Developers

WP Central The Developer Movement competition is back

Last year we reported on Microsoft’s Canadian initiative to spur on developers to create some great apps and in the process pick up some awesome stuff.

The system is based on points and from simply registering to publishing your app, you’ll be rewarded with some credits towards a long list of prizes. Read on past the break to see what you can get.

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Parcel Tracker

RIP Parcel Tracker: 2010-2012

We have to paint yet another bleak picture for one of our favorite apps on Windows Phone: Parcel Tracker. The package tracker app was featured numerous times on this site and we always gave it a thumbs up, but evidently that wasn’t enough as the app has been removed from the Store.

The developers have evidently sent a news-update thru the app to current customers letting them know that development has stopped and the app has been withdrawn. While current users can still use the app when it comes to Windows Phone 8, you’ll be out of luck.

The developers cite that most users never bought the app and therefore it wasn’t financially lucrative enough to support it anymore. As we’ve heard from some devs before you have to be in Windows Phone dev as a hobby right now.

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23

XNA is dead. Long live XNA!

WP Central

So, as many of you have heard, Microsoft has killed off XNA and every game written in the framework is doomed.

Except that isn’t the whole story.

If you don’t know, XNA is a game development framework made by Microsoft to aid developers in rapidly creating cross platform games. The name stands for: XNA's Not Acronymed. Writing a game in XNA enables it to run on Windows, XBOX, Windows Phone, and the [now dead] Zune HD. The only real changes that need to be made are the controls and UI (different screen sizes). Even if you’ve never heard of XNA, chances are that you’ve played a game made in it if you’ve ever used a Windows Phone. One such game is ARMED! - which now has a Windows 8 version made in MonoGame.  XNA was loved by a lot of people, and gained popularity because it was an easy entry point into 2D and 3D game development, and it was a good way to reuse code across platforms.

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badge

New look and new options

For those of you who are looking to promote your Windows Phone app on the web, you’ll want to go grab these new virtual badges from Microsoft.

The new design comes in 3 resolutions (125 x 40; 208 x 67; and 376 x 120), two colors (blue and black) and reflect the more Modern UI look that we’re accustomed to with Windows Phone including the new Store logo. In addition, Microsoft explains how to do the all important region-neutral deep link for the Store for your app. That’s the method we use here at Windows Phone Central so that the link will redirect you to your localized market.

More information can be found on the Windows Phone Developer blog.

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WPUG

The Windows Phone User Group is back, and in full force it seems. To be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, WPUG will once again be catering for developers to network, show off Windows Phone projects and to discuss aspects of the platform. 

The WPGeek Developer Marketplace will be covered next Wednesday, as well as the possibility of some Windows Phone 8 hardware being present. We've previously been to WPUG meet-ups where Nokia has not only shown a friendly face, but has also sponsored the event itself, so there's certainly a chance of a device or two being present.

Our Rob Brand, Jay Bennett and myself will be heading along, so be sure to sign up for next week's event if you believe you'll be able to attend and we'll see you there.

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Marketplace

As Bruce Forsyth would say - higher or lower?

Bernardo Zamora has published an insightful blog post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, which goes into detail on how developers should configure individual market pricing - if at all. It's an interesting part of marketing one's work. Building and submitting the app is one thing. Effectively pricing your app(s) is another.

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Devs

The big news for developers with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is of course the coming together of the two platforms under the same core. While it is far from being a 1:1 overlap in terms of coding, it is clear that developing on one platform will naturally lend itself to developing on the other, often with devs being able to recycle much of their code and design.

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We managed to finally get our hands on the finalized (or very near finalized) software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8--the one where only select developers were given access too. The SDK had surfaced on the internet a few days ago via WinUnleaked and has been floating around ever since.

After spending a few hours configuring our PC for the SDK (you need Windows 8 Pro RTM 64-bit, seriously), we fired up Windows Phone 8 OS...

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WP Central

Carbon, has left the building...

Say what you will about Twitter clients, but the developers behind them can be a finicky bunch from our experience. That notion is being reinforced again today with the announcement that Carbon has been pulled from the Windows Phone Store for good.

The man behind Carbon, M.Saleh Esmaeili, took to his Google+ page to discuss what had happened after his interview on our podcast, Iterate. In short, Carbon was never meant to be multi-platform.

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WP Store

Left: the old Store search; Right, new Store search with developer lookup

Microsoft has been hard at work “doing things” to the Windows Phone store, which in theory will improve things (so far, all we’ve heard are developer complaints about delayed app publishing).

