Tag Archives: developers

The Windows/Windows Phone Store now open for Universal apps

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With likely several million new Windows Phone 8.1 users roaming around looking for apps to take advantage of the new OS, the good news is that Microsoft has also opened up the Windows Phone Store to accepting Universal apps and other Windows Phone 8.1 apps.

In a blog post Microsoft announced:

1. Linking Windows Store and Windows Phone apps to create a universal Windows app to allow buy on one platform and use on all.

3. Credit card validation for developers no longer required

4. Consolidated price tiers with the new $0.99 and $1.29 tiers for Windows apps to match Windows Phone.

5. Consistent certification policies, matching Windows Phone with Windows 8 store policies.

For Windows Phone Specifically they also announced:

1. Windows Phone 8.1 package submissions, allowing developers to submit WP8.1 Universal Runtime and Silverlight 8.1 apps.

2. One app, multiple packages, Linking provides a ‘get once and download for all compatible Windows devices’ customer experience,meaning Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 users will automatically be presented with a legacy XAP while WP 8.1 users will get APPX.

3. Simplified package targeting

4. Redesigned Dev Center

5. Reduced certification times

Read more detail at Microsoft here.

How To Download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview For Your WP8 Device

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview app

Microsoft today announced the release on Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview for all Windows Phone 8 devices. Either your WP8 device is Lumia 520 or Lumia 1520, you can download the developer preview now.

How to Download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview on your device?

What is developer preview?

Windows Phone Preview for Developers gives registered developers access to prerelease Windows Phone operating system updates for their development phone, directly from Microsoft. Since, this preview program was created to give developers time to test their apps, and to validate that their apps run as expected on a real phone before an operating system update is made generally available to your customers, expect few bugs here and there.

What you need to download this developer preview?

To get Windows Phone developer preview updates, you need to be a registered developer or be running a “developer unlocked” phone.

Find the full set of instructions on how to get those after the break,

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Microsoft Increases Memory Limit For Apps In Windows Phone 8.1

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Windows Phone is always known for performance and it comes as a result of strict memory requirements for apps. Developers have to plan in advance on how to utilize the resources allocated for their apps. In Windows Phone 8, developers had a 150mb memory limit even on a 2GB RAM device for their background tasks. But with WP8.1, Microsoft has increased it to over 300mb. Also, a foreground App can use up to 825mb of memory on a 2GB RAM. Check the above and below images for comparison.
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Anyone can build a simple app, but a complex app requires more thought. Building a serious app on a device with significant memory and CPU constraints can pose some interesting technical challenges. You also have choices about the breadth of markets you want to address with your app. In this session, we’ll look at your choices, and how you can work within the resource constraints to build compelling, resilient apps. We’ll also deep-dive into the platform Resource Manager, examine what’s new in Windows Phone 8.1, and explain the rationale behind the resource management policies.

Watch the session after the break.

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AdDuplex transforming into a proper advertising network

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On their blog AdDuplex has announced their plan to turn into a proper advertising marketplace where developers can be matched up with advertisers, a bit like BuySellAds does for blog owners.

A developer you will be able to apply to AdDuplex Direct and have a listing for their app in the AdDuplex Direct Catalogue. An advertiser you will be able to browse the catalogue, select the apps they like and initiate advertising deals. When both parties agree on the scope of the deal the advertising campaign starts and when it’s over the developer gets paid.

AdDuplex would take care of the catalogue, ad serving, and money handling, and will take an 18% commission on the sale.

All Windows Phone 8 apps running AdDuplex SDK v.2 are able to apply, though initially not all apps will be included in the trial and only incorporated developers and not individuals will be accepted.  Apps will also need to serve at least 10,000 impressions per day.  If not enough ad inventory is available the ad space will default either back to the normal cross-promotional role or become hidden.

The feature will launch on Q2 2014.

Developers meeting the criteria can apply here.

Days after email search scandal Microsoft overstep bounds once again

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Just last week Microsoft was involved in scandal where it was revealed that they searched email on Hotmail to find a leaker. While Microsoft was in the full legal right to do what they did, the news shook the confidence in companies which may be competing with Microsoft in using their online services, which will likely result in a cascade of companies moving to competing services such as Google and Amazon.

Now the Free market app brouhaha shows that Microsoft is now above using their most powerful and fearsome tools to squash apps which are not violating any policy, and which are merely designed to secure Windows Phone users the best deal possible.

Free Market was an app which searched the Windows Phone Store for apps which are on promotion in certain regional markets, which then allowed users to change their region and purchase it more cheaply.  Crucially the app did not change the region of the handset (this can only be done by the user manually), meaning the app was only an information and not circumvention service, and could as easily be a website.image

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The Windows Phone Store Review section is about to get a lot more heated

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Developers can be a righteous and finicky lot, as we recently discovered, and it is likely if they are given the ability to respond to bad reviews in the Windows Phone Store a percentage of them are not going to be very rational.

It seems sensible then that if Microsoft was going to given them the ability to do so, as is hinted by the new bullet point in the Report Concerns page of the Windows Phone Store, that users will be able to alert Microsoft if they get a bit too ranty.

Of course the ability to respond to a review may also be used to request more bug fix information or provide support if something went wrong, or gather endorsement if the review is glowing.

Do our readers letting developers respond to reviews is a desirable feature? Let us know below.

Via WPDaily

Microsoft finally trying to fix the app store spam problem

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There are many complaints about the way the Windows Phone Store sorts apps, separating the wheat from the chaff of spammy apps.

