Justin Angel, Principal Engineer for Windows Phone experience at Nokia, has released a new Bluetooth SDK for Windows Phone 8 that enables developers to take advantage of connectivity with MindWave portable EEG headsets. Said devices can pair with a Windows Phone to display readings in both data and chart form for users to look through.
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.
Amidst all the announcement and unveilings, Microsoft has also taken the time to refresh the Windows Phone Developer Center with the release of Windows Phone 8. The Dev Center is the developer's HQ when it comes to Windows Phone development, deployment and support.
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?
Nokia has unveiled two new developer programs at this year's BUILD event. Microsoft's developer focused event saw the Finnish manufacturer give away a Lumia 920 Windows Phone to each attending developer to match Microsoft's free 100GB SkyDrive upgrade. So what are these two developer programs all about?
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.
Microsoft today announced availability of the Windows Phone 8 SDK. BUILD 2012 will be held tomorrow, and according to Joe Belfiore the event will mark the launch of the kit developers can use to build new apps for the next version of Windows Phone.
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.
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.
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.
Way back in June, Windows Phone Central teased that Xbox game Gerbil Physics would be receiving a substantial update. In fact, we even suggested some of the changes that made it into the update, which is now live. Head past the break for update details and exclusive screenshots, plus a mini-interview with Pencel Games.
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.
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.
The Microsoft Dev Center has been a thorny issue for many developers lately with some app submissions having been held up for weeks, odd rejections and slow propagation of updates. While we can’t attest to whether or not those have all been fixed, Microsoft has evidently been rolling out many tweaks to make it better.
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.
We're only a month away from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 being released, but is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot? Windows Phone Central has had access to the Windows Phone SDK for a few days now, but what about every established developer on the platform? Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case - as our Jay Bennet knows too well.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.