of the application include
  • Most recent or open cases
  • Cases near you
  • Statistics
    • Case Type
    • Month of Year
    • U.S. Region
    • Year
    • Top 10 States
  • Cases by State
  • Case Details
    • Showing all pictures on file
    • Includes Abductor pictures where applicable
    • Map of last know location or missing from
    • Links to Actual Lost Child Poster
  • Social and Email Sharing integration

Screenshots of Find Amber
Current List

Other Options

Child Details

Poster View

Statistic Graphs

Other credits

Telerik - RadControls for Windows Phone

MVVM Light Toolkit by Laurent Bugnion (@LBugnion) : Great MVVM framework, supports Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone and now Windows 8.  I blog about it and give talks a code camps and user groups.

PhoneFlipMenu by Scott Lovegrove (@scottisafool) : this is officially being moved to Coding4FunToolkit.


3 comments to “Amber Alerts for Windows Phone - Find Amber: I built it!”

  • September 22, 2012 at 7:37 AM
    Shayne Boyer says:

    The State mismatch issue reported by George has been resolved, there will be no need to update the application for this fix as it was an Azure Service issue.

    To be clear on why there are ads, yes as stated by many of you. This is to offset costs associated with the services needed to ensure that the data is up to date and the service used for push notifications.

    All proceeds from advertising will be sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    Thank you all for the reviews and stay aware.

  • September 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM
    PHenry says:

    Very cool looking app, going to poke around today more. Kudos and I'm going to come back to learn more wp! Kudos.

  • March 2, 2013 at 12:55 AM
    Aamir Khan says:

    It is really nice for me to see you and your great hardwork again.Every piece of your work look excellent.Looking forward to learing more from you!
    Pbx System

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