Developers

With the scarcity of certain types of games on Windows Phone, many players turn to emulators to get their fix. Emulators allow us to play titles designed for older videogame consoles on our phones. Download an emulator and you’ll have access to hundreds of classic games, assuming you can find the ROMs (software images) for those games. Some people consider playing old games via emulation to be software piracy, while everybody else marvels at just how cool it is to play those old games on the go.

The gaming emulators on Windows Phone come from two key developers, M.k and Samuel Blanchard. Today we bring you an in-depth interview with Samuel, the French developer who created Purple Cherry (a GameBoy Color emulator) and Blue Tomato (a Sega Master System emulator). Read on to learn about the challenges of porting emulators to Windows Phone and what Samuel’s next projects will be!

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Unity, developers of the wildly popular gaming engine of the same name, announced yesterday at Build 2013 that they have struck up a "strategic partnership" with Microsoft to develop for Xbox One and Windows Phone 8. This collaboration with Microsoft means the development of new development tools geared specifically for both platforms, "including support for many next-generation features like enhanced Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass and cloud stuff."

In addition to opening up the development floodgates to both platforms, the new partnership will also benefit those who choose to develop games using the Unity engine.

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Microsoft has released a new batch of badges for Windows Phone developers to use. While you can easily create your own in one of many available graphic programs, it's good to know that some effective images are ready to use immediately with a standard size and design. If you have your own website and would like to showcase your shiny new Windows Phone app, then these are definitely worth checking out.

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Today during one of the many Build 2013 sessions going on, Microsoft also publicized some Windows Phone Store numbers since Windows Phone 8 was launched.

By now, many of our readers have probably figured that Windows Phone 8 has quickly become the more popular OS (over 7.x) partially due to the new and exciting hardware and also because of it being more powerful.

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In a motivating “introductory” session today at Build, led by Principal Group Program Manager, Sam George, some details came out about where new Windows Phone users are coming from. With the choices ranging from other smartphones (BlackBerry, iOS and Android) to just feature phones, it’s an interesting question for those who follow smartphone trends.

According to Microsoft, their numbers reveal that 42% of users who come from Windows Phone are giving up their feature phone. That backs the hypothesis that the Windows Phone OS, with its seemingly approachable UI design and the lack of complexity, is a great step forward for those who are looking to upgrade to the smartphone world (but don’t want an iPhone and find Android too difficult).

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No, your eyes do not deceive you. Microsoft has indeed slashed the price of its annual Windows Phone Dev Center subscription, which is now available for just $19. The subscription enables developers (or those who are looking to start developing) to access to a personal dashboard, some handy tools and the ability to submit and publish apps and games to the Windows Phone Store. Sweet!

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We've been informed by the developer behind Unification that Nuget support is now available for developers. Nuget is a tool present in Microsoft Visual Studio for developers to easily manage SDKs, libraries and other elements. Liquid Daffodil has also opened up identity management across all supported platforms - Windows Phone 7 & 8, Windows 8 and the web. Developers can now access authentication and identity elements of Unification to get a "universal, user-specific" Microsoft Id across all platforms. So, why is this a big deal? 

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Taptitude is a game of games, if you will. The title sports numerous mini-games that each offer hours of entertainment. We've covered the popular Windows Phone game in the past, including the report of the two developers (who are brothers) making $1,000 a month from advertisement revenue. Now the team has published a rather in-depth report that details the last two years of supporting Windows Phone and where there are still areas of improvement.

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For those of you who are into the ‘homebrew’ hacking community for Windows Phone, you’ll want to take note that Jaxbot, the man behind the site Windows Phone Hacker (www.windowsphonehacker.com) will sadly be retiring.

Jaxbot just graduated from high school—yes, he was a young lad---and he will be moving on to college in the fall, where he hopes to take on other projects and adventures. We can’t blame him as he’s at that age where being pigeonholed into one area is not something you want to have happen. It’s a time to explore and experiment, though we hope he continues to dabble in Windows Phone.

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We know your favorite Windows Phone related podcast comes from us.  Daniel and Jay are a dynamic duo that help keep you up to date on the latest things with Windows Phone and more. But we approach it more for the general consumer and don’t focus too much on development. For that we highly recommend the Windows Developer Show from brothers Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk. There’s a new app in the Store that you should check out to get their podcast.

