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long-term strategy

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More the Merrier

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Wipe away the tears

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developers

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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So you're thinking about developing an app for Windows Phone, but how does one create an awesome app for consumers to download and enjoy? Much like our own Windows Phone app - which is highly rated by our readers - there are a number of apps available on the store that are effectively designed for the platform. Microsoft has detailed some pointers on how to make a quality app.

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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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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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Todd Brix has published a new entry on the Windows Phone Developer Blog detailing highlights of 2012 for Windows Phone. The goal for the team was to establish a new, scalable platform on the mobile phone as well as the cloud. Providing a unique experience for consumers to enjoy when downloading and using apps from a catalogue of apps.

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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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Yesterday’s delisting of Turn N Run – literally the night before our review went live, and only six days after the game’s release – highlights a large and ongoing problem in the world of Xbox Windows Phone games. Since the debut of Windows Phone 8, incompatibility with the new OS has been discovered among a number of Xbox WP7 titles. Each of these games has been completely delisted from the web version of the Windows Phone Store, and either partially or fully removed from Store searches on actual Windows Phones.

Read on to learn what games have been affected so far, and how Microsoft may be mishandling the Windows Phone 8 incompatibility issues in more ways than one.

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The Windows Phone Store (previously the Windows Phone Marketplace) has been growing at a fairly steady rate since the platform launched back in 2010. The number of apps and games available to consumers to download (both free and paid) is still increasing, and the platform has passed the 100,000 app milestone.

Since Windows Phone is a smaller ecosystem than both iOS and Android, is it worth investing in app and game development? According to data from EEDAR's 2012 Mobile Syndicated Reports, Windows Phone is actually a valid option for developers when it comes to monetisation. According to the reports, Windows Phone users spend more funds in the Store than users on competing platforms.

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