It seems Microsoft has recently updated the algorithm which assigns Top Games.

According to the excerpt from a communication from Microsoft with a developer, previously the sorting was mainly via number of downloads over time.

The new rank will also depend on customer ratings, how frequently an app is pinned or unpinned from the start screen and how often it crashes.

The new algorithm is designed to encourage quality, well performing apps with high customer satisfaction, though we suspect the usual suspects will still try and game the system by encouraging high review ratings and making sure their app gets pinned.

Are our readers encouraged by Microsoft’s move? Let us know below.

Thanks Gerasimos for the tip.

Developers can now unlock up to 30 Windows Phones

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If you are a developer who found the 10 Windows Phones you are allowed to unlock limiting, the good news is that Microsoft appears to have quietly increased the limit to 30 phones.

Of course it is likely that only the biggest development houses will have 30 different Windows Phones, but with the Windows Phone ecosystem just growing, and more OEMs on the way I guess this will soon start becoming an issue.

Via Twitter.com

High profile Windows Phone developer complains of “ridiculous restrictions Android and iOS don’t have”

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Daniel Gary of Itsdagram fame has taken to twitter to complain about the Windows Phone security model, which he says is holding back developers.

He notes Windows Phone has “ridiculous restrictions Android and iOS don’t have” such as being able to constantly run background services and send SMS messages and said “a huge pool of extremely talented devs for MS platforms” were having their hands tied “with regards to what they can do to WP.”

The Windows Phone security model is of course a 180 degree shift from the Windows Mobile one, which gave developers free rein on the operating system. Windows Phone was developed when it appeared iOS, which is of course very tightly managed, was going to take over the smartphone world, when in the end the much more relaxed Android OS is now the clear leading mobile OS.

While Daniel’s rant may appear misplaced, given concerns such as stability, security from malware and battery life, I think it is debatable that a closed OS could ever take the role as a general purpose operating system suitable 99% of uses. We can see some appreciation by Microsoft of this in Windows Phone 8.1, and every new iteration of the operating system has been more open and less restricted than the last.

Do our readers agree that Microsoft needs to let developers run free on Windows Phone, or do you appreciate your well managed and secure operating system?

Microsoft’s PubCenter continues to disappoint Windows Phone developers

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Developers are unhappy, and that is not good for Windows Phone.

It appears Microsoft’s in-app ad network, PubCenter, is performing very poorly, and worse and worse over time, with poor fill rates (with as low as 2% of potential ads actually provisioned), and earnings dropping from dollars to single digit cents.

A developer writes:

Since my last thread on this was locked with the standard "raise a support ticket" response, we’ll try again:

Ten percent fill rate across all apps yesterday – raised only because one of my lower-yielding apps got lucky and managed to get a disproportionately high fill rate compared to all the others.

Two percent so far today.

Mr. Gale, if you are reading this and think (and I quote) "fill rates appear to remain pretty consistent between markets" is an answer, then you’re obviously missing the point, so I’ll spell it out:

WHY ARE THERE NO ADVERTS?

What the hell is happening that is causing almost nobody in the entire world (according to the argument that fill rates are consistent between markets) is using pubcenter to advertise? Has anyone in the pubcenter team actually thought "hey, this isn’t working, we need to do something about this!"? If so, what strategy is being put in place? Are Microsoft in the slightest bit serious about breaking into advertising? If the answer to this question is "yes", then people need to be sacked, right now, for their utter continued incompetence.

Of course, if the answer is "no" then please tell us, the developers, so we know to stop wasting our efforts.

Can the Pubcenter team not see that all this is doing is driving away the developers – the very life-blood of the Windows Phone ecosystem?

Continually saying "we’ve made changes, things will get better" is just laughable – especially since most the changes have actually made things worse, with no sign of recovery.

For one, my team will no longer be making games that are solely ad supported – how our test go with other platforms and payment methods will be the determining factor in our long-term commitment to the Windows Phone platform.

At the end of the day – we have software licences to pay for.

It’s time Pubcenter started making an effort.

We have posted about the issue before, last year in September, and I think the central issue is that, unlike Google, Microsoft is not an advertising company, and that people wanting to advertise a product do not go to them generally, meaning there is always low inventory available.

Many more complaints can be seen in this thread here, stretching over the last few weeks, but unlike last year this year there is a solution available.

Google’s AdMob now has a Windows Phone 8 SDK. It is unfortunate that developers have to turn to Microsoft’s main competitor for revenue, but it seems the alternative is developers actually moving their efforts to a completely different platform, which is a lot worse.

What are the views of our Developer readers? Let us know below.

Thanks Joao for the tip.

AdDuplex giving away 3 Windows Phones every month

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AdDuplex is running a year-long promotion for Windows Phone developers.

They are giving away 2 Windows Phones every month for developers who are publishing apps using their service and one high end phone for developers taking part in their monthly challenge.

This month’s monthly challenge, for a Nokia Lumia 1520, is simply for developers to tell them how AdDuplex helped promote their apps.

Read more about the contest at AdDuplex here.

Interview: Malte Götz, app developer

bild2He has a talent for app development, which was the reason we reviewed his app 10 min recipes here. I am talking about Malte Götz, a young app developer from D’Dorf, Germany. We agreed to meet in Cologne and we asked him a few questions about his work as a developer and about himself. Since developers are very important for a mobile OS’s ecosystem, young developers are even more so, as they have their while career to contribute,  and Malte demonstrates well that being young does not mean you cannot have a lot of  experience and skill already! Find the interview after the break!

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