Recently, a Reddit post revealed that Microsoft is not encrypting the WinRT based universal apps in Windows Phone Store. This allows anyone to download Appx packages from the internet and use it to develop their own apps. Also, they can publish it as apps in Windows Phone Store leading to piracy.
During Windows Phone 7 days, the same issue happened with Silverlight based XAP apps. Microsoft fixed it by encrypting the XAP packages in Windows Phone Store. I wonder why Microsoft has dropped this policy of encrypting Appx packages similar to XAP packages. As a temporary solution, developers can use .NET Obfuscator to obfuscate their code.
Read more about it here.
Microsoft introduced the Lumia Sensorcore SDK at BUILD 2014.
This new SDK takes advantage of a low-powered hardware core in some of the latest Nokia Windows phones, like the Lumia 930 and 630, enabling power- and memory-efficient tracking of motion and location data.
The feature is ideal for fitness and activity tracking apps, and Microsoft is running a Webinar tomorrow (8Jul 3pmUTC) Tuesday, July 8, 2014 4:00:00 PM BST – 5:00:00 PM BST to help developers implement the feature.
Read more and register for the webinar here.
As announced during Build conference this year, Microsoft today released the Imaging SDK 1.2 and SensorCore SDK Beta for Lumia Windows Phone devices. While the new imaging SDK based apps will work on all Lumia WP8 devices, SensorCore SDK apps require SensorCore hardware which is available only in latest WP8.1 devices like Lumia 630, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520.
What’s new for developers in Imaging SDK v1.2?
The Nokia Imaging SDK 1.2 is fully compatible with Universal apps and Windows Runtime languages, providing developers with flexibility to use the languages they prefer. With support for animated GIFs and Image Aligner, it’s now possible for you to create moving-images apps, too.
Additionally, the new Local Blending API makes it easier to merge and position images of different sizes on top of each other, allowing for more interesting creations.
About SensorCore SDK,
We posted yesterday on how RatRod Studios were surprised by expected success on Windows Phone, racking up millions of downloads on the platform in only 6 months.
Now Pocketgamer.biz reports from the Pocket Gamer Connects conference in Helsinki, that developers could be missing out on as much as 10% of the market by not supporting Windows Phone with their cross-platform games.
The message comes from Andrea Boetti of mobile payments and direct billing network Fortumo, who notes developers need to "think a little bit forward at what’s coming next" rather than merely focusing on the here and now.
"It may surprise you, but there are many countries – to be precise, 24 countries worldwide – where Windows Phone is selling better than iOS," opened Boetti, citing emerging markets such as Mexico and Saudi Arabia as well as Nokia strongholds like Finland and Poland.
"If you have a cross-platform application, 10 percent of your users might be lost if you’re not porting your game to the Windows platform as well," he continued.
Canadian development studio Ratrod Studios has revealed that it has been pleasantly surprised by the success of their racing game Drift Mania on Windows Phone and Windows 8, such that they will be porting all their games to the platform.
Founder Pat Toulouse noted the 6 million downloads was twice the number of downloads on any other platform over the last few months. He has already added another 1 million downloads for Skateboard Party 2. He credits the Unity toolkit for his success, and notes that he believes all games will be cross-platform in the future, and that it only took a few days to port the games to Windows Phone and a week to Windows 8.1.
Ratrod Studios planned to embrace universal apps and synchronizing settings via OneDrive from one device to another, a new feature in Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1
DVLUP is a developer focused website where you’ll get exclusive access to App Challenges, news, events, partner opportunities and more. Earn points to redeem for Rewards, including promotional placements for your Apps. Microsoft today announced the improved DVLUP site with more than 58,000 lines of code were reviewed, updated and improved for this latest update. Find the improvements from the link below.
- All Challenge submissions are now on a separate page to simplify and improve the usability, especially on your mobile and tablet devices! And, your available apps, as well as past or pending submissions are now more clearly displayed, too.