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We've covered issues with "Other Storage" fairly extensively in the past, but now we're taking a quick look at a find by Kévin Gosse in his Windows Phone app Imageboard Browser. The app has been causing problems with users as sometimes hundreds of megabytes of data would be stored and taking up valuable space, but this isn't related to other storage so what's going on?

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For years, publishing games in the South American nation of Brazil was a laborious and mysterious process. While most countries allow developers to publish games with no additional certification beyond those of the platform holder, a few states like Brazil, South Korea, and Russia add on their own approval processes. As you’d expect, the challenge of navigating Brazil’s certifications without speaking Brazilian Portuguese has long prevented many games from releasing in that territory.

Thankfully, the Brazilian government revised their certification policies a few months ago. Now games that have an ESRB or PEGI certification can be submitted for approval through a fast and simple process. Should your game not have one of those certifications, you can alternately request the Brazilian DJCTQ certification.

Windows Phone Central has created a guide for both processes. Follow it, submit your games, and don’t miss out on all those potential Brazilian Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT customers!

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We've covered the Unification service fairly extensively here at Windows Phone Central and have continued to support Liquid Daffodil with attempts to drum up interest from developers to implement support for Unification in their apps. We've got some numbers to share with you all today with how the Unification service is shaping up and how the community is getting involved.

tl;dr if you haven't yet connected your app with Unification, you may wish to do so.

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This year's HACKED event, which is a free-to-attend weekend of intense learning, building and sharing of cool stuff (that's what the website says) has sold out on tickets. Fear not though as the organisers plan to release more batches through June. Whether you're an expert, novice or a developer or designer, everyone is invited to take part (should you manage to get a place, of course).

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The "Windows Phone Store" is a pretty big concept. Instead of being one simple market available to all users equally and indifferently, it has countless facets intended for specific user groups and regions.

Depending on your OEM, carrier, geographic region, OS version, and size of RAM, the apps visible to you just won't be the same. When things get complicated in order to serve as many types of consumers as possible, the chance of stuff going wrong gets increased as well.

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Developers have a hard time getting word out about their work, especially since the platform is still relatively young. Here in the UK we have the Windows Phone User Group, headed up by Matt Lacey (@mrlacey). The monthly meetings enable developers to showcase their apps and / or work in all areas of Windows Phone. We tag along each time to offer more support for developers and to see what's new in the community.

It's a perfect opportunity to get involved and also to meet ourselves for some coverage on this very website. This coming Monday (May 20th), the group is heading to Nokia's new offices in Paddington, London. We encourage all developers to register, come along and demonstrate their work to the audience. As an incentive, there's a special prize on offer too for the best app. Who doesn't want free promotion these days?

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Check out Microsoft YouthSpark Summer Camps for 2013

Microsoft is offering classes for the younger generations to get started with technology. The YouthSpark Summer Camps will take place at Microsoft Stores in the US and will begin in June. If you head on over to the main hub, one can manipulate the calendar search on the store results page to view availability and more.

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Hey developers, if you ever wondered what we at Windows Phone Central look for when reviewing apps and games, you’ll want to check out the latest episode of the AppBizDev podcast, run by Alan Mendelevich (AdDuplex) and Senior Technical Evangelist for Windows 8 in Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism group, Ben Riga.

In case you haven’t heard of it before, AppBizDev (www.appbizdev.com) focuses on the business end Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8—advertising and monetization. It’s a solid tool for tips and advice how to make the most of your app strategy.

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Marketplace Dashboard for Windows Phone 8 is an app designed to help developers keep track of the apps and games they have in the Windows Phone Store. The app gives you a view of your apps including crash count, submission status and download counts.

Marketplace Dashboard has main pages that will list your published works and a page for those apps/games still in the certification process. The paid, version of Marketplace Dashboard, which is currently on saleallows each app to be pinned to your Start Screen that will display app stats.

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With the arrival of the new Facebook beta app for Windows Phone 8 this week, the discussion immediately focused on two aspects (1) functionality (2) design. The first one is one of those “in motion” issues that all betas face, meaning some functions may yet have been added (especially when combined with the ever changing feature set of the Facebook ecosystem). The second though ranges from personal opinion to a higher discussion of Design Principles.

More specifically, the question of whether the new Facebook app is “Metro” enough (or whatever you want to call the Modern UI Design Principles that runs through Windows Phone) has become one of the hot topics amongst commenters.

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