Developers

Here’s some potential good news for a handful of ambitious developers. Google has released over 50 Google APIs for .NET. Google quietly made the announcement last week on their developer blog. The release of the Google APIs Client Library for .NET should hopefully produce some nice Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps that tie into Google’s services.

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In doing this job, there’s the easy news – apps, device reviews, leaks – and then there’s the hard news, like criticizing Microsoft, leaking too much or talking about illegal apps. Today’s story falls into the latter category, but it’s more about the aftermath.

Long story short, a developer named Al Gihuni released a free app called ‘Free Market’. The app did something unique: it allowed you to find an app listed in a different region, perhaps at a lower price. The idea here is that some developers price their apps differently based on the market, or sometimes they run regional sales. ‘Free Market’ though took advantage of that by letting users find those price differences with a few clicks and the app tagline – “Download paid apps for free!” – was quite inflammatory.

Developers were not pleased, to say the least.

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A week from now we’ll be packing our bags and getting ready to head to San Francisco. This is where Microsoft’s 2014 Build conference will take place. The focus is on developers and upcoming product innovation Microsoft is making for them. We’ll see what Microsoft has in store not just for developers, but consumers as well, when they unveil Window Phone 8.1.

Not only will developers be treated to an updated mobile operating system with new APIs and features, but we’ll also see changes on the backend. Changes to the Windows Phone Dev Center are expected to come as well.

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In-App Purchases are extremely common in mobile apps and games these days. As an AT&T customer, I have the option of paying for Windows Phone IAPs by credit card, carrier billing, or Microsoft account. People with different carriers or living in other countries might not have access to those same payment methods. And you normally couldn’t use carrier billing for Windows 8 purchases.

Mobile payment provider Fortumo allows app developers to easily integrate carrier billing for IAPs into both Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT apps and games. Fortumo is so serious about getting Windows developers on-board that they’ve just launched a fund to pay advances to successful developers for integrating Fortumo payments into their apps. How successful does a developer need to be in order to get the funding? Read on to find out.

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Earlier this month Microsoft teased DirectX 12. The company said they’d have info to share about the next version of DirectX at this week’s GDC gaming conference. The Microsoft press conference just took place this morning. The DirectX team announced and shared a ton of info about DirectX 12. Read on if you’re ready for gaming to get even more enjoyable on your console, PC and phone.

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Here’s some stellar news for Windows Phone developers. Microsoft is rumored to buy software development company Xamarin. Microsoft and Xamarin have always had a cozy relationship. Last November the two tightened their marketing and technical ties with a new partnership deal. Xamarin is a popular tool because it allows developers to create Android and iOS applications uses C#, the development language of choice for a lot of Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers. Now Microsoft might buy Xamarin.

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Build 2014 is only a few weeks away, and the world is expecting Microsoft to finally unveil Windows Phone 8.1. The beta SDK is already in some hands, and we’ve even heard some 8.1 hardware is now circulating too for some devs. This is unsurprising, because Microsoft is not going to announce this thing with no release details on April 2. Quite the opposite, as Redmond appears to be taking a “hit the ground running” approach, making the OS preview-update available that day with new hardware only a few weeks later.

In that regard, seeing Microsoft check app compatibility when submitting new XAP files to the Store should not be a shock. After all, they probably want to test some things out, and we’re sure little nuggets like this will make an appearance between now and April 2. The change in the Store happened in the last five days, with people noticing late last week.

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Advertising platform for Windows and Windows Phone, AdDuplex has launched a new sweepstake initiative where the company will give away three Windows Phones to developers each month. This deal will last throughout 2014, so there's plenty of time to get involved and earn your own smartphone. It's a perfect time to be building apps for the platform.

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Complete Nokia MWC developer keynote posted

Did you miss our live blog of the Nokia developer keynote at MWC 2014 earlier this week? Did you want to watch it again and find out the latest in apps for the Nokia X-series, Asha phones, and Nokia's expansive Windows Phone line-up? Do you just want to kill an hour marinating in Stephen Elop, Timo Toikkanen, Bryan Biniak, and the rest of the Nokia team? Then the video above of the Nokia Developer Day Keynote from MWC 2014 might very well be for you.

Source: nokiadevforum (YouTube)

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If there was any question today about what Microsoft thinks about the Nokia X and its Android phone, their public line is that they’re fine with it. During Nokia Developer Day, John Shewchuk, a Microsoft technical fellow responsible for “strategy for cloud platform services”, took to the stage to demonstrate Microsoft services running on the Nokia X, noting that they’re a ‘devices and services company’ first and don’t consider Nokia’s choice to be against their interests.

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Nokia today announced in Barcelona a new effort to support Android developers through its new X line of smartphones. Not only do we have a new platform with Nokia's branding, but the company is also busy enhancing tools and services available for Windows Phone developers with a new version of the Imaging software development kit (SDK), adding Windows 8.1 support.

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Earlier this month we told you all about a new game exclusive to Windows Phone called Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse: Alpha (but we’ll just call it VALA: Alpha). The game was created and launched by Matt Cavanagh, aka @RogueCode, from South Africa. He’s been around the Windows Phone scene a long time making his own apps and games, while also doing work for others like MyEdit. VALA: Alpha has only been out for two weeks, but it’s picked up over 50,000 downloads. In a new blog post he shares what’s next for the game.

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QuizUp is a very popular iOS quiz game that let’s friends compete against each other in real-time. Not only can you play against friends, but you can play against strangers and rank up points. Another great feature in QuizUp is that those games don’t have to be played in real-time. You can challenge a friend to a game, play and complete it, and they can play that same game later when they have time. We don’t have an official QuizUp app on Windows Phone yet, but we will have one soon thanks to Windows Phone developer Daniel Gary. He’s working on QuizIt, a QuizUp client for Windows Phone. Check out the video of the current state of the app.

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Remember Microsoft’s Windows Phone App Studio that is currently in beta? It’s the killer program that allows you to unlock your phone and create basic apps using a web tool. That web tool is powerful enough to let novice users and developers create simple apps. More experience developers might use it to quickly create a prototype of an app. It launched way back in early August of last year, but has seen a few updates since. Today we’re looking at another update to App Studio, so let’s check out what’s new and different this round.

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Windows Phone Central visits the Windows 8 and Windows Phone development group UI CENTRIC

Located several floors up in an unassuming east London building is a quiet office where some of the most creative and beautiful experiences available on Windows Phone and Windows 8 are being developed. You may have never heard of them, but the guys at UI CENTRIC have produced quality apps that you’ve most likely enjoyed if you’ve been an avid Windows Phone user. We recently had the chance to visit that office and chat with CEO Dan Ulzhoefer, to find out how they work, what they’re most proud of, and their plans for the future.

Dan had some great experience to share which we’re sure would benefit any developers reading this article. UI CENTRIC are currently hiring developers with a passion for Windows Phone or Windows 8, so if that sounds like you, check out the interview below for more details on how to contact them.

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