- The database has been re-organized to better import and handle your apps across numerous platforms and countries.
- Our Quizzes are now on a separate page to simplify and improve usability, especially on mobile devices. And, as you will see, all Quiz questions will now appear on the same page, making it easier to complete a quiz.
- The sections of DVLUP for Challenges, Events, the Leaderboard, and Reward listings have all been reworked for additional speed.
- Our Campaigns for app marketing are now part of the Reward section, which will make it easier for you to see what is available, and give you more ideas for how to effectively use your points. You will also see new filtering options to allow easier access to both Rewards and Campaigns.
Read more about the improvements at DVLUP.
Syncfusion has a collection of some pretty nice-looking Windows Phone controls which they normally sell for $99.
They are now offering a special Windows Phone license offer for hobbyists, allowing them to use the controls for free, and with a full year of support.
Hobbyist licenses allow for commercial use by individual developers, but not by or for the benefit of any company or organization.
Read more and get your free license at Syncfusion here.
See a video demonstrating the controls after the break.
Microsoft today released a new update for Windows Phone 8.1 preview users. This Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers (build number 8.10.12393.890) includes several improvements based on the feedback they have received.
Last month, Microsoft released similar update for preview users. If you are on the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers and want to get the update, go to Settings then Phone Update and click “check for updates”. If you want to download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview, read the post below for instructions,
Microsoft has just posted a new app to the Windows Phone Store directed at developers.
#wpdev was created to provide developers with access to official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store.
The app provides access to the latest blog posts, training resources, and partner resources and will also help you connect with Microsoft tech advisors for the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store.
The free app can be downloaded from the Windows Phone Store here.
Microsoft has released some stats about the state of the Windows Phone Store. The stats includes loads of info useful to developers, such as that while the largest number of downloads were in the games category, the largest number of downloads per app were in the social category, meaning this was the area where developers had the greatest chance of getting the most downloads.
It also included the above graph, showing that 66% of downloads were from low memory devices with either 256 Mb or 512 MB RAM.
While by now we all know Windows Phone sales are dominated by cheap, low end and low RAM handsets, the above graph, from February 2014, indicated that these users are not just using their phones as dumb phones, but are active participants in the Windows Phone ecosystem, which bodes well for developers as the low end expand even more.
The official Channel 9 app is now available for download from Windows Phone Store. It was under public beta for the past few months and now the final version has been published for Windows Phone devices.
Channel 9 provides a way to browse and view videos on a variety of developer and consumer topics from the Channel9.msdn.com web site. Channel 9 is a Microsoft community site for Microsoft customers and it has video channels, discussions, podcasts, screencasts and interviews with related to Microsoft products and people.
There is also a Windows 8 app, which you can download it here. Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
Microsoft today announced a new contest for Unity Developers. In an effort to celebrate the anniversary of the collaboration between Microsoft and Unity, they are announcing this Unity Game Developer contest. Developers have to bring their most creative, addictive games to the challenge and win over 100,000 in prizes.
Quality is most important – submit your visually stunning and immersive entries and you could walk away with the grand prize of $50,000.
Don’t waste a moment – these games need to be published to the Store by July 20, 2014 to qualify. Give yourself a head start and make sure your entries are submitted with plenty of time to spare. Please visit the contest page and see the Terms and Conditions for all the details.
You can make your submissions for Windows, Windows Phone or better yet both.
If you are already enjoying Windows Phone 8.1 and its many amazing new features, I bet you love the new Start screen background feature. It makes your device Start screen visually striking. Also users will be able to choose their own background image displayed behind the tiles. In order for users to see the image behind the tiles, the app’s tile needs to have a transparent background, so if your apps doesn’t have this yet, here’s how to do it.
If you already support users’ accent color choice for your Live Tile in Windows Phone 8, then you don’t have to do anything. It will automatically support Start Screen background. Otherwise, follow the steps below.