Developers

The Windows Phone team have published some helpful tips and pointers for developers who are thinking of submitting apps to the Windows Phone Store. They go into some detail, covering the multiple XAPs per GUID, as well as deciding on how to approach the submission. Walkthroughs for three scenarios have been provided for the benefit of those who may find themselves needing a quick helping hand.

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Geert van der Cruijsen has developed a Windows Phone 8 emulator skin switcher, enabling developers who are using tools available to create apps and games to manipulate the look of the emulator itself. A number of smartphones are supported, as well as the different screen resolutions.

We previously looked at the emulator skin switcher for Windows Phone 7, which Cruijsen was also behind. Receiving a number of downloads and requests for a Windows Phone 8 version, we're now here reporting on a new release to cover the latest version of the mobile platform.

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Microsoft has just announced a new developer contest that should make things very interesting both for developers and regular consumers who use their apps every day. The contest, entitled “Windows Phone Next App Star Competition”, will offer up over $1M in prizes to 64 winners but it’s the top spot that should gain the most attention. 

Should you win the #1 app, Microsoft will feature your creation on a TV commercial featured in primetime.

The way the contest is structured is very simple. Developers just need to have their apps published by March 5th and users will merely vote for their favorite app based on the ratings (“stars”) they give it in the Store. That means apps with 4 or 5 star ratings starting on March 5th will get ranked higher than ones with 2 or 3 stars...

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GLQuake ported to Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone sports Xbox Live integration where consumers can download and interact with their avatar and account, which pulls down gamerscore, friends and more. It's a strong selling point for the platform since the Xbox Live service boasts over 40 million subscribers. If Microsoft can successfully tap into that pool of consumers, Windows Phone's marketshare would pose more of a threat to Apple and Google.

An MSDN member has published a quick look at a GLQuake port for Windows Phone 8. Jmarshall23 (Justin Marshall) has not only thrown together the above video showing off some gameplay on a Lumia Windows Phone, but has added D3D11 support. The project is currently available to download and run to test out what's being developed. It's a strong foundation, especially since work only too place over the festive period.

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Microsoft and Nokia are currently holding developer events alongside the Windows Phone User Group at Modern Jago in East London. Microsoft has rented it out to provide a central location for all platform exhibitions and events to take place - it's a superb building.

Back in December, at a recent WPUG meetup and AlphaLabs event, those who attended witnessed a row of white Lumia 920 Windows Phones on one side of the main conference hall. These handsets were each running an interesting app, more on this in a minute. Modern Jago has become the place-to-go for developers and designers to collaborate and share ideas.

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Fire up Photoshop or Illustrator because design magazine Core77 is running another design competition for Windows Phone. The contest is similar to one a year ago that Core77 did in partnership with the Windows Phone Team, this one is also a joint effort. Back then the contest was called "Fast Track to the Mobile App" and this year is going under the name "App to the Future". Winning submissions will have some nice prizes to look forward too! What's also unique about this contest is that it isn't restricted to North American residents, it's open to every abled designer on the planet.

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The Windows Phone team has published all twenty modules from its Windows Phone 8 Jump Start training course hosted last week. It was a fast-paced learning experience that focused on showing developers how to create "responsive, appealing and effective apps" in a timely fashion.

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Windows Phone Store expands to 42 new markets

In the quest to the get Windows Phone into more hands around the globe, you do have to give Microsoft credit being able to expand as far as they can.

Yesterday, the Windows Phone team announced that they are expanding into 42 new markets starting next week, which is quite the feat.  

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We mentioned Tweetro recently when we interviewed developer house LazyWorm Apps who are also behind the Windows Phone app MetroTube. The Twitter client is meant for Windows 8 and runs quite well on RT devices like the Surface. Unfortunately, it has also stopped working.

That’s not the fault of the developers though but rather due to in part to two reasons (1) it’s very popular (as is the OS) and (2) Twitter has a 100K token cap.  Long story short, Twitter implemented new changes to how their API is used for third-party apps and it's causing problems--if an app goes over that "token limit", they get shut down and stop working.

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If there is one thing we can say about Windows Phone 8 is that it is reportedly very secure, specifically  during the boot process. But that doesn't mean that the OS cannot be "dumped" and looked at for exploits or--the holy grail--to be back ported to older Windows Phone 7.x handsets.

That process has now officially begun over at XDA Forums where a user named 'neilgoco' has managed to get his hands on an HTC 8X engineering device. That means it is more 'open" and has access to developer tools not found on the commercial release.

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Microsoft recently tweeted some stats about developer uptake since the BUILD conference, and overall they're pretty impressive. There have been an average of 1,500 new developer registrations every day since the conference, and more than double the Windows Phone 8 SDK downloads in the first 8 days compared to the 7.1 SDK.

That works out to a 17% increase in the total number of Windows Phone developers out there, and makes the WP8 SDK the most rapidly-downloaded development kit Microsoft has launched this year. Of course, this all might have had to do with the significant slash in registration cost. We'll have to wait to see if there's actually an increase in apps available.

Any surprised by these numbers, or at least impressed? How many devs here went to BUILD? Did it pump you up to get working on Windows Phone 8?

Source: @ToodBrix

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With BUILD 2012 now behind us, we can talk a little about those Lumia 920’s that were handed out en masse to all the developers in attendance (media did not get them nor the Surface).

Seeing as BUILD attracts developers from all over the world, it would be a bit inconsiderate to give out a phone with limited 3G/4G capabilities as some would get the full package, while others would be restricted to their network. The problem is multi-dimensional as 3G GSM and 4G LTE networks vary quite widely, not to mention the combination of the two often required for great performance.

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Nokia publishes Windows Phone 8 developer resource

Windows Phone 8 was released last Friday, along with the Windows Phone 8 SDK for developers. We've previously looked at the SDK leak to see what's included in the package, and Nokia has now published an in-depth developer resource for Windows Phone developers to read up on. So what's new in Windows Phone 8?

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Windows Phone Geek releases developer magazine

Windows Phone Geek, the developer focused community website, has released a Windows Phone developer magazine. Issue #1 has been made available on its website, which covers a number of topics including the Windows Phone 8 SDK. The website has previously launched a developer marketplace that enables folk to purchase as well as sell components and the like for other developers to make use of.

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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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