One of those areas is now coming forward although we have yet been able to verify in the US. WPArea.de has noticed that you can now search by the developer’s name in addition to their app. In a side by side with an HTC Mozart and a Lumia 800, they found the Mozart was able to get different search results when “Kik” was entered.

On the Mozart, Kik returned the developer house first, followed by the app whereas the Lumia 800 showed the more traditional KiK Messenger as the first.

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YoYo Games Windows 8

YoYo Games (www.yoyogames.com) announced yesterday that GameMaker: Studio, the cross-platform games development environment, will support upcoming Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The studio enables developers to create games in a single code base and subsequently export with ease to multiple platforms and formats.

Current level of support includes HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X. GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 is stated to be available for developers prior to the OS launch, while support for Windows Phone 8 will reportedly arrive following device availability.

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Marketplace Dev Erro

It's another cryptic Microsoft error code...

Developers have been experiencing issues when submitting .XAP files to the Marketplace for approval. Whether it be new apps or updates for already-submitted content, developers are getting hit with an error code. Glenn Edwards, the brains and soul behind recently released MetroSpec, has also been having trouble getting his work published.

We last covered MetroSpec when it went live on the Marketplace a couple of days ago. The paid version got through, but the free, ad-supported baby brother is still being held back. It's an annoyance more than anything as the Windows Phone community love their trials and free versions of apps that seek their hard-earned cash - and rightly so. If developers can't publish all their work, then this could cost them valuable custom.

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Windows Phone 8 Emulator

The Windows Phone 8 SDK came a little closer to being released today with Microsoft announcing they accepting requests for access from developers. This will allow qualified developers to begin optimizing existing apps for Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft explains that the SDK for Windows Phone 8 isn't being publicly released due to the presence of features that haven't been announced.

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WP Central Microsoft reveals more about how enterprise will manage Windows Phone

We have already seen with the initial announcement of Windows Phone 8 that Microsoft is much more serious about building enterprise features into their next OS. Along with better security through full device encryption and secure-boot technologies Microsoft will allow business to deploy apps directly to the phone.

Currently the only way to manage a Windows Phone device is through the ActiveSync framework but this isn’t able to provide the level of granularity that micro-managing Systems Administrators need. Microsoft has now revealed that their In Tune product will provide the one stop shop for device management for Windows Phone 8 and also WinRT tablets. Hopefully this should mean much wider adoption of Windows Phone in the enterprise considering it will play nicely with existing Microsoft technologies.

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16

Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview comes in hot September 12

Windows Phone 8 SDK - Emulator

One of the missing components in the Windows Phone 8 developer story thus far has been the SDK. Aside from a leak back in July, there hasn't been any news regarding its official availability or state of completion. Well until now, that is.

Windows Marketplace Sr. Director Todd Brix just hit publish on a blog post this morning that outlines Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview bits that will be made available to a limited set of folks -- specifically developers with existing apps in the Marketplace. The rest of us will have to wait until the "full SDK" is available later this year when Windows Phone 8 goes gold.

As soon as the preview lands, WPCentral will get you the bits. Stay tuned!

Full post after the break.

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WP Central

While there is a lot to look forward to with Windows Phone 8, some of the changes may not be as noticeable but no less important. Windows Phone 8 will have a number of significant changes under the hood to bolster the security of the platform.

Windows Phone 8 will have device encryption throughout the entire device including the OS and its applications. Designed along the same lines as Windows 7 PCs, encryption kicks in as soon as you power up the device. This system, based off of Bitlocker (but adapted for Windows Phone) was something first reported on back in February as an early rumor.

BitLocker is a logical volume encryption system that is present in Windows 7 and will be present in Windows 8.  BitLocker is designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes or drives within a computer to protect the integrity of a trusted boot path.  The main difference between the PC version of encryption and what we will see on Windows Phone 8 is that the encryption keys are not manageable on our Windows Phone as they are on desktops or laptops.

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      Windows Phone in the Central Kingdom      

Till this day, how big exactly is the Windows Phone ecosystem is largely a myth. Microsoft is keeping crucial figures all to itself. Over time, many tried to measure the ecosystem with various ways, such as the active users of the Windows Phone Facebook client.

Now WPDang and OpenXLive have decided to do it a bit more scientifically: with consolidated server data of 112 apps and games. Sadly the report only covers the Chinese market, because the majority of these data source apps either make sense only to Chinese users, or are well ranked only in the Chinese Marketplace...

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Modern UI Elements

With the official launch of Windows 8 on October 26'th, things in the developer world are heating up. Microsoft has been furiously getting quality apps onto the Windows Store via their App Excellence program, and devs have been touching up their XAML skills. And why wouldn't they be? With a potential market this big, any developer would be silly to not be planning to get something onto the store at some stage.

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