Developers

Making apps for Windows Phone? Then you’re a developer and we’ve got some good news for you. Microsoft is slowly rolling out a redesigned certification workflow that should help you, as a developer, see reduced times for certifying a Windows Phone app. It’s been one of the most requested piece of feedback that developers have given Microsoft and it’s now being implemented. More details below.

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Details of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leaked earlier today. The information comes to us from developers with access to the Software Development Kit or SDK. We’ve seen some screenshots surface and a lot of details shared.

Thankfully, not all the fun was spoiled since the SDK itself still has a few surprises that no one has discovered yet. That and we can tell you there are a lot of consumer features not even in the SDK, like Cortana, the Action Center and a few other goodies. What we got today was the recipe book for Windows Phone 8.1, but you folks still want to see it in action. In other words, there's still more to come.

In the meantime, we’ve talked with a few developers to get their initial thoughts on the details in the leak. Mind you, they haven't seen the SDK themselves, but are familiar enough to know what it all means for them as a trade. We've kept a few of their names anonymous due to the sensitive nature of this leak today (Microsoft is not too pleased), but a few of them you'll be familiar with, so read on!

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Windows Phone 8.1, the next milestone for Microsoft’s mobile OS, is rumored to be announced April 2 in San Francisco, California. That’s only 7 weeks away, putting Microsoft on a tight schedule to line up all of their eggs for the big reveal.

One of those milestones is to open up the Software Development Kit (SDK) to developers for some initial feedback.  Windows Phone Central has learned that Microsoft is now inviting a limited number of developers, under NDA, to begin early testing of the new 8.1 operating system and its SDK.

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Developing an app for the Windows Store calls for skill with not only the code itself, but also with the design of the user interface. We had all experienced downloading a Windows 8 app with high hopes of its success, but instead received disappointment when we see that the developer simply did not invest enough time in the UI. With Windows 8.1 Microsoft had added a new control to the tool bags of developers to help remedy some of the past interface development woes that may have been experienced.

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You might not be familiar with Microsoft’s modern.IE website, but web developers around the globe sure are. The website launched by Microsoft focuses on providing tools, documentation, and industry connections for web developers who are trying to get the best optimization out of Internet Explorer and other web browsers. Recently, the site has claimed that it has saved over one million development hours using its various techniques since it launched in January 2013.

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Windows Phone Central has a proud tradition of providing live coverage from a variety of gaming events. We’ve brought you news and interviews from E3, Game Developer’s Conference, Casual Connect, and more. If there are Windows Phone, Windows 8, or Xbox games to be played – we’ll be there.

This week we’ll be attending a new mobile industry event for the first time: Apps World. This one takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California on February 5th and 6th. Apps World is a special event for us because I’ll be judging at a contest for game developers called the Big Indie Pitch during the event. The Big Indie Pitch is open to the public if you register in advance. Head past the break for more details!

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There was a time when a lot of us didn’t have Update 3. It wasn’t until Microsoft announced a Windows Phone Preview for Developers program that allowed a lot of you to grab Update 3 on your handset. They also put out an app, Preview for Developers, that enables you opt into the program on your phone. That little app just picked up an update.

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Nokia is a massive company, there's no disputing that fact, but the manufacturer has been able to engage with its community of consumers and developers successfully since joining Windows Phone (and prior to that too). Interacting with customers and the community in general, whether it be through social media or even hosting themed events, is an important task but Nokia is one of those companies which is easy to approach, no matter who you are.

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Well, you did it. You broke Nokia’s planned design seminar, which is to occur this Thursday. Earlier this week, we reported on our renewed partnership with Nokia DVLUP, their design seminar for Windows Phone apps and a chance to win a one-on-one design consultation with Arturo Toledo.

The idea was for you to register for the ´Lessons Learned´ online seminar, occurring on January 30th (8:00 PST | 10:00 CST) where Arturo would share the most common design challenges, after reviewing dozens and dozens of apps. That session is still planned, so no worries there if you signed up, but there was an overwhelming amount of you who wanted to join who could not.

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Join Nokia DVLUP this Thursday, January 30th at 8 AM Pacific for a one-hour online design seminar and learn how to win a free design consultation for your Windows Phone app.

Last year WPCentral and the Nokia DVLUP team gave away several free design consultations for developers who wanted to enhance the visual design quality of their app.

This giveaway was such a success that hundreds of developers applied to get one of the awarded design sessions hosted by Arturo Toledo.  As a result, Nokia extended the program from 10 consultations to 50 and for 2014 we are giving away 30 more coupons!

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Making an app that’s successful enough to quit your day job is a dream most mobile devs at one point or another dream of. Eddie Kezeli is living that dream right now with Windows Phone and his ProShot camera app. The Windows Phone Developer Blog recently chatted with Eddie and has some really interesting information and insight on how he went from looking for a job to working solely on his apps and games.

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Hacking on Windows Phone is a pretty nonexistent sport. Earlier we told you guys about HackerTeam and their claims of having full control over Windows Phone, but there’s no way to validate their claims. Here’s something we can validate, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey has joined the ATIV S and has been Interop Unlocked. This opens the gates for potentially deeper level OS changes on the Odyssey.

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As a mobile platform Windows Phone sits in third place. It’s a distant third however when you compare it to both iOS and Android. Depending on who you ask, we’re at somewhere like 4% marketshare globally. That’s still pretty small, but also presents a huge return for developers who make killer apps. Like the guys at DevRain Solutions who have just reached a killer milestone in the Windows Phone Store – 6 million downloads.

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Nokia kicked off its global Create contest late last year and we've covered new missions kicking off as the program ran its course. Developers were invited to develop apps for a number of categories, ranging from image and photography all the way to work life. Nokia has now announced the grand winner of the Create contest, as well as winning apps for each category.

Pass the break to see who won and pick them up for your phone today!

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Whether you are an individual, hobbyist Windows Phone developer or part of a developer studio that builds Windows Phone apps, it’s quite an effort to develop, test, and market the apps.

Therefore, it hurts when an app submission fails certification, and you have to correct and resubmit the apps. Not only does it increase the effort and resources, it also delays the app release and any marketing plans.

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Nokia recently confirmed issues with an update for Play To on Windows Phone, which enables users to stream media, such as photos, music and videos to other DLNA enabled devices. The issue was that those running the GDR3 Developer Preview and the latest version of the app were missing crucial software components required for both to get along in harmony.

Today, Nokia has unveiled a fix, which should hit the store in a week or so. 

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Our CES interview with Nokia on developer goals this year

2013 will go down as a watershed year for Windows Phone. High profile devices like the Lumia 1020 garnered massive press attention while the super affordable Lumia 520 actually drove Windows Phone adoption. Starting in the last quarter, a new push for must-have apps was launched through the efforts of Microsoft and Nokia. Apps like Instagram and even a renewed WhatsApp became staples of the platform.

Here at CES, Windows Phone has a lighter presence this time around. No new phones are being announced and Microsoft is holding back news until Build later this spring. But that doesn’t mean Microsoft and Nokia aren’t present and we’re sitting down with both of them today.

First up is Bryan Biniak, Global Vice President & General Manager at Nokia. We spoke with him this morning about developer challenges with Windows Phone heading into 2014.

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