developers

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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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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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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Microsoft has announced on its official Windows Phone Blog that a substantial increase in app downloads and revenue has been experienced by developers. The company has continuously expanded developer support and store coverage since the platform launched back in 2010.

Not only are we looking it added reach, but it's reported that app downloads is up by more than 100 percent, while paid app revenue has rocketed by nearly 140 percent since Windows Phone 8 launched last year. The team also unveiled a few enhancements to expand distribution and opportunity.

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Events like the Boston Hackathon are the places where the next must-have app are born. If you’ve never been to a hackathon you’re missing out on a great event where you can meet like-minded people with a vast array of creativity and talent. Let’s look at three of those apps you’ll hopefully be enjoying soon on your Windows Phone.

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Windows 8 developer contest launches in Greece

The Department of Computer Science and Telecommunications at the TEI (Technological Educational Institute) of Larissa, Greece has once again partnered with Microsoft Hellas to launch another developer contest. This time the competition will cover Windows 8 apps. We've previously looked at the contests held at the institute for Windows Phone, offering the opportunity to budding developers who'd like the chance to display and utilise their creativity.

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While everyone here has played a game or used an app that offers some kind of in-app-purchase (IAP), most of us probably don’t give the mobile payment systems that work behind the scenes much thought. And yet developers certainly have to consider mobile payment systems if they’re going to accept payments from users.

At GDC last week, we had the opportunity to speak with Rain Rannu, the Co-Founder of Fortumo Ltd.  Fortumo provides mobile payment services for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, Windows 8 and RT, and several other mobile platforms. They’ve recently teamed up with Microsoft to offer an exciting deal for developers who sign up to use Fortumo with their Windows products by the end of May.

Head past the break for more details and our video interview!

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Galactic Reign was quite the revelation when it appeared on Windows 8 and then Windows Phone 7 and 8 last month. Here was an exclusive strategy game for Windows platforms with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer, and Microsoft basically forgot to tell anybody about it before release. But it’s definitely worth playing if you enjoy competitive strategy games. Check out our review to learn just how the game works.

One of Galactic Reign’s most unique aspects has to be its large-scale space battles. See, the fleets of ships that clash against each other in the game can number in the thousands. Instead of rendering these battles in-engine, the details about each side’s armada are sent to the cloud. From there, a cinematic video gets constructed and sent back to the game for players to watch.

The technology for those cloud space battles comes from Canadian developer Slant Six games. Last week at GDC 2013, we chatted with Paul Martin, Director of Technology and James Ricker, Cinematics Director about Galactic Reign’s videos and Slant Six Games’ experience working with Microsoft. Head past the break for the full video interview!

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Microsoft and Nokia are preparing to hold a Windows Phone Developer Camp in London. May 11th this year will mark the day when the two companies will provide an introduction to the Windows Phone platform for developers who haven't quite looked into hopping on to the train just yet. Numerous sessions will be held with some hands-on labs. It's set to be a worthwhile day for anyone looking to develop apps for Windows Phone.

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A handful of weeks ago Unity opened up early beta access for apps on the Windows store, enabling developers to try out the tools available. We were all wondering just when the company would open up the beta program and cover Windows Phone 8 development. That time has arrived, folks. It has been announced on the Unity blog that version 4 of the engine now covers Windows Phone 8.

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According to a report over on CITEworld, Evernote is currently witnessing a higher average revenue per user on Windows Phone, when compared against Android. While Google's platform has a rather large install base, leading to an overall increase in revenue, it's interesting to note that Windows Phone owners spend more money than Android consumers. it's a familiar situation and why developers tend to favour the likes of Apple and iOS.

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There's nothing worse for developers than updating their Windows Phone apps to address bugs and for the release to get lost wondering around the vast plains of the Microsoft Dev Center. Our own Jay Bennett has experienced an issue with the latest version of the Windows Phone Central app finding itself stuck in limbo (or rather "Certification Passed" and "Not Submitted" stages of approval).

Microsoft has since acknowledged the issue and has stated engineers are looking into reports.

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Nokia has been able to build important relations with developers to bring apps to the Windows Phone platform, and Lumia hardware in particular. But just how important are said partnerships to the handset manufacturer and Microsoft's mobile platform? The company has Bryan Biniak, VP, Global Partner and App Development, who takes care of apps that are developed for both Asha and Windows Phone.

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If you were following along with our coverage of MWC last week, you'll know that for Windows Phone it was pretty much the Nokia show. That's not to say that other manufacturers weren't present, simply that Nokia were without a doubt the most proactive in getting the most out of the annual mobile conference.

Now Nokia Developer have posted a very well produced video over on YouTube which gives you a great chance to see everything that Nokia were doing last week (primarily on the Monday). That includes the Nokia Apps Developer Conference (ADC) which we sorely wanted to cover, but were kept somewhat busy with everything else Nokia had to show.

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Whilst at MWC, Windows Phone Central had the chance to sit down with Marco Argenti, Senior Vice President of the Developer and Marketplace division at Nokia. We had just been checking out the new partner apps being shown off in Nokia’s sizeable booth and were keen to hear more about the relationships Nokia are continuing to build with developers both commercial and indie, especially following the news of Nokia’s new imaging and HERE API features.

You can find the full write up of that discussion after the break.

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Dev Center is a Windows Phone app from Microsoft designed to give Windows Phone developers a better handle on their app's performances.

While all the performance data is available through Microsoft's Windows Phone Dev Center website, Dev Center app puts all that information on your Windows Phone, allowing developers to track the real world performance of their apps while on the go.

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The Microsoft Media Platform team has released version 1.1 of the Player Framework for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The release includes a number of improvements, and is targeting developers who are building media apps (much like the Vimeo app - pictured above). The framework supports Silverlight, HTML5, Xbox, as well as Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.

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